Travel Postcard: 48 hours in picture book England

Fri Feb 6, 2009 7:17am EST
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By Julie Mollins

BROADWAY (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore Broadway, a village in the Cotswold hills of western England?

Broadway is known as the "show village" of England, but its tourist appeal bears no resemblance to the bright-lights "show biz" glamour of the New York theater district of the same name.

Britain's Broadway is celebrated for its historic architecture and picturesque surroundings. Its quaint tree-lined High Street is flanked with honey-colored Cotswold stone buildings, many of which date from the 16th century. The village is still steeped in tradition and residents come out in large numbers to watch the annual Boxing Day hunt parade.

Over the years, Broadway has attracted many artists, including American painters Edwin Abbey and John Singer Sargent. It is notable for attracting members of the Arts and Crafts movement, which promoted pre-industrial handiwork in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement also influenced American architecture, interiors, and furnishings at that time.

Broadway is an access point for the Cotswold Way, a 164-km (102 mile) walking trail that runs between nearby Chipping Campden and Bath. Although walking in the surrounding hills can be strenuous, Broadway itself is relatively flat and easy to explore at an even pace.


3 p.m. - Visit the Broadway Tourist Information Center on Russell Square (closed in January) to get Alan Crawford's book "Arts and Crafts Walks in Broadway and Chipping Campden" and a copy of the Broadway Finial Press footpath map by Barry Hill, useful for navigating within the village and beyond.

4 p.m. - Follow one of Crawford's walking routes east along the High Street toward Court Farm, the 17th century home where American actress Mary Anderson raised her family after giving up her theater career and died in 1940. The guidebook provides historical details about the buildings along the way.   Continued...

<p>Sightseers look out from Broadway Tower in Broadway, a village in the Cotswold hills of western England. REUTERS/Julie Mollins</p>