Broadway Circular and the Cotwolds Way - By Alan Garner
A 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 scarp runs down through the valley into the Evesham Vale (a great place to visit during asparagus season).
St Eadburgha’s Church is tucked away on the Snowshill Road, but worth searching out. The Lygon Arms Hotel was once a manor house and is something of a Cotswold institution – in its time it has hosted both Charles I and Oliver Cromwell.
Broadway Tower sits high up on the Cotswold scarp overlooking the town and is a true delight to the landscape. The folly sits 312 metres above sea level and it’s the second highest point on the Cotswolds escarpment with beautiful views, so it’s worth a visit.
The Tower is an iconic landmark on top of the beautiful Cotswolds escarpment and was the brainchild of the great 18thcentury landscape designer, “Capability Brown”. His vision was carried out for George William 6th Earl of Coventry with the help of renowned architect James Wyatt and completed in 1798. The location for the Tower was wisely chosen, a dramatic outlook on a pre-medieval trading route and beacon hill. Wyatt designed his “Saxon Tower” as an eccentric amalgamation of architectural components ranging from turrets, battlements and gargoyles to balconies.
The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway is a volunteer operated heritage railway in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire offering a round trip of 28 miles. It uses part of the route of the former Great Western Railway's main line from Birmingham to Cheltenham which used to run via Stratford-upon-Avon.
It now operates steam and heritage diesel trains between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Cotswolds. The line commands wonderful views of the nearby sleepy hamlets and villages, with outstanding outlooks across to the Malvern Hills and beyond.
Cotswolds Way – a long distance National trail from Bath to Chipping Campden
Start in Broadway, preferably in the large car park- used also as a coach park so signs to that.
Proceed towards the village and take a right turn just before the main street onto Snowshill Road.
Pick up the signs for The Cotswolds Way – this long-distance trail Over small stream then over West End Lane.
Here leave the Cotswolds Way the path to your right leads to woods and to the hamlet of Buckland. Reach a lane, turn right for a few yards, then take the left-hand path, this leads over fields to Laverton. On reaching the village, keep forward onto a small lane, this bends round Laverton Hall and Laverton House Farm. When the lane keeps straight on, take the left-hand footpath at Hoo Farm. You are headed for Stanton. Enter the hamlet past the war memorial and church, then turn left into the High Street.
After 150 yards, keep right, and pick up the Cotswolds Way signs. Follow this path up and over Shenbarrow Hill. Reach a point where three paths meet, the Way carries on back to Broadway, take the left-hand minor lane- ignore the track running straight away form the lane- and after 200 yards take the path into and through the woods. (you can simply keep on the lane)
Join a minor lane, immediately this joins the lane you have entered the woods from and proceed to Snowshill Village along the lane. Snowshill Arms on your left and church on your right- opportunity to take a picnic on the green or by the church.
Good beer, tea and food at the pub.
Leave the village via the Broadway Road – past Snowshill Manor and walk for half a mile, look out for the right turn track, this runs alongside the woods and eventually reaches the road that will take you up to Broadway Tower. Left here, and one mile on the road- be careful you reach Broadway Tower country park. Enter and admire the tower and the wide-ranging views for the second highest spot in the Cotswolds.
Here is a refreshment point.
The next part of the walk is steeply downhill- look for the Cotswolds Way signs and simply follow them back the 1.7 miles into Broadway, its many cafes and shops
The walk starts at 100 metres high and rises 200 metres at Broadway Tower, but with a total ascent and descent of 580 metres.
10.5 miles -Allow at least 5 hours plus any refreshment stops.