A Drive around the North Cotswolds

A Drive around the North Cotswolds From West End, Broadway

A suggested route for a drive around the North Cotswolds from our holiday cottages in West End taking in Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-Water, the Slaughters and Winchcombe with some suggested places to visit on the way.

  1. Starting at The Manor House, West End, turn left and head along West End Lane past Pye Corner Farm on your left to the junction. Turn right onto Snowshill Road past St Eadburgha’s Church and on up the hill.
  2. Towards the top of the hill, on the right, you will find Snowshill Manor and Gardens, a National Trust property. If you want to take a walk around the village of Snowshill, a pretty village where most of the Cotswold stone cottages are hundreds of years old, there is a car park a little further on, on the right past just past the entrance to Snowshill Manor.
  3. Continuing through the village along the road down the hill, you will find the Snowshill Arms pub on the right and the Victorian Saint Barnabas Church on the left. Past the pub, take the road on the left keeping the church and war memorial on your left.
  4. At the crossroads, go straight across then bear left at the signpost for Cotswold Lavender (open June to August). Continue along this road, turning left at the next 2 junctions towards Broadway Tower. You will find the entrance to the car park at Broadway Tower on the bend as the Tower comes into view.
  5. Broadway Tower is the second highest spot in the Cotswolds. Walk the short distance to the Tower and admire the wonderful views of the village of Broadway, the Vale of Evesham, and on a clear day as far as the Welsh mountains.
  6. Leaving the Tower, turn left out of the car park towards the A44. At the crossroads, turn right and continue to the next crossroads, turn left to Chipping Campden. This road brings you to a T-junction where you turn right into the centre of the town. The visitor information centre is on the right, opposite the 400 year old Market Hall. You may be able to park in the Market Square, if not there is parking available at the school on Mill Lane.
  7. Chipping Campden was a centre for the Arts and Crafts movement in the early 20th century, and the Court Barn Museum on Church Street, celebrates the story of craft and design in the town and the surrounding area.
  8. To leave Chipping Campden, continue along the High Street and turn right onto the B4035. Stay on the one-way system, bearing right past St James’s Church and the Court Barn Museum, before returning to the High Street, where you turn left.
  9. Proceed back along the High Street and turn left into Sheep Street, which is the road you travelled along on entering the town. At the right-hand bend, turn left, signposted Broad Campden.
  10. Continue through the pretty little village of Broad Campden with its many thatched cottages. Look out for the right turn, signposted Blockley and Morton-in-Marsh. Take the turning towards here Blockley.
  11. Blockley was a centre of silk manufacturing in the 18th/19th century. Today it is used as a location for the BBC TV series ‘Father Brown’. Coming into the village centre by the Bowling Green you will find a shop and café and, alongside The Church of St Peter and St Paul.
  12. Leaving Blockley go back up the hill and turn the right take the right-hand turn. At the crossroads, turn right. Continue to a T-junction and continue left onto the A44, signposted Oxford.
  13. After passing through Bourton on the Hill, you will pass Bourton House Garden on the right (parking on the left). At the bottom of the hill, on the left, is the entrance to Batsford Arboretum and Cotswold Falconry Centre, and on the right the entrance to Sezincote House, an Indian inspired house set in magnificent gardens.
  14. Continuing along the A44, you come into Moreton-in-Marsh. If you wish to stop here, turn left at the mini roundabout for parking (not a Tuesday as the market is held here). Otherwise, at the mini roundabout turn right onto the A49 (Fosse Way) for Stow-on-the-Wold.
  15. On entering Stow-on-the-Wold, go straight on at the first two sets of traffic lights and at the next lights, turn left into Sheep Street and turn down to the car park. Park here and walk up into the town centre. There is a useful town map and information board as you walk out of the car park.
  16. You leave Stow by turning left out of the car park and going back up Sheep Street to the traffic lights, where you turn left back onto the a A49 towards Bourton-on-the-Water.
  17. Continue along the A49 until you see the brown sign for Bourton-on-the-Water (about 3 miles), and turn left at the traffic lights here. After about half a mile you will find a car park behind the petrol station on the right. There is an alleyway which will take you the short walk into the town.
  18. Picturesque Bourton-on-the-Water on the River Windrush is known as the Little Venice of the Cotswolds. There are a number of things to see and do and at least a couple of hours can be spent here.
  19. To leave Bourton-on-the-Water turn left out of the car park, returning to the A49 and turn right back towards Stow. Look for the left turn (B4068) to The Slaughters, just after the petrol station. You will pass through Lower Swell on the way to Upper and Lower Slaughter, both popular with artists. Lower Slaughter sits beside the little River Eye and is known for its unspoiled limestone cottages in the traditional Cotswolds style. Parking is limited, but if you can, park the car and have a stroll to the Old Mill where there is a small museum, shop and tearoom. From Lower Slaughter take the turn left turn for Upper Slaughter.
  20. As you approach Upper Slaughter you come to a left turn just before the village sign. Take this left turn, which is signposted Guiting Power and Winchcombe. If you wish to visit Upper Slaughter, continue past this turning and turn right into the village. Again, parking is very limited but if you can find a space, stop and take a walk around. Then go back to the road and take the turning for Guiting Power and Winchcombe.
  21. Follow the signs for Guiting Power, the route is well signposted.
  22. Passing through Guiting Power (we recommend The Hollow Bottom pub for lunch/dinner), you stay on this road to Winchcombe (approximately 4.5 miles).
  23. Coming down into Winchcombe there is a sign for Sudeley Hill Farm and the farm shop, and a little way after this you will see Sudeley Castle gate on the left and a right turn opposite. Take this right turn.
  24. If you don’t want to stop in Winchcombe please go to 26 below. At the T-junction at the end of the road turn left into the town. Drive up the hill and turn right down North Street, and at the crossroads turn left. You will find the car park on the left behind the library. You can walk through to the centre from here.
  25. In Winchcombe you can visit Sudeley Castle, once the home of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife, who is buried here. There are exhibitions in the castle covering its history, and the castle is a surrounded by award-winning gardens. You may need to return on another day to make the most of a visit here. To leave Winchcombe turn right out of the car park, right up north Street and then left at the T-junction onto the B4632.
  26. If you don’t want to visit Winchcombe turn right at the T-junction onto the B4632.
  27. Continue along the B4632 passing under the railway bridge and just up the turning on the left you will find Winchcombe Pottery. A little further along the B4632 is the right-hand turning for Hailes Abbey. The ruins of Hailes Abbey (which was founded in 1246) are owned by English Heritage and are open April to October.
  28. Returning to the B4632, continue to Toddington roundabout and turn right. You will pass Toddington Station GWSR Heritage Railway on the right. At the crossroads, turn left for Stanway. Down the hill you see the impressive gatehouse of Stanway House. The house is open Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, June through to August and is well worth a visit. Stanway Fountain is the tallest gravity Fountain in the world.
  29. At the end of this road at the T-junction turn right to drive through the picturesque village of Stanton.
  30. The road will bring you back to the B4632 where you turn right to return to Broadway and just before the village the right-hand turn into West End.
West End, Broadway, in the Cotswolds AONB
West End, Broadway, in the Cotswolds AONB

Visit Bath – How to See the City in a Day

Many of our guests like to visit the city of Bath during their stay. The city with its wide range of excellent shops, restaurants, museums, Georgian architecture and Roman baths is about 70 miles from our holiday cottages and can be reached in less than 2 hours by car.

Our recommendation is to use one of the Park and Ride car parks on the edge of the city rather than drive in to the centre and spend time trying to find a parking space. The buses from the Park and Ride car parks run frequently and are not expensive.

Sally Lunn’s Eating House and Kitchen Museum

If looking for a coffee, cup of tea and something to eat on arrival in Bath, we recommend stopping at Sally Lunn’s, 4 North Parade Passage. Sally Lunn’s opens at 10am and is home to the original Sally Lunn Bunn  (the original Bath bun) which is still baked to a secret recipe and served with a wide variety of delicious toppings including cinnamon butter and lemon curd. The historic building is one of the oldest houses in Bath and dates back to 1483. It became the home of the French baker, Sally Lunn, a Hugenot refugee, in the 1600s.

Sally Lunn’s is also open for lunch, afternoon teas and dinner (see www.sallylunns.co.uk) for more information. Reservations are advisable as it does get very busy.

Bath’s Roman Baths and Museum

A few minutes’ walk away from Sally Lunn’s is the Roman Baths Museum and the ruins of a 43AD Roman settlement. The Baths are open from 9am until 5pm (November to February 9.30am and later during Easter weeks and the summer). Entrance costs from £14.40 per adult with a 10% discount if booked online. The Museum runs free tours and free audioguides are available in a number of languages. For more information visit www.romanbaths.co.uk.

It is not possible to bathe in the waters but the nearby Thermae Bath Spa uses the same mineral-enriched water, treated to make it safe to enjoy (see website site for details).

A visit to the baths including a free tour will take approximately 2 hours.

A Walking Tour of the City

There are several options for a walking tour of the city. Our recommendation is to join one of the entertaining tours given by The Mayor of Bath Honorary Guides. The daily tours are free (no tips allowed) and there is no need to book. Tours start outside the Roman Baths (look for the sign ‘Free Walking Tours Start Here’). The walks take place within the city are about 2 miles (3km) in length with a gradual climb of 100 feet (30m) and takes approximately 2 hours. The walks take in the majestic Bath Abbey, Pulteney Street and 18th century Pulteney Bridge, the beautiful Georgian Royal Crescent, Circus Crescent and much more.

Historic Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey, the Abbey Church of St Peter and St Paul, was built in 1499. Visitors may visit the main church area for free. A tour of the tower (tickets available to purchase from the gift shop) takes visitors up 212 steps past the bell chamber (with the Abbey’s 10 bells) to the Abbey’s rooftop with its wonderful panoramic view of the city.

Photo: By Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Jane Austen Centre

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, Bath’s most famous resident, then the Jane Austen Centre, 40 Gay Street, Queen Square, is worth a visit. The centre, set in a classically decorated Georgian townhouse, offers a snapshot of what it would be like to live in Regency times.  Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the Regency Tea Room. For further information and admissions prices see www.janeausten.co.uk.

Shopping, Eating Out and More

There are plenty of excellent independent shops, tea rooms, coffee shops, and restaurants in Bath to fill up any spare time. Milsom Street, built in 1792, was recently voted ‘Britain’s Best Fashion Street’.

A great spot to enjoy afternoon tea is in the elegant Pump Room Restaurant in the Abbey Churchyard where the Pump Room Trio serenade guests. Walk in tables are available daily but to avoid missing out we would advise that a table is reserved online (www.romanbaths.co.uk or telephone 01225 444477).

We hope you enjoy your day in Bath!

Debbie Williamson

Broadway Manor Cottages

Learn a Traditional Rural Skill in the Cotswolds

Learn a Traditional Rural Skill in the Cotswolds

Whilst holidaying in the Cotswolds in one of our Cotswold holiday cottages, why not combine your stay with learning a traditional rural skill? In the Cotswolds AONB, the Cotswolds Conservation Board run a number of courses throughout the year on which participants can learn hedgelaying techniques, how to build a drystone wall, how to prepare and use lime mortar, how to use green woodworking techniques to make wooden objects from unseasoned timber or try their hand at woodland coppicing, thatching, blacksmithing or stone carving.

Our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway are ideally located as a place to stay in the beautiful Cotswold countryside whilst learning an interesting and unusual traditional rural skill.

Courses run from January through to October through the Cotswolds. Details of available courses in 2018 can be seen at: www.cotswoldruralskills.org. Contact us for details of our Cotswold holiday cottages in Broadway.