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The West Country, distributed by HAVE, Inc., (800) 997-2972. $24.95 plus shipping and handling. 45 minutes. Now available at

The mild climate and scenic beauty of England’s south-west peninsula have made it a magnet for visitors for centuries. Though this video claims to provide only a “modest sampling” of historic sites and towns, it covers a surprising amount–about 25 places–in just 45 minutes. Moving more or less from west to east, it presents the treacherous cliffs of Land’s End, the twice-a-day island of St. Michael’s Mount, Tintagel, Plymouth, the “English Riviera” of Torbay, Wells Cathedral, the many-centuries-old spa of Bath, eternal Stonehenge, the Iron Age hillfort of Maiden Castle, Compton Acres Gardens, Corfe Castle, and much more. The history of each site is presented briefly but sufficiently and in an interesting manner (narrator Kevin Pierce speaks “American,” so you won’t lose any bits of his descriptions because of accent). The sites are well-filmed and sometimes interspersed with arresting close-ups such as tall grasses or flowers swaying in the breeze, churning clouds, and footage of children flying kites. Whether you’re planning a trip, remembering one, or just want to go travelling in your arm chair, you’ll find what you’re looking for in The West Country.

Judy P. Sopronyi


More reviews from the October/November 2000 issue of British Heritage:
In Search of Ancient Scotland: A Guide for the Independent Traveler The Custom of the Sea The Oxford Companion to Food What’s on Stage