The Lygon Arms Hotel, Broadway (April 2019)

The Lygon Arms

There are three separate but equally compelling reasons to stay at The Lygon Arms in Broadway. The first is simply regards the sheer quality of the product itself – the hotel features, facilities and warmth of welcome. The second is the context of the location of the hotel – nestled on the northern border of an English Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (The Cotswolds) and the third is the extraordinary and at times, overwhelming, sense of history that pervades any stay.

Dating as far back as records may be found, the main building has been a hotel, or rather a Coaching Inn. For a few valid reasons the name of the Inn changed to suit the times. As early as 1377 it was referred to as The White Hart, a Hart being a mature stag and the personal symbol of King Richard II. After 1400, his cousin Henry IV had usurped Richard and hailed from the House of Lancaster – The Coaching Inn became The White Swan reflecting one of the symbols of the Lancastrians. Under future monarchs the name would change to The Swan and Hart (Henry V), The George (James I) and back to The Swan. From 1641 the name returned to The White Hart and remained so for 200 years before General Henry Beauchamp Lygon owned the property and had his butler act as manager.

The government introduced by Statute (National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which now number 46 in England and Wales. Subsequent government Acts have enhanced the status of AONBs to close to parity with National Parks. The Cotswolds was first designated in 1966, covering 787 square miles and as such the largest in England and Wales. The area is partially bordered by the M4 to the South, the M40 to the North East and the M5 to the West.

The Cotswolds AONB enjoys – like the chilterns – its own statutory body called a Conservation Board, the aim of the board is to protect and enhance the countryside as well as preside over sympathetic planning. The latter is clear from the abundance of new build properties close to the Lygon Arms that feature the beautiful Cotswold Stone.

The famous long walking trail – The Cotswold Way (red line on the map above) – runs through Broadway having started close by in the market town of Chipping Campden, taking in a total of 102 miles along the route to the city of Bath in the South. Should a shorter walk be the order of the day the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds,’ offers a selection of restaurants, pubs and tea rooms. However, if the town is a mere base and a car drive is preferred, then countless destinations are available from Stratford upon Avon or Warwick to Oxford or Bath.

Cotswold attractions found on helpful websites such as or include those from art galleries to a heritage railway, from Broadway Tower to clay pigeon shooting, from museums to horse riding, from a distillery to a falconry centre, from plenty of parks and open space activity to much more besides. Surely though, taking in the highlights of the local beautiful villages of quintessential English country life is a must.

Lygon Arms Courtyard Suite

There are six catagories of accomodation at The Lygon Arms, three rooms – cosy, classic and deluxe and three suites – junior, courtyard and master. The courtyard suites were developed in the last couple of years as part of a phase of redevelopment by the L+R Iconic Luxury Hotels Group (also of Chewton Glen and Cliveden House). These new opulent suites were previously a function cum events facility but now provide the best of the modern world to contrast with the near overwhelming sense of history of the main building.

Top Left and Right above are the courtyard situated behind the main road, with left the main building and right the courtyard suites. Bottom left is the vaulted ceiling of the main Lygon Bar and Grill, where head chef Ales Maurer delivers delicious food on a consistent basis.

Bottom right is a depiction of Oliver Cromwell from 1651 standing at the open fire of the room in which he stayed, now eponymously named, prior to The Battle of Worcester which saw the demise of the King’s forces. Two years previously King Charles I visited the hotel on numerous occasions for meetings with his noble staff and likewise has a room named in his honour. The sense of history as you walk through hobbit like higgledy-piggledy corridors, stairs and ultimately tiny doors and onto floorboards that were clearly built to last – undulating through the rigours of time – to peer through tiny mullioned windows. Grade listed and untouchable, the architecture and the stories that may be told are priceless.  A little tour of these – if unoccupied – is a must.

from Fine Dining Guide