Snowshill is a small secluded village of honey coloured Cotswold stone cottages, set high on an escarpment, three miles above Broadway and the Vale of Evesham. It is considered to be one of the prettiest Cotswold villages, with a cluster of cottages set around a small village green and St. Barnabas Church in the middle.
The village is renowned for Snowshill Manor, a Tudor mansion owned by the National Trust, which has beautiful terraced gardens designed by M.H. Baillie Scott, a leading figure in the Arts and Craft Movement. Snowshill Manor dates from the 15th century and was bought by Charles Paget Wade in 1919. He was an eccentric architect who, from an early age, collected and restored beautiful and interesting objects. Visitors can see items such as, toys, clocks and musical instruments. His motto was “Let nothing perish”. J.B. Priestly described Wade as “My eccentric, but charming friend of the fantastic manor house”. He dressed theatrically and lived, not in the Manor House, but a spartan lifestyle in the Priest’s House in the courtyard. Charles Paget Wade is buried in the churchyard.
In the centre of the village, is The Snowshill Arms, where local residents and tourists mix in this family friendly pub. Snowshill attracted much attention when it was chosen as the film location of the Bridget Jones family in the 2001 feature film, “Bridget Jones’s Diary”, starring Renee Zellweger and Hugh Grant. The scenes where Bridget Jones visited her family at Christmas, were filmed in July 2000, which required the centre of Snowshill, including the village green, to be covered with artificial snow.
A short distance from Snowshill village, is Hill Barn Farm, where visitors can gaze upon the spectacle of beds of English lavender, stretching across the fields overlooking Broadway and the Vale of Evesham. Lavender is traditionally grown in the countries of the Mediterranean, but here, thirty-five different varieties of lavender thrive on the well drained limestone soil, 1,000 feet above sea level. In total, Cotswold Lavender have 450,000 plants on display. Visitors can stroll among the beds of lavender, but need to be there before the end of July, when harvesting takes place to make the lavender products.