Snowshill is a chocolate box village in Gloucestershire, UK. It is in the heart of the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Snowshill sits on top of a hill above the neighbouring Cotswold villages Broadway, Buckland, and Laverton. The main tourist attraction is Snowshill Manor, but you musn’t miss the opportunity to visit the gorgeous little village of Snowshill too.
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Snowshill village, Cotswolds
The focal point in Snowshill is its Victorian Church, St Barnabas, which stands on the village green in the centre. Snowshill is a quintessentially English village, with not much more than the church, a pub and village hall. It’s flanked on three sides by pretty honey-coloured stone cottages. The only nod to modernity is the red telephone box by the church green.
As with many traditional English villages, the pub, the Snowshill Arms, is directly in front of the church. This 15th century inn has been serving traditional food and ale to the residents of Snowshill for hundreds of years and is an ideal resting place to stop and chew the cud.
Now, if you’re thinking you recognise the village of Snowshill, you may remember it from the film Bridget Jones’ Diary. Snowshill was the set for the scene when my favourite singleton, Bridget, went to visit her parents at Christmas. In fact, they filmed these winter scenes in summer, so all the snow was artificial, but very convincing!
All the cottages in Snowshill are picture-pretty, but my favourite was those in Buckle Street. This row of quaint cottages, with its matching blue doors, are just off from the village square. The ancient road leads to the neighbouring village of Broadway, where you’ll find the iconic Broadway Tower.
However, if you head in the other direction, you’ll come to Snowshill’s most famous attraction, the historic Snowshill Manor & Gardens. These are only a few minutes’ drive from the village or a ten-minute walk.
Today, Snowshill Manor is owned by the National Trust. From the car park it’s a ten-minute walk past open fields to the manor house. Our first impressions were actually a little underwhelming, and it was only as we got closer, we realised how remarkable the house and gardens are.
Snowwshill Manor was formerly the home of architect and craftsman, Charles Paget Wade. He first saw the house in a magazine, whilst serving in the First World War. Later, after the end of the war, he returned in 1919 to purchase the 16th century house and start the much-needed renovations.
Surprisingly, the newly renovated property was not for Wade to live in, but to house his quirky collection of memorabilia. The elegant Tudor manor house became home to Wade’s growing collection of possessions and he moved into the small cottage next door.
However, Wade was perfectly content with this basic accommodation, which provided all his home comforts. More importantly it gave him a repair workshop, where he could continue creating and fixing things.
Eventually Wade’s collection at Snowshill Manor grew to include over 22,000 unusual objects, including toys, clocks, and Samurai armour. He fully embraced the family motto Nequid Pereat – Let nothing Perish and found a use for everything.
Unfortunately, we were unable to visit inside, because of covid restrictions, so we headed straight to the gardens.
Snowshill Manor Gardens
Wade created a series of small, themed gardens at Snowshill, which reflect his unconventional personality. Each garden has many unique features, which makes it ideal for kids to explore.
Our first pleasant surprise was the cute model village, with its miniature houses and own private train network. This was one of Wade’s own creations from his workshop.
The children also enjoyed the fishpond in the centre of the courtyard, especially once they spotted the newts!
As you’d expect from a National Trust stately home, the flowerbeds were immaculate and looked resplendent with spring colour. However, don’t forget to look up too. You don’t want to miss the statue of Mary, sun dial or blue astronomical clock.
Plus, there’s an ancient dovecote, which has survived since the 16th century and still has doves today.
We retraced our steps and stopped at the National Trust café. It has outside seating overlooking the hillside and a few wooden play structures.
On the way, you’ll see the most delightful weathervane ever. I challenge you to find a quirkier one!
Other things to do near Snowshill
Cotswold Lavender, Broadway
If you’re visiting in summer, leave time to visit Cotswold Lavender in Snowshill. The fields look spectacular, with row upon row of rich purple flowers. In fact, it measures 70 miles of rows in total, which is a humungous amount of lavender!
Cotswold Lavender uses traditional methods to harvest the lavender and make essential oils. There is a gift shop, where you can buy many of the lavender products.
Another great place to visit near Snowshill is the pretty village of Broadway and Broadway Tower.
Broadway Tower is the second highest point in the Cotswolds and has view stretching over 16 counties. You can walk to the tower from the historic village of Broadway or drive up to the car park.
The iconic Broadway Tower stands within Broadway Tower Country Park, managed by the National Trust. Once you’ve got to the top you can visit the café or just stop to admire the views.
Getting to Snowshill
The easiest way to get to Snowshill is by car. It is a short distance from the village of Broadway, which you can get to from the A44. The postcode for Snowshill Manor is WR12 7JU.
If you are travelling by public transport, the nearest train stations are Moreton-in-Marsh and Evesham. These are both about 7 miles away.
Parking in Snowshill
There is a free car park within walking distance of Snowshill Manor.
If you are visiting the village, you’ll find a few parking places by the church.
Have you been to Snowshill Manor & Gardens? We’d love to hear your comments below.
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