Shopping in the Cotswolds, A Guide
Individual Shops and Galleries
Broadway Hotel guests are enchanted by the Cotswolds, with its walks, gardens and historic villages. From the number of shopping bags that we spot at the end of each day, it’s also clear that retail therapy is all part of a day out in the Cotswolds too. Often the comments are about how wonderful it is to see small, interesting shops again - especially at a time when every town centre is starting to look a little bit the same.
With that in mind, here’s an introduction to just a few of the interesting retailers in and around Broadway village.
The best place to start really is just outside our front door, with the wide variety of wonderful shops around the village green and along Broadway High Street. Two of the most intriguing face the hotel, Scents on the Green and The Man Cave.
Margie Shiers opened Scents on the Green in 2020, bringing a career’s worth of expertise in curating and retailing fine fragrances to Broadway. If you’re looking for inspiration - and if you feel that buying perfume should be a personal experience - look no further than this beautiful shop.
The Man Cave has been something of a popular phenomenon in Broadway in the last few years. It’s a place to release your inner ‘Clarkson’, with everything from upcycled bar and furniture pieces made from car or airplane parts, to retro gaming, clothing items and men’s accessories.
Along the High Street is The Broadway Deli, one of the best in the Cotswolds. They work hard to source the best, with plenty of interesting surprises amongst the coffee (excellent) and wine sections. There’s a terrific deli counter (we recommend the fennel sausages). Their own range of pickles, chutneys and red onion jams are a cut above, too. Is it any wonder then, that we use Broadway Deli to supply our welcome hampers in our three holiday cottages, all located in the heart of the village…
We’re very proud to have a Cotswold Distillery shop on the High Street. The quality of their gin and whisky is sensational (try one in our bar!).
By the way, Foodies coming to the Cotswolds should mark the second Sunday in September in their diaries. This is the date of the Broadway Food Festival, which sees a great choice of local food and drink on the village green, with events to ensure a great day out.
Speaking of local events, the annual Christmas Shopping Evenings (on the last Friday of November and the first Friday of December) are much loved. They’re so popular that many people plan a stay with us around these dates to join in with the festivities. Shops in the village open until 8.30 pm, and the bustling High Street is filled with Christmas spirit, with lights, music and festive food for the whole family to enjoy. We will also be running our annual BBQ on these two evenings, so come and say hello!
Broadway’s is famous for its galleries and antique shops, which are too numerous to list here but the quality is uniformly high at places such as Haynes Fine Art, Trinity House and Catesby’s. Easy to find - you’ll pass them on a walk up and down the High Street.
The Cotswold Court arcade in Broadway is a great destination for shopping, and the retail hotspot of the village. The entrance is located at the bottom of the High Street, adjacent to the War Memorial and the Village Green. Here you can find gems such as Betty and Violet, the handbags at La Bulle and lovely shops such as Sew U Knit and the All Of My Heart gift shop. Further up the High Street, most visitors find that they can’t walk past the Cotswold Chocolate shop without calling in.
These are just of few of the shops in Broadway - it would be very easy to spend an entire day shopping here (especially if you include a stop in our Jockey Bar or Brasserie for lunch!). However, if you’re setting off to explore the wider Cotswolds for the day, here are a few ideas to help you include some shopping highlights.
Probably the most popular Cotswold day out from Broadway is to head to the north Cotswolds and follow a route that includes villages such as Chipping Campden, Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton on the Water.
Chipping Campden is a good place to start. By the way ‘Chipping’, the old English word, actually means ‘market’. Campden’s High Street includes gems such as Robert Welch’s on-the-premises studio shop. Part museum and (mostly) shop, their beautifully designed range of kitchen knives and tools is impressive. A humble mortar and pestle starts at about £12, but the staff are well used to visitors who just want to look around. The company still has a family ethos and their offices occupy the same small rooms in which Welch started out in 1969, with little more than a camp bed and a drawing board.
Whilst you’re at that end of the High Street, don’t miss the Guild of Handicrafts. It was here in Chipping Camden that Charles Ashbee, a follower of William Morris, set up The Guild, in a kind of social experiment that saw hundreds of workers and craftsmen from London’s East End brought to the Cotswolds, from 1882
Ashbee’s big idea was to revive traditions of design and craftsmanship and to counter the trend towards process-led manufacture which was part of the industrial revolution. At that time, The Guild dominated the town with dozens of workshops.
It was a visionary idea. Ultimately it wasn’t sustainable, but you can still visit the last survivors, Hart Silversmiths. In fact, to do so is to see one of the most remarkable places in the Cotswolds. It might take a little bit of courage to walk into this working workshop - but they’re a friendly bunch, well used to visitors. What you will see is a silversmithing workshop which a Victorian silversmith would recognise immediately. Here things are made by eye; by heating metal and then hitting it with hammers. It’s an inspiring place, very photogenic and inspirational for those who love crafts and design.
Harts do have some cutlery and jewellery for sale but there’s no definitely no pressure to buy. As likely as not, the team will be working on a commission or item of church silver.
Downstairs, you’ll find the Gallery at the Guild, a crafts shop - and good coffee in the cafe. Elsewhere in Campden you can find more Arts and Crafts design inspiration at The Court Barn Museum which tells the story of the town and the Guild.
You’ll also pass Draycott Books, a ‘proper’ second-hand bookshop that always seem to have something interesting at a fair price. Along the High Street, there’s a good mix of interiors and antique shops, plus a well turned-out charity shop (Campden Home Nursing).
Heading to Stow-on-the-Wold, garden enthusiasts might divert to Batsford Arboretum on the way, to visit its excellent garden shop.
Most larger Cotswold towns have an antique shop or two, but Stow-on-the-Wold calls itself the Cotswolds’ Capital of Antiques. Don’t necessarily expect a bargain, but if you’re looking for specialist, fully-provenanced antiques this is the place to come. Christoper Clarke Antiques, for example, is a specialist in military campaign furniture and objects. If that sounds a little ‘specialist’, the owners’ enthusiasm brings the place to life.
Daylesford Organic's Farm Shop is not far from Stow-on-the-Wold. It’s famously at the smart end of farm shops, with many people raising an eyebrow at the prices, but it’s an interesting place for a coffee and a little people-watching.
Another route out from Broadway leads up to Broadway Tower, Snowshill and Winchcombe. One of the 'must see' attractions in the area, Broadway Tower has its own well-stocked shop. At the right time of year (mid June to early August) , the Cotswold Lavender fields at Snowshill are spectacular - the gift shop is open all year, selling products made on site, from essential oils to home fragrances. Cooks and gardeners should also look out for Farmcote Herbs and Chilli. Chilli may not be something that you automatically associate with the Cotswolds but you’ll find some unusual varieties and also see a little piece of ‘old Cotswolds’, with amazing views and ancient farm buildings dotted around.
Winchcombe is not yet the most famous Cotswold town, but there are good antique shops, walks to Belas Knapp (a prehistoric long barrow), Sudeley Castle and a route back to Broadway which passes Winchcombe Pottery. Dating from 1926, this is a long-established (1926) pottery with a story that includes Bernard Leach, Michael Cardew, Sidney Tustin & Ray Finch along the way - a purchase from here is a true Cotswold souvenir.
After a busy day sightseeing and shopping in the Cotswolds, back at the Broadway Hotel we’re always ready to revive you with afternoon tea or a pre-dinner cocktail.