Set high above the Cotswold countryside, 312 metres above sea level, Broadway Tower has some of the best views in England. They say that on a clear day, you can see 16 counties from the top of the faux-medieval tower – and this inspiring location has long been one of our favourite places to visit.
Broadway’s iconic landmark and surrounding parkland are the result of a collaboration between two now-legendary Georgian designers, architect James Wyatt and landscaper Capability Brown. Wyatt’s “Saxon Tower” and Brown’s signature sweeping park were created for the sixth Earl and Lady Coventry as their country retreat. Today, it’s open to visitors, and is a short (but steep) trip from Broadway village.
Walking to Broadway Tower
The four-mile Broadway Tower circular walk begins and ends at the War Memorial in the village. The walk to the top of the Cotswold Escarpment is steep in places (after all, you’re climbing to the second-highest point in the Cotswolds), but it’s definitely worth the effort. The National Trails website has a clear map of the Broadway Tower circular walk. There’s a slightly longer route that goes through pretty Snowshill village.
You can also walk to Broadway Tower from Chipping Campden, a distance of just over three miles along the Cotswold Way. If you’re staying in Moreton-in-the-Marsh, it’s just under ten miles along the Way to Broadway Tower. Enjoy this beautiful stretch of the famous route, have a pitstop at the Broadway Tower café, then get the bus back from Broadway village.
If you don’t fancy donning your boots and picking up your pole, the country park can also be reached by road. The postcode is WR12 7LB, and it takes less than ten minutes from the village via the A44 at Fish Hill. Broadway Tower parking is easy, thanks to the large pay-and-display car park.
Walks around Broadway Tower
As an alternative to picking up the Cotswold Way, drive to Broadway Tower, park, then go for a walk. There is a pleasant, circular walk around Broadway Tower, which is around a mile long. This lovely and easy walk starts at the car park, and leads you along a path to the Tower and war memorial. It then takes you past Broadway Tower café (give in to temptation) before taking you back to the start through gently wooded parkland. Look out for grazing red deer. There’s a map of the Broadway Tower walk on their website.
Dogs are welcome on the circular walk paths (please keep them on the lead to safeguard the red deer), and there are even some agility obstacles to give furry visitors a good workout on their walk.
Things to See at Broadway Tower
For a start, there are some of the finest views in England! From this beautiful vantage point, you can gaze out across the verdant Worcestershire countryside, and on a clear day, you can see as far as Wales. Middle Hill where the Tower stands has been a beacon hill for centuries, where fires would be lit for special occasions and to raise alarms. For the furthest-reaching views, climb up the Tower itself…
The Tower is open for visitors (please book ahead), and has three floors of exhibitions where you can find out more about the history of the famous folly, including its pre-Raphaelite connections. In the 19th century the Tower housed a printing press, then later became a favourite retreat for artists William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones. Throughout the tower, you can admire the sheer exuberance of the faux-medieval architecture, complete with battlements and gargoyles.
Broadway Tower Nuclear Bunker
One of the most unusual sights in the country park is the nuclear bunker, a relic of the Cold War that seems incongruous in this peaceful, rural setting. From here, members of the Royal Observer Corps were to study and report back on the results of nuclear fallout. It closed in 1991 and has since been restored: keep an eye on the website to find out about tours.
The bunker is near the Memorial to the crew of the Whitley bomber that crashed on Middle Hill in 1943.
The Tower Barn
Broadway Tower Country Park’s Visitor Centre is in the Tower Barn near the car park. Completed in 2018, the stylish Barn is home to a clothes and interiors shop and an espresso bar. You can also hire an e-bike from here, or sign up for a course or lecture.
Broadway Tower Café
Morris & Brown Café serves everything from hearty breakfasts to chilled white wine, as well as selling a selection of gifts. It has a lovely outside seating area with views across the parkland.
The Perfect Location…
The Broadway Hotel is the perfect base for exploring the Worcestershire and Gloucestershire countryside, and is close to so many great English heritage sites like Broadway Tower. If you’d like to know more about places to visit in the Cotswolds, please get in touch – we love to share our local knowledge with our guests.