Depart London Heathrow – 11:05
Arrive Boston – 13:10
Journey Time – 7 hours
On arrival we recommend that you DO NOT collect your car but rather take one of the metered cabs (your approx fare will be $25 – this is not included in your prepaid holiday cost) from the airport to your hotel. We recommend this as you will be tired and will only pay high fees to park the vehicle during your 3 days in the city. Of course if you do prefer to collect your vehicle on arrival or would like us to arrange private transportation for you to your hotel, this can be done for an additional cost.
In a city filled with interesting things to see and do, the Freedom Trail is the highlight of Boston for visitors. The 2.5 mile red brick walking trail leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites, every one an authentic American treasure. Preserved and dedicated by the citizens of Boston in 1958, when the wrecking ball threatened several important places, the Freedom Trail today is a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution.
You can take a self-guided tour or one of the many tours available throug
h the National Park Service. Tours begin every half hour from the park visitor center at 15 State Street opposite the Old State House. If you prefer to ride, you can take a trolley tour, which is an unofficial guided tour, but does include many of the most important sites along the Trail including Old Ironsides, the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church. Plan to stop and eat at Faneuil Hall, once the primary meeting place for America’s revolutionaries. It is now a bustling market of restaurants and shops.
Overnight – Boston
Your first day in America’s most historic and cultured city. You will find Colonial and Revolutionary history on every step of the Freedom Trail, along the decks of Old Ironsides, charging up Bunker Hill, and on the cobbled streets of Beacon Hill.
Today we suggest exploring Boston’s famous ‘The Freedom Trail’ which is a 2.5-mile walking trail through Boston that connects 16 of the country’s most important historical sites linked to the American Revolution. Lively and informative costumed characters travel the Trail during the summer. These characters are fun and engaging for children of all ages (from 5 to 75!) and act as ambassadors to the era of America’s founding and the birth of our country’s freedom. Boston is a shopping mecca, head to historic Back Bay to stock up on fashion favourites at Copley Place – a dazzling mixed-use complex with over 70 stores and restaurants – or bag a bargain at Wrentham Village Premium Outlets®, New England’s largest upscale outlet center.
Overnight – Boston
Since there is so much to see and do in Boston, you may want to explore the city with a Go Boston Card in hand which provides admission to a whopping 33 attractions in Boston proper and many more in the region. In town the pass includes a Two-Day Beantown Trolley Tour Pass on the big red trolley that takes you all over town with 19 stops near more than 100 sites, Boston Duck Tours, New England Aquarium, Museum of Fine Arts, Liberty Fleet Tall Ships Adventure, Charles River Boat Tours, the Old North Church and more. A 3 day pass also includes admissions to the House of Seven Gables, Salem Witch Museum and the Salem Heritage Walk, all on your way to Maine tomorrow.
Overnight – Boston
Boston to Kennebunkport
A scenic drive on the Essex National Heritage Area Scenic Byways takes you north through Salem, site of the famous witch trials in 1694, Marblehead, Ipswich, and Newburyport. From there, you’ll be travelling the Coastal Byway to Hampton Beach and Portsmouth on your way to Kennebunkport. The Kennebunks are very old coastal towns, settled in 1620. Maine remained a part of the Colony of Massachusetts and Kennebunk did not become a city until 1820. If you’re up for a short walk at this point, the Kennebunk National Register Historic District Village walk begins at the Brick Store Museum and continues on Main Street. If there’s time, the Kennebunkport History Center is located at 125 North Street. Five buildings, including a shipwright’s office, comprise the history center campus and present a good perspective of seafaring life in the Massachusetts colony. If you have time when travelling you may wish to call in to Kittery Premium Outlets® to top up your suitcase with the latest designer gear at bargain prices.
Overnight – Kennebunkport
Kennebunkport to Jackson
After a very restful evening on the serene Maine coast, another series of scenic roads will take you to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Wolfeboro, New Hampshire has the distinction of being known as ‘The Oldest Summer Resort in America.’ More than 200 years ago, New Hampshire’s colonial Governor John Wentworth built a summer home on the shores of what is now called Lake Wentworth. He came to his ‘mansion’ during the summer and was followed by others who discovered the quiet and charm of the area. Another scenic drive north along larger Lake Winnipesaukee takes you through Moultonborough and on to Tamworth and North Conway on your way into Jackson.
Overnight – Jackson
Jackson & The White Mountains
It’s everything you’d expect in quintessential New England. Cold, clear rushing streams reflect the deep lush greens of summer and the blazing colors that set the hillsides on fire in fall. Towering granite cliffs and soaring mountains hug both sides of the road as you make your way along age old winding, scenic routes, the woods that poet Robert Frost called, ‘lovely, dark and deep.’
You can come here to escape all of mankind, which most of the residents do. Locals will assure you that you can have a vacation away from the ‘citied’ world in a place that has not changed much in centuries. Many of the charming villages still look as they did when writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and painter Thomas Cole lived here in the 18th century. And that’s the way they like it, slow, easy and simple, leaving time to appreciate the astounding scenic beauty all around.
There’s a great scenic loop to be explored today that includes the beautiful Kancamagus Highway, Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast and scenic Route 16, which gets progressively more scenic as it heads north. Jackson is one of the most attractive towns in all of New Hampshire.
Overnight – Jackson
Jackson to Stowe
Nearly 70 years after the von Trapp family resettled from Austria, ‘the hills are still alive with the sound of music!’ On you way from Jackson to Stowe enjoy the classic New England landscape and architecture – a mountain ridgeline, a winding river, hillside farms, covered bridges, and quaint villages. Whether you travel this region during the summer or fall you are sure to appreciate the beauty of the mountain scenery.
Overnight – Stowe
Vermont’s Green Mountains
There’s another great scenic loop highway waiting today with white steepled churches, winding roads, quintessential, quaint New England towns bathed in bright sunshine and set up against mountains as old as time. And, of course, there’s Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. The countryside hasn’t changed much here in the 230 years since the Green Mountain Boys declared Vermont an independent republic. A mountain pass in Vermont is called a ‘notch’ and mountains here have interesting names like Camels Hump and Crouching Lion. New England at its finest! Enjoy your drive.
Overnight – Stowe
Stowe to Manchester
Leaving Stowe today, you’ll be traveling south on scenic Vermont State Road 100. Since it’s only 120 miles between Stowe and Manchester, there will likely be time to travel additional scenic Vermont roads today. The scenic driving loop that takes you to Bennington and Brattleboro and back to Manchester again is only 113 miles long.
You’ll find Bennington County, Vermont as quintessential New England as there is. There are two historic walking tours in Bennington. One includes the original structures remaining from settlement and the ‘Old First Church’ behind which poet Robert Frost is buried. Another driving tour takes you under five covered bridges and to the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum. Be sure not to miss the Apple Barn and Country Bake Shop, as well as Bennington Potters, world famous for their stoneware pottery.
Between Bennington and Brattleboro, take the Molly Stark Trail National Scenic Byway through the southern Green Mountains. It is named after the wife of New Hampshire General John Stark who was the victor in the 1777 Battle of Bennington. The road is the route that the General and his troops marched home after their triumph over the forces of King George III. Enjoy the three-state overlook from the top of Hog Mountain. Brattleboro is a college town and completely different than Bennington. The downtown is filled with art galleries, craftspeople, artists, boutiques, shops and restaurants. From there it’s a short drive back to you accommodation in Manchester.
Overnight – Manchester
Manchester to Newport
As you travel south through The Berkshires today, you soon come upon Lenox, which was a prosperous farming and mill town until it was suddenly ‘discovered’ by the rich and famous in Boston and New York in the mid 1800s. Nathaniel Hawthorne was the first to arrive. He wrote the House of Seven Gables while living in a little red cottage just outside of town. Samuel Gray Ward, a Boston banker who would later finance the purchase of Alaska by the United States, built a summer home near Hawthorne’s cottage. And the rest, as they say, ‘is history.’ By the late 1800s, Lenox and Stockbridge were booming with the summer homes of the country’s elite. Shadowbrook, Anson Stokes ‘summer cottage,’ had 100 rooms.
Stockbridge, located right next to Lenox, is Norman Rockwell’s America at its finest. The Red Lion Inn is the focal point of one of Rockwell’s best known paintings. Stockbridge is also the home of the Norman Rockwell Museum and Chesterwood, the historic home of Daniel Chester French, who created the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial as well as other well known works of public art.
And Just when you thought there couldn’t possibly be more scenic roads in New England, you’ll experience US Route 20 across southern Massachusetts through Sturbridge and the Blackstone River Valley on your way to Newport, Rhode Island. Plan to stop at Old Sturbridge Village where you will come face-to-face with the past and the events that shaped life from the late 1700s to early 1800s in colonial Massachusetts. The Village, set out as a country town, illustrates the struggles and triumphs of everyday life.
The Blackstone River Valley in Rhode Island was the site of the first textile manufacturing in the United States, giving rise to the Industrial Revolution in the American northeast. Legend has it that Samuel Slater stole the original technology from England. His original mill on the Blackstone River has been painstakingly reconstructed. Now lined with pleasant, well manicured towns, it will be hard to imagine that this serene and lovely region once teemed with over 1,100 textile mills and thousands of residents who worked in them.
Overnight – Newport
Get ready for the wonders of Newport today. Opulence reigned here for decades during the Gilded Age. The wonderful houses along the cliffs and Bellevue Avenue were the ‘summer cottages’ of the rich and famous from New York and Philadelphia who descended on Newport for a summer social season. Houses modeled after French castles and other royal residences were the site of lavish parties, dalliances and intrigue. When no longer occupied by their owners, a collection of the mansions were purchased by the Preservation Society of Newport and have been opened to the public. You can pack your day in Newport as full as you would like. The Breakers and Rosecliff are must sees. Newport is also a great walking town. You can take the Harbor Walk North and The Harbor Walk South, both of which begin at Perrotti Park, and the Cliffwalk, which follows the coastline and the cliffs. There is also 10 mile scenic driving tour which begins at The Elms and the Newport Winery.
Overnight – Newport
Newport to Cape Cod
Cape Cod is larger than most people imagine. Your accommodations in Yarmouth Port for the next three nights place you right in the middle of the Cape, ready for action. The Upper Cape closest to the Massachusetts mainland is home to Sandwich and Falmouth, location of the famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Hyannis, of Kennedy fame, is located Mid-Cape. The narrow portion of land where it bends sharply north is considered the Lower Cape. The Outer Cape includes the Cape Cod National Seashore, forty miles of pristine sandy beach, marshes, ponds and uplands. Lighthouses, cultural landscapes and wild cranberry bogs offer a glimpse of Cape Cod’s past. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, recently named Coast Guard Beach the 5th best beach in the US. Provincetown, at the very end of the Cape and long known as an art town, berths several whale watching fleets that patrol Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Several guarantee a whale sighting at the right time of year.
Overnight – Cape Cod
Cape Cod, Nantucket
Today we suggest a trip by ferry to Nantucket Island, one of the most unique, historic and visually stunning places in the world. Originally a booming whaling port, the National Historic District of Nantucket has changed little since the 17th century, when many of the seaside cottages were built and old-fashioned whale oil lamps lit the streets. Today, nearly 40% of the remainder of the island is protected conservation land. You can walk wide sandy beaches, swim in the sparkling waters of Nantucket Sound or brave the Atlantic on the island’s south shore. If land is more to your liking, browse the many boutique shops, art galleries and museums or sign up for a tour of the island.
Overnight – Cape Cod
Cape Cod Martha’s Vineyard
Even though Edgartown is the most famous town on Martha’s Vineyard, the Vineyard, another island reached only by boat, actually has six different towns that are as different as night and day. Once a thriving whaling port, the island is now home to writers, artists, architects and designers who come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of Boston. There are no chain restaurants, no shopping malls and no speed over 45 miles an hour on Martha’s Vineyard. What a great way to end your journey through New England in complete relaxation!
Overnight – Cape Cod
Today leave Cape Cod and drive back to Boston. This peninsula is a beloved vacation spot for visitors and natives alike. Maybre stop in Plymouth, a living panorama of Pilgrim and Colonial times and see the Mayflower II. Return your car at the airport before your departure flight.
Depart Boston – 21:30
Arrive London Heathrow – 08:05 (Next Day)
Journey time – 6 hours 35 minutes