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Publisher's Summary

Whether you are searching for the past or want to better understand the world as it is today, travel - even virtually, from the comfort of home - offers a unique opportunity to see the world in new ways. 

Wander the streets of cosmopolitan London, roam the 1,000-year-old campuses of Oxford and Cambridge, or tour world-famous museums like the Tate Modern and the National Railway Museum. Or maybe you are aiming for a more pastoral adventure, like an expedition across the romantic wilds of the Scottish Highlands or a journey to see the breathtaking vistas of the Jurassic coast. No matter what experience you are hoping to find, a tour of England, Scotland, and Wales rewards visitors with an astonishing array of historical, cultural, and scenic pleasures and reveals the heritage of a region that has influenced the world immeasurably.

But where should a would-be tourist start? Which are the truly must-see places? And where are the hidden gems that your average guidebook might omit? In other words, how do you get the most out of a tour through this magnificent island?

The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales is just the source you need! Taught by acclaimed Professor Patrick Allitt, a British-born scholar who teaches at Emory University, these 36 splendid lectures give you an insider’s take on traveling through Great Britain. Whether you are planning a week-long vacation, a month-long grand tour, or just want to experience England, Scotland, and Wales from afar, this immersive course takes you on a voyage through not only the most popular tourist sites but also a trove of “hidden gems” overlooked by the traditional guidebooks.

Visually dazzling to help you see - and hear - the cosmopolitan cities and the breathtaking countryside, The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales packs a punch for the insight it offers into this small island that has had an outsized influence on the world’s stage.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2018 The Great Courses (P)2018 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about The Great Tours: England, Scotland, and Wales

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Disjointed as an Audible book

This is my first disappointing Audible selection. I am British, well-travelled throughout Britain and with a passion for history. I lectured in travel and tourism and written histories for my grandchildren living in the USA. I feel that Professor Allitt’s transcript might be very useful for a traveler from another country visiting the UK as it may be easier to locate relevant information in a printed document. An example is the relatively brief references to Durham Cathedral and the Stephensons in the earlier parts of his lecture whereas in the section on the North of England they, along with the county of Durham as a whole, are totally omitted. There are many omissions of key elements in British history which have remaining sites well worth visiting, yet there are relatively trivial items included. This is far from saying the work is without merit. I have learned many fascinating facts about places I have visited and historical themes I thought I knew well. I have enjoyed the work because I know much about what is being said, but I feel that anyone lacking such a background might get a less than coherent picture.
As an historical piece I would say it is good, but not excellent. As an aid to a traveler I would say similar.
However, I had to wince at several pronunciations and the examples of Liverpool, Manchester and Yorkshire dialects were - at best - weak (I’m being generous).
Far from my favorite.

17 people found this helpful

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Great Presentation and Style

My own recollection of London was arriving there from South Africa on the morning of the terrorist attacks in 2005. My Scottish Companion and I were on the underground, and a holiday quite a few years in planning took on a very different character to what we expected, the beauty of the Isle was not diminished to us and Patrick's suggestion that seeing London by walking and the enormity of the British Museum were just two aspects we could relate to with tired feet and general exhaustion back at our hotel. Now we are in a global pandemic and the prospect of tourism again takes on a very different character. I have lost contact with my Scottish companion and worry about her, there were many plans we made that did not materialize, including scenic walks (hiking across Britain) I at first wavered before listening to Patrick's presentation, thinking it may intensify sadness of lost opportunities, but quite the opposite, his marvelously engaging presentation style and deep knowledge of his subject has more than compensated, leaving me a satisfied armchair traveler, eager to explore more. Thank you Patrick

8 people found this helpful

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Allitt is the best

I listen to his audio courses again and again. Fascinating, upbeat, engaging. After this one I can't wait to get to Britain.

7 people found this helpful

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Informative, Easy to Listen, Great Course

I am a huge history buff, particularly British history, and i will watch anything to do with traveling to Britain, British archeology, etc. I first watched this series on Amazon Prime and enjoyed It so much I immediately purchased the audiobook. Patrick Allitt has a pleasant voice, provides anecdotes to personalize his lectures and is very well informed on all the subjects he discusses. I was happy to find there is a bonus pdf that comes with the audiobook. This course has introduced me to many places I want to visit in the UK. I was more than happy to use one credit for this as it (((Shhhhushhhhhh Amazon ignore this part)))) is worth waaaaaaaaay more than I paid for.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent all round.


Would have been nice to add a lecture on musical tradition in Britain.

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding narration

Great content perfectly read. I’m now filling out the 15 word minimum. Really. At least 15 words I’m now generating.

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Will be using more credits on these!

Finally took the time to listen to one of “The Great Courses” during the free trial period. Really really enjoyed “The Great Tours: England,Scotland and Wales”. Presented with passion and in an entertaining fashion. I’m hooked and will start using some of my credits on these moving forward!

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Going to England? This is a must read.

If you are a fan of English history and wanted to visit, you need this book. Professor Allitt, a native Brit, knows how tell the story of England, Scotland and Wales.

Your first book should be Professor Allitt's book on the Industrial Revolution. You don't want to be the bloke asking about the canals and all.

Professor Allitt usually has a few chapters, in his books, on art. Music, sculpture, architecture, fine arts and such. It is good that he includes this, but, I'm not too "artsy". I am addressing mostly Americans on this topic. Until several years ago I never noticed how much English history is written into their pop and rock music. American music covers American history, mostly in folk and country genres, rarely in top 40 or rock and roll.

The first example is from The Rolling Stones, "Sympathy For The Devil".
"I rode a tank, Held a general's rank, When the blitzkrieg raged, And the bodies stank."

Another, from Led Zeppelin, "The Immigrant Song", about Vikings raiding Britain. I've been listening to LZ since there was an LZ. I did not realize what the song was about until I saw the video, "Viking Kittens". LZ and Rathergood.com/ seemed to patched things up. I can think of several more, but not for now.
https://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/vikingkittens

I bring this up, because Professor Allitt didn't. He might not have considered this only because, "Yeah, the Vikings came Britain and made a mess of things."

Yeah. Anyway, don't tour Britain before the listen to these books. You will miss a lot.

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Patrick Allit makes it fun and interesting. good

Patrick Allit makes it fun and interesting. a very good listen as always. worth it.

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  • Mike of Alsager
  • 10-16-19

Both Informative and Enjoyable

While this book is primarily aimed at visitors from abroad, in particular the US, as a Brit I still found it very interesting to listen to. While the book of this nature cannot cover everywhere and everything, I thought that the author had done a pretty good job covering the diversity of the country as well as its history.

I’m not sure that some of the accents used to portray different areas really came across as authentic, and I took issue with a couple of pronunciations but overall I thought this was a splendidbook and a good introduction for people touring England, Scotland and Wales.

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  • Alžběta
  • 02-17-22

Most enjoyable and excellently presented!

I am not the target audience for this book (an American visiting Britain for the first time), but I still enjoyed this book immensely! Patrick Allitt is an excellent and natural speaker and educator - 18 hours felt like mere minutes.

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  • Sarah
  • 04-12-20

A great way to travel during Lockdown!

Really felt like I was touring around Britain :) I would then use Google Earth to look up places mentioned and/or described in the course and view images of them, getting lost in the virtual tour!

Given that here in New Zealand we are Locked Down and grounded from travelling at all at the moment, this book was a really great way to escape to the other side of the world ;)

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  • Sarah Cook
  • 04-27-22

Enjoyable and thorough

Enjoyable and thorough. Lots of new ideas for travel destinations, and it was even lovely revisiting the places I've already seen.

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  • Kirsty
  • 05-10-19

The Ladybird Guide to Holidaying in Britain?

I have other of Prof Allitt's Great Courses and enjoyed them and have got a lot out of them. However this appears to be squarely aimed at the American college student, is delivered in avuncular tones to make Britain sound like paradise on earth, in fact he says almost as much in his final summing up.
Britain IS probably better for most than it was in 1921 when Prof Allitt's father was born but things are not improving for many, many of the population. I may have missed the concerns about the rising knife crime in the capital and beyond, the fall of living standards of people unable to work, the forced return to homelands they never knew of the Windrush generation, the falling apart of the health system, the dysfunctional government and the hate speech which has become mainstream in both social and tabloid media.
But I guess none of that matters: like ProfessorAllitt the tourist can leave a Bed and Breakfast replete with the fully fried English, Scots or Welsh breakfast, take in another well or little known historical spot he has featured, and comfortably reflect on the country's past as he portrays it. Let's hope these tourists never have to experience Britain's other, darker present.