The Broadway Tower is like a picture-perfect castle right out of a fairytale. The enchanting building is set overlooking some of the most beautiful rolling hills in the Cotswolds. It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.
We wanted to see Broadway Tower on top of Beacon Hill and explore the surrounding area including Broadway village.
Let me tell you more about the Broadway Tower circular walk that we did, so that you can plan one too.
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- About Broadway Tower
- Broadway Tower Circular Walk Options
- Our Plan for the Broadway Tower Circular Walk
- From Broadway Tower to Broadway Village
- Lunch at Lygon Arms
- Walking Back from Broadway Village to Broadway Tower
- Visiting Broadway Tower
- Broadway Tower Circular Walk FAQs
- How long is the Broadway Tower circular walk?
- Is the Broadway circular walk hard?
- How long does the Broadway Tower circular walk take?
- Is the Broadway Tower circular walk suitable for kids?
- Where do you park for the Broadway Tower circular walk?
- Is Broadway Tower an English Heritage or National Trust property?
- Is it worth going inside the Broadway Tower?
- Can you stay near Broadway Tower?
- Can you get to Broadway Tower using public transportation?
- Is it worth doing the Broadway Tower circular walk?
- Expert Tips for the Broadway Tower Circular Walk
About Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower is a folly that stands as a token of the enduring love between William George, 6th Earl of Coventry, and his second wife, Lady Barbara. Unlike other follies, it was created as a usable space that was a place of entertainment, a signaling station, accommodations, and more. It’s one of the most romantic spots in the Cotswolds.
The building was the brainchild of Capability Brown, who also is responsible for landscape work done on many stately homes including Chatsworth House and Blenheim Palace. Unfortunately, he died before construction began, so renowned architect James Wyatt took over.
While Broadway Tower was finished in 1798, it was designed to look like it was much older. Some features were inspired by Saxon and medieval castles. The huge windows and other decorative details make it clear this tower was built for pleasure not battles.
While there may not have been battles, there is a RAF memorial close by. It is to mark the loss of all five crew members during a training mission in 1943.
Broadway Tower Circular Walk Options
There are several different circular routes that incorporate the Broadway Tower.
The easiest option is the 1.2 kilometer route mapped out on the sign in the parking lot or online here. It takes about 20 minutes and goes around the Broadway Tower, Cafe, and Tower Barn.
If you want to also visit the town of Broadway, there is a 4 mile moderate-intensity circular walk you can do. It is estimated to take 2.5 – 3 hours without stops. You can find the step-by-step instructions here.
There is also a slightly longer 5.5 mile route that also includes the town. Get the map here.
Our Plan for the Broadway Tower Circular Walk
We decided to do the middle option – 4 miles that included the village along with Broadway Tower. The route suggests that you start and end the walk in the village. I decided that we would start and end at Broadway Tower instead.
This would mean we would go downhill first, then take a break for lunch before heading back up to Broadway Tower. I decided to do it this way so that we would have a break during the walk and it also worked out better with having lunch at a normal time.
I did worry that we would be too tired after a big lunch to manage the climb uphill, but we were able to complete the walk.
From Broadway Tower to Broadway Village
Most of the way from Broadway Tower to the village, we walked along the Cotswold Way. It goes through fields (some with sheep) and you pass through a few gates. The path was steep but manageable.
The day we did our walk it was a bit misty and quite cloudy. We were thankful it wasn’t raining more but frustrated we didn’t get much of a view. We passed a bench that looked like it would have been a lovely viewpoint (see photo above).
After we crossed a stream and followed the path through the alley way we reached High Street. We turned left and walked towards the center of the village where we would take a break for lunch.
Like other Cotswold villages, Broadway is quaint and charming. You feel like you have gone back in time with all the period houses and picturesque honey coloured Cotswold stone cottages that have been there for centuries. It has earned its nickname – Jewel of the Cotswolds.
Lunch at Lygon Arms
Once I saw a picture of the Beef Wellington at the Lygon Arms in Broadway online, I knew we needed to eat there. It would be the perfect way to treat ourselves for all the hard work we would do on the walk.
I had no idea the Lygon Arms was such a historic place. Documentation shows that there was a coaching inn on this site as far back as 1377, long before the current Tudor building. Over its more than 600 years of history, it has hosted royalty as well as notable figures like Oliver Cromwell.
As we walked down High Street, I got my first glimpse of the Lygon Arms. I hadn’t expected the building to be so magnificent. You could almost see the history in the stone as some were quite dark, but the ivy and wisteria brightened things up. I knew we were in for a special treat.
When we stepped inside it was like we had gone back in time. The period furniture and dark wood created a cozy atmosphere. The chandeliers in the dining room were made from antlers.
For our lunch, we decided to start with the aubergine (eggplant) to share. It came with goat cheese. The presentation of this dish was perfect, and the flavors complimented each other well.
While we often try to order different main courses so we can try more dishes, we both ordered the Beef Wellington. There are plenty of other options on the menu (like Salmon Wellington, Market Vegetable Wellington, and roast of the day), but we both had our hearts set on the Beef Wellington. We also ordered a side of broccoli to share.
The Beef Wellington did not disappoint. It was cooked perfectly, with the meat pink in the middle, and came with spring onion mash, a mushroom, a tomato, red wine jus, and a bit of greens.
Everything on the plate was divine. The spring onion in the creamy mash gave it flavor and also a bit of texture. The red wine jus was a bit thicker and richer than other ones that I have had. It went well with the Wellington and the vegetables.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have room for dessert, but they did have some tempting options like lemon tart and red cherry pavlova. I guess we will just have to go back to the Lygon Arms.
If you want something more casual, you can check out the Broadway Deli or Russell’s Fish and Chips. Both are popular options but they don’t take bookings. Note that Russell (my husband) has no affiliation with Russell’s Fish and Chips.
Walking Back from Broadway Village to Broadway Tower
After our lovely lunch, we had the fuel we needed to make it uphill or maybe we would regret eating so much! It was time to make our way back to Broadway Tower.
We could have walked back on High Street the way we came to sign pointing to the picnic and activity area, but we decided to walk in the other direction a bit and see the war memorial first. We took a photo and then walked back to the path leading back up.
The walk back up starts out fairly gentle. The path through the fields was definitely going up but it wasn’t too difficult. Before we knew it we reached the road.
We did see a few cars on the road but there was plenty of grass on the side so we could easily move out of the way. Soon we could see St. Eadburgha’s Church. We decided to take a short break and check out the inside of the church.
St Eadburgha’s Church is believed to have been built in the late 12th century, on the site of a Saxon Church. At the time, it was in the heart of Broadway village, but over the years the village migrated about a mile away.
As you might expect from a building this old, there are been various additions and restorations over the years. The tower was added around 1400, while more recently they have installed new oak pews (2007) and a new organ (2019).
We walked around the Grade I listed building, then took a few minutes to relax in the pews. Keep in mind that after you leave the church, there are no benches along the path, so the only place to sit down to rest will be on the ground.
When we finished exploring the church, it was back to our walk. We went up the track that was pretty much across the road. I wasn’t sure it was the right way to go since there were no signs, but it was.
The track started out relatively easy but got steep pretty fast. It never really leveled out much after that either. This was definitely the challenging part of the hike.
It goes through woodland and farms so you don’t get the same panoramic views that the Cotswold Way section of the walk offered. Since we did this hike in May, we got to enjoy lots of bluebells, my favorite British wildflower and we also saw plenty of sheep.
When we got back to the car at the Broadway Tower parking lot we were exhausted and couldn’t wait to sit down. We debated about going inside the Broadway Tower and climbing to the top.
Not only were our legs weak, but the clouds were thick, so we decided to pass. We came back during a sunny patch on another day and climbed the tower. It worked out well, we had fresh legs and were able to see more than we would have the day we did the walk.
Note: The stairs going up Broadway Tower were not as bad as I thought they would be. You only do one flight at a time (going up) and stop on each floor to look around.
Visiting Broadway Tower
I’m glad we had the opportunity to come back to Broadway Tower on a day when the weather was better. In addition to the views from the top, I was curious to see the rooms inside the tower. Since it is called the Broadway Tower museum, I expected to see exhibits.
We purchased our timed-entry tickets online so there was no line and we could walk right in. The ground floor is a gift shop where you can pick up the audio tour that is included with admission.
On the way up, you stop at each floor to take a look and hear stories about Broadway Tower over the years from the audio guide. The rooms (one per floor) are decorated like you might expect to see inside a castle or stately home.
Once you reach the top, which is 65 feet up, you can enjoy the view of 16 counties if the weather cooperates. It is possible to see the Brecon Beacons and even Birmingham on a good day.
While it wasn’t perfect when we went up to the top, we still were impressed with the sights. While you do get some nice views doing the Broadway Tower circular walk it does not compare with the 360 degree view from the top of Broadway Tower.
Broadway Tower Circular Walk FAQs
How long is the Broadway Tower circular walk?
There are several different options ranging from 1.2 kilometers to 5.5 miles. We went with the route that was 4 miles long.
Is the Broadway circular walk hard?
It’s classified as moderate difficulty. I would say it was more challenging than I expected. The second half of the way back up was steep, so we needed to stop occasionally to catch our breaths.
How long does the Broadway Tower circular walk take?
Of course it depends on how many stops you take. For us, the actual walking took a little less than 3 hours (including stopping for pictures), plus about 90 minutes for lunch and a 15 minute stop at St. Eadburgha’s Church.
Is the Broadway Tower circular walk suitable for kids?
It depends on the child. It’s not the hardest walk I have ever done (i.e. Breakneck Ridge) but it is not the easiest either. If they are up to it physically, I think they will enjoy the walk especially with all the sheep.
Where do you park for the Broadway Tower circular walk?
There is a good-sized parking lot close to Broadway Tower. If you purchase tickets for the tower in advance it includes complimentary parking, just print your ticket and leave it on the dashboard.
There are three different parking lots to choose from if you want to start the walk from Broadway Village.
Is Broadway Tower an English Heritage or National Trust property?
No. Broadway Tower is an independent attraction. It does not belong to English Heritage, National Trust, or any other membership organization.
Is it worth going inside the Broadway Tower?
It costs £12 per person to go inside Broadway Tower, but I definitely think it is worth it when the visibility is good. The views from the top are spectacular.
The rooms inside the tower were beautifully decorated and the audio tour (included) was full of interesting information. You can see why it is called the highest little castle in the Cotswolds.
If you book in advance this also includes parking, just print your ticket and display it on your dashboard.
Can you stay near Broadway Tower?
If you want to stay close to Broadway Tower, there are several options in Broadway village. Those looking to treat themselves could book the Lygon Arms, where we had our fabulous lunch. Find out more about staying at the Lygon Arms here.
Alternatively, check out other options here.
Can you get to Broadway Tower using public transportation?
Yes! If you are coming from London, you can take the train from Paddington Station to Moreton-in-Marsh. Then from the Moreton-in-Marsh bus station, catch the 1 bus towards Stratford-Upon-Avon. There is a stop for Broadway Tower Country Park.
Is it worth doing the Broadway Tower circular walk?
Yes. The views on this walk make it worth the effort. We didn’t even mind that it was raining. It’s also nice that there are several interesting stops in addition to the Broadway Tower along the route – the village and the church.
Have you explored the area around Broadway Tower? It’s a place that I would love to come back and see more.
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Last Updated on January 30, 2023