On Broadway.

Tuesday 8th March 2011. Clear blue sky; ground moist and slightly cloying in places; Temperature 5 - 7 degrees C.
 Location: Broadway, Worcestershire.

The Object: Cotswold Way Circular Walk No.2 " Broadway and the Tower. "
Distance: 4 miles.

This walk exemplifies a classic Cotswold outing; being an even mixture of up and down modes; a yin and yang route, if you will.

Starting at the war memorial, on the High Street in Broadway, the walk quickly progresses via a right turn into an 'activity park & picnic area ' and thence into footpaths through green fields until the Snowshill Road is reached.
 Turning left,  one steadily climbs to reach St. Eadburgha's Church, which dates in part to the 11th Century.

After the church, the route turns left passing through a gateway into a muddy track, called Coneygree Lane, named,  as the instructions said " after the 'free ' rabbit warren granted here by Henry 111 in 1251. "
Poles are needed at this point, as the gradient forces you relentlessly upwards and as with most Cotswold slopes,  there are many false summits; but the rewarding view looking down is well worth the effort.

The above is a view, taken walking across a field, after Coneygree , towards a farmhouse, which you pass to the right.

After this the route takes a left and heads up through stone gateposts to Rookery Farm.

This picture gives you some idea of the slope up towards Rookery Farm . Time for a cuppa.

When Rookery Farm is reached, the track opens up to become a farm exit road and the final ascent to the tower is at hand.

 This is the walkers first sight of the tower, framed between the two trees.

The Broadway Tower is a folly, 55 feet tall, built in 1798 for Lady Coventry, probably to impress the mere mortals down below. Legend has it, that before construction, she ordered a beacon to be built and lit and then to be driven around the countryside to check, it could, indeed be seen.

It occupies the second highest point in the Cotswolds and it is said, that on a clear day, you can see 13 counties from the top. A further picture can be seen, from my blog entry   " Still a way to go " 15/06/'09.

The Tower is now in commercial hands and thus a fee is charged for climbing the Tower.
There is also a deer park and cafe,  with car park for those, who wish to drive here. Shame on you !

This is the point where the circular walk, joins  The Cotswold Way  and it is time to descend for over a mile through verdant pastures, pausing to 'drink - in ' the view, until Broadway town is reached.

Conclusion: A very satisfying and rewarding walk, with some moderate/hard climbs.
Time: 2.5 - 3 hrs.




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