If you’re looking for a village that rolls in plaudits like “Jewel of the Cotswolds” or “show village of England”, then Broadway ticks all the boxes. It sits on the Worcestershire-Gloucestershire border on the northern tip of the Cotswolds, beneath Fish Hill on the western escarpment. Its history goes back to Saxon times, and although the earliest surviving buildings date back to the 1300s, most date from the mid-17th century onwards.
Many of the buildings were constructed with Cotswold stone, giving it its warm and homely feel, and the village is named after its broad, grassy main street. There’s plenty of shopping to be done, or you can head south east to Broadway Tower on the Cotswold Way National Trail and take in a gorgeous view thanks to its high vantage point, over 300m above sea level.
Where is Broadway?
The village of Broadway lies in the county of Worcestershire on the northern border of the Cotswolds AONB. The Cotswold Way long-distance walking route passes through the village, which sits 100m above sea level.
Where to stay
Fancy a traditional Cotsworlds break? Then stay at Cowley House B&B
, a mid-18th century house built in Cotswold stone with original features evident in every room. Prices start from a very reasonable £89 per room based on a couple sharing, or £87 for single occupancy. Part of the deal includes a hearty Cotswolds breakfast sourced from local ingredients.
Where to eat
You’re spoiled for choice as you’d expect in a tourist-friendly village such as this, with the Crown and Trumpet
offering smashing pub fair with local ingredients (including Cotswold beef) a specialty, and prices to suit all budgets. It’s a favourite with CAMRA too, with its own range of exclusively brewed seasonal beers.
Crown and Trumpet in Broadway, Cotswolds ©Getty
The Lygon Arms played host to both King Charles I – who conferred with confidants at the pub – and Oliver Cromwell at different times during the Civil War. Cromwell actually slept at the inn.
Walks around Broadway
Walk: Broadway Tower
The picturesque village of Broadway, with its warm, honey-hued cottages, is the perfect base for a wintry stroll. Take time to meander along the high street past pubs, cafés, tea rooms and shops – offering art and antiques, country clothing and gifts – then head into the Cotswold hills and discover Broadway Tower.
In snowy or frosty weather, this unusual folly, the brainchild of landscape designer Capability Brown and completed by architect James Wyatt in 1798 for the sixth Earl and Countess of Coventry, looks even more attractive. Inside, you can see an exhibition (£5 for an adult) and admire the surrounding countryside from the rooftop viewing platform. On a clear day, it’s possible to see as many as 12 counties. countryfile.com/walk-broadway-worcestershire
Broadway Tower, Cotswolds ©Alamy
Walk: Winchcombe, Gloucestershire
The prosperity of this town – 20 minutes south of Broadway – is reflected in its buildings, from the magnificent church with its array of alarmingly fierce gargoyles to the many grand merchants’ houses, mainly built out of the warm, golden Cotswold stone.
It is a town that repays time spent wandering its streets, but for those needing to walk off Christmas excesses, it is also the perfect centre for country walking as it stands in the valley below the Cotswold escarpment. This is a walk that will take you back long before the Middle Ages and Christmas festivities to where rituals took place some 4000 or more years ago. countryfile.com/go-outdoors/walks/winchcombe
The Cotswold town of Winchcombe viewed from Cleeve Common near Cheltenham ©Getty
Words: Nick Peers