The Cotswold Way is a 102-mile National Trail that runs from Chipping Campden to Bath, mostly clinging to the edge of Britain’s most famous hills, but occasionally dipping down to visit the charming Cotswold villages. This gentle circular walk takes in both aspects of the trail and builds up to an unforgettable panoramic view across 16 counties.
The walk starts in Broadway – known as the Jewel of the Cotswolds, with its beautiful main street and houses of honey-coloured stone. Go down the street in the direction of Evesham and then turn left at the end on to Snowshill Road. Immediately beyond the church, turn right, crossing the road to take the rough track, signposted Cotswold Way.
At the end of the track, head off to a small footbridge and continue to the road. Cross over and take the path beside the hedge, uphill. As you climb, you will find splendid vistas opening out over Broadway. At the top of the hill, follow the edge of the wood round to the left.
Off the beaten track
The trail now cuts through a woodland and continues until it reaches a plateau, where the path divides. Turn left to leave the Cotswold Way to follow the path round the edge of the woodland, and then continue in the same direction to a copse and again turn left, keeping the edge of the wood to the right.
At the end of the wood, continue downhill and then turn left to a clump of trees before turning again to go straight downhill to a stile by the road.
To the tower
Turn left at the road and carry on down to the church, where the route turns right past an ornate gatehouse to take the path signposted to Broadway Tower. The path soon begins to climb quite steeply until it reaches a junction. Turn right to head towards the wood, then at the wood turn left towards Broadway Tower.
The tower is a splendid folly, designed for the Earl of Coventry by James Wyatt in a bewildering array of styles. It’s said that the countess wanted everyone to admire its magnificence, so before building began in 1798, she ordered a beacon to be lit on the summit and was driven around the district to ensure it could be seen.
Follow the fence round the outside of the park to rejoin the Cotswold Way, steeply downhill back to Broadway.