"The Glory of England" (Traveloguer Collection, 60 minutes, 1989).
Frank Nichols' video explores only England, with an itinerary extended to such less-filmed sites as Hadrian's Wall to the north and Land's End south at Cornwall.
Other scenes include reenactments of local historical events and scenes of medieval festivities that, although bearing the "made-for-the-tourist" label, are colorful and entertaining for armchair travelers.
After touring Dover and Canterbury, Nichols goes to Cambridge for a jousting tournament at Belvoir Castle. In Sherwood Forest, actors reenact scenes from the legend of Robin Hood and in the Peaks District a performance of English country dancers is held.
Exploring the North Yorkshire region, the video focuses on the city of York, its archeological sites, old Shambles area and the beautiful stained-glass windows of York Minster, plus a side trip to a country fair and fox hunt at Castle Howard, the setting for TV's "Brideshead Revisited."
A visit with author/veterinarian James Herriot takes place at his "surgery" (doctor's office) in the Yorkshire Dales. The St. Wilfred's Day parade at Ripon presents some colorful scenes. Then the camera journeys to Bamburgh Castle and the Roman-built Hadrian's Wall.
Shown is the lovely Lake District and Chester, where the town crier still appears every afternoon, and Abbotts Bromley, where the unusual Horn Dance takes place.
Outside of London, visited are Warwick Castle, Shakespeare's Stratford-on-Avon, Oxford University, Blenheim Palace, Bourton-on-the-Water and the charming village of Castle Combe in the Cotswolds.
Back in London, viewers can take a Thames River cruise, peek at the crown jewels, attend an Elizabethan banquet at Hatfield House and visit Windsor Castle and town.
In addition to visiting Stonehenge and Bath, viewers can march along the trail of King Arthur to Winchester, where his round table hangs, and to Glastonbury Abbey, associated with legends of Arthur and the Holy Grail.
A tape is available from Traveloguer Collection, 3301 Hampden Ave., Suite N., Englewood, Colo. 80110, (800) 521-5104. Price: $29.95, including a small reference booklet with a map, history and travel tips.
"Australia" (Laura McKenzie, Republic Pictures Home Video, 60 minutes, 1988).
McKenzie combines a lively, knowledgeable narration with a well-photographed video that offers an entertaining supplement to the standard guide book. Although she doesn't visit Perth or Adelaide, McKenzie provides some alternate sights and offers personal observations and candid advice.
Incorporated into the segments are lists for sightseeing and shopping, hotels and restaurants from modest to deluxe, local transportation tips, night life choices, side trips and suggested city itineraries. It even has a course in "Aussie English."
The Sydney tour takes in most of the traditional sights such as the opera house and bridge, museums, Chinatown, the shops of Double Bay, Queen Victoria mall, Paddy's Flea market and Bondi and Manly beaches, where a blimp ride offers sightseeing.
In Melbourne, the film covers the cathedral, National Art Gallery, Victoria Arts Center, the zoo, Chinatown and such shops as those on Upper Collins Street, the Bourke Street arcades and Queen Victoria Market.
Side trips are to Ballarat for its theme park, Sovereign Hill, a restored gold town, and afterward to Phillip Island to see the fairy penguins.
In Queensland, the video tours Brisbane, roving through King George Square, St. John's Cathedral, an 1820 windmill, the botanical gardens, Queen's Street Mall, Wintergarden shopping center and Chinatown. There also are stops at the Queensland Arts Center and Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
General information on planning a trip--customs laws, precautions, electricity, health and medicine, currency and airport departure taxes--concludes the film.
A tape is available from Republic Pictures Home Video, P.O. Box 66930, Los Angeles 90066-0930, (213) 306-4040. Price: $19.98.