“Come on let’s go see some rocks” is not generally the most enticing thing I could say to the kids to get them out of the house but that was the call to arms yesterday. They had no idea where we were going as they’d not been to Brimham Rocks before but it features often for me on an MTB route I do in the area and I knew that they would love it. They actually couldn’t quite believe it as we began to explore the weird geology of the rocks which became not rocks but the best adventure playground you can imagine. All of us became children as we played, scrambled, climbed, hopped and explored the amazing landscape.
One of the things that I love is the you can clamber about the whole area in a very un-British way, there are not warning signs all over the place and no fencing, there is an acceptance that this is potentially dangerous (some of the rocks are 30 metres high) but it is left to you to manage that risk. Learning how to manage risk is I think a really key skill and one that I’m not sure we are very good at teaching our kids anymore and it was really interesting for me to watch how mine got on and also for me to hold my tongue and let them explore and work out what they could / couldn’t / should / shouldn’t do or contemplate.
The rocks themselves are utterly magical, they feel like they belong to some other world or country not North Yorkshire, weird shapes and forms appear to be shifting around you as you cavort about exploring and seeing things from different angles and we were lucky in that the light was fantastic and every changing, clouds one moment, dazzling low winter sun the next. The kids did admit to me that yes these rocks were very cool and they would be happy to come again – a seal of approval if ever I heard it.
A really really magical place and possible the best hide and seek playground in the world.