All Images courtesy of www.broadway-cotswolds.co.uk
You would be forgiven in thinking that Broadway was just a grass-verged main street, lined with gift shops, antique stores, cafes and pubs. But look a little closer and you’ll see that this Cotswolds village has much more to offer. Here are just a few of the local attractions in Broadway:
The Ashmolean Museum
Many people have heard of the famous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, but did you know that there is a branch of this museum in Broadway? The museum is situated in a 17th century building called Tudor House, and features a special collection of works of art and ancient objects from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum. The Broadway Ashmolean was made possible by donations from several quarters, including John Keil, who gave up Tudor House on a long-term lease; and a grant of £200,000 from Worcestershire County Council.
All the artefacts in the museum are arranged in chronological order, and include everything you can imagine, from crockery, ceramics, paintings, silverware, furniture and glass. And visitors to the museum can expect to see many artefacts that relate directly to Broadway, such as beautiful examples of Worchester porcelain, and a tapestry that was created in the famous Worcestershire factory of the family who once owned the Manor of Broadway.
Broadway Tower & Country Park
Capability Brown was undoubtedly the most famous landscape gardener of England, having created gardens in Warwick Castle, Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens, amongst many others. He was also the inspiration for Broadway Tower, which stands some 65ft on the top of an old beacon site. It is rumoured that the tower was built for the Earl of Coventry in 1798, because the Countess of Coventry wanted to see if her Cotswold estate was visible from Croome Court in Worcestershire (it was!). Since its completion, the tower has been used for many different things, including housing printing presses and papers in the early 19th century, to providing a retreat for William Morris in the late 19th century. Nowadays the views from the tower attract nature lovers from all over the Cotswolds.
Broadway Country Park
Speaking of nature, Broadway Country Park is the ideal place for spotting wild red deer, and especially in the Spring and Autumn, when, if you are patient, you could get the chance to see the deer with their young, by teaming up with expert Lewis Potter, the Head Ranger. The park is situated right in the middle of the Cotswolds Way, so it is perfect for walkers, with or without dogs and cyclists. But the Country Park isn’t just about embracing nature, you can visit Morris & Brown, a renowned gift shop offering home-ware, local art and luxury accessories. And afterwards, why not relax in the café for afternoon tea or coffee?
Gordon Russell Design Museum
This unique Museum celebrates the work of the famous 20th century furniture maker – Sir Gordon Russell and his company, who were located in Broadway for over 60 years. And quite wonderfully, the museum is actually located in the original grade II listed building where Russell worked. The museum houses not only Russell’s work, which includes over a thousand of his deign drawings, furniture, photographs and catalogues, but items from designers who worked alongside him. This is an amazing chance to see one of Broadway’s own, in his original setting.