It’s surprising how many people are already thinking about Christmas and New Year. Our New Year’s package is now sold out and the last few rooms remain for Christmas.
The days when the Cotswolds closed down for winter seem to be long gone and so there are plenty of reasons to plan a stay between now and then. Nowadays, attractions have extended their seasons and new winter events seem to arrive every year.
That’s great news for visitors, but even without attractions to visit or Cotswold events to see, the simple pleasures of walking in Cotswolds woodland, a pub lunch and exploring villages in the off-peak season are well understood by many. Our dog-friendly hotel adds appeal for dog owners too.
Here’s a quick spin through what to do and where to go in the quieter wintry months.
National Trust Properties
These always seemed to close firmly at the end of September, but Hidcote Manor and Snowshill Manor, for example, are now open through October and at weekends in November. Add in the National Trust’s ‘always open’ parks and landscapes and English Heritage properties and there’s a good choice of wide open spaces to explore (with or without dog). In addition to Hidcote and Snowshill we’d mention:
Dover’s Hill, Chipping Campden. It’s on the Cotswold Edge with terrific views over the Vale of Evesham. This nature reserve famously acts as a natural amphitheatre for the Robert Dover Games ‘Cotswold Olympicks’ in summer, village games which are older than the Modern Olympiad. It’s always a popular spot though.
Hailes Abbey is a romantic location, the ruins of a 13th Century abbey that, in 1539, fell victim to Henry VIII’s campaign against the power and wealth of the church. And, by the way, an excellent place for conkers!
Belas Knap Neolithic Long Barrow. If you’re up for a steep climb, you’ll be rewarded with great views down over Sudeley Castle and the atmosphere of a remote, large and beautifully shaped ancient long barrow.
Sherborne Park Estate Just a beautiful one hour circuit amongst woods and open farmland. The highlight is an extremely photogenic extended beech tree avenue, wonderful, whether for autumn colour or just for wintry tree shapes.
We’re lucky to have some great ‘independent’ attractions nearby.
Broadway Tower is our Broadway icon, perched on the Cotswold edge, overlooking the town. It’s the perfect distance away for an extended walk, taking in a section of the Cotswold Way. A fair climb from Broadway, but there’s a glorious walk back into the village to reward your efforts. Go up the tower for even better views, look out for deer and enjoy the cafe in the park.
Batsford Arboretum is a dog-friendly 56 acre estate full of specimen shrubs and trees, famous for maples. In autumn it’s advisable to book. They have a particularly good garden centre too.
Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway has a station in Broadway and runs occasional steam and diesel days. Highlight of the season are their Santa Specials. It’s important to book early for these popular runs.
Cheltenham Racecourse We’re big racing fans at The Broadway Hotel. Races at nearby Cheltenham always leads to a busy bar and restaurants with a great atmosphere. The National Hunt season runs through the winter, with racedays on October the 21st and 22nd, November the 11th - 13th, and the 9th and 10th of December. You can start the New Year with racing on January 1st too!
Spectacle of Light Our guests love this event, which has established itself as a Cotswold winter highlight. It’s at nearby Sudeley Castle and sees the grounds and castle illuminated beautifully and creatively..
Broadway Village Events
Here in Broadway, locals in the know keep a close eye on the Broadway Arts Festival Selling Exhibition. The standard is very high, perhaps given Broadway’s long connection with arts and crafts, and you often find a real bargain. The 2022 event takes place at Broadway Museum and Art Gallery and runs between October 21st and 30th.
Everyone looks forward to our two late night Christmas Shopping Evenings. This year they fall on Friday the 25th of November and Friday the 2nd December, running through to 8.30pm. Many of our regular guests plan an annual stay to coincide with these, enjoying a really special atmosphere with music, the odd reindeer, food stands (including our own!), mulled wine and Christmas lights.
We should add that Broadway is a great place for Christmas shopping at any time. The High Street has a brilliant blend of independent shops, galleries, antique shops and interiors shops that cover everything from chocolate and gin to furniture.
The Broadway Hotel’s ‘Offers’ page always includes a seasonal Dinner, Bed and Breakfast offer rate. Look out for our ‘Autumn in the Cotswolds’ package - running through to the end of November; and the ‘Winter Sparkle’ offer for December. And, if you’re really planning ahead. our ‘Winter Steal’ offer in January and February is ever popular.
As mentioned, at the time of writing, our New Year’s Eve package is sold out. We do have a handful of rooms left for our 3 night ‘Christmas in the Cotswolds’ package, which offers a complete break from the hustle and bustle of Christmas at home. The Broadway Hotel’s General Manager, Chef and team pull out all the stops to help you celebrate in style.
And finally, although we’re not a venue for big office parties, we’ve carved out a niche for ourselves by offering Festive Feasting lunches in December. They’re perfect for smaller, more relaxed gatherings of family, friends or colleagues, with special menus that reflect the season. All very civilised!
If you love your visit, remember to spread the love with our seasonal Gift Vouchers, available with a monetary value or as a packaged 'experience'.