Shap Abbey

Charlotte Rowland
Shap Abbey
Creative Tourist

Shap Abbey is a secluded area of the river Lowther, renowned for its solitude and quiet. Once a part of 32 religious houses in Britain belonging to the Premonstratensian order of canons, the history it upholds is unique, amping up its tranquil vibe with force and a certain majestic triumph. Today, the 15th century tower can be explored, along with other remains which represent what the site was first used for, but the grounds themselves are just as rich and telling, stretching out and off into hill upon hill of space.

Open during daylight hours, this place truly lets itself be lead by nature and its dignified way of thinking. The site seems purposely designed to fit in with the landscape that is already there, rather than to impose or dictate any ways of treading or ploughing through it. It’s history and backstory leaves much to pick up on, with points of interest extending to include architectural and natural features, as well as that of choosing to bide your time here, and what that means in terms of personal outlook, prosperity and living.

The tradition of living a contemplative, monastic life seems somehow to find its way into the very material of the land here. Everything about it invites calm and repose, from the walled precinct, closed-off and concealed, to the outer gatehouse enclosing the buildings themselves. There is a real sense of privacy generated by the set-up, and, for the modern-day visitor, this offers a choice of routes to navigate as well as the chance to truly enter a rural retreat and escape tactfully into sequestered and undisturbed time-out.

ShapPenrithCA10 3NB View map
Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • MondayOpen 24 hours
  • TuesdayOpen 24 hours
  • WednesdayOpen 24 hours
  • ThursdayOpen 24 hours
  • FridayOpen 24 hours
  • SaturdayOpen 24 hours
  • SundayOpen 24 hours

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

Culture Guides


We go all in on festivals, with a round-up of everything from city-spanning giants to grassroots gems you may not know about.


There's no rest for the art lover - this month brings outdoor sculpture, musings on water, political drawings and Liverpool Biennial 2023!

Classical Music

Summer's classical music calendar is filling up nicely! Read our top picks of concerts happening in Manchester and the North.

Winnie the Pooh at Manchester Opera House

The sun has finally got his hat on! Enjoy our top picks of family-friendly events and activities, both indoors and outdoors.

Gerry Potter (credit Lee Baxter)

Books are big this summer, with festival readings, poetry slams, creative writing activities and famous faces all putting in an appearance.

Food and Drink

All signs point toward June being a scorcher of a month, so let’s take a look at all things summery food and drink.

Tours and Activities

From literary activities to brilliant independent shops, keep your minds and homes filled with the good stuff this month.

Theatre in Manchester

Check out our updated guide for lively theatre festivals, rip-roaring rooftop circus and dreamy outdoor shows.