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  • Writer's picturekellinthewoods

Broadway Tower

Broadway Tower sits above the village (and hill) of the same name in the oh-so-pretty Cotswolds. It came to be in 1798 when Lady Coventry, wife of the 6th Earl of Coventry, happened to wonder if a beacon on Broadway Hill could be seen from her house in Worcester, thirty five kilometres away. She sponsored the construction of the tower to find out. (And yes. The answer is yes.)

There is more than one way to reach the tower, including, for sensible people, a road. Despite warnings of the hill's steepness and difficulty by more than one helpful villager ('Hope you have strong legs!' Snigger snigger snigger), I opted for the Elizabeth Bennett-walking-in-the-fields option, and imagined myself trotting out into the English countryside looking something like this:

In fact, I looked more like this:

I am quite comfortable admitting that the good-natured sniggers of the villagers were deserved: the hill really was large. And my legs hurt. A lot. As well as that, the September sun was beating down on my head with what can only be described as, well, heat. I was forced to duck behind a bush and change into my shorts, which I had luckily thrust into my backpack as a last minute precaution. (By day's end I would even discover that my face was burnt a delicate pink. It looked a bit like someone had applied blush to my forehead. This was altogether unexpected, considering I was in autumnal ENGLAND, and that most people I know who live there spend a lot of time complaining about poor weather. One can only assume, then, that England is a nation of liars.)

Despite these travails I pushed on. Luckily, the discomfort caused by my now startlingly apparent lack of physical fitness faded as the view expanded around me. The higher I clambered, the better it got.

Finally, the tower! And of course I did what any sensible person would do after climbing a bloody great big hill - happily paid four quid to climb STAIRS.

Broadway, far below.

I have to admit that I enjoyed the journey down again a little more. (Surprised?)


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