Introduction to Broadway
Often referred to as the Jewel of the Cotswolds, Broadway is a lovely town in Worcestershire, close to the Gloucestershire border. It’s really geared up for visitors, with plenty of parking available, local accommodation and numerous cafés, restaurants and gift shops. Broadway sits on the Cotswold Way that runs from Bath to Chipping Camden. This Broadway Tower walk takes you a little way along the Cotswold Way and is a great little route for families due to the amenities on route and the excellent playground. It will be fairly challenging for little legs, you will be heading up to the second highest point in the Cotswolds, but running down the hill afterwards will more than make up for it! In fact, our four year old asked at the end if we could do it every day.
Where to Park
We parked in the Short Stay car park, clearly signposted on the drive into Broadway. It’s situated off Church Street and sits behind the High Street (Sat Nav postcode: WR12 7AH). The car park has free toilets to use and it’s pay and display. I used the RingGo app for cashless parking. As it’s a short stay car park, there is a maximum stay of 4 hours. This was just enough time for us (to do the Broadway Tower walk, play on the playground twice and stop for a drink at the Tower) but if you wanted to explore the village more and perhaps visit a café, you might be better off in the Long Stay car park (this will add just under a mile onto the walk) or trying one of the all day parking fields.
Note: when I walked this without children, we managed a leisurely breakfast at a café, the walk and a sit down for a cup of tea at the top and still had time to spare.
The 4 Mile Route
We followed a route found on the National Trail’s website, which I’ve linked at the bottom of this post. Our four year old managed the route without too many issues – the only tough going bit was the mile of ascent starting at Coneygree Lane. We very almost abandoned the walk at this point, and I did have to resort to offering a piggyback (“Mommy, I just like smaller walks, okay?”) but, it didn’t last very long and once we were back out in the open again and could take in the gorgeous views surrounding us, everyone perked back up again. Due to the rugged nature of walking across fields and numerous gates, this route would not be advised for pushchairs or wheelchairs, but children in baby carriers would be absolutely fine.689n
To give an illustrated view of the walk, I’ve photographed along the route and hope this helps you decide if this is a suitable walk for you and your family.
Starting on Broadway High Street, with the war memorial behind you, follow the road up past the shops (turning right if you’re coming from the Short Stay car park after crossing the road and going through the alleyway of shops). There are a few nice features you can point out to little ones – ask them to keep an eye out for horses (you may see both decorative and even real horses once you get past the shops). Be warned: you will pass a toy shop!
Look out for the signpost photographed above, you’ll be taking a right here, up a little snicket and will pass a rather lovely children’s playground. You will pass this way again at the end of the walk so you feel free to stop off for a play either at the beginning or the end of the walk, or both! As we did.
Once you’re all played out, head back out of the park the way you went in, turning left to continue to pass through the field, heading in the same direction as the people you can see in the image above, passing through a kissing gate and continuing through another field to another gate and a little footbridge.
It was pretty muddy when we did this walk in October, so I’d definitely recommend hiking boots for adults and wellies for children and take care as the bridge may be quite slippy and there’s nothing to prevent a tumble into the (very shallow) stream below.
Keep passing through the fields, following the Cotswold Way Circular Walk / Public Footpath arrows through two more kissing gates until you reach the road. Turn left to get onto Snowshill Road. There isn’t a path as such here, but there is room on the grass verge to walk. It’s a fairly quiet road and you’re not on it for very long. You’ll be turning left once you reach a church, so ask the little ones to keep their eyes peeled!
The church can just be seen in the background of this image, and once you reach it, turn left onto Coneygree Lane through this rather impressive looking gate. This next half mile or so will be the toughest on little legs. You might want to do some snack bribery at this point! It’s a really gorgeous, lovely walk up through this lane but it is probably the steepest part of the walk.
Keep heading up, and when you reach the top of the track, turn right and you’ll reach the first two in one gate. We saw a few walkers be a bit flummoxed by these – so see the image below to see how to pass through.
You’ll then be rewarded with your first proper view for all that uphill labour. Take a look behind you to see the landscape stretching out before you (weather permitting). I’ve been here on a clear day as been below and also on a very foggy day, and both were beautiful in their own way.
Follow the path diagonally across the field, passing the building in the image above on your left. Keep following the path. It levels off a little here for a short while. Follow the path for another 200m before turning left to go through another two in one gate. Again, we saw some other walkers confused as to which gate to head through at this point – so use the photo below as a guide for the right gate to head through, forking to the left.
Keep following the track until you come across the Rookery Farm buildings. Continue to keep them on your left, before heading up the road the walkers in the photo above are taking. Once you go up this road, there are some interesting lumber outbuildings up here and maybe a tractor or two to spot on the left. Keep your eyes peeled for a kissing gate on the right hand side.
Walk through the field and enjoy the views stretching out on the left hand side. On your right, you’ll see the car park peeping through the trees for Broadway Tower. You can feel a bit smug at this point that you survived the walk up Coneygree Lane with children (or you may be wishing you’d just cut out the middle man and driven up!). Once you pass a gate into the grounds of Broadway Tower, follow the path that leads uphill and slightly to the right, past the café which will be on your right. There are also toilets available here if you need to use them. Head up past the main entrance, and through a tall gate on your left – you’ll finally be able to see Broadway Tower!
The Tower sneaks up on you a little bit, as it can’t really be seen until you’re there! But it has plenty of space to have a bit of a picnic or to sit and enjoy any treats you picked up from the café. We had a picnic blanket, flasks of tea and hot chocolate and some snacks and enjoyed them whilst looking out over the views. There aren’t many ‘formal’ places to sit – I think there’s one bench, so I’d definitely recommend taking something to sit on if you plan on stopping for a bit at the top, particularly in the Autumn/Winter months.
It is possible to look inside the Tower, and visit the viewing platform at the top. Visit the Broadway Tower website for more information. Please note: you don’t need a ticket to walk through past the Tower. There was quite a queue to enter when we were there – I presume pandemic restrictions means the number of people inside at any one time is quite restricted. We weren’t that bothered about going inside and after a bit of fun running up and down the ridges in the landscape next to the Tower, we started to make our way down.
This tall kissing gate is behind the Tower, and there is a bin just the other side if you have any rubbish you want to dispose of. I’m not sure how often it is emptied, but it was overflowing a fair amount during our walk.
Follow the path as it descends back down the hill, if you look out on your right, you may be able to see some of the red deer that live on the estate. You’re back on the Cotswold Way now and it’s a fairly straight and easy path to follow all the way down. Keep the dry-stone wall on your right. There’s a team of volunteers working on restoring some sections of the wall, so you may see them at work.
On your walk down, there is a little flight of steps which is quite sweet, but your children (like Pickle) may choose to bypass the steps by running down the hill instead! There are a few benches here (as can be seen in the photo behind Pickle) if you’d like to take a break and admire the view again. The photo of me is actually from when I did this walk with my friend Chloe.
You can’t really go wrong if you just keep heading down. There are the odd footpath signpost and from our experience, there were usually other families and groups heading in the same direction as well.
Head through this metal kissing gate in the right corner of the field once things begin to level off, and head over the field behind – you’ll begin to see Broadway again in the distance, so you’ll know you’re getting close to reaching the High Street again.
This is the last gate you’ll need to pass through, before taking the final alley way that will take you back onto High Street.
I really love this photo of Jim at the end of the walk. I think it shows off the beauty of Broadway perfectly. Wouldn’t it be such a lovely place to live? Once you turn left at the end of this path, you’ll be back on the main High Street road. You’ll pass the snicket for the playground if you promised the kids a play (although, they might be a bit tuckered out by now, depending on their ages!).
Download the Route
We downloaded the National Trail’s map here. If you head out on this Broadway Tower walk, I’d love to know how you get on. Drop me a message here or give me a shout on Instagram @hollymadelife. Enjoy!
Alternative Walk Ideas
If this sounds like it might be too much for you and your family, have a look at some of the other walks I’ve written about in the West Midlands. In particular, the Umberslade Estate Walk (if it’s still operating) would be a lovely, shorter and less hilly alternative. A Suffolk Mum’s blog also has some great ideas to keep children entertained during walks too. Check out her 5 Things to Do on Walks with Kids post.