Broadway is a picturesque Cotswold village nestled beneath the Worcester hills. Its most famous landmark is the iconic Broadway Tower which stands majestically atop Beacon Hill, the second highest point in the Cotswolds. Discover what to expect on a walk to Broadway Tower and the gorgeous Cotswold village of Broadway.
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A circular walk to Broadway Tower
Undoubtedly, one of the best things to do in Broadway is walk to its historic tower on the hill. At 1024 ft high, you will get some of the best views of the local countryside and a great nature walk too.
Now, the easiest way to walk to Broadway Tower is to do an out-and-back walk from Broadway High Street. This walk follows a short stretch of The Cotswold Way directly to the tower and returns the same way.
However, we chose to take a longer, circular route, which took us round the rear of Broadway Tower Country Park. We set off from Broadway village, following the path running adjacent to the playground. We then crossed several open fields and kissing gates, stopping to chat to sheep on the way.
Spring was a perfect time to walk, as the fields are full of new born lambs. Amazingly, sheep have been grazing in the Cotswold hills since the Middle Ages, some 2000 years ago. They are still such a delight, especially if you are town-dwellers like us!
The route took us to Snowshill Road, where we discovered the gorgeous 11th century St Eadburgha’s Church. From here, we headed up Coneygree Lane, a picturesque woodland path flanked by bluebells. We didn’t pass anyone else, and it really was picture-perfect. The rest of the trail led us across more open farmland to the Broadway Tower Visitors’ Centre.
This circular route is about 4 miles (6.5km). The final stretch of the walk has a fairly steep ascent, which gave our calves a good work out. However, it was worth the effort for the exceptionally pretty scenery and wildlife. After the lambs, we saw horses, pheasants, and a possible sighting of a rabbit, which the kids loved.
Broadway Tower Visitor Centre
The Visitor Centre at Broadway Tower is managed by the National Trust. It has a small gift shop and a Morris & Brown café, which was open for takeaway. We found plenty of picnic tables outside and stopped for some rather scrumptious Cotswold ice-cream.
An alternative option for refreshments is the Shepherds Hut behind the café. This serves takeaway food and drink from 10am to 3pm.
As we left for the tower, we passed an enclosure with about 20 red deer, so keep a look out.
Broadway Tower Country Park
Broadway Tower and Park sits in a 50-acre estate of beautiful parkland. It is a family-owned estate, and an important part of English heritage. At 1024 ft above sea level, Broadway Tower is the second highest point in the Cotswolds and provides amazing views across the countryside. Apparently, you can see 16 counties and as far as Wales on a clear day, but I really don’t think we did.
Built in 1798, Broadway Tower is a folly, inspired by Capability Brown. The architect, James Wyatt, built it for Lady Coventry. She wanted to know if she could see it from her home in Worcester, 22 miles away. And of course, she could.
Broadway Tower has played a significant part in the local history and has had several notable residents, including designer William Morris. It was also used as a watch tower to track enemy planes during the 2nd World War. More recently, Broadway Tower has been the setting for many films and tv productions, including Sherlock Holmes.
Nowadays Broadway Tower has a gift shop and museum inside. Plus, you can climb to the top of the tower, for even better views. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go in because of covid restrictions during our visit. There is an admission fee for the Tower, but it’s free for National Trust members.
Next to the Tower is a Cold War nuclear bunker. In normal times, you can go inside, but this was also shut.
After admiring the views and a tour of the perimeter, we followed the Cotswold Way back to Broadway village. This was the best part for the boys who ran down the hill (until one fell over)!
Now, of course, we couldn’t go past the playground. without stopping for a play. Broadway Activity Park has a great choice of modern play equipment, to suit all ages. Luckily, the boys had saved enough energy to try out the climbing towers, zip wire and spinners. The feedback was very positive!
Broadway is one of the most gorgeous villages in the Cotswolds. It’s sometimes known as the “Jewel of the Cotswolds” and it’s easy to see why. This quintessential English village has a large wide High Street, with honey-coloured buildings on both sides. With traditional stone buildings dating back to 17th Century, Broadway has retained its traditional charm and character.
Like many local Cotswold villages, Broadway’s wealth came from the wool trading industry of the 16th Century. It became a popular coach stop for travellers going between Wales, Worcester, and London. Many rich traders would settle in the town and you can still see some of the farm labourers’ cottages today.
One of the most beautiful buildings in Broadway is the historic Lygon Arms, a 600-year-old Tudor coaching inn. Over its history it has had many prominent guests, including King Charles I and now is one of the finest hotels in the Cotswolds.
Where to eat in Broadway
You’ll be spoilt for choice when looking for places to eat in Broadway. With pubs, hotel restaurants and cafés, you’ll find something to suit your budget.
We ate our lunch in the garden of the Horse and Hound pub. This was a real treat, as it was our first meal out since the easing of lockdown. They have a good choice of traditional pub food, such as lasagne, pies and fish and chips and a cheap children’s menu. Served with a pint of Cotswold beer, this was a perfect end to our walk.
The luxurious Lygon Arms also offers outside dining or you could head to the Broadway Deli. You can’t miss it, as it has an orange Fiat 500 in the front window and a tuk tuk outside! The Deli offers delicatessen and takeaway food.
Broadway is a vibrant village, packed with an array of independent shops and boutiques. The kids were happy to spot Hamiltons of Broadway, a traditional confectioners. This was opposite Man Cave, a super emporium for the man who has everything.
Broadway Tower at sunset
As our accommodation was in the nearby market town of Chipping Campden, we decided we’d love to see the sunset at Broadway Tower.
For our return visit to Broadway, we drove to the tower and parked on the road outside the gates. There were quite a few other photographers there, though less than during our day time visit.
Despite the earlier sunshine, the weather turned quite cloudy in the evening. We didn’t see the perfect sunset, but did enjoy some lovely shades of orange in the sky.
Things to do near Broadway
One of the best things to do near Broadway is visit Snowshill Manor and Gardens. This is the 16th Century home of eccentric Charles Wade, who bought the home to house his curiosities. It has a great series of gardens, with unique features such as a model village, dovecote and fish pond.
You could also visit other pretty Cotswold villages, such as Bourton-on-the-Water or Stow on the Wold. If you’re travelling with children, you’ll find loads of things to do with kids in Bourton.
Getting to Broadway
Broadway is in Worcester in the north of the Cotswolds between Chipping Campden and Snowshill, in south west England. The easiest way to get to Broadway is by car, on the A424. It takes just over two hours from London.
The nearest train stations to Broadway are Evesham or Moreton-in-Marsh. You would then need a bus or taxi, as neither are walking distance.
Parking in Broadway
Broadway has plenty of car parking facilities. We visited soon after the lifting of lockdown restrictions and found the short term car park on Church Close behind the high street was still free. However, you’ll find alternative longer term parking at Milestone ground and Shear House. Click here for more details.
Have you been to Broadway and its beautiful tower? We’d love to hear your comments below.
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