The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales

Get an insider's take on the real Great Britain: where to go, where to avoid, and what are the must-see sites you've never heard of.
The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 233.
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Rated 2 out of 5 by from More about architecture than I wanted The Great Tour of France was fantastic. So I had high hopes for the Great Tour of England, Scotland, and Wales. I'm disappointed. The lecturer is far more interested in architecture than just about anything else. If you only had 30 minutes for a lecture on Twentieth Century England, would you spend all your time talking about ugly (his word) buildings and say nothing about Winston Churchill?
Date published: 2021-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really Enjoyed This! My husband, who is from England, and I watched this and really enjoyed seeing many of the places he knew when he was young. And I particularly enjoyed the deep dives into history and understanding the through-line of events past to present.
Date published: 2021-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Chronologic and thematic tour of the UK This great course is somewhat of a chronologic and thematic history of England. It is clear that the professor has a deep love and dry wit about his native England. I do not know much of the details of British history other than that I learned in high school. I still find the details about the Tutors, War of the roses and forever battles between Britain and its European neighbors as numbing. But I did enjoy the course. There were times I felt more engaged than others, but I always felt that the professor made great effort to be inviting and positive. Naturally, a great tour of England will emphasize landmarks, architecture though he did try to include ancient history, landscapes and sports culture. The great courses continue to improve and enrich its production with animations from Google Map, hundreds of excellent graphics/photos and in this course a dialect coach. In total, I think the class was much worth my time an investment though I do not have a plan to visit the UK anytime soon. If I were planning a trip it would make it even more valuable. Perhaps someday.
Date published: 2021-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'd give it ten stars if I could! This is the greatest course I've ever taken. Professor Allitt provides a great lecture - detailed, filled with facts and fun, and well-organized. The course is enhanced with many photos and videos from the professor's private collection, as well as maps and visual aids. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2021-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very well done I enjoyed this in-depth exploration of Egland Scotland and Whales. I watched one lesson per day. I was sad when it was over! And I just adored the professor. Perfectly English, clever, and wryly humorous. I enjoyed him tremendously. I recommend this course highly. Thank you for a delightful learning experience.
Date published: 2021-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a surprise! I honestly didn't expect there to be so much history in the course. I thought there would be more touristy-like information, but I absolutely loved it. I've been to England and now I can't wait to go back.
Date published: 2021-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Great Tours: England, Scotland and Wales Was so glad, during a pandemic, to continue my love of travel and this area of the world! I have visited many of these areas but added many new stops for my next trip!
Date published: 2021-02-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great info and pictures but sound didn't match pic I just watched my first Great Courses lecture and it was very interesting. Lecture and pics were great. But about halfway through the professors lips speaking didn't match the sound which was very distracting.
Date published: 2021-02-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Communuication I tried 8 times over the course of 4 days to talk to customer srvice, but "due to heavy call volume" you never picked up the phone.
Date published: 2021-01-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding Thank you professor Allitt! Your enthusiasm, humor, and choice of topics made this course so informative and fun. The music and scenes were terrific. The course covered tremendous amount of information in a very enjoyable way
Date published: 2021-01-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from This course is great! Very comprehensive considering the vastness of the subject material. Appreciated Prof Allits personal comments as well.
Date published: 2020-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I want to go! As another frustrated Covid shut in, I looked for travel series with a Great Courses Plus subscription (what a bargain!!) and discovered this one which is so thorough as an overview of England, Scotland and Wales. Some episodes were more interesting to me than others but one can easily skip to another topic. For example, I'm not a sports fan but even so, I watched it and learned some interesting facts in spite of myself. Who knew that early golf balls were made of feathers.
Date published: 2020-12-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Patrick is wonderful I was looking for something both interesting and entertaining. Mission accomplished. This is very well done with great content, graphics and narrative. Skilled orator for your professor. Bravo!
Date published: 2020-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and Informative Even If You’ve Lived There   Even though my wife and I have each lived in England, and I’ve biked in Scotland and toured in Wales, we found this course a great deal of fun during lockdown. Professor Allitt is always worth hearing, and the scope of his knowledge is impressive; not just on history, but also art, architecture, and literature, even when we disagreed. His choice of locations is excellent (though of course there are other places we wish he could have included); when he covered a place I knew, I could find no fault with his exposition. I would have liked more than a single photograph per site, and perhaps even some video, but the ones he presents are mostly excellent. I agree with reviewer Plevini that sometimes the visual effects were jarring for a course about the past, and was glad to see producer Coinoper taking note. Even if you are not currently planning a trip, the last lecture on planning is still worth watching for its discussion of other sources to read or watch. One note on his recommendation of “Monarchy with David Starkey”: while the series is indeed available on YouTube, the video quality seemed quite poor. A better transfer seems to be available from XiveTV, though only via Amazon.
Date published: 2020-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic series Wonderful lecture series. Since I have always wanted to visit these regions and I am currently, because of Covid, not able to do so, I really enjoyed being able to see those places that I am going to visit once travel is again possible. Thank you to the lecturer for his excellent job and I plan to purchase more travel DVD's in the future.
Date published: 2020-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I totally enjoyed this course. Our professor presented in a manner that made the information understandable and entertaining. I would look forward to my daily lesson! I have taken pages of notes that I plan to review before my next trip to Britain/Scotland and Ireland!
Date published: 2020-11-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not really a travel course This will probably suit anyone who's looking for a general hodgepodge of bits of English culture, literary quotes, trivia, and personal reminiscences interspersed with photos of the best-known tourist attractions and popular scenery, but it's badly mislabeled as a "tour" so it wasn't what I had expected. I have been watching a variety of travel series from The Great Courses Plus and this was the poorest so far - the others (most notably the brilliant and engaging Essential Italy) have dealt with one city or region at a time, shown you aerial views and maps as you move around that city so you know where you are and where you're going, and the majority of the presentation is video with occasional still photos while the presenter tells you about the place or thing you're seeing, so you get a sense of what it's really like to travel to a huge number of interesting spots in that city. None of that happens in this course, unfortunately. The majority of the episodes (some are better than others) have you watching the presenter as he tells you about fairly basic things (do we really need to be told what tabloid newspapers are, or how you play golf??) and reads lengthy quotes from literature, or shows still shots of historical characters and events -- you'll get 20 minutes of this followed by 15 seconds of a couple of photographs of whatever visitable spot is connected to it all, no indication of where that is on a city map (locations are shown on a map of the UK but that's all) or any real detail. There was some good scenery in some of the episodes, but don't go into this expecting it to be a tour series that you can watch for pleasure to feel like you're really travelling. The presenter is pleasant enough and has a voice that's very easy to listen to, but I felt this series didn't know what it was trying to be. History/culture? Travel? Personal anecdotes? (Seriously, are there people who want to hear all about how the presenter remembers going to such-and-such a place in the 1970s?) As other reviewers have noted, it's mostly England, barely any Scotland and Wales. There is an epic lack of depth to the historical and cultural component and much of it seems to be aimed at the stereotypical dumbest American imaginable, which I think does a disservice to the sort of people who are likely to be watching a 36-episode travel series in the first place. For example, speaking about London terrorism concerns only in the context of the 9/11 aftermath, without a word of London's own historical terrorist attacks, or advising travelers to "read the New York Times online" as a good source of news while in the UK, or devoting much of the "travel tips" episode to what various US writers through the ages have said about England. So no, this wasn't a well-thought-out series in my opinion. I am sure it will be exactly what some people are looking for, but perhaps those people can be assisted to find it by retitling and rebranding it as something more like "English Highlights" or "English Memories" perhaps, not calling it a tour.
Date published: 2020-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales As usual the GREAT Courses live up to their name, very pleased with the content and presentation.
Date published: 2020-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fall and rise of China I found these lectures very informative, with very good historical and personal details. I also liked the format and style of the presenter. Most enjoyable and relevant for our times as China becomes real challenger.
Date published: 2020-09-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly enjoyable lecture series! I really enjoyed Dr. Allitt and the subject matter. The professor is personable and knowledgeable. Dr. Allitt's life experience added value to the subject matter. He also shared his opinions and sense of humor from time to time which kept the lectures from being too dry. I watched all 36 lectures!
Date published: 2020-09-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very interesting and informative Professor Allitt is a great teacher. Very engaging.
Date published: 2020-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good content I enjoyed the background of areas I had visited not to mention knowing about those I'd never visited. What was not enjoyable was the lack of sync between audio and video... and the nasal accent of snide & biased opinions lent little joy.
Date published: 2020-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable and enthusatically presented This was not quite what I was expecting from a 'Great Tour'. It spent a lot of time reviewing architecture and almost nothing on culture and cuisine. I did enjoy the coverage of hiking trails although again, perhaps too much focus here. However, I watched the entire course and really came to enjoy professor Allit and his self-deprecating dry wit.
Date published: 2020-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A winner all around! My wife and I watched this one together, and we agree it’s one of the very best Teaching Company courses we’ve ever done. The topic is ideal for vicarious tourism during the pandemic, and doubly so for us having previously spent a year there. However, personal familiarity with the UK is by no means a requirement for greatly enjoying and learning from this course. Professor Allitt is one of the company’s superstars, and all the reasons for this are evident here. In addition to extensive professional knowledge of his subject, he brings the personal perspective of having grown up and been educated in England. Although the course includes plenty about London and other most often visited places around the country, his itinerary is carefully laid-out to include many less familiar and unusual places and features. There is a great deal of history, but also a continuous stream of literary references, interesting and unusual facts, and personal anecdotes, all presented not only with scholarly authority but also in a most enjoyable, avuncular manner. A definite winner all around!
Date published: 2020-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales Being of Scottish and British descent, I have visited England and Scotland several times. In fact, I wrote a book about one of the visits.... Glasgow to Heathrow by B&B and Car.... This course was so enjoyable! It was like revisiting some of the sites and cities. And full of new information about places that I haven't been to yet. I am looking forward to visiting Wales. I wasn't aware that there was so much there to see. So many aspects of the country were covered that we don't always hear about. It was fantastic. I look forward to the other courses that I have ordered.
Date published: 2020-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly entertaining and informative I thoroughly enjoyed this course. Professor Allitt is personable and entertaining and doesn't hesitate to interject his personal opinions about buildings, scenery or English food, for better or worse. His photographs of himself on various locations makes it even more relevant and relatable. I have read a lot of English history and have long wanted to visit London, but now I hope to spend a great deal more time exploring the entire country whenI retire. I couldn't recommend this more.
Date published: 2020-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fascinating! Just and extraordinary class. I watched it all streaming online but also ordered the DVDs and book to share with others. The professor, Dr. Allitt, was so personable and engaging...wonderful speaking voice as well as demonstrating his own enthusiasm and love of Great Britain. Just loved every minute of it.
Date published: 2020-09-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales All the courses are good, but this is my favorite so far. Professor Allitt is thorough, knowledgable, good-humored, and extremely good company for all eighteen hours. The photos, maps, quotes, and other visual aids are beautifully produced. Allitt does not hesitate to insert his own opinions of various architectural sites or other cultural features of the U.K., which adds to the authenticity and affection he brings to the subject. Even if I suspect I might disagree with his viewpoint, I welcome his observation as that of an honest, well-informed British native. This is one course which, despite its length, I want to watch again from start to finish.
Date published: 2020-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great job! When I first started this course, I thought that 36 lessons would be too long but as I neared the end, I found myself wishing for it not to be over. Also, I wasn't much interested in some of the topics, thought about skipping them, and was very glad I didn't. I am approaching retirement soon and plan to spend several months touring Great Britain (once the pandemic comes to an end.) I found this course much more valuable to me than a guide book for selecting sights of interest I wish to visit. I took one of Dr. Allitt's courses before and he is now one of my favorite professors.
Date published: 2020-09-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Comprehensive Dr. Allitt has provided a thorough review of Great Britain, including what to see, history, culture, and entertainment. No matter what about GB interests you. he covers it.
Date published: 2020-09-02
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No matter what you are hoping to discover in this magnificent region, The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales is the perfect guide. Taught by acclaimed Professor Patrick Allitt, a British-born scholar who teaches at Emory University, these 36 engrossing lectures give you an insider's take on traveling through Great Britain.


Patrick N. Allitt
Patrick N. Allitt

Nostalgia is the enemy of history. 'Downton Abbey' is great fun but it's not history. If seeing or reading something historical makes you feel warm and cosy, it's probably very inaccurate.


Emory University

Dr. Patrick N. Allitt is Cahoon Family Professor of American History at Emory University, where he has taught since 1988. The holder of a doctorate in history from the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Allitt-an Oxford University graduate-has also taught American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, where he was a Henry Luce Postdoctoral Fellow. He was the Director of Emory College's Center for Teaching and Curriculum from 2004 to 2009, where he looked for ways to improve teaching. In this critical administrative position, he led workshops on a wide variety of teaching-related problems, visited dozens of other professors' classes, and provided one-on-one consultation to teachers to help them overcome particular pedagogical problems. Professor Allitt was honored with Emory's Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2000 was appointed to the N.E.H./Arthur Blank Professorship of Teaching in the Humanities. A widely published and award-winning author, Professor Allitt has written several books, including The Conservatives: Ideas and Personalities throughout American History; Catholic Intellectuals and Conservative Politics in America, 1950-1985; Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome; and Religion in America since 1945: A History. He is also author of I'm the Teacher, You're the Student: A Semester in the University Classroom, a memoir about one semester in his life as a university professor. In addition, he is the editor of Major Problems in American Religious History. He has written numerous articles and reviews for academic and popular journals, including The New York Times Book Review.

By This Professor

The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales


Welcome to Britain

01: Welcome to Britain

See why Great Britain offers so much as a travel destination. From thousand-year-old castles and cathedrals to contemporary art museums and scenic hikes, there is something for everyone. Begin your tour with a look at the scope of all Britain has to offer—and a few off-the-beaten-path ideas for getting to know England, Scotland, and Wales.

30 min
Prehistoric Britain

02: Prehistoric Britain

Great Britain’s history begins 5,000 years ago with a mysterious ancient people whose only vestiges are earthworks and stone circles like Stonehenge. Because of Stonehenge’s massive popularity, you may want to consider visiting other ancient ruins such as Avebury or Maiden Castle.

30 min
Roman Britain

03: Roman Britain

The next era in Britain’s history is the Roman conquest. In the first century B.C.E., the Romans invaded and spread their territory to the Anglo-Scottish border. There, Hadrian’s Wall marks the edge of the empire. Consider the Roman impact on Great Britain, from the city of Bath to the island’s long, straight roads.

29 min
Anglo-Saxon and Viking Britain

04: Anglo-Saxon and Viking Britain

After the Romans left Britain, a number of Germanic tribes stepped in to fill the power vacuum. With the help of the Venerable Bede and other contemporary sources, explore the Anglo-Saxon conquests. Then turn to the Viking attacks in the Middle Ages. Be sure to add Offa’s Dyke and the monastery of Lindisfarne to your travel itinerary.

31 min
Britain’s Medieval Castles

05: Britain’s Medieval Castles

Medieval castles and cathedrals are some of the most striking sites in all of Britain. Here, survey the development of castles built between 1066 and 1500. As you reflect on the evolution of the stone keep and outer wall, concentric design, and more, your tour takes you to such crowd-pleasers as Tower of London, Caerphilly in Wales, Dover Castle, and more.

29 min
Britain’s Medieval Cathedrals

06: Britain’s Medieval Cathedrals

Like the medieval castles, Britain’s cathedrals are astounding sites and an absolute must for any visitor to the island. Here, Professor Allitt explores the major milestones in cathedral architecture, from the Romanesque style of Durham Cathedral to the gothic style of Canterbury. He also takes you to the world-renowned Westminster Abbey.

31 min
Tudor Britain

07: Tudor Britain

From the end of the Wars of the Roses in 1485 to the Gunpowder Plot in 1605, Britain experienced severe political upheavals. Among other events, Henry VIII broke from the Catholic Church to found the Church of England. Witness how the era’s architecture—including Hampton Court Palace, Hardwick Hall, and Sulgrave Manor—reflected the political turmoil.

30 min
Magna Carta and Civil War

08: Magna Carta and Civil War

Continue your study of the political shifts during Renaissance Britain, a period when kings were gradually forced to share power with Parliament. This tension broke bounds in the 17th century, when Charles I, defeated in a civil war, was beheaded at the Banqueting House in London. After Oliver Cromwell’s quasi-military dictatorship, the crown was restored to Charles II—but political tension persisted.

29 min
Enlightenment Britain

09: Enlightenment Britain

Some of the greatest sites in Britain today are products of the Enlightenment. Delve into some of Christopher Wren’s architectural achievements, including the Royal Observatory and the splendid St. Paul’s Cathedral. Then move beyond London to explore the great country estates of Kedleston and Calke Abbey.

30 min
Industrial Britain

10: Industrial Britain

Britain was home to the Industrial Revolution, driven by advancements in textiles, coal mining, and iron. Tour the country to see some of the monuments to industry, including Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire, Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, and the Big Pit in the South Wales village of Blaenafon. Visit and travel on the nation’s canals and railways from the same era.

29 min
Victorian Britain

11: Victorian Britain

Victorian Britain is a fascinating architectural period, which witnessed a revival of many older styles, culminating in the Neo-Gothic. Visit such masterpieces of the Gothic Revival as Manchester Town Hall, St. Pancras Station in London, and the Museum of Natural History. Then tour Kensington, where the Royal Albert Hall commemorates Victoria’s husband.

31 min
Twentieth-Century Britain

12: Twentieth-Century Britain

Conclude your survey of British architecture with an overview of the 20th century—a period when, according to Professor Allitt, some of the nation’s worst buildings were constructed. The early part of the century saw striking achievements, such as Arts and Crafts style country houses, but the post-World War II era was an age of Brutalist concrete, from which we are only just escaping today.

30 min
Edinburgh and Glasgow

13: Edinburgh and Glasgow

Scottish nationalism is one of the more intriguing phenomena in today’s headlines. Here, look beyond the news reports to investigate Scotland’s two great cities: Edinburgh and Glasgow. While giving you a tour of the cities, Professor Allitt also introduces you to some of Scotland’s most famous figures, including Walter Scott, Adam Smith, and David Hume.

30 min
Wild Scotland: Beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow

14: Wild Scotland: Beyond Edinburgh and Glasgow

Continue your tour of Scotland with a look beyond the cities. You’ll visit the Scottish Highlands, which is the least densely populated part of Europe, and explore the great history of this wild land. Your investigation takes you to the tragic and beautiful valley of Glencoe; the Spey Valley, a mecca for Scotch whiskey lovers; and the beautiful Scottish islands.

29 min
North Wales

15: North Wales

Shift your attention to the other country within the nation. Beginning with Offa’s Dyke and touring a ring of castles—including the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Conwy Castle and Harlech—this tour of North Wales is an ideal introduction to the Welsh landscape, history, and heritage.

30 min
Cardiff and South Wales

16: Cardiff and South Wales

Head south to the capital city of Cardiff, where impressive civic buildings and the National Museum of Wales await you. The architecture of this city is magnificent, and offers much to see, from the polychromatic fantasy rooms of Cardiff Castle to the dome over the National Museum. Then turn to the South Wales towns of Tredegar and Swansea, home of Dylan Thomas.

29 min
The North of England

17: The North of England

England is a nation of regions, and the wild Pennine Hills in the north—Wuthering Heights country—is one of the must-see stops in your travels. Here, cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, and York were industrial dynamos in the 19th century—and the National Railway Museum in York is one of Professor Allitt’s top-rated destinations for visitors.

30 min
The English Midlands

18: The English Midlands

You might be tempted to skip the English Midlands, but if you have the time in your itinerary, the region has much to offer. Home to Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery, quaint villages, and Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest, the Midlands have a fascinating heritage and offer an incomparable look into the British story.

30 min
East Anglia

19: East Anglia

Continue your survey of the great regions of England with a look East Anglia. A rural district that has inspired nature lovers and scientists for generations, East Anglia is also home to stately country houses such as Blickling and Houghton Hall and country towns like Norwich. This quiet region warrants at least a day’s visit.

29 min
England’s West Country

20: England’s West Country

Look now to the dramatic landscape of the West Country. The sleepy villages of Somerset and Dorset give way to the colorful towns of Devonshire and Cornwall, which has become a magnet for visual artists. The hilltop island church of St. Michael’s Mount and the ancient fortress of Tintagel should not be missed.

30 min
The Museums of London

21: The Museums of London

In this lecture, trade the calm of the country for the bustle of the city. Professor Allitt takes you to some of the world’s finest museums, including the British Museum, home to the controversial Elgin Marbles, once plundered from the Parthenon in Athens. You’ll also visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery, and the Tate Modern.

29 min
London’s Streets and Parks

22: London’s Streets and Parks

Learn how to navigate London by tube and foot. Go inside the underground stations and learn why the tube is the best way to get around the city. Above ground, discover the urban retreats of Regent’s Park and Hyde Park, and the shopping hub that is Regent Street. With so many museums, parks, and attractions, London has never been a more interesting and fun city to visit.

30 min
Buckingham Palace and Parliament

23: Buckingham Palace and Parliament

Buckingham Palace and the Houses of Parliament are two of the most popular tourist destinations, and they embody the government of Great Britain. See why these buildings are such a draw, learn about their architecture and renovations over the years, and reflect on the nature of Britain’s constitutional monarchy.

30 min
Oxford and Cambridge

24: Oxford and Cambridge

Step away from teeming London into the famous university towns of Oxford and Cambridge. Both house venerable academic institutions, each with its own distinct mood and atmosphere. Learn about some of the famous graduates from each university, and tour a sampling of their beautiful chapels, libraries, rivers, and gardens.

28 min
Literary Britain: Chaucer and Shakespeare

25: Literary Britain: Chaucer and Shakespeare

Great Britain is home to one of the world’s great literary traditions—and literature is a terrific way to frame your tour through the island. In this first of four literary lectures, reflect on the work of two of Britain’s most-prized poets, Chaucer and Shakespeare. Retrace the pilgrims’ path of The Canterbury Tales, visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre beside the River Thames, and more.

28 min
Literary Britain: The Romantics

26: Literary Britain: The Romantics

Continue your literary journey through Britain. From the great Scottish writers Walter Scott and Robert Burns to Wordsworth’s evocative descriptions of the Lake District, the Romantic writers of the 18th and 19th centuries created an enduring mood and style that still resonate today. Also tour the quiet villages where Jane Austen worked and the Jurassic coast at Lyme Regis.

29 min
Literary Britain: Poets and Novelists

27: Literary Britain: Poets and Novelists

Shelley, Keats, and Byron are three of the world’s finest poets, and their work is steeped in the history and landscape of Britain. Reflect on the land that inspired their finest works, and then turn to the world of the Brontë sisters in the North and Charles Dickens in the South, whose novels evoke not only the land but also the people of the 19th century.

29 min
Literary Britain: The 20th Century

28: Literary Britain: The 20th Century

Round out your study of British literature with a survey of the 20th-century masters. Check out the Baker Street of Sherlock Holmes, visit the rural Dorset villages of Thomas Hardy, and then pop over to Bloomsbury in London to see where Virginia Woolf and her comrades created a new kind of literature.

29 min
Artistic Britain: Painters and Sculptors

29: Artistic Britain: Painters and Sculptors

Britain has a distinguished artistic tradition along with a set of museums that house many of the world’s greatest visual masterpieces. Examine the lives and works of some of the great painters and sculptors, including William Hogarth, Joseph Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, Henry Moore, and Barbara Hepworth.

28 min
Britain’s Estates and Gardens

30: Britain’s Estates and Gardens

Because of its mild and wet climate, Britain is well suited for flowers, and England has a proud history of gardening going back to the 1500s. In this visually rich lecture, tour some of the most stunning gardens in the nation today, including the Botanic Garden at Oxford University; Kew Gardens in London; and others, grand and obscure, throughout the provinces.

30 min
Legacy of the British Empire

31: Legacy of the British Empire

From the 17th through the 20th century, Britain’s empire spanned the globe, giving this small island an outsized role on the world’s stage. But while Britain was making an impact in India, New Zealand, Canada, and elsewhere, these nations were having an impact on Britain. Explore the ethnic and cultural diversity in Britain today.

31 min
Seafaring Britain

32: Seafaring Britain

Britain became a world power thanks to its domination of the seas in the 18th and 19th centuries. Visit the historic dockyard in Portsmouth, where you can see some of the ships that helped put Britain on the map. Then discover some of the less well-known but equally impressive ports and ships, plus some of Britain’s many coastal lighthouses.

31 min
Britain’s War Memorials

33: Britain’s War Memorials

As a world power, Britain fought many wars—which it has commemorated in many ways. Among other memorials, this lecture takes you to Blenheim Place (commemorating the Duke of Marlborough’s defeat of a great French and Bavarian army in 1704) to Trafalgar Square in London (with its memorial to Horatio Nelson), to Hyde Park Corner (the best place to see war memorials in England), and the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

29 min
Hiking England, Scotland, and Wales

34: Hiking England, Scotland, and Wales

While you need a car, train, or boat to get a comprehensive tour of Britain, arguably the best way to explore the nation is by foot. England, Scotland, and Wales are home to some of the best hiking paths in Europe, from the Lake District that inspired the Romantic poets to the Southwest Coast Path to the demanding Pennine Way trail up the spine of northern England.

29 min
Britain’s Sporting Tradition

35: Britain’s Sporting Tradition

Soccer, cricket, tennis, golf: These sports were invented in Britain and play a major role in the nation’s culture today. Whether you are a rabid Man United nut or occasionally enjoy a match at Wimbledon, Britain has something for every sports fan—and the timing of sporting events may be something to consider when planning your great tour.

31 min
How to Think about Visiting Britain

36: How to Think about Visiting Britain

Tourism is a good test of self-knowledge: Why do you want to travel in the first place? While Britain is an ideal place to travel, it behooves you to spend a few minutes reflecting on why you want to go there so that you plan the most meaningful trip. Professor Allitt ends with a few practical tips to help you get the most from your travels.

40 min