If you’re looking for an amazing and budget-friendly day out in Yorkshire, you should definitely consider a visit to Brimham Rocks with kids! It ticks all the boxes in terms of a day out, loving the outdoors, scenic views and adventurous play for the kids. Here are my top 10 tips for visiting Brimham Rocks with kids, and an update from the National Trust as to what to expect at Brimham Rocks in terms of being Covid safe.
What is Brimham Rocks?
Well, to put it bluntly, it’s an area of rocks that stick out of the ground. They are millions of years old, and to me, they look completely out of place in North Yorkshire, because the only thing that comes close to what they look like, is the Matopos Hills and the Balancing Rocks in Zimbabwe.
National Trust – Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Brimham Rocks is looked after and managed by the National Trust. They (the rocks) are roughly 320 million years old! They look almost unnatural, the way they balance so perfectly against each other. Sitting in the Brimham Moorland of North Yorkshire, they are nature at its most awesome. In fact, the area where you find the rocks has been designated as an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Visiting Brimham Rocks with kids is a must when you’re in the area. The views over the gorgeous Yorkshire landscape are breathtaking.
Are You Ready For A Family Fun Day Out?
When you think about a safe and fun day out as a family, you think about a wide-open space, safe to explore, manageable for everyone. That said, visiting Brimham Rocks with young children probably doesn’t tick all those boxes. However, if you are prepared properly in advance it doesn’t have to be as scary as the helicopter parents might imagine it is.
10 Tips For Visiting Brimham Rocks With Kids
As a mom who travels and goes on days out with her kids, both as a family and solo parenting, here are my top 10 tips for visiting Brimham Rocks with kids. This is my honest opinion.
Put A Leash On Them – The Kids That Is!
If they are young, toddling about and likely to slip, put a harness on them and keep it short. Visiting Brimham Rocks with kids can be nerve-wracking if your kids are wild, fearless and don’t listen. If they are really little (under 4. years old), I’d recommend a harness on them, or keep them off the big rocks.
Comfortable non-slip shoes are best. Trainers or hiking boots. I would not recommend wellies as they are likely to slip on the rocks that are often damp with dew or moss, or both. I’m not talking about the high up rocks, I mean the little ones on the ground that you need to climb over to get up high.
Take A Picnic to Brimham Rocks
Take a picnic. Even though it was very busy (the car park was overflowing), we still managed to find quite a few perfect spots that were private and peaceful. I was able to get the girls to sit still for 5 minutes and just eat their picnic. You can buy food and snacks there, but it really is the perfect place to have a picnic.
Parking Facilities at Brimham Rocks
Get there early, parking spaces are limited. On my recent trip to Brimham Rocks with the kids in August 2021 we arrived there at around 09.30/10.00 and it was fine, but by 11.30 when we nipped back to the car to get something, the car park was almost full already. It is free to enter Brimham Rocks, but you do need to pay for parking – it was £6 per car for 4 hours, or £10 f0r the whole day. See more details below about costs and duration.
Dress in layers, and in comfortable clothing. You will have to scramble up the rocks after your kids. I promise. Our first visit to Brimham Rocks with kids was in early spring and it was a bit cool. On our visit in August it was full of ferns and other beautiful wild foliage, including nettles. We wore shorts, but in hindsight, I’d recommend leggings, trousers or even stretchy jeans because a nettle sting is sore.
How Long Should The Visit Take?
You will need at least 3 hours to get at least half the experience out of the day. 3 hours was good, we could probably have stretched it for another hour, maybe even more if you have older kids. Mine are now 8 and 10 and after 4 hours we were done.
What Facilities are there?
There are loos there close to the coffee shop, but those are the only loos so make sure that your exploratory routes keep circling back to the restroom area. It is the opposite end of the park to the car park! That, or monitor their liquid intake!
There’s a coffee shop, and a visitor centre/shop where you can learn a bit more about the area.
Are You A Helicopter Parent? That’s okay.
If you’re going to take your children to Brimham Rocks, you’re going to have to let them explore. Yes, make sure that they know that they have to be safe. But half the fun and experience of the place is the outdoor adventurous experience. And join in, that way you can help them, and hang on to them if necessary.
Have ‘The Talk’
The Talk! I would highly recommend that you sit them down, either just before you get there, or as soon as you get there, and you explain to them that whilst they are allowed to run, and be free, rocks are high, rocks are slippery, don’t run on the rocks themselves, and don’t go up if they can’t get down.
Can You Take Your Dogs?
The park is dog-friendly. There are many well-behaved dogs so make sure you and your kids are comfortable being around dogs.
- Entry is free, even for non-members of the National Trust.
- You do have to pay for Parking.
- Parking is Pay & Display. We paid £6 for 4 hours of parking.
- Brimham Rocks is located 11 miles from Harrogate off B6165, 4 miles from Pateley Bridge off B6265. Please check the National Trust website for other options on how to get there, other than driving.
- There is a refreshment kiosk and toilet facilities.
I’m not going to lie, it was a bit stressful. I am quite sure that everyone there knew my kids’ names by the time I left, I yelled after them that many times. The good news is that it wasn’t just me. All the parents of energetic 7 years olds were doing the same thing … or nearly. Or maybe they were just pretending they weren’t looking. I love how polite the British are! lol
And getting the kids to leave took nearly an hour because they hadn’t climbed this rock or that rock, or explored this ‘cave’ or gone through that tunnel.
To Go Or Not To Go?
Overall rating: Go! Absolutely yes! Take your granny, your aunty, and your kids, take the pushchair, the dog and your all-weather gear, and just go! A day out in the fresh air will do you all wonders. And I guarantee you the kids will sleep in the car on the way home!
Brimham Rocks with kids is a winner for me!
This review is linked to my review on Trip Advisor.