Artefacts found in the area sow that Shap’s location was important even in prehistoric times. Finds from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, and the Bronze Age, have been made nearby, and there are three stone circles in the locality. Shap still stands on a major route, the A6, roughly halfway between Kendal and Penrith, its elevated situation dominating the Eden Valley below. These days the M6 takes most of the traffic, but before it was built Shap was a vital staging point on the road north. Until the 1970s one of the seven Leyland clocks was sited just outside the village, marking the midway point between Land’s End and John O’Groats. The place still boasts four pubs, thriving reminders of the travellers it once served. In medieval times the settlement had an abbey dedicated to Mary Magdelene, housing 12 priest-monks in a chaste Gothic building. Founded in 1199, the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII in the 16th century, but the remains are still striking today. While in size a village, Shap became a market town in 1687 with the granting of a charter to hold markets on Wednesdays, and fairs thrice yearly. While most visitors arrive via the A6 or M6, others come on the Coast to Coast Walk. Walkers will enjoy the quiet of the locale, away from the more bustling and better known parts of the Lakes, although it is only just outside the National Park. And they can recall their visit when they see some of the nation’s best loved structures, such as the Albert Memorial, St Pancras Station, Piccadilly Circus, and various Mancunian edifices, built using the Shap Granite that is still quarried in Shap Fell.
Pub and Bar
Places to Stay near Shap
Kings Arms Hotel (0.41 miles)
Haweswater Hotel (3.26 miles)
Mardale Inn (3.33 miles)
Shap Wells Hotel (3.83 miles)
Beckfoot Country House (4.71 miles)
Shorrock House (5.38 miles)Beautifully restored award-winning country estate in the Eden Valley.
The Morland Estate provides 21 bedrooms across four substantial properties. The properties have been beautifully restored and furnished and are situated within 15 acres of ancient woods ... More | visit website
The George Hotel (5.81 miles)
Queens Head (5.92 miles)
Orton Hall Apartments (6.16 miles)
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