Walkers Are Welcome


Shap has always been a village that welcomed visitors. From the coaching days and the busy A6 trunk road, the community has provided for the needs of travellers with shops, garages, hostelries and guest houses, following the opening of the M6 motorway, some of these businesses went into a decline but received a welcome boost when Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast walk became popular.
Last year Shap Parish Council discussed having a new information board installed in the village, and following initial investigations, it was decided to set up a Tourism group to look at other ways of encouraging and welcoming tourists to the village and its surroundings.
The first project was to design a leaflet containing a simple map and useful information about attractions and facilities; this was funded by the Parish Council and the leaflets were distributed to local businesses where they could be picked up free of charge.
The information board was designed by Chairman Jean Jackson; this has an ordnance survey map of the area at the centre with images of places in the locality around the perimeter and text detailing local attractions; the photographs used were taken by tourism group member Patrick Neaves.
Shap Parish Council expressed thanks to former County Councillor Tom Lowther, who assisted it with its application for a grant from Cumbria County Council Eden Local Members Committee towards the cost of the information board.
The organisation Walkers are Welcome was brought the group’s attention and it was felt that it would be beneficial if Shap was able to the status of a Walkers are Welcome village, this involved getting signatures from the community in support of the application. News that the application had been successful was received in May.
The village has a page on the Visit Eden tourism website, and a new website has been designed by Mr Neaves; www.walkhighwestmorland.co.uk giving information about the delightful countryside around Shap and details of routes for walking, this is still in its early stages and additional information will be added as time goes on.
The information board has been erected on the public car park in the centre of the village and was officially unveiled this week.


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