Not only does the picturesque village- which had a population of 1,336 in the last census – have the River Avon flowing through it, it has great transport links with the M40 less than two miles away.

Corenna Jennings, manager of Barford Village Shop, said: “There’s lots of facilities in the village, there’s lots to do.”

Residents raised money for the shop, which opened in 2008, and now eighty villagers volunteer to run it, taking it turns to do three-hour shifts.

The shop is owned by the village and has 500 shareholders.

“People look out for each other here and it’s just a fabulous place to live,” said Corenna.

Sunday Times Home Editor, Helen Davies, said: “The Best Places guide is dedicated to celebrating Britain’s abundance of great cities, towns and villages. We combine in-depth data with first-hand personal experience to produce an authoritative list.

“There are lots of places across Britain that are worth celebrating, and everyone has different priorities, so this year our supplements cover everything from the countryside to inner-cities.”

Barford is new to the Midlands list, along with Byfield in Northamptonshire.

Leamington Spa is the only other Warwickshire place on the list, and the others are Buxton in Derbyshire; Ledbury in Herefordshire; Malvern in Worcestershire; Shrewsbury in Shropshire; Stamford in Lincolnshire; Oakham in Rutland; and Yardley Hastings in Northamptonshire.