Some of the Best Views of England

As you would guess, the itinerary of a garden tour includes lots of gardens, but every once in a while it’s exciting to do something a bit different.  On the recent tour of the Cotswolds, our guide, Ian, suggested a visit to Broadway Tower, a Capability Brown folly on the second highest point of the Cotswold escarpment, 1024 feet above sea level.

Sharon was the first up the hill to Broadway Tower.

Sharon was the first up the hill to Broadway Tower.

Completed in 1798, the Tower was designed by renowned architect James Wyatt with an eclectic mish-mash of elements including turrets, battlements, balconies, and gargoyles.  In fact, it has everything an American tourist could ask for on a first-day out in England, complete with a gift shop on the ground level.

Long before the Tower was built, the location was a vital communications center known as a “beacon hill,” where messages of urgency could be conveyed by lighting a fire that could be seen for miles around.

Later, during the World Wars, the Royal Observer Corps used the Tower to track enemy planes, and during the Cold War they constructed a nuclear bunker where they could report nuclear attacks.

Here are a few of the amazing views from the tower today…

In the far distance looking west, the counties of Hereford, Worcestershire, and Powis, with the Malvern Hills 25 miles distant.

In the far distance looking west, the counties of Hereford, Worcestershire, and Powis, with the Malvern Hills 25 miles distant.

To the Northeast, looking over Hereford, Worcester, Worcestershire, Leicestershire, and Northampshire.

To the Northeast, looking over Hereford, Worcester, Worcestershire, Leicestershire, and Northampshire.

In the near distance, pasture lands and villages.

In the near distance, pasture lands and villages.

And here’s a good part of the group, with smiles…and are those shopping bags I see?

Marian, Dick, Sharon, Marcia, Sarah, Gerald, Suzanne, Martha R., Karen, Beth,  Eugenia, Jennie, Joan (hiding), Kathy, and Martha S.

Marian, Dick, Sharon, Marcia, Sarah, Gerald, Suzanne, Martha R., Karen, Beth, Eugenia, Jennie, Joan (hiding), Kathy, and Martha S.

Another important part of a tour is the accommodation and in the Cotswolds we were fortunate to stay at The Wood Norton, a boutique hotel built as a hunting lodge for European Royalty in 1897.  I can’t imagine anything more perfect–the rooms were lovely and comfortable, the food (and wine!) outstanding, and the staff superb in every way.

Here’s another handfull of views we all came to love…

Wood Norton Hall, our home away from home.

Wood Norton Hall, our home away from home.

A small sampling of Wood Norton's beautiful garden and landscaped grounds.

A small sampling of Wood Norton’s beautiful garden and landscaped grounds.

And if you didn't have enough excitement during the day, you could book a balloon ride for the evening!

And if you didn’t have enough excitement during the day, you could book a balloon ride for the evening!

18 thoughts on “Some of the Best Views of England

  1. Julie

    You were in a gorgeous part of the country Marian and you have escaped our recent endless rain. We are very good at gift shops over here! Almost as good as some of our gardens, looking forward to seeing more of your trip.

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Julie–I know how lucky we were with the weather! I heard it was really cool and wet in August, but when we arrived we had a full week of perfect weather and then just a few sprinkles on the last couple of days. And, yes, were were in a beautiful part of the country, but I have yet to visit any countryside area in England that I didn’t fall in love with. Cities are a different matter, though I’ve found most of them to have sufficent charm too.

      Reply
  2. SANDRA SMITH

    Hi! So glad to see these photos. You know Doll and I were thinking about you and hoping it was a great trip for everyone. We missed traveling with you in Sept! Can’t wait to see more, and look forward to hearing about next year’s trips.

    I love the changes you’ve made to your house. Hope all is well with your family. Best, Sandra

    >

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Sandra–We missed you! I’m sure you’ll here lots more from the group, I think everyone was well pleased. Let’s get together again sometime soon…maybe you and Doll should come for BBQ in Greenville. I know the Anns will be ready!

      Reply
  3. Pat Gubbins

    Marion, this was so exciting to see, because my husband and I, along with friends we have known for decades from Leicestershire, walked the 107-mile Cotswold Way in June 2013, north to south, and stopped at this spot. It truly was one of the walk’s major highlights, and your pictures gave me a rush of happy memories. We did not, however, stay at such a nice place as did your group — our budget kept us to pubs and a few small hotels along the way. Our muddy walking shoes (which also took us through endless sheep and cattle pastures) would have drawn some glares and worried looks at nicer places. Best wishes, Pat Gubbins

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Pat–I was so tickled with our visit to the Tower, it was loads of fun and a great way to start our tour. I had been to the Cotswolds many times, but never heard of this site…guess that’s the difference a great guide can make. What an adventure it must have been to walk the whole 107-mile trail! And pubs and small hotels sound perfect to me, they just don’t work for groups.

      Reply
  4. Sharon Lanier

    Marian, what a great blog about the Broadway Tower & beginning of our adventures in the Cotswolds. Beautiful shots of Wood-Norton & love the balloon too! Ahhhh… what fun we had! Can’t wait to see your future writings about our other destinations!

    Reply
  5. Martha Robinson

    Staying at Wood Norton was like “living in a fairy tale”. The whole Cotswolds area was truly a dream – gardens and countryside and villages unlike anywhere else.

    Reply
  6. Susan Coleman

    Hi My husband John and myself were with Pat and her Husband doing the 107 miles of the Cotswold Way during June of 2014, looking at the pictures brought back some very happy memories of our trip with our long time friend from the USA. We had fantastic weather during our walk, plus a couple of days wettish. Your accomodation did look very grand, Pat was right they wouldn’t have wanted our muddy boots!! Fabulous reading, many thanks.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s