Out and about in the cotswolds

Set within an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Cotswolds are renowned for their charming villages built of the local honey-coloured stone. To help you make the most of your stay we have listed a few places we think you would enjoy.

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Broadway Tower – a favourite Cotswolds’ landmark. This unique folly tower, inspired by Capability Brown, offers one of the most stunning views in England from the fourth-floor viewing platform. Three floors of exhibits illustrate the Tower’s fascinating history including its association with William Morris, a major contributor to the British Arts and Crafts movement. Discover the role of our nuclear bunker during the Cold War (open at week-ends, weather permitting). You won’t want to leave without sampling the delights of the Morris & Brown café and shop. A large outside terrace enables you to enjoy al fresco eating and beautiful scenery during the summer and a cosy log fire awaits during the colder months.

broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-5The Ashmolean Museum, Broadway  – housed in one of the most distinguished of Broadway’s 17th century buildings. A former coaching inn, the museum today offers a wide range of exhibits (furniture, ceramics, paintings, silver and glassware) chosen to reflect the period of the house (17th to 21st century) from the Ashmolean Museum collection in Oxford.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-3Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre. Batsford Arboretum is home to a unique collection of some of the world’s most beautiful and rare trees, shrubs and bamboos. It was started in the late 1800’s by Lord Redesdale – grandfather to the infamous Mitford sisters – who dedicated his life to creating a wild garden, heavily influenced by his time working in the Far East. It is a wonderful place to take a stroll and get away from it all and whatever time of year you visit there are delights to encounter. If you are short of time then you can visit the café and garden centre for free!
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-2Bourton House Garden. Delightful and award-winning gardens surrounding a fine 18th century Manor House (sadly not open to the public). Covering three acres there is much to see – special features include a knot garden, parterre, topiary walk and several water features including a raised basket pond from the Great Exhibition of 1851. Surrounded by Cotswold countryside it is a lovely place to spend a few hours. The entrance to the garden is through an impressive Grade I listed 16th century Tithe Barn where you can enjoy tea and homemade cakes during the summer months.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-4Cotswold Falconry Centre, Batsford Park – get to meet eagles, hawks, owls and falcons. Recommended for all ages and there is the opportunity to get very close to some of the birds. Bird flying demonstrations take place throughout the day using different birds. The bird handlers are both entertaining and informative. Light refreshments are available as well as picnic tables but you can always pop next door to the garden centre if you want more substantial food. Closed during winter months.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-7Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, Toddington. Another great family day out especially if you are a train buff. A 24-mile round trip passes through spectacular Cotswold countryside and the route includes Greet tunnel, the second longest on a preserved railway. Both steam and diesel trains are run but timetables differ according to the season. Refreshments, gifts and exhibitions are available at Toddington, Winchcombe and Cheltenham Race Course stations. Work is being undertaken to extend the line to Broadway.
Sir Gordon Russell MuseumGordon Russell Museum, Broadway. Located in the original workshop, the Museum celebrates the life and work of Gordon Russell and his Company over a period of sixty years. His father bought the Lygon Arms in Broadway in 1904 where Rusell developed a strong interest in design. Initially influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement Russell began to create well-designed affordable furniture and in its heyday the company was recognized as being at the forefront of European Design.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-6Hailes Abbey, Winchcombe. Today the 13th century abbey ruins provide a beautiful and serene spot but before its dissolution in 1539 Hailes Abbey was a major pilgrimage centre. Pilgrims travelled to worhsip “the Holy Blood of Hailes” – allegedly a phial of Christ’s own blood. A visitor today can visit the museum housing a collection of objects from the site and a complimentary audio tour gives a glimpse of a monastic life. Closed November to April.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-8Hidcote Manor Garden, nr Chipping Campden. Internationally renowned, these impressive gardens were created by the American horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston. Designed as a series of outdoor “rooms” you encounter many surprises as you walk through the different gardens. Although structured the gardens are in no way formal and plants range from the exotic (many originating from Johnston’s foreign plant hunting trips) to the very familiar. Two cafes and a plant centre are on site alongside a NT shop. Limited opening during winter months.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-10Kiftsgate Court Garden, nr Chipping Campden. Perched on the edge of the Cotswolds escarpment these gardens offer great views. They reflect the inspiration of three generations of women gardeners and although smaller than their near neighbours at Hidcote they are favoured by many. The paths are narrow and quite steep in places. The infamous Kiftsgate rose makes a lasting impression when in bloom. Café and small shop available. Open April to September (not Thursday and Friday)
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-1Snowshill Manor – Not your usual National Trust property but one we would recommend. The manor house is packed to the rafters with a unique and eclectic collection of handcrafted items. Charles Wade bought the manor to house his collection whilst he lived in the much smaller Priests House next door. There are no bright lights and labels as Charles Wade requested but room guides are very helpful. Pretty gardens, café and shop on site. Limited opening during winter months.
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-swStanway Watergarden. Created in the 1720s Stanway Watergarden is one of the finest in England although it’s main attraction dates from 2004. Stanway Fountain rises to over 300 feet making it the tallest fountain in Britain. An impressive Jacobean building Stanway House has the feeling of being lived in and much of its furniture has been in the house since it was made. Open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons throughout June, July and August. Refreshements are available
broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-9Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe – Sudeley’s history spans a thousand years and is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried within its grounds – Queen Katherine Parr the last of Henry VIII’s six wives. Surrounded by impressive gardens the Castle houses an impressive collection of furniture and paintings and different exhibitions illustrate its history. Restaurant and shop available. Closed over winter.

broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-towns-2Walking

With over 5000 Km of footpaths and rights of way the Cotswolds offers great walking country. From Broadway and other local villages numerous trails and circular walks are possible.
For the more ambitious The Cotswold Way, which passes through Broadway, offers just over 100 miles of stunning walking, with long distance views from the Cotswold escarpment.

Other Sporting Activities

Cycling is becoming increasingly popular in the Cotswolds and with many tracks and bridleways there are many opportunities for off-road cycling. Two local cycle hire companies, Cotswolds Country Cycles and Cycle Cotswolds are based in Chipping Campden.
The Cotswolds are also a great place to ride. Two local horse-riding stables are:

Jill Carenza Equestrian – whether an experienced rider or complete novice Jill will have the right horse for you. One to one tuition or group rides from 1 – 5 hours are available.

Bretforton Equestrian Centre – offers riding lessons for all level of riders
If you fancy trying your hand at shooting, clay pigeon or game, facilities are nearby at:

Clay Pigeon Shooting Cotswolds, Mount Pleasant Farm, Childswickham Or Prescott Shooting School, Winchcombe for game and clay pigeon.

Broadway Golf Club is rated as one of the top twenty courses in the South West and is open to visitors as well as members.
For a more relaxed approach Spa facilities are available at nearby hotels, The Lygon Arms in Broadway, Dormy House Hotel, just outside Broadway and Cotswold House Hotel in Chipping Campden.

Shopping

The villages and towns of Broadway, Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Moreton-in Marsh and Winchcombe offer many independent retailers, art galleries and antique shops as well as numerous cafes and restaurants.

broadway-tower-cottages-places-to-visit-towns-3For a greater selection of shops Cheltenham, Stratford-on-Avon and Worcester are within easy reach.
Outlet shopping is available at Gloucester Quays.

There are two supermarkets in Broadway with a greater selection in nearby Evesham.
A comprehensive range of walking and cycling guides is available at the shops at Broadway Tower along with a selection of unusual and inspiring gifts.