Autumn in Broadway and the Cotswolds
Autumn in Broadway and the Cotswolds
Autumn Colours and Misty Villages
Writing this after an exceptionally warm first half of August, it seems hard to imagine that another Cotswold autumn is just a few weeks away. Summer has its charms but, for those in the know, autumn is THE time to be in the Cotswolds.
If you’re able to escape for a night midweek, we offer an ‘Autumn Colours’ package which combines a night’s stay with three course dining - and a full Cotswold breakfast to send you off with a smile. We’ll even put a bottle of Prosecco in your room! Details at the end of this blog, or on our ‘Offers’ page.
Here at The Broadway Hotel, we keep a special place in our hearts for autumn. The trees around the village green change colour, the galleries and shops come into their own with new seasonal stock and, in our Jockey Bar, we light the first log fires of the season. It’s all very cosy, a wonderful place to come home to at the end of a day exploring the Cotswolds.
So why visit the Cotswolds in Autumn?
The Cotswolds are at their colourful best in Autumn.
The first trees to show colour are acers and maples, followed by our native trees.
The star of the show is the beech tree, found across the Cotswolds. Beech leaves have a deep russet colour, which just seems to combine perfectly with Cotswold stone, making even a regular drive through the countryside a photogenic experience.
As you explore the area, you’ll come across honey-colour Cotswold stone villages, with woodsmoke rising from cottage chimneys, all surrounded by the copper and henna colour of trees in their autumn glory. A ramble through woodland is the defining Cotswold walking experience, where you’ll see falling leaves, blackberries, mysterious fungi and conkers.
In general the very best time for autumn colour is from mid-October to
mid-November. In recent years, autumn has become an especially popular time for short breaks and you’ll find plenty of print and online articles to advise when the autumn colour peak is expected.
Public footpaths and bridleways abound in the Cotswolds - someone once calculated that there are 14,000 miles of hedgerows here. That’s excellent news for dogs - if you happen to have one with you. They always make exploring twice as much fun.
We always recommend the walk up to Broadway Tower, but you could also head off to Bredon Hill which locals love for its ancient woodland and sensational views over to the Malverns. There’s another lesser-known walk nearby at Dumbleton Hill, which is dense with beautifully hued deciduous trees at this time of year. There are often deer to be spotted as well.
If you’d like to experience the special ambience of a village setting in autumn, there’s Broadway itself (it’s a joy to wake up here and take a walk before breakfast), or you can head off to Upper and Lower Slaughter for the world-famous walk between the two villages.
Cotswolds Attractions in Autumn
Locally, autumn is the busiest time for Batsford Arboretum, whose maples and cherries are spectacular. There’s a medley of colours, all reds, pinks and yellows. Look out for the extraordinary liquidambar tree, it’s a sort of one-tree autumn display, with leaves of purple and gold. They even have a local autumn colour hotline, where you can get the latest - 01386 701441.
The Cotswold Farm Park is always a good place to visit. We’re looking forward to the return of their popular ‘Pick Your Own Pumpkin’ patch in October, for some autumn colour of a different kind.
Nearby Sudeley Castle has a ‘Sculpture Safari’ running until the end of October. You’ll see a safari trail of life-size animal sculptures made from flowers, grasses and plants dotted around the castle grounds. Expect a herd of elephants, rhino and kangaroos hiding in ancient yew hedges, and orangutans beneath trees - just as long as you can find them all.
Over at Cheltenham, the annual Literature Festival runs between the 7th and 16th of October. There is always anticipation as to who the headline speakers will be at this, the oldest literature festival in Britain. This year, Bono is amongst the big names.
Another reason that we love autumn is that racing returns to Cheltenham, this year with The Showcase on Friday 21st and Sunday 22nd of October.
Autumn Food and Drink
The village has an early Autumn Show on the second weekend in September, combining a Horticultural and Garden Show on the Saturday, with a Food Festival on Sunday.
One of the real pleasures of the Cotswolds in autumn is in the way that there is a real sense of the change of seasons. That’s exemplified by the change in seasonal food and drink. Certainly the Broadway Hotel menu changes to reflect what’s good and local in the season - and perhaps to reflect a heartier appetite amongst our guests. Look out for game and autumn mushrooms.
In the Jockey Bar, our cocktail menu changes too. We reflect the season with, for example, cocktails that use the excellent Cotswold Distillery Hedgerow Gin, with its flavours of sloes, damsons, bullace (a plum variety) and blackberries. Incidentally a bottle to take home (from the Cotswold Distillery shop nearby on the High Street) is a great souvenir.
Sunday lunch becomes very popular again too, with the return of all the joys of a traditional Sunday, enhanced by that cosy feeling when there’s a cool bite in the air outside.
There’s definitely an affinity between autumn and ales and we’re always careful to keep good beer in our The Jockey Bar. Goffs Brewery (from nearby Winchcombe) provides us with Broadway Best Bitter, Dark and Broadway Pale, amongst other gems to be found in the bar.
Our three Five Star holiday cottages really come into their own in autumn. Beautifully designed both inside and out, they offer you the freedom to holiday your way. Each cottage is centrally located in Broadway with private gardens, with a wealth of features, from well-equipped kitchens to Netflix. Romantic and cosy.
The only slight downside to autumn is that accommodation is in demand, so do book early. Follow us on social media for updates and seasonal news.