This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Shap. To help you make friends with Shap before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
At first glance Shap doesn't appear to have too much to recommend it; strung out along the A6, it has clearly been affected by the M6 taking traffic away from the village. However, if you are willing to dig a bit deeper, you find a very pleasant village with a range of facilities to suit the outdoor enthusiast. As the town is a popular stop on the Wainwright's Coast to Coast walking route, Shap hostels are well suited to dealing with walkers in need of a good night's sleep and a fire with which to dry their boots.
The main attraction in the area is the ruins of the twelfth century Shap Abbey that is situated on the outskirts of the village. There are plenty of good walking routes in the area as well. In terms of facilities there are three pubs, a coffee shop, a fish and chip shop, and a general store (which is surprisingly well equipped). Outside the village, there is a massive cement works, which is a bit of an eyesore but provides welcome employment for the local area.
Whilst Shap might not be a destination in its own right, it's certainly worth a stop if you're en route to the Lake District, and with great Shap hostel options and a number of decent pubs, it has a pleasingly "off-the-beaten-track" feel to it that some of Cumbria's better-known towns and villages seem to have lost as the number of tourists has increased.
Written by local enthusiast for Shap hostelsHowellsey