Exploring the English Countryside: The Cotswolds with Hattie Bennett

Exploring the English Countryside: The Cotswolds with Hattie Bennett


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The Cotswolds is an area of rolling hills that range from the central county of Warwickshire to North Somerset in the West. Designated an area of outstanding natural beauty the golden limestone of the Cotswolds used in its building is the defining architectural feature. This conversation 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.

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 remain. We will discuss Burford, whose famous high street sweeps downhill to the River Windrush flanked by ancient buildings and a superb twelfth-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 for in a wide range of fabulous restaurants and chic shops.

Led by an expert on Art Historian and a Cotswold local, Hattie Bennett, this interactive seminar 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.

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. 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.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 41 reviews
68%
(28)
20%
(8)
12%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.
Cotswolds Intro

Hattie did a masterful job of weaving history, architecture, and general information in this seminar. It was a great intro/overview of the Cotswolds.

C
C.
Loved her approach

Her approach to the seminar included overviews of geography, history, architecture, arts and culture and leisure. She packed a lot into her 75 minutes.

B
B.H.
Cotswolds Commentary

Ms. Bennett has a cottage in the Cotswolds, so she has first hand knowledge of this region of England. Not only was she able to relate the history of the Cotswolds in an interesting fashion, she was able to speak about what it’s like to live there today. During the Q&A she even made suggestions for hikes in the various sections of the Cotswolds. The photographs she used in her lecture were beautiful and could not help but make you want to visit the area.

N
N.
First time listener

In place of a trip we had planned to the Cotswolds in 2020 that was canceled, this was a nice introduction to the area and got us excited about visiting there in the future.

M
M.E.S.
The Cotswolds Sampler

In so little time, it is impossible to cover the whole of any area so Hattie picks very representative sites and activities and weaves a lovely impressionistic tapestry. I could have listened for another hour and a half.

Customer Reviews

Based on 41 reviews
68%
(28)
20%
(8)
12%
(5)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.
Cotswolds Intro

Hattie did a masterful job of weaving history, architecture, and general information in this seminar. It was a great intro/overview of the Cotswolds.

C
C.
Loved her approach

Her approach to the seminar included overviews of geography, history, architecture, arts and culture and leisure. She packed a lot into her 75 minutes.

B
B.H.
Cotswolds Commentary

Ms. Bennett has a cottage in the Cotswolds, so she has first hand knowledge of this region of England. Not only was she able to relate the history of the Cotswolds in an interesting fashion, she was able to speak about what it’s like to live there today. During the Q&A she even made suggestions for hikes in the various sections of the Cotswolds. The photographs she used in her lecture were beautiful and could not help but make you want to visit the area.

N
N.
First time listener

In place of a trip we had planned to the Cotswolds in 2020 that was canceled, this was a nice introduction to the area and got us excited about visiting there in the future.

M
M.E.S.
The Cotswolds Sampler

In so little time, it is impossible to cover the whole of any area so Hattie picks very representative sites and activities and weaves a lovely impressionistic tapestry. I could have listened for another hour and a half.