Brimham Rocks





“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.

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50 Things To Do Before You Are 11 (or go to high school)

Now I’m not one for lists of things that you should do and physically recoil at things like 50 things to do before you die etc, my approach is simply if you keep your eyes and mind open then opportunities will come along, take them and your life will be full of fun things.  I was however taken by a list my kids gave me recently which they have pinned up in the kitchen which they saw on Newsround I think and that gives lots of fun ideas for things to do outside.  I’m not worrying about how many are ticked off but already know that the spring and summer is going to be fun.  Here’s the list which might well come in handy for the “mmm what shall we do today moments” that we all have:

  • Climb a tree
  • Roll down a really big hill
  • Camp out in the wild
  • Build a den
  • Skim a stone
  • Run around in the rain
  • Fly a kite
  • Catch a fish with a net
  • Eat an apple straight from a tree
  • Play conkers
  • Throw some snow
  • Hunt for treasure on the beach
  • Make a mud pie
  • Dam a stream
  • Go sledging
  • Bury someone in the sand
  • Set up a snail race
  • Balance on a fallen tree
  • Swing on a rope swing
  • Make a mud slide
  • Eat blackberries growing in the wild
  • Take a look inside a tree
  • Visit an island
  • Feel like you’re flying in the wind
  • Make a grass trumpet
  • Hunt for fossils and bones
  • Watch the sun wake up
  • Climb a huge hill
  • Get behind a waterfall
  • Feed a bird from your hand
  • Hunt for bugs
  • Find some frogspawn
  • Catch a butterfly in a net
  • Track wild animals
  • Discover what’s in a pond
  • Call an owl
  • Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
  • Bring up a butterfly
  • Catch a crab
  • Go on a nature walk at night
  • Plant it, grow it, eat it
  • Go wild swimming
  • Go rafting
  • Light a fire without matches
  • Find you way with a map and compass
  • Try bouldering
  • Cook on a campfire
  • Try abseiling
  • Play geocache
  • Canoe down a rive

So get outside there’s fun to be had I’d say and not just for the children !