Offlist Walk: Broadway Tower

22 05 2011
22nd May 2011
4.5 miles
Explorer OL45 (The Cotswolds)
Cloudy, very windy
This was the first walk we took whilst on a week log break in Ilmington, a lovely Warwickshire village in the northern Cotswolds. We have visited Broadway once before, it is a lovely chocolate box village with many beautiful stone cottages, some quirky shops, and the Lygon Arms Hotel.
Leaving the car in the public car-park off Leamington Road we walked down to the High Street and turned right towards the centre of the village, we had a little look around a couple of shops and then headed back towards the junction of Leamington Rd and High Street, just before which we turned off right along a footpath which passed down a tight snicket, and then alongside a playground  and across a series of pastures, heading south until we meet Snowshill Road alongside a section of fields set up for Equestrian eventing training. We proceed up Snoswhill Road to the attractive 12th century church: St Eadburgha’s.
Opposite the church we turn through a gate next to a very quaint gatehouse, and follow Coneygree Lane uphill for just over a mile. The lane is  tree-lined and the thick canopies keep the lane cool and wet, the lane surface is suitable only for farm vehicles and is so muddy that we find an informal footpath a few yards away and follow that instead.

Broadway from just below the tower

After a sweaty climb the lane comes to a T-junction, we turn right and cross a field towards a farmhouse, behind us fabulous views open up across the Avon floodplain towards the Malvern Hills.
We skirt around the farmhouse and use the driveway for a little while before turning east and heading uphill again towards the east, past more farm buildings, up a very steep lane before tuning north into the grounds of Rookery Barn cafe. There are far fewer trees here, so the wind is at its strongest; we battle around the side of the cafe and follow the driveway until we pass through a double-height kissing gate and walk across to the tower. There is a fee to enter Broadway Tower, but given that the views are already tremendous it seems a waste of money to pay to climb just a few feet more; instead we watch the red deer in the enclosure just below the tower, and then start to make our descent. We join the Cotswold Way and head north-west along a straight path descending directly towards Broadway. Halfway down we find a conveniently placed bench and tuck into our lunch, had the day been less windy – then the field around the tower or Rookery barn would have been an ideal location.
After the bench there is a small steep section, and thereafter the going is easy, a number of fields, some with men mending a stone wall, others filled with sheep, until we reach the back of some houses just a little further along Broadway’s High Street. We appear back on High Street, and it’s only a few minutes walk back to the car.



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