American landmarks in and out of London

Britain has a very strong historical and cultural connection with its cousins across the pond in America. This dates back to the time when the Mayfair pilgrims made their voyage to America back in the 16th century. And America was a British Colony until the country gained its independence in 1776. As a consequence, there are plenty of American landmarks and attractions that are to be found in and around London. The UK is also very popular with Americans who rate the London as their number one choice of destination to visit on a holiday.

For visitors who plan a holiday in the British capital, there always are some terrific London Hotels Special Offers to be had. Of course these are higher in number in the tourist off-season, when the hotels need to offer discounts and deals to make up for the shortfall in occupancy numbers.

If you are looking for a centrally located hotel in the city that offers value for money The Marble Arch by Montcalm London Hotel is just the perfect place to stay at. And it also offers convenient access to all the exciting shopping and entertainment venues, as well as the tourist hot spots in the city. Some of the top American landmarks to be visited on a trip in and out of London include the following:

The Benjamin Franklin House: It is the home where Benjamin Franklin spent a relatively long time while he was in London. Apart from its historic significance, there is an incredible audio and video show that recreates the moments of the last evening of Franklin’s stay in London.

US Embassy: Located at historic Grosvenor Square the US embassy occupies a prominent position in the area. It will not however, be there for much longer as plans are afoot to build a new embassy on the Southbank. While it no longer can be visited to tour due to security reasons, it is a potent symbol of America’s preeminent position in world politics.

Churchill and Roosevelt Bench: While it may be a relatively tiny attraction, it is testimony to the strong bond that Churchill and Roosevelt shared, during and after the dark period of the Second World War. Their bond has been immortalised through the creation of this art piece to be found in the trendy Mayfair district of London. There is just about space to squeeze in between the two to get a picture clicked!

George Washington’s ancestral homes: A little known fact is the founding father of America George Washington, would have had a different last name (Hertburn), if his ancestor in the 12th century had not decided to change the family name to that of the area where he owned property. There is a manor home in Washington Village from the 17th century, named Washington Old Hall. The edifice includes parts of the authentic medieval home of ancestors of Washington, from the period 1180 -1613. The home has a wonderful collection of exhibits that delineate the revolution and also a set of portraits of George Washington. And to see the ancestral coat-of-arms (it is etched on the facade of the crumbling castle) visitors have to visit Hylton Castle that is approximately 3 miles from the home.  It is alleged that the insignia was the inspiration of the Stars and Stripes (the American flag). Visitors can also see it on a wall at Sulgrave Manor that also was one of Washington’s ancestral homes.

American Museum:  To see one of the most exquisite collections of American art and artefacts that include Red Indian arts and crafts, a visit to the American Museum is recommended. The collection was brought to Britain by an American Dallas Pratt in the 1950s. He also founded the American Museum that is located in Bath. His objective was to enlighten the British public about decorative arts in early America. The collection includes furniture, textiles (including quilts and rugs of the Navajo from the 1800s), glass and silver among other items. And there is a replica built on the grounds of the museum of George Washington’s Mount Vernon garden to explore.

The Plymouth Mayflower Visitors Centre: Visitors can tread in the footsteps of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, who left England in 1620 for their new homes is America. There is a plaque and a metal handle that bears the sketches of their voyage installed there to commemorate their journey. The area at Plymouth Rock is a celebration of their epic 66 day voyage from English soil to their destination at Cape Cod. There is Island House that is a building from the 16th century which is thought to be the home of some of the Pilgrim travellers. It bears a plaque with the names of the 102 passengers who boarded the ship to America. The Centre has some fine video and audio exhibits that narrate the tale of Plymouth harbour and the Mayflower.   A journey to Plymouth by train would take about 4 hours from central London.

Thomas Paine Trail: While Thomas Paine is both admired and loathed in his time, the fact is that he is not a forgotten figure in history. He played a pivotal role in spurring the Americans to break away from the Crown and declare their freedom. Thetford town is about a ninety minute drive from London and was Thomas Paine’s hometown. The town commemorates him as being one of the leading figures of the revolution. Paine was well known stateside, for publishing the pamphlet ‘Common Sense’, while he lived in Thetford till he was 19. There is a trail dedicated to him and visitors are handed a leaflet for the trail. Along the route it takes in important sites like where he was born and lived, his school, the library he frequented (home to his personal collection) and the church where he worshipped.

There is a statue dedicated to Thomas Paine installed in the town centre as well as a museum, which features several artefacts from his lifetime. You will also see a plaque installed at the Paine Hotel, which was done by American airmen during the Second World War. They flew a bomber that bore his name and a quote of his, from the Knettishall airfield nearby.

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