For this walk we used: Collins Short Walks in The Cotswolds (Published: 2014) Walk 7: Broadway. Distance: 3.5 miles.
We were toying with the idea of finding free parking in Broadway, but in the end we parked in the Long Stay carpark on Leamington Road which cost £4.20 grrrr. As it turned out we probably could have parked at the top end of the High Street near the waterworks, where there were a couple of laybys.
We visited Broadway last year, staying at the Horse and Hound Inn when we walked the Cotswold Way National Trail. Suzy saw the Broadway Deli in the main High Street, and although we didn’t go in last time, she was determined to go back. So here we were, looking for some picnic supplies, and the theme was ‘rustic goat herder’s lunch’. I have to admit it is a lovely shop, old wagons with brightly coloured displays of fruit and vegetables adorn the front. I picked up some heritage tomatoes and popped them into a brown paper bag. Once inside, Suzy almost cried with joy at the sight of the cheese counter. We chose Rachel’s Goats cheese, a semi-hard cheese with an incredible flavour. Then it was onto the bread counter, where we grabbed the last sourdough baguette. I was nearly going for some delicious looking Scotch Eggs, and a glossy selection of fruit tarts that almost made my eyes pop out with delight, but I remembered that we were meant to keep it simple.
After all the excitement, Suzy needed the loo, which we eventually found located in the short stay carpark (parking there was less than the long stay grrr). Finally, it was time to begin the walk so we headed off confidently down the High Street. We had walked for about a quarter of a mile when we came across a disused railway line and I realised something was up… we should have gone along the High Street in the opposite direction.
Embarrassed, we did an about turn and returned to Broadway village. It was quite warm, and we were feeling sleepy. We sat down on a bench for a while and nibbled the end of the cheese. A wasp soon appeared, so we flapped about a bit and I sped off as quickly as I could. I wondered if we should just give up for today and head back to the Broadway Deli as it also had a café and my mind kept thinking of those fruit tarts.
However, we carried on up the High Street, passing pretty Cotswold stone cottages and delightful displays of English country garden flowers, until we came to the waterworks. We crossed underneath the A44, which isn’t exactly the highlight of Broadway, but before long we were climbing up through lovely green fields with horses softly grazing in the afternoon sun.
At the top we rested on a bench and admired the view, before crossing a stile to enter woodland. There was a clear path, and it was lovely to be in the shade for a while. We walked carefully so as to not trip up on the tree roots. The pathway emerged onto the A44 once again, and we hurried across, joining up with the Cotswold Way. I didn’t remember that section of the path until we got to a gate, and then I recognised it as the place where we’d stopped for a while to shelter from torrential rain. There was also a thick fog which had made it difficult to find the way to the tower. The weather today was very different, and as we walked across the grassy meadow Broadway tower soon came into view. It was a lovely scene with wildflowers decorating the grassy banks, dry stone walls lining the field edges, and the peaceful sound of sheep bleating in the distance.
Once we reached the tower, the weather turned and began to drizzle. It was 5.30pm, so everything was closed, but this time we did see the view which had previously been nothing more than a thick grey mist. There were red deer in an enclosure too, which was a lovely sight.
We carried on down the Cotswold Way towards Broadway. The track was steep and stony, it was no wonder we struggled a bit when we were carrying our backpacking gear and it was raining. The weather was fine again, so we sat down in a field to eat our goat herder’s picnic. Suzy carved off chunks of cheese and slices of tomato with my Nordic bushcraft knife, and we tore the bread and enjoyed our simple feast.
Dark clouds were filling the sky once again, so we hurried off downhill through gates and over stiles, passing flocks of curious sheep. We were at the very edge of the rainstorm, and as we turned to look back just before reaching Broadway village, we saw a beautiful double rainbow. It was the perfect end to a lovely day in the Cotswolds.
Our Rating: 5/5