Broadway(Last Updated On: January 16, 2019)
A visitors’ guide to Broadway and its surrounding attractions…
Broadway is a justly famous Cotswold beauty spot, and popular throughout the year. As its name suggests, Broadway is dominated by a wide main street lined with independent shops, restaurants, hotels and plenty of antique shops. The Cotswold escarpment (scarp) runs down through the valley into the Evesham Vale (a great place to visit during asparagus season: mid-April to early June).
Broadway Tower sits high up on the Cotswold scarp overlooking the town and is a true delight to the landscape. The folly, which was designed by Capability Brown sits 312 metres above sea level. It’s the second highest point on the Cotswolds escarpment with really beautiful views, so it’s definitely worth a visit. (More information below.)
The 11th Century St Eadburgha’s Church is tucked away on the Snowshill Road, but worth searching out, as is the award-winning Lygon Arms Hotel, once a manor house (in its time it has hosted both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell) and now something of a Cotswold institution.
Rated amongst the top attractions in the Cotswolds, the castle rooms and exhibits contain many fascinating treasures, from ancient Roman times to the present day. The castle is surrounded by a breath-taking 1,200 acre estate and ten award-winning gardens. The centrepiece is the Queens Garden, so named because four of England’s queens – Anne Boleyn, Katherine Parr, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I – once walked upon the original Tudor Parterre. The Pheasantry at Sudeley houses a collection of 16 rare and endangered species of birds from around the world as part of Sudeley’s programme of breeding and conservation. The whole family can explore the castle’s fascinating past and enjoy a host of exciting events throughout the year. Children will love scaling the wooden fort and whizzing on the zip wire in the famed Adventure Playground, as well as tackling the 10-piece assault course. (Please note: Sudeley Castle is open from the spring until the end of December. Please check the website for exact dates.) View Sudeley Luxury Holiday Cottages.
The brainchild of the 18th Century landscape designer Capability Brown and designed by the architect James Wyatt, Broadway Tower is a great attraction for Cotswold visitors wanting to experience great English heritage in an inspiring location. See examples of the work of William Morris and understand the link between the Tower and the Arts and Crafts. At 1024 feet (312m) above sea level it is the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment (Cleeve Hill is the highest at 330m). From the viewing platform you can see all around along a 62-mile radius, taking in 16 counties on a clear day. Conveniently located on the Cotswold Way, Broadway Tower is the perfect place to start a walk, with ample car parking for visitors.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR), which runs between Cheltenham Race Course and Broadway, is a steam and diesel heritage railway. Since 1981, the volunteers have restored over 10 miles of line, together with platforms, buildings, steam and diesel locomotives and rolling stock. In addition to a scheduled service, GWR hosts a number of galas and enthusiasts’ events throughout the year, including the ever-popular Santa Specials.
The Cotswolds Distillery in Shipston-on-Stour (25 minutes’ drive from Broadway) is the first-ever full-scale craft distillery within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The so-called “Outstanding Natural Spirits”, include the first-ever Cotswolds Single Malt Whisky, featuring Cotswolds-grown barley. They also produce the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin, featuring local lavender from Snowshill, along with a range of small-batch brandies and liqueurs. Tours and tastings are run three times a day, seven days a week (advance booking required).
Located in Bourton-on-the-Water, the Cotswold Motoring Museum’s collection is full of travel- and motoring-related vehicles, toys and memorabilia. There are seven galleries packed with classic cars and memorabilia from the 1920s, 1930s and 40s, vintage motorbikes, retro collections from the 50s, 60s and 70s, and the children’s TV star Brum (photo left) who was based at the museum. (Note: the museum opens for the 2019 season on 16 February.)
Bourton-on-the-Water has been described as the ‘Little Venice’ of the Cotswolds because of all the ancient bridges that cross the River Windrush, which runs through the centre of the village. Its gorgeous views and eclectic collection of shops, cafes and attractions makes it one of the most popular tourist spots in the region.
Chastleton is a hidden gem located in the beautiful Cotswold countryside near Moreton-in-the-Marsh. A Jacobean house built between 1607 and 1612 by a prosperous wool merchant and owned by the same family until 1991, with very little changing in the house over the course of 400 years. Truly an opportunity to step back in Cotswold time!
Private day tours of the North, South or Central Cotswolds (or designed to your own itinerary) with experienced driver-guide Ian Henry.
Parks & Nature
Sitting in the heart of the Cotswolds, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park has a long-standing reputation for a fun-filled day out. Visitors of all ages can interact closely with the animals and learn about farming, past and present. As the home of rare breed conservation, visitors can meet over 50 flocks and herds of farm animals, including Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs and Highland cattle. There is plenty to do all year round, whatever the weather, with an adventure playground, Farm Safari, Maze, Tractor School, Sand pits and Jumping pillows, providing entertainment for children of all ages. Adam’s Kitchen cafe/restaurant and the Farm Park shop are both open to the public, so you don’t even need to buy a ticket to the Farm Park.
A 3-acre recreation ground that has been turned into the state-of-the-art Broadway Activity Park to be used and enjoyed by the whole community. The park is divided into 4 specific areas for different age groups and the distance between these areas is open grassland. There is lots of great play equipment including a see-saw, climbing poles, twin fly spinners, climbing towers a skate ride simulation and more.
Stroll around the Park and get eye-to-eye with giraffes, watch rhinos graze on the Manor House lawns, walk with lemurs, ride on the train, explore the adventure playground and meet the farm animals up close. The park also has a thriving education programme, numerous endangered species breeding programmes and several vital conservation projects in the wild.
The 56-acre arboretum at Batsford is situated just one mile west of the historic market town of Moreton-in-Marsh, in the heart of the Cotswolds. A former home to the famous Mitford family, interest in the arboretum begins in late winter when the snowdrops, aconites and early flowering daffodils spring into life, followed by magnolias, hellebores, fritillaries and the beautiful Japanese ornamental cherries – stars of the show from late March until mid April. The handkerchief tree is another show-stopper in May, as are the beautiful wildflower meadows which bloom in high summer.
This national long distance trail of 102 miles (164km) runs between Chipping Campden in the north and the city of Bath in the south, mostly all along the Cotswold escarpment and passing through many picturesque Cotswold villages. The Cotswold Conservation Board, which manages this AONB, provides details of a 4-mile moderate walk starting at Broadway and taking in Broadway Tower. Download their ‘Walk 2‘ details.
Birdland is a 9-acre site (on a former Bryant & May Poplar Tree plantation – famous for its matchstick crop!) in a natural setting of woodland, river and gardens. It is home to over 500 birds (swans, pelicans, penguins, flamingos, hornbills, cranes, storks, cassowary, pigeons, owls and many more) in more than 50 aviaries, with open enclosures, a Desert House (home to the more delicate species), and a display of fish, reptiles, amphibians and insects in the Discovery Zone. Also at Birdland is the Marshmouth Nature Reserve, which has developed into a small ecosystem of the Cotswolds where over 60 species of bird have been recorded, including the kingfisher. And within Birdland is ‘Jurassic Journey’, a trail for dinosaur enthusiasts with more than 30 different dinosaurs ranging from a metre-long baby stegosaurus to a 5-metre tall brachiosaurus.
Arts & Culture
The Royal Shakespeare Company is a major British theatre company, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, just 30 minutes’ drive from Boradway. As well as major productions, there are events and activities suitable for adults and children.
Stanway is a beautiful example of a Jacobean manor house just 5 miles from Broadway. It was owned by Tewkesbury Abbey for 800 years then for 500 years by the Tracy family and their descendants, the Earls of Wemyss, who still live there. Visitors can see the house, the gatehouse, the church and the 14th-century Tithe Barn, the 18th-century water-garden, and the Stanway Fountain, which shoots up to 300ft – the highest in Britain and the highest gravity fountain in the world!
Longborough Festival Opera is one of the UK’s finest country opera houses, with its 500-seat theatre overlooking the glorious rolling hills of the Cotswolds. Each performance is created especially for the Festival: talented designers, directors, conductors and the best up-and-coming artists coming together to bring you something you won’t have seen anywhere else. The 2019 Festival runs from 5 June to 3 August, and includes Wagner’s Das Rheingold, Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Cavalli’s La Calisto. Bring your own picnic hamper or eat in one of Longborough’s many dining options. (Note: dogs are not permitted, except guide dogs by prior arrangement.)
Still in its original Cotswold location in the Manor House on The Square in Stow on the Wold. Fosse Gallery is often described as “one of the most important UK art galleries outside London”. Founded in 1980, it has handled some of the most prestigious contemporary British art, with artists of investment quality and international standing.
Entertainment & Activities
Discover the hidden treasures of the real Cotswolds on an exciting day tour with an expert guide on powerful 36-volt electric motor e-bikes which flatten the hills so you can enjoy the ride!
A local guide leads the ride at a relaxed pace to help you appreciate the history and natural history of the area.
Established in 1895 on an escarpment with wonderful views across the Vale of Evesham to the Malvern Hills and Black Mountains, Broadway is one of the finest members’ golf clubs in the Cotswolds. Partly designed by James Braid and Dr Alistair McKenzie, of Augusta fame, careful use has been made of the natural contours with rolling fairways intersected by Cotswold dry-stone walls and undulating greens that test even the best of golfers.
Cheltenham racecourse, the jewel in Jump racing’s crown, plays host to the best horse jumping action in the world from 350 spectacular acres in the lee of the beautiful Cotswold hills. Whether you’re here on a crisp bright October day or a balmy evening in May, you’ll feel that unmistakable Cheltenham magic. There are 16 days of top-class Jump racing in the Cheltenham race calendar, with hundreds of thousands of racing fans visiting every year. Spectators can enjoy a wide variety of race experiences from the relaxed meetings in October and April to the exciting November Meeting and family fun on New Year’s Day. But the real focus of the Jump season, is of course, The Festival™ presented by Magners, taking place over four days in March with the backdrop of the magnificent Cotswolds. Read more about the area in our Cheltenham Guidebook.
Cheltenham Festivals is a charity running outreach programmes throughout the year, culminating with the town’s internationally acclaimed Jazz (May), Science (June), Music (July), and Literature (October) Festivals over a total of 36 days. The four festivals feature nearly 1,000 events, with 25% of their programme free to enter. Read more about the area in our Cheltenham Guidebook.
The Food Scene
An independent delicatessen and café located in the historic St Patrick’s building in the centre of Broadway in the Cotswolds. The deli sells home-cooked food including vegan and gluten-free choices.
Russells, on High Street, Broadway, serves modern, British food in their award-winning restaurant, featuring local Vale of Evesham and Cotswold produce on their breakfast, lunch and evening menus. A private dining room catering for 14 people is available and a private at-home catering service.
Sitting high above Broadway with magnificent views over the town, Dormy House offers refined and creative modern British cuisine in their elegant, glass-fronted Garden Room, relaxed Potting Shed or private dining rooms.
An English inn dating back to the 14th Century, Eight Bells is located just off the High Street in Chipping Campden. Serving a wide range of dishes using seasonal produce and including vegetarian and vegan options. Meals are served in the Dining Room or Main bar. (Note: no dogs in the Dining Room and no children under 11 in the bar after 6pm, but they are welcome in the dining room.)
An award-winning, cosy Cotswold country pub in Broad Campden, with open fires in the winter and a huge pub garden for summer visitors. Real ales and home-cooked food are served in the bar and dining room.
The Ebrington Arms has been serving locals since the 1640s. In 2017, it was voted the UK’s number one village pub by The Times and is also the site of the owner’s Yubberton Brewing Company, producing Yubby, Yawnie and Goldie ales. The restaurant serves modern, British food, cooked to order.
These two dining options at The Cotswold House Hotel & Spa in Chipping Campden offer the choice of an informal setting with tapas-style eating, snacks and daily specials in the Bistro, and fine dining in The Fig Restaurant, both sourcing ingredients from local producers. The Bistro Bar has an extensive gin selection, with more than 35 varieties.
A Cotswolds country pub, the Horse and Groom is located in the heart of Bourton-on-the-Hill, in easy reach of Broadway. Serving classic British cuisine from an a la carte menu in beautifully restored dining room, with a roaring log fire in the winter.