Christmas and New Year in Broadway and the Cotswolds
What to enjoy before, during and after the greatest day of the year!
The Cotswolds were made for Christmas. Imagine magnificent tree shapes lining country lanes, romantic pubs with log fires and short winter walks through villages with honey-coloured cottages.
Broadway is perfect for the season too. You might spend a couple of hours exploring the shop lined High Street. On those chilly-but-sunny days, there’s no better walk than up to Broadway Tower (ideally with the dog). The walk more than justifies a hot chocolate at the top, or perhaps even one of our famous afternoon teas back at The Broadway.
Nowadays there are more sightseeing and activity options than ever in December. Here’s our guide to getting the most of the Christmas season in the Cotswolds.
Christmas in Broadway
To begin on our doorstep, festive preparations in Broadway can really be said to begin with the two Late Night Christmas Shopping Evenings. There’s a terrific atmosphere, as locals and visitors enjoy Christmas lights, shop displays and music. You’ll find mulled wine, seasonal food — and you might even see Father Christmas and one or two of his reindeer. It’s all very civilised and relaxed and a great way to get a head start on Christmas shopping away from the crowds.
If you haven’t been to Broadway before, our High Street is blessed with a terrific array of food and drink shops, galleries and fashion and home goods stores, with plenty of independents to keep things interesting.
2023 Late Night Shopping dates are Friday the 24th November and Friday, December the first. The events run between 5pm and 8.30pm.
Another top tip, if you’re gift hunting is to make your way to the nearby Cotswold Lavender Farm. During December, the farm's shop is filled with festive decorations, scented candles, and lavender-infused gifts. It's a lovely place to find aromatic and (very much) locally made Christmas presents.
Markets and Events
Traditional Christmas markets pop up in various villages throughout December. These markets are a treasure trove of handcrafted gifts, artisan foods, and holiday decorations. Look out for Chipping Campden’s market on Saturday, December the 2nd, 2023. On the same day, Bourton-on-the-Water switches on its Christmas lights — in fact, it’s worth calling into Bourton on the Water late in the day at any time in December to see the unusual sight of a fully illuminated Christmas Tree standing in the slow-flowing River Windrush, as well as the reflections of the lights lining the riverbank.
Stow-on-the-Wold has a charming Christmas Tree Festival, which takes place in St Edward’s Church between the 8th and 11th of December.
There are lights in most villages, such as Moreton-in-Marsh, Winchcombe and Burford, with perhaps the most ambitious ‘switch on’ being in the town of Cheltenham. The season starts a little earlier here, with a Christmas launch on Thursday 16th November 2023. There are then Christmas lights switched on, in The Brewery Quarter and at the Pittville Pump Room on Saturday 25th November.
Cheltenham is the home of jump racing. The International Meeting, informally known as the Christmas Meeting takes place on the 15th and 16th December this year, at Cheltenham Racecourse.
Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre also offers an excellent (“Oh yes it is!”) pantomime. This season, Mother Goose runs between the 24th November and the 7th January 2024.
If you’d like your family to experience Christmas on the farm, head to Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park (24th — 26th November and 1st-3rd, 8th-10th, 15th-17th, 20th-23rd December 2023). They offer one-to-one meetings with Father Christmas, Teddy Bear Workshops and gingerbread decorating, alongside enough rare breed animals to fill several mangers.
Our much loved local steam and diesel railway, Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR), runs events such as the Santa Express (travel to the North Pole and meet Santa!) and Mince Pie Specials, from their own Broadway Station. Trains run on selected dates between the 25th November and 23rd December.
Nearby Sudeley Castle offers an annual Winter Wonderland event which has quickly become a fixture on the Cotswold scene. It’s basically an after-dark trail around the castle grounds, with impressive illuminated scenes, this year with a Wizard of Oz theme.
Traditional Carol Services
The village churches of the Cotswold’s have a special character and it’s well worth finding time to reflect on Christmas by joining in with a traditional carol service. There’s a calming sense of continuity in such places — people have been celebrating the season for centuries in these buildings.
In Broadway St Michael and All Angels’ and St Eadburgha’s are the local Church of England churches and St Saviour, is the local Catholic Church. It’s also worth seeing if your visit coincides with the famous annual Tewkesbury Abbey Carol Service, set in a stunning medieval abbey.
Christmas and New Year at The Broadway Hotel
Both are popular, well established celebrations, with Chef pulling out all the stops and our talented bar team keeping things interesting.
We offer 3 day (Christmas) and 2 day (New Year) packages. At the time of writing (September 2023), we have just a couple of rooms left for both. Best to call 01386 852401 at this stage.
A warm welcome and time to settle in before Afternoon Tea.
Meet the team with Champagne and canapés
Enjoy a delicious three-course dinner from by our award-winning team
Mulled wine and mince pies for those returning from Midnight Mass
Traditional Cotswold breakfast with Bucks Fizz, served by our Merry General Manager! Time to open your presents and relax
4-course Christmas day lunch with all the trimmings
Evening buffet supper
Enjoy a hearty breakfast and watch the annual horse and hound gathering in the village
The day’s your own to enjoy the Cotswold’s or warm your toes by one of our fires and enjoy a few of our winter warmers or treat yourself to a cocktail or two… perhaps today’s the day to take the Broadway Tower walk.
Bubbles and canapés to begin the evening.
Celebratory 4 course dinner (Black Tie optional) served with a complimentary bottle of house wine, accompanied with live music from our pianist
A fond farewell… but not before one last Cotswold breakfast!
New Year’s Package
Arriving 30th December
A warm welcome and time to get settled in
Delicious 3-course dinner from our award-winning team
New Year’s Eve
Cotswold breakfast and a day to spend at your leisure
Cotswold Cream Tea in Tattersalls Brasserie
Cocktail and canapés to start the evening in style
Delicious 5-course dinner (Black Tie optional)
Dancing until the early hours
New Year’s Day
Cotswold breakfast, fond farewells and a happy New Year!
If you’d rather join us on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day will allow you a day to recover with breakfast, perhaps take a trip to the Cheltenham races, followed by a 3-course dinner in Tattersall’s Brasserie in the evening. On the 2nd January, it’s breakfast, fond farewells and a happy New Year from all of the Broadway team!