Shap is located at the edge of the Lake District National Park and the villages in the area are often used as a base for Lake District holidays. The area around Shap is fantastic walking territory, with ramblers travelling from far and wide to take in the picturesque scenery and breathe in the crisp country air. Shap is even part of the legendary Coast to Coast Walk, with walkers completing the the 8th stage arriving in the village from Bent's Farm in search of accommodation and refreshment.
As well as lending itself to walking, runners and cyclists can often be found roaming the open countryside, with cycle paths running through the hills and valleys and between villages such as Shap and Crosby Ravensworth. There are historical sites around Shap that have fascinated enthusiasts for decades. Lovers of prehistoric remains will adore the stone circles and ruins that exist in the area, with remnants from as early as the Mesolithic period. After a tiring day in the great outdoors, there are some great country pubs and inns to enjoy a local ale and reflect on the day's events.
Things to do around Shap revolve around countryside activities rather than man-made attractions, with the area around the village ideal for walkers - and especially photographers who are drawn in by the stunning natural scenery and beautiful sunsets. However it is the sites of historical and archaeological interest, such as the ruins of Shap Abbey and various stone circles around villages such as Hardendale, Towcett and Little Strickland, which have attracted the most attention in the region.
There are a great deal of historical sites which are of great archaeological interest and have attracted numerous studies over the years. The rural areas between villages like Shap, Oddendale and Hardendale is littered with stone circles and standing stones that are attributed to the Mesolithic period, while digs have unearthed arrowheads and pottery that indicates Neolithic and Bronze Age activity in the area.
Visitors are free to examine items like the Goggleby Stone near Keld which actually fell over in 1969 but was restored to its upright position by Lancaster University's Archaeological department. It is also worth checking out Crosby Ravensworth where you can find yet more historical sites including the White Hag Stone Circle, a monument marking the visit of King Charles II erected in 1651 and one of several grave sites in England claiming to be the final resting place of Robin Hood!
Legendary writer and walking enthusiast Alfred Wainwright's coast to coast walk stretches across Northern England over a distance of anything between 192 and 220 miles, depending which measurement you believe. Passing through Shap Abbey and the village of Shap itself, walkers can stop at one of the many family friendly inns and dog friendly pubs that make great rest stops during your outdoor adventure around Shap and its neighbouring villages, before heading off across the Westmorland limestone plateau to the village of Orton.
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