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Countrystride #43: SHAP & The Postman's Path which we journey to Shap, the historic transport hub, to take a wild and wintry walk among the Far Eastern Fells in the footsteps of 1950s postman Jimmy Eland. In the company of born-and-bred Shapite Jean Scott-Smith and author Alan Cleaver, we visit the secluded remains of Shap Abbey, discover the far-from-the-madding-crowd loveliness of Swindale, learn about the hard-graft lives of rural postmen, and enjoy Jean's memories of pastoral days before the dam rose in Wet Sleddale.

Shap Abbey linescape.
Our guests for the day: Alan Cleaver and Jean Scott-Smith.
Alan, with his Percy Kelly-inspired letter.
Alan and Jean leave Shap.
The wooden-sided bridge over the Lowther.
Shap Abbey.
Approaching isolated Tailbert.
Surveying Swindale.
In Ralfland Forest.
Nearing journey's end: the postbox at Thorney Bank.


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