The Cotswolds provide an idyllic break where Londoners can flock to when they need a breath of good old British countryside air. But sometimes, especially during the holiday season, you might find it overrun with tourists.
If you drive a few miles to the edge of the Cotswolds you will find a rural town, which has everything you need for a peaceful getaway. Enter Shipston-on-Stour, officially one of the best places to live in the UK, according to The temperature .
In this town, you won’t find tourist buses or photo-hungry tour groups, but rather a main street and square full of independent shops, lively pubs and cafes, and the Cotswolds Distillery . Considered Shipston-on-Stour’s top attraction, the Cotswold Distillery is also the winner of TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award 2021.
READ MORE: The stunningly pretty town in Devon that was voted the UK’s best place to stay for 2022
Since 2014 they have been supplying award-winning dry gin and single malt whiskeys to the Cotswolds and beyond. Sip on tastes like Cotswolds Signature Malt Whiskey or several different types of Wildflower Gin. If you’re feeling indulgent, you can also enjoy a distillation masterclass.
The churches of St Edmund and St Mary are dotted around the town, should you wish to take a leisurely stroll around the area. However, if you want to walk in the middle of the Cotswold hills, it’s about half an hour from Moreton-in-Marsh.
To taste local crafts, Whatford Pottery have been making intricate English flower pots since 1976. Adam Keeling has even appeared on The Great Pottery Throw Down on Channel 4.
The town also has over 50 independent shops, so if you’re looking to escape the big chains, this is the place. Shipston-on-Stour also has a range of restaurants to suit all moods and appetites. With its country pubs and inns and its restaurant recommended by the Michelin Guide, there is something for everyone.
Savor Mediterranean tapas at the El Café Tapas Food & Wine Barwhich won TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards 2021. Feast on dishes like Paella De Mar, Albondigas en Tomate and Gambas Pil-Pil.
Or if you are looking for a little refinement, The Bower House offers many menus for all occasions. Try their garbure of duck confit with smoked ham, cabbage, rutabaga and white beans, or the gilthead sea bream with fennel, puntarella, blood orange and aioli.
There’s also a separate “Saturday” brunch menu featuring cinnamon French toast with cornflakes and fresh cream, American pancakes with berry compote, vanilla ice cream and lemon syrup. maple, or smoked bacon and maple syrup. Oh, and don’t forget the brunch cocktails.
And if you’re in the mood for a Sunday roast, you have a choice of Blythburgh Slow Roast Pork Belly, Lemon Thyme Roast Free Range Chicken, Hereford Beef Roast Trunk and Butternut, Mushroom Roast wild and nut sage.
AT The Black Horse Inn you can enjoy a selection of hand-pulled Real Ales, including Prescott Hill Climb and Wye Valley Seasonal Ale, or sip a gin and tonic. The oldest pub in town also serves a generous Thai menu in their kitchen, so whether you’re looking for a jungle curry or a weeping tiger, they’ve got you covered.
So if you’re looking to escape to one of the best places to live in the UK, head to Warwickshire to find your answer.
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How to get there
You can catch a train from Paddington to Moreton-in-Marsh, before taking a bus straight into town.
Or if you prefer a scenic drive, it will take around two hours/