Brimham Rocks

  • A unique rock formation
  • Far reaching views
  • Well managed site by the NT

Brimham Rocks is definitely a ‘must see’  when visiting the Yorkshire Dales (strictly it is outside the Park boundaries). However it is not great for a structured walk. I would strongle advise it is worth walking up the hill to Brimham Rocks rather than just drive straight to the car park. I chose the pretty village of Smelthouses to start from and a walk through the lovely riverside woods to approach the rocks. However once up in to the rocks themselves myself and my daughter just launched in to a scrambling fest. The landscape is unique and the area atmospheric with the hard gritstone forming great pillars of sandblasted rock all formed in to weird and wonderful shapes.

The land is owned and managed by the National Trust who have done a good job. The area is unobtrusive (as possible) and not festooning the area with warnings and bans on climbing on the rocks. The views up Nidderdale and towards the Vale of York are good in clear weather; claims are made that 60 miles distance is possible to view but we were closer to 20. I had wanted to visit Brimham Rocks for a while and when this happens the reality can be a disappointment – fair do’s though this was not a disappointment, ask my daughter!


A picnic haven! There is a multitude of hidden away enclaves between the rocks and amongst the bracken.

Download GPX file

Brimham Rocks map

All maps are copyright of Where2Walk © 2020

OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. 298 Nidderdale & Ripon Buy Now
Start Point: SE 182646. The start is at Smelterhouses but there is no real parking and I would suggest leaving the car at Wilsill.
Height to Climb: 142 ms (466 feet)
Terrain: The tracks through the fields leading to Brimham Rocks are difficult to follow from the woods but any route is no problem
Eating & Drinking: If you want to avoid the hassle of Pateley Bridge the Flying Dutchman in Summerbridge offers a good pint
Similar Walks Nearby: Walking through Fountains Abbey & Studley Park
The Beautiful River Nidd
How Stean Gorge
Places to Stay:


Lyndale GH


Sweetheart Tea Rooms