Shap Abbey & Wet Sleddale Reservoir.
We arrived mid morning with a destination in mind, Shap Abbey. Little is left of this twelfth century abbey except the imposing tower which looks striking against both stormy and sunny skies. Information boards scattered around the site give a you a good idea of what was where. The building was one of several used by the Premonstratensian Order of Canons before the disolvation of the monestries by King Henry VIII.
The canons were known as ‘The White Canons’ because of their unusual white woollen habits. They were apparently given good pensions when their home was destroyed , some of the abbeys stones were used to build the adjoining farm house. I can’t help but wonder if those canons still walk the grounds of a moonlit night…..
Wandering round the abbey gave us a good appetite. Shap is home to an award winning Fish & Chip shop. We headed there for lunch. Situated in the heart of the village, Shap Chippy is incredibly fresh and clean looking inside & out. The decor has a homely nautical vibe and we recieved a cheery welcome. You can eat in too, and we were pleasantly surprised that dogs are very welcome. Most importantly the fish & chips are excellent. Well recommended!
After that tasty treat we needed a good route to walk off those calories. Nearby Wet Sleddale Reservoir has a 4 mile public footpath & quiet road that circles the water. Set in the Shap Fells this triangular reservoir was built in the sixties, the water like many Lakeland reservoirs is used to supply Manchester. For this walk I recommend wearing wellies! I guess the clue is in the name. Wet Sleddale is indeed quite wet & boggy, even on a dry September day. We parked on the car park near the dam.
The countryside is lovely here and so peaceful. We only saw a couple of other walkers, so its definitely away from the Lake District crowds. Ling Heather, Scabious and Bog Asphodel grow in abundance and buzzards soar in the sky. The area also has connections with the cult ( and rather batty!) movie Withnail and I. Film locations include the stone bridge where Withnail attempts to shoot fish in the brook below and Sleddale Hall where him and his friend try holidaying in the Lake District. I took a sneak peek at the remote Hall, where outdoor screenings of Withnail and I are shown annually in the yard.
At the end of our wander round Wet Sleddale we sat and admired the gushing dam which is 21 metres high.
Have you ever visited Shap or the surrounding area?
28 thoughts on “Shap Abbey & Wet Sleddale Reservoir.”
I had never heard of this Abbey or village, so thoroughly enjoyed your visit and the fish and chips. Glad you had a happy day to erase sad times.
Aw thanks Cathy. X
When I think of Shap it’s the announcements on tv when I was a child (before the M6 was built) that The A6 was closed there during the winter whenever it snowed. 🌨
Ha yes it does get bad snow up there….
Indeed it does. I remember seeing pictures of lorries stuck up there on the news when I was a lad
I hope your visit has dispelled your own old ghosts. It looks a wonderfully atmospheric and remote location, bet it’s bleak in the winter though.
It can be. The bright sunshine helped. 🙂
My husband used to live near Shap a few years ago and this is the first time I’ve seen it not covered in snow! ☺️
Ha, yeh it’s not so bad in the sunshine. 😁
Looks like a smashing trip. You can’t beat fish and chips when it’s done really well.
They were really really good. Xx
This look idyllic…love the pics of the houses too !
The Hall barely has a farm track to it. I think the owner lives down south and visits when he can. X
I don’t think i’ve ever been into Shap, though we’ve obviously driven past it many times on the motorway. I think the name has a very pleasing sound though, unlike Wet Sleddale which sounds revolting (though looks very pretty)!
Yes I wonder what the name Shap means. I will have to look that up! X
Glad you enjoyed your visit to my village. Yes we do get an awful lot of rain but not all the time the sun does shine too! We love the chippy too!
Ah I didn’t realise you lived there. The chippy is great, definitely deserves to be an award winner. X
I have never been there but I have a hike near Wet Sleddale in one of my hiking book that I would like to do.
It’s a nice walk and you can extend it out onto the fells. X
I discovered Shap Abbey on my way to the Lakes in June, was actually looking for Keld Chapel but couldn’t find it. The reservoir looks quite nice for a walk in spit of its name, and the butterfly looks beautiful 🙂
I haven’t spotted Keld Chapel yet. The reservoir is a nice walk, just wear wellies. Quite like my butterfly picture. Thank you. X
Great shots. Have visited the abbey a couple of times, but should go back really- and the walk is one to bookmark. Keld Chapel is a lovely little gem. One of those places where you pick up the key and let yourself in. it’s tiny – you won’t be there very long, so plan other things around it!
I will have to look out for it. My partner and I recently bought a caravan in the Eden Valley/ North Pennines area, so hope to explore more of the region.
Looks like a good day out.
It was lovely meeting indeed. 🙂
Haven’t visited but definitely on my radar now. I love those old abbey skeletons-so dramatic!! Your butterfly pic is so beautiful!!
Thank you. 🙂
Shap Abbey is worth a visit. X
Funnily enough I have a friend whose sister lives there. That’s what made me read this post today, but I don’t have any recollection of visiting. Looks nice! 🙂 🙂