Lobley Crags is a substantial gritstone crag situated less than a mile west of the Slipstones above Birk Gill, a side valley of Colsterdale.
As with so many gritstone crags in the Yorkshire Dales, Lobley Crags are better known to climbers than walkers. In this instance however climbers are more likely to know the name of this crag as Brown Beck Crags.
This is partly due to the prominence given to this name on the OS Landranger map and partly because the Yorkshire Mountaineering Club’s guidebook, Yorkshire Gritstone Vol.1, names the crag Brown Beck Crags. However, the more detailed OS Explorer map clearly labels two separate crags. From my own personal observations Lobley Crags is a much more substantial crag whilst Brown Beck Crags is more of a scattering of rocks.
Whatever the name these are superb outcrops, in my opinion they are even better than Slipstone Crags, not least because you are unlikely to come across anyone else up there. The views from the crag of the surrounding moorland are superb and are well worth the heather bash to get there. One feature I particularly liked was an odd shaped rock at the eastern end of the crag which I named the ‘Xenomorph Stone’ for its likeness to the creatures in the Alien films.
Lobley Crags is one of a series of crags above Birk Gill and I first visited them in February 2014 on a wonderful moorland circuit of the valley. It was not always easy underfoot but just the fact that I was walking where few others do was in itself a thrill.