The Cotswolds: What You Need to Know Before Your Visit

Explore the charming region of the famous Cotswolds in England
Preview Lecture
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1 hour and 10 minutes
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Lecture Details
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  • Presented by the same world-class experts as our walking tours, Context Lectures highlight must-see attractions, reveal hidden landmarks, and explore the best things to do during your trip so you don’t miss a thing.
Lecture Description
The Cotswolds is an area of rolling hills that range from the central county of Warwickshire to North Somerset in the West. In this lecture, we will explore this large area of outstanding natural beauty, dotted with honey-colored buildings in villages and market towns with neolithic stone circles, Roman forts, ancient churches, castles, and palaces.
Meet Your Expert

Hattie has a degree in History of Art and an MA in Historic Interiors, she has a life-long passion and fascination in Fine and Decorative Arts, particularly works produced in Europe from the 16th to 18th century. After working for the Royal Collection in the Print Room at Windsor Castle, she was a curator for a private collector of 17th and 18th century prints and drawings. This sparked a keen interest in portraiture and English art, as well as the printed image. Hattie has worked for London's foremost framer of important old master paintings during which time she sharpened her appreciation and understanding of the decorative arts and the changing tastes of collecting. Recently she has been dealing in prints and works of art as well as taking groups of all ages to museums and galleries.

We will kick things off by looking at the history of the area, starting with the Rollright Stones, "The Whispering Knights," a neolithic stone circle perched on the Cotswold Hills. Next, we will travel down the Fosse Way (Roman Road) to Chedworth and its magnificent Roman Villa. Going East, we will pause at the ruins of the Cistercian Hailes Abbey, destroyed by Henry VIII in the English Reformation, before visiting the Spa Town of Cheltenham, home to the famous Cheltenham Horse Race Festival, attended by Royalty, locals, and a large contingent from Ireland.

We’ll learn how the economic flourishing of the Cotswolds began in the Middle Ages, as a result of the wool trade, and several perfect examples of medieval towns. We will discuss Burford, whose famous High Street sweeps downhill to the River Windrush, flanked by ancient buildings and a superb 12th century church. Finally, we will look at some beautiful villages, old churches, and great pubs. The Cotswolds is popular with the glitterati, from Prince Charles to Kate Moss to David Beckham, and they (and us) are well catered to by a wide range of fabulous restaurants and chic shops.

Led by an expert on Art Historian and a Cotswold local, Hattie Bennett, this interactive lecture will introduce participants to the gorgeous landscape of the English Cotswolds. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the geography and history of the area.
How do I access the lecture?
Once you complete your purchase, you will receive an email with a link to stream the lecture on the Context Travel website. You can also access your past purchases anytime under My Orders. Please ensure you are logged into your account to open the streaming page. 

Is closed captioning (i.e. subtitles) available?
Yes! All of our lectures have the option to turn on closed captioning should you have difficulty hearing the expert.

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Our recorded lectures typically run for 60 minutes.

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You are welcome to watch together with friends or family but each person viewing on their own device will need to purchase the lecture individually.

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Can I purchase a gift card for a friend who is traveling?
Absolutely! Gift cards can be purchased here. Gift cards are good for 365 days from the date of purchase.
(4.63) 97 Reviews

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Thoroughly enjoyed this expansive, informative tour of the Cotswolds. Especially appreciated the personal insights Hattie provided!
I enjoyed this very much! Several years ago, I was able to visit the Cotswalds several times so this brought back many happy memories!
Hattie is fabulous! One of the best Context Travel lectures I've experienced, and I've subscribed to quite a few!