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Broadway Loop Cycle via Stanway House

Bicycle Ride · Wychavon
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  • The Timber-Buildings of Elmley Castle
    / The Timber-Buildings of Elmley Castle
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Wattle and Daub Buildings
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Historic Houses
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / A Road Through Fields of Rape-Seed
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Beside Fields of Rape Seed
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure Ltd
  • / Cycling Through Elmley Castle
    Photo: Josiah Skeats, Macs Adventure Ltd
m 120 100 80 60 40 20 40 30 20 10 km
Head west from Broadway to discover historic English villages full of wattle and daub (black and white) houses before returning via Stanway Manor House and its impressive grounds.
moderate
Distance 47.8 km
3:15 h
193 m
192 m

Throughout my time in the Cotswolds I have been struck by the timelessness of the area, but I felt that especially on today’s ride. Cycling beside the wattle-and-daub houses of Elmley Castle I could picture a horse-drawn cart trundling up a dirt road beside me. In my research later I found a picture from 1899 where the village appeared identical – except for the odd post-box or car - to the one I had pedalled through. This continued with every village throughout today's journey. The pub and the church appeared an important focal point around which each village and its social scene revolved around, just as it has for centuries. Wwhile the outskirts of each village might have newer developments, the centre was old, and mostly unchanged.

The ride climaxes with Stanway House, a large, elegant property built in the 16th century and surrounded by acres of estate. The house and gardens were designed and built to be a spectacle; in the gardens you will find the highest single-jet fountain in Britain shooting a spout of water 300-foot into the air. (For contrast, the second highest is 121 foot, nearly a third of the height of ostentatious Stanway Fountain).

Author’s recommendation

Pop into one of the village pubs during this ride; historically the pub and church has been at the centre of every village community. These pubs are centuries old and if walls could talk, I’m sure they’d have some stories!
Profile picture of Josiah Skeats
Author
Josiah Skeats
Update: June 28, 2019
Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
113 m
Lowest point
30 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

This route take place mostly on rural roads. Drivers are generally used to seeing cyclists so are courteous, passing slowly and giving plenty of room. Be sure that your cycling is predictable with no erratic movements, and whenever you are changing roads, communicate that with hand signals.

There are some testing uphills and thrilling descents today, where it is tempting to let loose of the brakes and fly down; on these country roads however, it is important to cycle expecting the unexpected and adjust your speed appropriately, so whether there is a pothole or an escaping sheep you have enough time to slow down.

There are a few sections on busier roads but these are always fairly short. Before turning onto a busy road, it is advisable to consult the map and read the turn-by-turn directions, so you know where you are turning off and don’t have to stop on the edge of the road to check.

Today the route crosses railway tracks. When crossing it is important you slow down and ride perpendicular (at right angles) to the railway tracks so there is no risk of your wheel slipping down a hole. If you don’t feel confident, don’t worry about getting off and walking over.

Tips and hints

Points of Interest

Stanway House and Fountain

Stanway House is cradled at the foot of the Cotswolds Escarpment which rises sharply behind it, lending a beautiful setting for this 16th century house. It is still inhabited today by the 13th Early of Wemyss and retains much of the original furniture from when it was built. Also on the acres of surrounding estate and gardens is the highest single-jet fountain in Britain, which shoots a 300-foot vertical jet of water.

More information available here: http://www.stanwayfountain.co.uk/the-house/

 

Stanway Mill

Just 100 metres from Stanway House you can visit this Mill, which has been restored to full working order, and is processing the wheat that is grown on Stanway Estate. It is only open a few days a week during peak season, so if you get the chance to visit, it is well worth it.

More information available here: http://www.stanwayfountain.co.uk/the-watermill/

 

Broadway Museum and Art Gallery

This museum in the centre of Broadway uncovers the history of the village and how it rose to prominence through the wool trade. Much of the success story is told through art.

More information available here: https://broadwaymuseum.org.uk/aboutus/

 

Food and Drink

You will find a pub where you can eat and drink in many of the villages that you pass through today, though most appear in the first half of the ride. Elmsley Castle has a nice pub, as does Beckford, Alderton and Gretton. After Gretton it becomes harder to find food until you arrive back in Broadway, where there is a large selection.

Start

Broadway War Memorial (90 m)
Coordinates:
OS Grid
SP 09512 37520
DD
52.036006, -1.862737
DMS
52°02'09.6"N 1°51'45.9"W
UTM
30U 578009 5765653
w3w 

Destination

Broadway War Memorial

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00km – Start beside the wall memorial facing the road. TURN LEFT onto the road and follow it as it curves to the right. After 410 metres TURN LEFT onto the B4632 towards Winchcombe.

3.40km - 300 metres after passing a left-hand turn, TURN RIGHT following the signs to Dumbleton and Wormington to head up a slight rise on a hedge-lined road towards the railway.

6.40km – Immediately after passing the ‘Welcome to Wormington’ and 30mph speed signs, TURN RIGHT following signs to Aston Sommerville and Evesham to immediately pass through the national speed limit signs (black diagonal stripe on a white circle).

8.50km – After continuing through Aston Somerville, BEAR LEFT to continue on the main road as it makes a sharp left turn.

10.80km – At the T-junction after a downhill, TURN RIGHT onto the pavement where there is a cycle path beside the A46 main road. After 200 metres TURN LEFT, following the sign to Hinton-on-the-Green and Elmley Castle, and then immediately TURN LEFT as the road forks towards Hinton-on-the-Sea. Ignore the cycling signs that bear right.

12.10km – After passing through much of Hinton-on-the-Green BEAR RIGHT to continue along the main road passing the community noticeboard and red post-box on your left. After 400 metres TURN LEFT at the T-junction. Continue straight for 4.3km ignoring all side roads, even when the cycling routes turn off.

16.80km – After passing some houses in Elmley Castle on your left, you will reach a T-junction with an old stone pillar on your right; TURN LEFT. After turning you will immediately see a black-and-white Tudor House directly ahead. After 250 metres, with the pub on your right you must TURN LEFT to follow the road through a narrow gap between two houses. At both junctions you will follow signs to Kersoe and Ashton-under-Hill, and stay on cycling routes 21 and 41. Elmley Castle has a beautiful collection of old Tudor Houses.

18.80km – As the road makes a sharp left turn after a short climb, BEAR LEFT to remain on the road, ignoring the right turn to Kersoe. After 800 metres, as the 41 and 442 cycle paths turn left onto a bridleway, BEAR RIGHT to continue along the road. Then CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON for 6.1 kilometres passing through the beautiful village of Ashton-under-Hill, admiring the many Tudor thatched houses and ignoring all side roads.

25.70km – After passing Beckford Nature Reserve on your left, you will reach a T-junction; TURN LEFT away from cycle routes 21 and 41. After 600 metres at the staggered cross roads, TURN LEFT and then immediately TURN RIGHT towards Alderton and Great Washbourne.

29.10km – After passing a park on your left, you will come to a T-junction with a black and white pub directly ahead, TURN RIGHT. After 700 metres you will reach a T-junction with a petrol station directly ahead; TURN LEFT and then after 200 metres TURN RIGHT towards Gretton.

32.20km – Shortly after entering Gretton, ignore the right turn, and CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON to pass underneath the railway. Follow the road as it twists and turns steadily uphill through Gretton.

33.70km – On the crest of the hill, just before it starts descending, TURN LEFT to head downhill towards Greet. After 400 metres TURN RIGHT at the T-junction to enter Greet.

34.70km – As the major road makes a sweeping right turn, TURN LEFT to pass the notice-board, red post-box and a bench on your left. After 600 metres TURN LEFT onto the B4632 towards Broadway, heading away from the railway tunnel.

37.20km – There are two right turns beside each other. Ignore the first turn towards Hailes Abbey and then TURN RIGHT towards Didbrook.

38.30km – CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON through Didbrook to continue heading towards Stanway.

39.00km – As the road forks at the grassy triangle BEAR LEFT towards Stanway.

39.70km – At the crossroads with a war memorial on the corner CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON into the wooded section towards Stanway.

42.00km – After continuing through wealthy estate land, TURN RIGHT at the T-junction towards Stanton. After 300 metres BEAR LEFT to continue along the main road through the beautiful streets of Stanton. BEAR LEFT again after 100 metres following the signs to Broadway.

43.40km – TURN RIGHT onto the B4632 at the T-junction. After 800 metres this will re-join with where you left the road earlier in the ride. CONTINUE STRAIGHT ON for a further 3.9km.

47.40km – At the T-junction TURN RIGHT to continue into the centre of Broadway.

47.80km – Finish beside the war memorial. Why not grab a celebratory drink for completing this ride from one of the many pubs nearby?

Note


all notes on protected areas

Coordinates

OS Grid
SP 09512 37520
DD
52.036006, -1.862737
DMS
52°02'09.6"N 1°51'45.9"W
UTM
30U 578009 5765653
w3w 
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

All normal cycle equipment and outdoor gear is required, including a helmet, gloves and a wind-break layer. Even if it doesn’t appear necessary ensure you bring enough warm and waterproof clothes as weather conditions can change quickly.

Padded shorts are recommended, as saddle pain takes the fun away very quickly!

This route is mostly on rural roads so be sure to bring a bottle of water and a snack in case you find yourself a long way from the shops.


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
47.8 km
Duration
3:15 h
Ascent
193 m
Descent
192 m

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