Local Day Out: Plumpton Rocks, Harrogate

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate

Hi everyone, how are all your weeks going? Since I was younger, my family has always tried to take plenty of trips, whether big holiday style ones abroad, stay-cations, or simply local days out to areas of interest near where we live. These might be stately homes nearby, gardens to explore, walks in new locations with dog, sometimes to a local town or city, but these are much more rare – we’re country people!

Last year when Ben and I did our UK road trip, we visited loads of places like these, especially since we’d got ourselves some National Trust cards (I’m still a young person according to that card until the day after my 27th birthday and I’m very proud of that!). A lot of National Trust places close over the winter though, so after the road trip, we’ve done a couple more days out but not many. But in the last couple of weekends, we’ve had this glorious summer weather that’s made the grass seem greener and the skies seem bluer, so we’ve managed to explore a few more local “tourist” destinations even though we’re not exactly tourists.

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate
Couldn’t resist a bit of Tree Pose on a fallen tree!

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate

My mum rang up last weekend to say they were planning to pack up a picnic and grab the dog to go explore Plumpton Rocks. “Do you mean Brimham Rocks?” I’d replied, thinking I’d heard her wrong since Brimham Rocks are the more famous ones located not too far away from us that are super fun to climb on. Nope, it turned out Plumpton Rocks are most definitely another place and just as awesome, and actually not too far down the road from Brimham.

You might actually recognise Plumpton Rocks, especially if you’ve seen the recent Swallows & Amazons film. I haven’t (and I really want to!) but it’s supposed to be set in the Lake District and parts of it were filmed at Plumpton Rocks. The lake is actually much smaller than you might imagine and is in fact man-made but set against a backdrop of exposed rock faces that have been eroded by nature herself.

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate

Originally the lake was part of a larger and far more picturesque garden created in 1760 to fit around the outcrops of weathered gritstone. In the years that followed, the 30 acre parkland was slowly taken back by nature so that the lake and surrounding area is now covered in pretty woodland out of which the rock formations loom. The gardens underwent a major restoration project recently, only reopening last year, so are even more spectacular now.

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate

And the best bit about it? Guests to the park can explore the rocky outcrops to their heart’s content, and we took full advantage of it! On a couple of US road trips we’ve done, we’ve explored desert rock formations and some of these were reminiscent of those in the places where they were so eroded that you were having to squeeze through teeny tiny gaps. We clambered to the top of and over and under rocks with names like Lion’s Den, Lover’s Leap and Needle’s Eye. And I terrified my family by teetering on the very edges of the rocks – I’ve always loved heights where most of them hate them!

Have you visited Plumpton Rocks?

Plumpton Rocks near Harrogate

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