Shipston on Stour
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About Shipston on Stour
Infused with all the charm of the Cotswolds without being marred by the maddening crowds, Shipston makes for an ideal weekend away. A picturesque market town in South Warwickshire that was voted the Sunday Times' best place to live in the Midlands, it boasts many independent shops, cosy pubs and gourmet restaurants while also being surrounded by a sea of rolling green hills and pasture, making it a classically "Old English" idyll. It is also only 8 miles away from Stratford-upon-Avon - the home of Shakespeare - and a short drive from other towns in the North Cotswolds and not far from Warwick Castle. Ideal for lovers of long rural rambles and country fairs. The best places to stay in Shipston on Stour tend to have a quintessentially British old-world charm to them.
Shipston derives its name from "Sheep-wash-town", alluding to its historic prominence as a sheep market town. By the 16th century, it was also a thriving wool town, involved in the making of beautiful tapestries. The little hamlet on the outskirts of town, Barcheston, was unrivalled by contemporaries in the manufacturing of majestic woollen tapestries like the Sheldon Tapestries. Shipston still retains a provincial pride in their deep-rooted traditions, annually celebrating the "Wool Fair" on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday. The summer is also a time of music and dancing, with the Shipston Proms held between June and July for two weeks - with live music by local musicians and street parties - and the Shipston Midsummer Festival in July, full of traditional music and country dancing.
There is much to do in the town itself, for Shipston is a treasure trove of small independent shops. There are chic boutique high-end fashion shops, gentlemen's outfitters, artisan bakeries, cheesemongers, clock-makers, art galleries and antique sellers, to name a few. Indeed, despite being a remarkably small country town it has over 50 privately-owned shops. It is also a world of cosy oakwood thatched pubs with roaring fireplaces, like The Black Horse, which has a letterbox dating back to 1540. Akin to towns like Stratford-upon-Avon, many of the buildings are Tudor in style.
What not to miss
- Castles: Warwick Castle, built by William the Conqueror in 1068, is a 25-minute drive away by car. It provides excellent tours and regularly hosts reenactments and jousting spectacles. A must-see for history lovers!
- Festivals: when it comes to music and dancing, Shipston knows how to celebrate. The Shipston Proms, held on the square for two weeks between June and July, hosts everything from classical music to jazz, and is great fun. The Midsummer Festival in July is full of traditional music and country dancing.
- Shops: the town is full of independent shops including antique traders, clockmakers, artisan bakeries, cheesemongers and art galleries.
- Gardens: there are beautiful gardens in Hidcote Manor and Kiftsgate, both of which are nearby.
This is a picturesque place and can, therefore, get busy especially on the weekends so to ensure you snag a room at one of the best places to stay in Shipston on Stour we recommend you book well in advance.
The best places to stay in Shipston on Stour
- The George Townhouse: a brilliantly-renovated historic townhouse, offering 16 warm and contemporary rooms and a lounge bar. Really central and great for exploring the town.
- Old Kiln House: a charming guesthouse with 3 stylish and rustic rooms, with wooden beams and old exposed stone walls, and a lovely garden. Great for couples.
- The Bower House: a fabulous gourmet restaurant with 5 gorgeously designed rooms. Romantic, chic and full of character.
For an apartment or cottage
- Our partner Booking.com has a wide range of cottages and apartments in the nearby area.
- Fly to London Stanstead and get a direct train from Marylebone Station to Stratford, from where you can get a bus.
- If you want to rent a car we recommend you contact our partner Rentalcars.
- To get the most of your experience it's best to go during the summer months when the temperature ranges between 10 and 22 degrees.
Still not sure?
- Expand your search to include the best places to stay in Warwickshire
- or the best places to stay in the Cotswolds
- or contact one of our Gurus for advice.
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Best Hotels in Shipston on Stour
The George Townhouse Shipston on Stour 16 rooms from £110Value chic - The perfect place to stay while exploring Shakespeare country, slightly off the tourist trail it is much more reasonably priced!Romantic Break - A charming and romantic townhouse hotel with elegant furnishings, excellent food, welcoming atmosphere and a cosy bar.Sights nearby - Anne Hathaway's fascinating house (Shakespeare's wife) is ten miles away.Romantic - Good for couples.
Fresh off a new renovation in 2016, the historic George Townhouse has been revamped into plush, luxurious hotel. The rooms are elegantly designed with comfortable furniture and warm blue and grey colour scheme. On a cold day, seek refuge in the lounge bar and warm yourself by the fire. See More
The Old Kiln House Shipston on Stour 3 rooms from £130Local exploring - Perfect for exploring Shipston and the surrounding Warwickshire countryside.Theatre - Take in a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford.Sights nearby - Take a day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, home of William Shakespeare.Great walks - There are great walking routes in the nearby Cotswolds.
Tucked between Stratford-upon-Avon and the Cotswolds, The Old Kiln House is a delightful B&B in Shipston. Set in a beautiful historic building, the guesthouse offers lovely rooms that have retained beautiful original features such as wooden beams and exposed brick walls. A Warwickshire gem. See More
The Bower House Shipston on Stour 5 rooms from £149Foodies - Boasting a fabulous restaurant that uses excellent local produce to create beautifully simple dishes.Sights nearby - Make a trip to Broadway Tower, a historic folly offering spectacular views from the top.Local markets - Stroll through the bustling Moreton in Marsh Outdoor Market.Full of character