Broadway, the Cotswolds

Broadway, the Cotswolds

Situated in the west of the Cotswolds within Worcestershire but close to the Gloucestershire border, this very pretty village is a real beauty and well worth a visit with an art gallery, museum, artisan shops, tea rooms and restaurants to discover, surrounded by rolling hills and lush countryside – about as quintessentially English as it gets!

Holding a prominent position on the ancient main road from Worcester to London, Broadway’s street is unusually wide (hence ‘broad way’) lined with characterful sandstone houses and hostelries. It’s not hard to imagine the many horses, carts and carriages that would have travelled through, stopping for rest and refreshment.

The Lygon Arms sits prominently in the centre of the village and has a colourful history. Dating back to the 1300’s, this incredible coaching inn has been host to many historical figures such as Oliver Cromwell before the Battle of Worcester in 1651 and also Charles I who met and rallied his Royalist supporters here. Today, it’s a gorgeous hotel with a fabulous restaurant and well worth a visit to soak up the history.

Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, in partnership with the Ashmolean in Oxford, is a real hidden gem and explores the history and heritage of Broadway, the wool trade that brought wealth to the village and its beauty made it popular with artists such as William Morris, John Singer Sargent and Francis D Millet and writers such as J.M Barrie and Mary Anderson.

There’s also a Design Museum – a must for interior lovers – inspired by the furniture designer Gordon Russell who grew up in Broadway.

All this exploring works up an appetite, and Broadway doesn’t disappoint when it comes to places to eat and drink. Whether it’s a traditional afternoon tea, a pub lunch or an a la carte dinner, there’s plenty of choice.

If you’re keen for a little retail therapy, there’s lots of boutique, independent shops to explore, from antique shops and art galleries to delis and gift shops – perfect for picking up a memento or two.

Beyond the village itself, a visit to Broadway Tower is a must for fabulous views. 65ft high, it stands on a beacon site and was designed by Capability Brown – on a clear day you can see up to 16 counties from the top of the tower. A countryside retreat for artists from the Arts & Crafts movement, it was rented by Edward Burn-Jones and William Morris at one point.

New for 2018, the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway line runs from Cheltenham Race Course to Broadway and is a lovely ride via steam train through the Cotswold countryside – a fabulous round trip for train connoisseurs.

If you’re lucky, you might time your visit with one of their festivals or shows such as their Food Festival and Horticultural & Craft Show in September and their Car Show in July.

For even more information on exploring Broadway, head to Visit Broadway.

Whatever your interests, Broadway is a lovely place to stay or visit, and a must when exploring the Cotswolds.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our retreats in the Cotswolds here.

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