Even Brimham Rocks would’ve been somewhere that 14-year-old Hannah would’ve enjoyed. Found in Yorkshire, just north of Harrogate, it boasts views* over the Nidderdale Area of Natural Beauty. This truly proved to be an exciting place to visit – even if you don’t so much as sniff at any of the science-y stuff behind it.
*on a good day.
I’m not yet 25 and I have a National Trust membership. I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed about it or not…
Only joking. Me being the super cool person that I am kind of likes that I’m helping contribute towards the upkeep of some awesome places. But quite honestly, this wasn’t always the case. Only a few years ago, I didn’t think I’d ever see the day I’d actively pay out for one, haunted by my childhood of being dragged around stately homes and gardens. I now worry somewhat that I’m turning into my mother… (sorry mum).
At first glance you feel that there really must be some kind of trickery going on because, really, how on earth do these stones stand up by themselves? Weathered by long gone glaciers, strong winds and rain these towers stood tall and wild, warped into an odd stone jungle.
This place was unlike anything we’d come across before. Many of the rock towers seemed to defy gravity with top-heavy loads to bear. Formed of Millstone Grit, which is principally sand, grit and quartz, they’re pretty course and tough. Throughout the site, you can see examples of different layers in the rock where different sediments have been deposited over time, including examples of cross currents from ancient rivers.
When it comes to Britain’s geology, we’re talking millions of years for the deposition of these grit particles and the towers that make up Brimham Rocks. It would have taken millions of years for these rocks to build up but interestingly it has only been within the past 20,000 years that harsh elements have scoured them into these crazy shapes we see today.
The rock is rough under hand and foot, providing good grip even in the wet. Even now, at 24, I couldn’t resist climbing up onto the rock like an excitable child. There was so much fun to be had. Although there were few that you could climb to the top of safely there were a handful you could get on top of – the fun was more in the exploration of the site.
Despite being there on a grey February evening, there were hints at the panorama over the Nidderdale Valley (an AONB) we could have if we were to return on a fine day. Some day I certainly hope to because I want to experience the sun setting while on top of one of those big rocks – preferably with a large marshmallow topped hot chocolate in hand. There is also much more to see there. We only arrived at around 4.30PM and so our light was very limited and we couldn’t go and explore the walks that were on offer or go searching for some of the more crazy looking rocks.
How time changes the mind – not only the world around us. A 14-year-old Hannah would laugh loudly and scoff if told she’d one day love this kind of stuff. But you know what, if a National Trust membership helps preserve incredible places like this, I am more than willing to contribute. I hope you’ll think about it, too.