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Located in the south-east of Worcestershire, Broadway is a small village that’s big on charm. Its unique history, selection of places to eat and shop, coupled with some of the most luxurious accommodation in the region, keeps visitors flocking back year after year. You’ll never find yourself short of something to do in this small but perfectly formed Cotswold village. Our local expert Caroline shares her insider tips for visiting Broadway in the Cotswolds.
Broadway’s exact origins are unknown, but it is thought to be one of the first ancient partial settlements in the UK, with fieldwork providing history dating back over 5000 years. The village itself underwent several name changes through the ages until becoming commonly known as ‘Broadway’ during the 16th century– taking its name from the width of the its high street.
The Lygon Arms Hotel, the jewel in the high street’s crown, is steeped in history. During the Civil War, Oliver Cromwell stayed a night before moving on to the Battle of Worcester.
Things to do in Broadway
Speak to any Broadway local and they’ll be able to tell you about Gordon Russell. Son of the famous Lygon Arms Hotel owner and a design pioneer of the area, his name lives on in the village in various forms, including a design museum and restaurant, to name just a few.
Skilled in furniture design and using traditional Arts and Crafts methods inherent to the Cotswolds area, Gordon Russell’s furniture became famous. The museum is filled with his designs and conveniently located in the heart of the village, next to the Tourist Information Centre.
If retail therapy is your thing, then Broadway’s high street is the place to go. With shops to suit just about everyone, you’ll not want to overlook a wander up and down this glorious high street. The shopping is an eclectic mix of independent, local retailers with the odd recognisable name nestled amongst them. Even the exteriors of the shops are beautiful in Broadway.
If you’re visiting Broadway in December, it’s worth trying to catch a traditional late-night Christmas shopping evening, with mulled wine, roasted chestnuts, and horse and carriage rides along the high street just some of the highlights. The giant horse chestnut trees lining the street are filled with twinkling lights that make for a stunning backdrop on a cold, crisp winter evening.
A great way to see some more of the stunning scenery surrounding Broadway is a trip on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway. Currently, around 14 miles of the track has been restored over the last 35 years, running between Cheltenham Racecourse and Broadway.
On your journey, you’ll pass through Toddington, and Winchcombe; Winchcombe, in particular, is well worth a visit if you have the time. The railway runs a mixture of steam and heritage diesel engines and holds great seasonal events throughout the year for both adults and children.
Located on a beacon hill just outside the village, the Broadway Tower is the second-highest point of the Cotswolds with panoramic views out across the Cotswold Hills. The tower was built in 1794 and has been used as a printing press and artists’ retreat, as well as the site of a nuclear bunker. Now it’s open to the public and you can climb to the top or tour the bunker.
The Broadway Tower is on the route of the Cotswold Way, a 102-mile long distance walking route from Chipping Campden to Bath. If you’d like to stretch your legs on a short section of the walk, a four-mile circular walk links the tower to the village. Look out for the resident deer, and the views out over the Cotswold countryside and across the Severn Vale to Wales.
And if you’re visiting the Cotswolds in summer, don’t miss a trip to Cotswold Lavender. Nestled on the top of hills surrounding Broadway, it’s just over two miles from the village. Each year Cotswold Lavender open their fields for the public from mid-June until August for visitors to enjoy the stunning displays created by their abundant and varied crop of lavender.
Where to eat in Broadway
Broadway is spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants, most of which are located within the stunning hotels in the village. At the Broadway Hotel on the village green, Tattersall’s Brasserie is an excellent choice for a fine dining evening meal.
The atmosphere is relaxed and not stuffy, as you might expect from a hotel of this nature. You can expect to see local produce on the menu, and with two AA rosettes, you won’t be disappointed with the quality. The Jockey Bar next door, inspired by the famous Cheltenham Races, is a cosy bar to relax in before your meal with an aperitif or after with a coffee or something stronger.
Another excellent choice for dining is at Dormy House. Located on the top of Fish Hill, around a five-minute drive from the village centre, you’ll be greeted by roaring fires, stunning service and beautiful surroundings. The hotel has three different dining options which range from a relaxed afternoon tea to fine dining in MO, an intimate experience consisting of an eight-course tasting menu. If you lie somewhere in the middle of the two, then The Potting Shed is for you, a self-professed ‘faff-free’ space to eat and drink.
If you’re after something a little more low key, the high street in Broadway has plenty more to offer. The Broadway Deli, probably the most ‘Instagrammable’ shopfront in the Cotswolds, not only sells its produce in the delicatessen but also has a cafe offering an all-day menu including gluten-free and vegan options. The sausage rolls are also worth a mention!
A more recent addition to Broadway’s high street is The Cotswolds Distillery. The distillery was established in 2014 and has been making craft single malt whiskies, liquors and, most famously, the award-winning Cotswolds Dry Gin at their distillery in Stourton near Shipston-on-Stour.
Once upon a time, the idea of a fish and chip shop in Broadway would have been laughable, but then along came Russell’s Fish and Chips and blew expectations out the water. Noted in Giles Coren’s and Marina O’Loughlin’s ‘100 Best Places to Eat in the UK’, they’re clearly doing something right. The restaurant is located just off the high street. It offers dine-in and takeaway options as well as more non-standard yet delicious fare such as the humble fish finger sandwich and a retro prawn cocktail – albeit on a different level to perhaps how you remember it.
Where to stay in Broadway
If you want to steep yourself in history when you’re visiting Broadway, The Lygon Arms Broadway* really is the only choice. This coaching inn dates back to the 1300s, and many famous names have passed through its doors over the centuries. You’ll find a sympathetic mix of spacious suites within the hotel itself, adorned with four-poster beds and beamed ceilings, alongside cosy and contemporary rooms perfect for travellers with more modern tastes.
Broadway accommodation can also be found at the former headquarters of Gordon Russell, now simply known as Russell’s*. Located a few doors down from the Lygon Arms and offering similar comfort levels on a smaller, more personal scale, Russell’s is a restaurant with rooms. Its seven individually designed en-suite bedrooms have stylish decor and period features.
If you’re looking for something a little more budget-friendly, there are a great selection of Broadway bed and breakfast options, including Cowley House*, a stunning mid-18th-century Cotswold stone property, offering bed and breakfast in one of their six beautifully traditional bedrooms. Adjacent to the village green, you really couldn’t ask for a better setting.
Or if you’re planning on walking the Cotswold Way, then why not book a glamping pod at Rookery Farm Glamping? Backing on to the Cotswold Way route, Rookery Farm offers shepherds’ huts and glamping pods all within a stone’s throw of the Broadway Tower.
How to get to Broadway
By car: You can reach Broadway by car by following the A44 from either the north or south – use the postcode WR12 7DT on your sat nav to take you to the high street. Parking on the high street can be limited, especially in the summer, but there is plenty of parking at the football club (WR12 7HA), which is just a short walk away from the village centre.
By public transport: Broadway’s closest train stations are Evesham, Honeybourne and Moreton-in-Marsh. Bus connections run to Broadway from Moreton-in-Marsh on buses 1/2 (25 minutes) or Evesham on the Rural 4 (22 minutes). You can also take a train to Cheltenham, which is around an hour away on the 606 bus, which also connects to Winchcombe and Chipping Campden.
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