SHIPSTON is the most desirable place to live in the Midlands.
The town was voted top of The Sunday Times ‘Best Places to Live’ annual guide, which also featured Leamington as one of the best places to live in the region.
Places are chosen by looking at statistics such as crime rates and school performance along with individual assets from local festivals to natural beauty.
The town has consistently been featured on the list for its ‘local shindigs’ including fairs and festivals.
A Sunday Times spokesman said: “Shipston is good at a lot of things: real pubs, great little shops and cafes, picnic spots by the river and giving people enjoyment. Call them fairs, festivals or anything else you like, local shindigs that get everyone together have been the lifeblood of such small communities for centuries.
“Ten miles south of Stratford, on the edge of the Cotswolds, Shipston is smaller than Shakespeare’s birthplace, yet stages a two-week Proms festival every summer, with jazz, folk, blues, rock and classical concerts, open-mic nights and a grand finale on the town square.
“Enthusiastic traditionalists have resurrected the Wool Fair on spring bank-holiday Monday, with entertainment, sheep pens full of rare breeds and kids’ games on the high street.”
And former Shipston mayor Philip Vial echoed the sentiments.
He told the Observer: “Shipston is a friendly, welcoming community with more than 100 clubs and societies to get involved with and a whole host of superb local services.
“It is also the northern gateway to the Cotswolds, with stunning countryside all around – yet you are only an hour from Birmingham, Cheltenham and Oxford and only a little longer to London.
“It is a thriving community at a time when many people in other areas do not even know their neighbours.”
The Midlands list featured Stamford in Lincolnshire, Bishops Castle in Shropshire, Ledbury in Herefordshire, Leek in Staffordshire, Moseley in Birmingham and Oakham in Rutland.
But there was no place for neigbouring Stratford, despite Shakespeare’s home town boasting among the most expensive house prices in the Midlands.