Dominated by beautiful old black and white buildings and next to the River Severn, Upton is known for its small independent shops and its popular annual music festivals such as the "Sunshine Festival" and "Blues Festival". The town quayside is always busy with private and hired river cruisers and narrow boats with opportunities for visitors to take boat trips in the summer.
Walkers, cyclists and fishermen are all drawn to Upton, especially as Upton lies on the popular "Severn Way". This long distance (220 miles) footpath follows the river from source to sea. The route uses Upton's bridge to transfer from one bank to the other.
The 60 hectares of flood plain next to Upton, called "The Ham", is one of the oldest Lammas meadows in the country. No fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides are used and it has been granted the title of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Grasslands Trust explains that the Lammas meadows are a special kind of flood meadow managed under a common system, whereby strips of meadow are randomly allotted (by drawing lots) to commoners to take hay, but grazing is shared by all the commoners. The Lammas meadow system is very ancient, possibly over a thousand years old.