I never really got into Wuthering Heights, though I was rather hooked on Kate Bush’s song, (I can still hear it now, even as I write this post) but last week we headed north to have a look at the magnificent sandstone formations at Brimham Rocks. I wasn’t expecting much and was completely surprised by the incredible atmosphere there.
I was happily taking photos of the brilliant formations when My Englishman laughingly pointed out that we hadn’t even seen any of the really famous sculptures, yet. Apparently these are not the real deal. Huh!
Though I thought they they were pretty cool. The formations didn’t have to be of anything in particular for me to be impressed by them, hell I was just impressed by their size and shapes and the ambience. There was a soulful atmosphere as if somehow the rocks were speaking. No, it wasn’t the gin talking, it was a little early for that, the sun wasn’t yet over the yard arm.
My Englishman felt it too, and pointed out that this was the place where they filmed parts of the Wuthering Heights movie, and then my Heathcliff climbed up a rock, tripod in hand, to capture the magnificent view over the Yorkshire Dales, leaving me to contemplate the Wuthering Heights connection…. and my husband’s freaky daring. I wasn’t going up there, I’m scared of heights!
Brimham Rocks is 11 miles north of the North Western Yorkshire town of Harrogate, and is billed as nature’s playground and indeed it is for both kids and adults. Lots of kids were running around and clamouring over the rocks when we visited, and we even spotted a few hardy individuals learning how to climb and abseil.
The National Trust property is open from dawn to dusk, and is free to enter save for a Parking Charge – £4 for 3 hour visit. National Trust members can park for free. There’s a small caravan styled tea and coffee place for hot drinks for your picnics, but I’d also suggest solid shoes and a decent wind jacket as it was a bit parky up there.
I didn’t manage to spot the Eagle or the Smarties tube, but the Dancing Bear was easy to see.
The shaped rocks date back to the last Ice Age, over 73,000 years BC ago, when an ice cap topped the Pennines. When the rock bed was exposed to grit and snow and ice it was ’sandblasted’ into shape, rather than hand carved as the local people believed. For centuries it was thought that the Brimham Rocks were actually created by the Devil himself, or carved by Druids, and there is a Druid’s worship place nearby.
Some of the legends have even named the rocks – such as the legend telling the story of Lovers Rocks – where two young lovers jumped to their certain death after being pursued by the girl’s father, but were miraculously saved.
I’m not sure about the lovers or the Druids, and I certainly don’t think the Devil was involved as the place has such a calming atmosphere. The rocks themselves were like a soulful reminder of resilience and as such made me feel hopeful….. when I could get Kate Bush’s song out of my head that is!
In fact I found the place so moving that it inspired me to start a new series of ‘food for thought’ pictures and sayings drawn from my travels, on Vegemitevix, which I’ll share on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. I hope you enjoy them.
Can places speak to you? What places have you been to that moved you? (Grand Canyon? Milford Sound? Yorkshire Moors?)