On Tour NC 500 – Day 24

On Tour Travelogue Day 24
Saturday 23 June

You know when you have had a full day when at the end of it you are absolutely knackered but in a nice way?

You don’t?

Well you need to get out more.

Anyway this morning we set off to walk to the Broadway Tower which is just under five miles away and a walk very much worth taking.

From the railway station – did I mention it has recently been restored by volunteers after 38years – you walk up through the village before turning right to cross fields and up a hill – I bloody love a good hill – that rises 220m over three miles until you reach the tower itself.

However before we got going we took the opportunity to watch groups of men and women Morris Dancing – how bloody quintessentialy English is that?

It was great and talking to one of the women taking part it seems we stumbled across groups who were currently on tour around the Cotswold Villages.

Anyway back to Broadway Tower which is a landmark and yes it is a folly that was thought up by Capability Brown – he clearly didn’t only design gardens – and designed by James Watt as part of a commission by the then Earl of Coventry as a gift to his wife Lady Coventry who wanted to know if a beacon on the hill or a structure could be seen from her home Worcester.

This all happened between 1794 and 1799 and is exactly how the aristocracy and especially the wealthy land owning aristocracy in these island occupied their time and money.
Anyway the upshot was that the building which is 65 feet high and sits on top of Beacon Hill which is 1024 feet above sea level is visible from her house.

It has been used for various purposes including at one time being the country seat of William Morris.

There is an entry fee if you want to climb the winding staircase to the top but it is worth is and especially when you consider that not only can you see six counties from the top but also in the distance the Black Mountains in Wales.

Be warned however that if you run down the staircase when leaving you will be dizzy by the time you reach the bottom of the staircase. 

It was a really unusual sensation.

The dogs loved the walk though you should be warned there are sheep on the way up to the tower.

On to the important things – food and drink.

The Broadway Tower Cafe serves the best Bakewell tart.

While we are there was an arrival of cyclists who had cycled up what the locals call “heart attack” hill and from the condition of some of them I can see why it is so named and fair play to them for even doing it

The walk back to Broadway was leisurely and the village itself was really busy as you would expect of a place where people come to visit such a lovely place.

When we got back to the site we discovered that this weekend the railway had a special on – we wondered why there were so many children here at this time of year and before the schools have broken up for the summer – which was a Thomas themed weekend.

For those who don’t know who Thomas is – Thomas the Tank Engine – then you formal and informal education is sadly lacking.

The restored rail line has diesel electric locomotives and steam engines pulling the rolling stock and they had transformed the engines by chasing the front into the faces of Thomas the Tank and his friends. 

They even had a Fat Controller at Broadway Station.

And who doesn’t love the nostalgia of seeing a steam engine?

I had all on stopping Liz running arms outstretched towards it crying “daddy my daddy”.
She always thought she was made for the Jenny Agutter role in the Railway Children.

Anyway it was great to see the kids and their parents waving as the train past by.

This evening we had a pleasant time having dinner with Liz’s cousin who happens to live in Broadway itself.

And so now as we come to the end of this tour for tomorrow we head back to Devon this is the last of this series of ramblings.

When I say last there may be one more later on in the week reflecting on what I have learned from the tours experience about the UK of today…

But in the meanwhile thank you for reading it and ….