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New England for everyone

Nicola Iseard / 16 October 2018

BBC Two's Autumnwatch returned to our screens in October and the first episode saw the team in New England. Featuring scenes of dazzling foliage, alongside glimpses of the region’s food, wildlife, music and history, it is sure to fire up your wanderlust. But in case you need a little more convincing, here is a round-up of why New England really is for everyone...

A scenic view of the White Mountains National Forest in New England during fall, or autumn

For history buffs

Founded in 1630, Boston is rich with history. Travel back in time with a visit to North End, Boston’s oldest neighbourhood, with its narrow lanes lined with historic buildings. Pause at the Paul Revere House, a charming timber house dating from 1680.

 A 20-minute stroll north brings you to the USS Constitution, also known as ‘Old Ironsides’. Walk the decks of this magnificent wooden-hulled warship, then visit the nearby museum, which brings the ship’s history to life with hands-on exhibitions.

Another New England city that is a magnet for history buffs is Plymouth, site of America's first pilgrim settlement in 1620. Explore the Plymouth Plantation, a replica village with reenactments of daily pilgrim life.

An insider's guide to Boston

For nature lovers

New England’s natural beauty takes on a certain magic in autumn, when the region is transformed into a kaleidoscope of colour. Nowhere is more picturesque than the White Mountains National Forest, crisscrossed with scenic driving roads and hiking trails. Don’t miss Flume Gorge with its amazing waterfalls and forest views.

For the best view in the area, however, you need to get above ground level – 1244 metres above it, atop the summit of Cannon Mountain. Accessed via an aerial tramway, there is a 360-degree observation deck where you can admire miles and miles of fall colours.

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For railway enthusiasts

Step aboard a vintage passenger car for a journey on the Conway Scenic Railroad. There are two trains to choose from. Notch Train is hailed as the most scenic, weaving through Crawford Notch, a major pass in the White Mountains.

The giant windows offer sweeping views of steep ravines, cascading streams and swathes of forest. You’ll also learn about the history and folklore of the railroad through live commentary. The best time to go is in the fall, when the autumn colours are blazing. Just don’t forget the camera.

For beach fanatics

Cape Cod boasts one of the most remarkable coastal landscapes on the planet, with miles of pristine beach, ponds and giant sand dunes. Provincetown’s sand dunes are the most dramatic on Cape Cod, towering over 30 metres high in places. Nature trails hug the coastline – take a leisurely stroll, looking out for great blue herons as you go.

A sun hat’s throw from Cape Cod is Nantucket. Like its neighbour, it has a picture-perfect beaches, which are arguably at their best in the autumn when the summer crowds are long gone. For the best sunset views, head for Madaket Beach on the far western end of Nantucket.

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For foodies

From clam chowder to pumpkin pie, sampling classic New England cuisine is reason alone to visit the region. For some of the freshest – and tastiest – seafood try The Lobster Pot in Provincetown,  Cape Cod. The lobster bisque is legendary.

Those with a sweet tooth should check out Morse Maple Sugar Farm in Vermont, run by the Morse family for 200 years. You can see how maple syrup is made and enjoy free tastings, too.

Keen to stock up on supplies? The 1790s Brick Store in Bath, New Hampshire, is the oldest shop in the USA. It stocks everything from homemade fudge to smoked meats (courtesy of their very own smokehouse).


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.