Top places to live in Warwickshire Shipston-on-Stour
A thriving rural southern Warwickshire town, bordering the north Cotswolds, famed for its wool heritage, handsome high street, landscape of honey-coloured cottage and one of the UK's Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
For a start, it was voted the best place to live in the Midlands by The Sunday Times. An historic, quaint but booming South Warwickshire market town with a strong sense of community spirit and full of Cotswolds charm, it’s close to Chipping Campden, Moreton-in-Marsh and Broadway, and only 8 miles from Stratford. A former working wool town, its annual events include Shipston Wool Fair and Shipston Proms over two weeks in June/July.
Award-winning The George Townhouse and The Bower House are two brilliant modern gastropubs within the town centre. There’s also Spanish restaurant, El Café Tapas Kitchen & Wine Bar. Enjoy a pub lunch in one of the extremely pretty surrounding Warwickshire villages including the Michelin-starred Royal Oak at Whatcote, The Howard Arms in Illmington, The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote, The Red Lion Inn, Long Compton or The Chequers Inn, Ettington.
Shipston’s charming high street has a mix of traditional family-run and contemporary independent businesses, including Bumble and Wild florist shop, The Richard Harvey Collection for interiors, The Cotswold Tailor and Time in Hand, selling and restoring antique clocks. Foodies will love Taste of the Country, which has an awesome cheese counter and the award-winning gin and whiskey producer, Cotswolds Distillery Just out of town is Whichford Pottery, an independent family business making handmade frost-proof British flowerpots with its own cafe.
Apart from touring the North Cotswolds villages and towns, we recommend National Trust’s Upton House, the arts and craft inspired garden at Hidcote and Kiftsgate Court Gardens, that celebrates three generations of women gardeners. Also worth mentioning is Warwickshire’s answer to Stonehenge – the Rollright Stones, a collection of neolithic monuments on the Oxon border. The RSC is just up the road and Warwick Castle is 25 minutes away.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
£330,150, although detached houses sell for an average of £401,557. Terraced properties can be bought for around £218,818, with semi’s in the region of £326,739. Good local estate agents in the area are Seccombes, Pritchard and Company, Peter Clarke and Savills, Banbury
There’s Illmington CoE (‘Outstanding), Shipston-on-Stour Primary (‘Good)’, Newbold and Tredington CofE Primary School (‘Good’) and Shipston on Stour High School (‘Good’). Stratford Girls’ Grammar and King Edward VI (both ‘Outstanding’). Independents include The Croft Prep, Alveston, The Crackley Hall School, Kenilworth, The Kingsley School, Leamington Spa, and schools within Warwick Independent Schools Foundation.
BEST KEPT SECRET
American billionaire tycoon Les Wexner, the former owner of Victoria’s Secrets, is the (secret – shush!) owner of Grade II-listed stately home, Foxford House, in Illmington, Shipston-on-Stour. Since purchasing the 11-bedroom 18th-century property in 1997 he’s converted it into a £20m estate and shooting lodge. It was previously a private school before being bought in the 1960s by an heir of Boots, The Chemist.
Seven miles to Moreton-in-Marsh for trains to London Paddington taking around 1hr 40 minutes.
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