Cotswold Leisure Activities
The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is one of England’s prime spots for leisure and sporting recreation. We’d love to list all of the available activities, but if we did then the list would be as long as the 102-mile-long Cotswold Way walking trail itself. Instead, we’ve picked 10 of our favourite leisure activities in the Cotswolds that you can enjoy while staying in Broadway.
e-Bikes at Broadway Tower
e-bikes are available to hire from the Tower Barn at Broadway Tower. You can take a ride between 10am and 4pm, an easy and stylish way to explore local sights and get away from the crowds a little. From the Tower, you might head off to Cotswold Lavender, Snowshill village or Chipping Campden. The friendly team at Broadway Tower will give you a quick e-bike lesson before you head off. They're also full of ideas, to set you off in the right direction into the Cotswold hills.
Cotswold Farm Park
For some fun and informative farm animal encounters, head over to BBC Countryfile presenter Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park. Get hands-on while learning about traditional British farming activities, as you meet donkeys, goats, piglets and rabbits on your self-guided tour. There are also longer walks around lush farmland via marked trails to enjoy the attraction's high and open setting. If that’s not enough, then there are indoor and outdoor play areas, a café and a gift shop. Unmissable at lambing time and there are other seasonal highlights too - keep an eye on the website for highlights such as 'pick your own pumpkin' at Hallowe'en.
Whisky and Gin Experiences
The Cotswolds Distillery, not far from Broadway has really added to the Cotswolds food and drinks scene in recent years. The original vision was to make superlative whisky. That takes time, so meanwhile Cotswold Gin became a bestseller and since then they haven't looked back! The whisky is now available, to rave reviews - the quality is exceptional: definitely not a tourist gimmick. The distillery offers tours and tastings. Happily for our guests, they've opened a Broadway shop too, where you can book for tastings or a gin-blending masterclass. If you prefer your gin in a cocktail, look no further than the Broadway Hotel's Jockey Bar!
Cotswold Way Walks
One of the best ways to experience the outstanding natural beauty of the Cotswolds is to explore the region via the Cotswold Way. The waymarked footpath runs along the Cotswold escarpment all the way from Chipping Camden to Bath. We don’t expect you to cover it all (unless you really want to that is). Instead, break your discovery up into shorter routes that are ideal for day trips. We recommended the walks from Broadway to Wood Stanway and Broadway to Chipping Campden.
Walking Elsewhere in the Cotswolds
The area is criss-crossed with public footpaths and so the National Trails team has developed a series of longer and shorter walks. They cover many of the 'must see' Cotswold sights and you can opt for circular walks that bring you back to your starting point. Details here: Walking routes.
Village Fetes and Events
For 'slow tourism' at its best, look out for one of the summer village fete events in places such as Broadway, Stanway House and Snowshill - or any local village. You'll meet the locals at play and there are bargains to be found on the bric a brac stall, garden plants to pick up for a song and friendly competition to give you the best cake with your afternoon tea. Add a local dog show, tombola or live music and you'll find an authentic experience of Cotswold life, right here.
'Scratch Gloucestershire and you'll find Rome' is the old saying and it's true right across the Cotswolds (We're on the border with Gloucestershire by the way). There are ancient sites and Roman places to explore, from the prehistoric Belas Knap mound to Spoonley Wood villa. It was Spoonley Wood which made such an impression on Bill Bryson, he just couldn't believe that this little Roman villa's mosaic was preserved under a few bin bags! For a larger and more complete Roman site head over to the National Trust-owned Chedworth Villa. You can see some of the area's ancient treasures in Cirencester's Corinium Museum. It makes for an unusual and scenic day exploring the Cotswolds from your Broadway base.
Cycling in the Cotswolds
Narrow country lanes meander around the Cotswolds and connect old market towns and quaint villages. Sure you can drive to these places, but why not reach them by rented bike. En route, you’ll get a glimpse of the real Cotswold life. It’s under two hours pedalling to Chipping Norton, Stow-on-the-Wold and even Stratford-upon-Avon from Broadway.
The annual programme of events in the Cotswolds has expanded rapidly to include food festivals, Cheltenham's Literature, Music and Science Festivals and the country calendar from lambing time at The Farm Park through to winter Festivals of Light at local attractions such as Sudeley Castle. Check www.cotswolds.com for the full list. The Broadway Hotel is always at its buzzy best during race meetings in Cheltenham and Broadway village events such as Classic Car meetings.