One of the best ways the relax is taking a walk in the beautiful countryside. The village of Broadway was one of the first places we chose for our adventure, part because of the proximity of our residence and part for its popularity, especially at springtime. So, we wanted the check out what the fuss was about.
A Short Introduction Of The Place
Broadway is a large village, located in the county of Worcestershire and is considered to be the gate towards the Cotswold.
The Cotswold is a countryside area and covers parts of 6 counties in south-central England. Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire are among the most popular visited counties, as most of the counties belong to the Cotswold AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).
The most famous and known walking trail for Cotswold is The Cotswold Way, a 102-mile route that follows the Cotswold Edge escarpment from Bath in the south to Chipping Campden in the north.
The village of Broadway, with few beautiful churches and gorgeous stately homes built of distinctive local yellow limestone, gives you an almost frozen image in time. This image easily can lead your imagination to run wild, connecting your view to the other medieval villages close by, that you might even be passed through or by while making your way to Broadway.
Among its famous residents was William Morris, a well-renowned textile designer, poet, novelist and socialist activist associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement.
He was one of the Broadway Tower tenants and inspired by its ancient structure of the tower and other building in the village he founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
Difficulty: Moderate, some steep sections and stiles
Allow at least 2hrs and 30min to walk the circular of 5 miles, starting from and ending at the car park on the Church Close. This particular car park is for short term users, for up to 4 hours and it is a pay-and-display car park. If you wish the stay longer than 4 hours you must choose the long stay car park, which is signposted as soon as you get into the village.
There is a public toilet in the car park that you can use before starting your journey. Also, halfway there is the Broadway Tower and Rookery Barn Restaurant where you can get some refreshments and/or lunch and use the facilities.
There is good mobile coverage, so you can upload your shots and share your experience with your friends and family. Also, Wi-Fi is an important feature to look out for, so that you can reach and be reached in times of need. Lastly, but not least, don’t forget to take with you a Power Bank. In this way you can recharge your batteries anytime you need, being worry-free from this point of view for the day.
There are few museums and galleries in Broadway. Information about them you can find online or at the Broadway Tourist Information Centre.
Also, the village has a good variety of shops for you to walk around, window shop or actually purchasing some good deal items.
Dress accordingly to the English weather. It is best to use layers of clothing so you can put on or take off easily, as necessary. And don’t forget your waterproofs!!!
Eat And Drink
Near Broadway Tower, there is Rookery Barn Restaurant which offers coffee, tea and basic meals. Also, dogs are welcomed and there is a play area for children, by the outside sitting options.
There are a good variety of cafes, restaurants and pubs in the village where you can find all sorts of meals and drinks for different tasted and various budgets.
If you are on a budget and you don’t really like to buy from the shop you can make your meals/sandwiches at home and take it with you, as I am doing most of the time when I am going for a long walk. There is a big picnic area on the Fish Hill or you can pick any spot on the fields and enjoy your launch while having a rest and admiring the view.
In my sandwiches, I am always using a french baguette and fresh salad, tomatoes, cucumber with chicken or bacon, with eggs and mozzarella ( as you can see in the photos). As you are all probably aware, lately there is a lot of talk about the importance of healthy eating combined with walking. Unfortunately, it is a bit difficult to find healthy food everywhere, therefore, I rather go prepared than to end up eating whatever I can find.
Also, it is wise to carry with you some energy bars and/or other snacks as well as some water, just to keep you going until your launch and dinner break.
Do not forget the pick up your litter. Be considerate towards the environment and other ramblers. Sadly, we can still see empty packages and leftover food on the grass, despite the notice boards spread around the places, that encourage us to litter. So, let’s do our best and protect our environment for us and future generations to come.
The Route And The Experience
Although the weather was cold and nature was still sleeping, we were amazed by the beauty of the place. The lovely architecture and wonderfully crafted buildings are offering visitors a view of the past.
There is indeed a distinctive stone architecture, which can be identified throughout the Cotswold area and its just fits marvellously well with the countryside features. The stone architecture fits just perfectly with the trees spread all around and the green pastures on the hilly surroundings. One can just stay for endless hours at a corner of any of the streets there and just sink in the beautiful view, clearing up the mind and healing the spirit. What a wonderful way to spend a day!!!
The idyllic houses with green pastures make the experience very memorable. Quite tranquil, the faraway traffic noise feels like singing the one’s ears, playing a good role in the whole experience.
The numerous footpaths leading up the hill, towards the Broadway Tower and/or around the village gave us the opportunity to make a beautiful and unique journey. The views were stunning and even if the sky wasn’t clear we could see very far around us.
The footpaths are varied going over the pasture, rough, tree-root path, pavements and 9 stiles. Overall, the path the Tower is quite straight-forward. Going up the hill you can choose the path that is more suitable to you. If you do not mind you can take the shorter but steeper way on the left or you can choose the longer version passing by the second church (St Michael and All Angels C of E Church), which is an easier and less steep walk but takes a bit longer.
Once you arrived at the Tower, have a rest and look around you, taking in the amazing views that lay in front of you, as you are now at the second-highest point in the Cotswold. In front of you lays the gorgeous Severn Vale and on a clear day, you can see as far as South Wales.
Also, if you are lucky to visit the place when The Tower is opened for visitors, do go in and up the Tower (for a small fee). The visit will be worthwhile, especially on a clear day, when you can see from the top and amazingly large area covering parts of 13 counties.
The Tower, an iconic landmark, was completed in 1798 as a result of a great collaboration of Capability Brown, a landscape designer and the architect James Wyatt.
Today, the ground floor hosts the gift shop and higher levels are covered by the exhibition and respectively the viewing area on the very top of the Tower. The exhibition rooms present work of William Morris, also show the link between the Tower and the Arts and Crafts Movements, as well as covers information about the Nuclear Bunker and the Royal Observer Corps.
Continue your circular walk by taking the Cotswold Way walking trail walk down into the village. This should be straight forward.
However, our way back from the tower was a bit confusing so must rely on common sense aiming to get to the road.
Just before getting back into the village the footpath goes under the new road. So if you are busy chatting and sightseeing (as we were) you might miss the ‘right’ path leaning towards the left and then under the road.
Instead, we followed the path to the right and when we realised that we need the go over the road we tried the find the short way for it and ended up going down into the woods that led into peoples gardens.
We decided the turn back to the point where the right path was clear as it was getting darker and darker and did not want the end up on the fields overnight.
Rushing back, I did not see the very low wire and fell really hard onto a big pile of nettles and just 1cm away from big horse manure with my face. Looking back it was the funniest moment in a while, but right then I was fuming and in pain from the nettle sting that went through my shirt. It all happened so quickly that even my friend with the camera hanging by her neck missed to capture it. Luckily for me, there are no pictures of that moment of embarrassment.
This is a picture after my falling 🙂
Although the pain from the nettle sting lasted until the next day, I looked at it positively, remembering all the natural benefits of nettles. So, after all, it all ended well.
Nevertheless, this experience taught us a good lesson about being prepared when adventuring in walks, even if they seem to be very straight forward, like this one, you never know what can delay your return. So have with you the minimum gear at least, such as a torch, whistle, compass, emergency blanket, mini first aid kit, energy bars and drinks. Although might seem a lot, actually all of this will take up only a small portion of your backpack and it’s very light, so it is totally worth to carry them with you.
People we met in the village and on the way to the Broadway tower and back were very friendly and helpful.
The village is amazing. The architecture of the buildings is breath-stopping, taking you back in time – the mind wonders the past times and the bygones.
There are a good variety of quality shops and restaurants.
You can find souvenirs with William Morris designs in most of the shops in the village as well as in the souvenir shop up the Tower. So do not forget to pick up one while there to remind you of the wonderful adventure you had while there.
The mug in the image can be purchased at the Tower gift shop, as well as those in the village, and many more souvenirs featuring William Morris designs. We bought each of us a mug (the one pictured above) with the famous design and we enjoy coffee out of them each morning. Almost taste better than usual. Every morning brings back the fun and wonderful memories of the day putting a smile on our faces – what a wonderful way to start the day!
Travel was adventurous and exciting. Whatever you do make sure you have plenty of time to get back during the daylight or be prepared, whether to spend the night under the sky or have the necessary gear the find your way in the dark.
We cannot wait to visit Broadway again, it’s Tower and surroundings in springtime when the whole nature comes alive. Definitely, its worth a visit in each season the see the differences and admire its beauty. We kept coming across postcards with lavender fields – it looked divine!!! Can you imagine sitting on top of the hill and looking down a large field of lavender? For one, I cannot wait to see that and just immerse myself in the tranquillity of the area again.
We cannot stress enough what a beautiful place Broadway is. So if you are looking for tranquillity, natural beauty and outstanding architecture, Broadway is the place to go as it covers all of the above. You can make a day of it, a week or even months and you will never get enough as it always something ‘new’ around the corner, something that you have not noticed before. Every day is a new experience, even though it is in the same place.
You will just love it!!!
Hope that you enjoyed reading and seeing the photos about our walking travel adventure and inspired you then embark on your own new adventure.
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Until the next time,
Oana and Paula