Population: 5,800

Eat at: The Black Horse (01608 238489)

Why? A gloriously authentic Thai menu is served at the Black Horse; the oldest hostelry in the town, with a licence dating back to 1540.

Drink at: The White Bear (01608 664199)

Why? With two bars serving cask and draught ales, plus bottled beers, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks, this inn has its own Aunt Sally pitch.

Stay at: The Bower House (01608 663333)

Why? With diverse gourmet menus and a reputation for satisfying even the fussiest of critics this restaurant is well worth a visit.

Shipston-on-Stour was a sheep-wash town on the River Stour, a name that harks back to the days when it hosted the country’s busiest sheep markets. Because of Shipston’s great fires – the townsfolk suffered two – the High Street architecture is Georgian, rather than medieval. The church of St Edmund’s was also rebuilt, so only the tower remains of the original 15th-century stonework. Regularly listed in the national press’s top ten “best places to live”, Shipston is known as the cornerstone of the Cotswolds.

Most noted for... Independent traders, restaurants, pubs and tearooms. It’s a destination for local shoppers as well as travellers and tourists. (totallylocally.org/shipstononstour)

While you’re here... Stop and gaze at the Syreford stone sheep, commissioned from sculptor Jude Tucker in 2010.

But try not to... Miss Shipston Proms. This year, the event takes place between 16 June and 1 July. Among the approximately 60 acts, there is opera, performed by locally based opera singers, Anna Patalong and Benedict Nelson. Shipston’s very own acappella choir, Cantamus, will be singing English and European madrigals right up to 21st century music.

Who’s who:

Late singers Joe Cocker and Robin Gibb have connections with Shipston, as do actors Richard Morant, Karen Dotrice, Joseph Mawle, Roger Moore, Kate Winslet and Ben Kingsley. Nobel prize-winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, and 19th-century historian Francis Haverfield were both Shipston residents. World champion motorcyclist and Isle of Man TT winner Cecil Sandford is a local.

The Cotswolds Distillery

Shipston’s Cotswolds Distillery produces dry gin and whisky as well as small batches of flavoured botanicals and special editions. The distillery has its own visitors’ centre, with a shop and café open daily. (cotswoldsdistillery.com)

Shipston tapestry

Created to honour Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee, Shipston tapestry hangs in the town council offices. It took 200 people 4,000 hours to complete the 5ft long work, which was woven on a wooden loom.

Whichford Pottery

Famed for its desirable flowerpots, Whichford Pottery also makes ridge tiles, architectural features and takes on commissions. In fact, the craftsmen and women who work at the pottery were responsible for 97,500 of the Sea of Red poppies installation at the Tower of London. Set up in 1976 and still family run, Whichford Pottery has an on-site café and shop. (whichfordpottery.com)

Joseph’s Amazing Camels

Explore the glorious countryside surrounding Shipston in style with a camel trek. With a lifelong pedigree in animal training, Joseph and Rebecca Fossett set up their business in 2000. (jacamels.co.uk)