Established as a market town in the 17th century, Shap is a small village along the Coast to Coast Walk that traverses Northern England. It’s renowned for its pink granite that has been used in the construction of buildings across the country, including St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Overlooking the banks of the River Lowther are the 12th-century remains of Shap Abbey, with its impressive tower and building plan still visible today. Since being closed during the 16th-century Dissolution of the Monasteries, much of its stonework was used to build nearby Lowther Castle or incorporated into local farmhouses.
A walking trail leads from Shap Abbey to the Keld Chapel, a 16th-century house of worship operated by the National Trust. Originally built as a chantry for the abbey, it has served as a cottage and a meeting house throughout its history. Several wooden pews and information panels occupy its rustic stone interior.
Shap is around 30 minutes’ drive from Kendal and 40 minutes from Carlisle while Manchester Airport is 1.5 hours away. Buses are the main means of getting to Shap and the village is small enough to explore on foot.