Around Boston

The Pilgrim Fathers landed and built a new community on the coast south of Boston back in 1620. In the historically-accurate village of Plimoth Plantation, near Plymouth, costumed role players cook, tend gardens and discuss the news as if it were 1627. In the town of Plymouth itself, tour Mayflower II to learn about the 102 men, women and children, who spent 65 days in cramped conditions as they crossed the Atlantic in 1620. This replica was built in Devon and crossed the Atlantic in 1957. Or for something completely different, stop at Wrentham’s outlet mall for bargains on name brands all year round.

In the USA, the War of Independence is referred to as just “the Revolution”. Boston was a hothouse of anti-British fervour, but the first shots were fired outside the city, to the west, in the towns of Lexington and Concord. The statue of Captain John Parker on Lexington Green pays homage to the “embattled farmers”, who faced British regulars in the early hours of April 19th, 1775. Down the street, the Munroe Tavern served as the British military headquarters on that chaotic day.

For the background to the events of 1775, start at the Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord; the actual “battle” took place at the North Bridge on the other side of town. Concord was also home to influential 19th-century authors. Visit The Manse, where essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson lived and Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, for the real story behind Little Women.

Nearby Lowell was a major player in another massive change: the Industrial Revolution. Today, this gritty town is enjoying a renaissance, attracting visitors to its museums and the Lowell Folk Festival, the USA’s largest free jamboree, with six outdoor stages.

Less discovered than Cape Cod, the “North Shore” (as locals call the coastline just north of Boston) is a delightful mix of fishing harbours and beaches, museums and artists’ haunts.

Many communities date back to the mid-17th century – and none is more famous (or infamous) than Salem, where you can discover the truth behind the 1692 witchcraft trials at the Salem Witch Museum. But, there is much more to see, especially in the renowned Peabody Essex Museum. Originally a showcase for treasures brought back by sea captains, the collection also includes maritime art, photography, a 200-year-old merchant’s house from China and more.

Drive along the shore to Manchester-by-the-Sea, with its “Singing Beach” and Gloucester; this fishing port was the backdrop to the film, The Perfect Storm, based on the tragic, true story of a local boat. Stroll round Rocky Neck, America’s oldest art colony, where artists still work.

 

Fantastic!!! Left wanting more, and plan to return. Cannot fault any aspect of the holiday!!! Many thanks for all of your help - we had the best holiday ever!!

Mr Blyth - Travelled to New York