Broadway

  • Broadway
  • Broadway
  • Broadway
  • Broadway
  • Broadway Tower

The picturesque village of Broadway, so known for the ‘broad way’ of its main street, is rightly known as one of the most attractive Cotswold villages

Archaelogical digs suggest that the area has been inhabited for around 5,000 years, but it’s the village’s former role as a stagecoach stop on the Worcester-London route and the boom years of the wool trade that has shaped the village as it is known today (there were once as many as 33 inns thriving on the volume of passing traffic). 

After the introduction of Evesham railway station in 1852, Broadway’s role as a coach stop came to an end. The sense of rural remove this change created attracted many significant visitors from the world of the arts, including composer Edward Elgar, Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, painter John Singer Sargent, Arts and Crafts designer/intellectual William Morris and the American writer Francis Davis Millet (who later died in the sinking of the Titanic). 

Broadway’s association with the Arts and Crafts movement has helped it flourish into one of the more ‘artistic’ Cotswold villages, hosting thriving galleries, a regularly-held arts festival and even its own Ashmolean Museum. Since the invention of the motor car, visitors have been drawn all over the country (and latterly, the world) to see Broadway’s well-preserved beauty.

Transport Links

Broadway is located just off the A44 within reach of both the M5 and the M40. The nearby railway stations of Evesham and Moreton in Marsh provide direct access to both Oxford and London, as well as Worcester, Great Malvern and Hereford. There are also plans for the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway to reach the village by 2018.

What’s there to see and do?

There is plenty to see and do in Broadway, its main draw being the beautiful High Street which is full of shops and boutiques perfect for an afternoon’s browsing. There are also two museums in the village (the Gordon Russell Museum and the Ashmolean Museum) as well as an array of art galleries. 

Broadway’s main attraction though of course is Broadway Tower. Designed by Capability Brown and architect James Wyatt, the tower was built in the late 1700s and has had many uses over the years the last few centuries. It was once home to the printing press of Sir Thomas Phillips, a holiday retreat for artist William Morris, and most notably as a unique vantage point to track enemy planes over England during both World Wars. Whilst visiting the tower you can walk up to the top to admire the views and learn its history on the way up (or down) with each floor dedicated to an era in the building’s past. You can also visit the nuclear bunker on site and learn how it was used to protect Britain from the nuclear fallout of the Cold War during the 1980s, see the Red Deer raised on site and stop for a respite in the onsite café. 

Amenities

Broadway is a large village with an abundance of amenities including a Warner Budgens supermarket, a doctor’s surgery, adventure play park and golf club. There are also four churches in the village – the C of E churches of St Michaels and all Angels and St Eadburgha’s, Saint Saviour’s Catholic Church and the Broadway United Reformed Church. 

There is also the Lifford Hall (the village hall) which was originally built in about 1916 as a private theatre and given to the village in 1928. The hall is available for private hire and often hosts parties, plays and exercise classes.

There are plenty of places to grab a drink or a bite to eat in the village. For a drink, try the Horse and Hound or the Crown and Trumpet, the latter of which is renowned for its great selection of real ales; both do also offer food and rooms. For dinner, check out the Swan Inn or Russells, or for an Italian twist there is the Number 32 restaurant. For the perfect place to hit the hay, there is the Broadway Hotel or the Lygon Arms; or for that special rural retreat then there is Farncombe Estate, home to the Dormy House Hotel, The Fish Hotel or Foxhill Manor.

Schools 

There are two first schools in the village – St Mary’s Roman Catholic School and Broadway First School.