15. Broadway Tower
Broadway Tower is one of England's outstanding viewpoints and at 1,024 feet (312m) above sea level, it is the second highest point on the Cotswold escarpment after Cleeve Hill.
It offers breathtaking views of as many as 16 counties, encompassing the vast expanse from the peaks of the Welsh mountains to High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire.
The "Saxon" tower, which stands 65 feet high, was the brainchild of Capability Brown and designed by James Wyatt in 1794 in the form of a castle and built for Lady Coventry in 1798-99. The tower was built on a "beacon" hill, where beacons were lit on special occasions.
Lady Coventry wondered if a beacon on this hill could be seen from her house in Worcester approximately 22 miles away and sponsored the construction of the folly to find out. The beacon could be seen clearly.
Over the years, the tower was home to a printing press and served as a country retreat for artists including William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones who rented it together in the 1880s.
During the Cold War in the late 1950s the role of Broadway Tower was changed to monitor nuclear fallout in England and an underground bunker was built 50 yards from the tower.
Today, the tower is a tourist attraction and the centre of a country park. Four floors, including the roof viewing platform, can be climbed by visitors, each presenting a unique style of building design and fascinating exhibitions connected with the tower's past and the surrounding area. There is also a gift shop and restaurant.
Broadway Tower can be reached by following the Cotswold Way from the A44 at Fish Hill or by a steep climb out of Broadway village. At the foot of Broadway Tower its deer park is a delight.