The American War of Independence

The American War of Independence

Losing North America

Battlefield ToursHistory

3rd - 14th June 2020
(12 Days)

Expert Historian : Dr Stephen Brumwell

Tour price: £5,395

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The American War of Independence

Losing North America

Battlefield ToursHistory

Your Holiday Essentials

3rd - 14th June 2020
(12 Days)

Return flights from London, 3 and 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Expert Historian: Dr Stephen Brumwell

Tour price: £5,395

Single supplement: £795
Deposit: £525
Price without flights: £4,795

contact us for more information

Tour Introduction

This superb 11 day tour of The American War of Independence/Revolution will immerse you in 18th century colonial America during its struggle for freedom from the clutches of British rule. Starting in historic Boston, the cradle of the revolution and home to the Freedom Trail, we travel through magnificent Eastern USA countryside to explore the pivotal battlefields and important sites of the war, many of which have been painstakingly and wonderfully restored. We will visit places that resonate throughout history: Lexington, Saratoga, Valley Forge, West Point, Philadelphia, Yorktown and Mount Vernon whilst at Jamestown and Williamsburg we explore America’s colonial past. Although a level 2 tour, we will be spending two full days on foot in Boston and Philadelphia. Throughout we will be staying at full-service hotels and dining at a wealth of local restaurants, and all this in the company of expert native historian Ed Lengel.

Background

Opposition to London’s insensitive colonial policies on taxation and governance was provoked into outright rebellion when British soldiers attempted to disarm Massachusetts patriots in April 1775. British forces enjoyed initial tactical successes around Boston, but strategically these were not enough to prevent the city’s encirclement by the newly formed Continental Army under George Washington and seaborne evacuation followed in the spring of 1776. For the next 18 months the revolt hung in the balance with substantial British reinforcements taking Philadelphia and New York, but an ill-conceived and poorly managed advance from Canada ended in abject failure with the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga in October 1777. The result was the abandonment of Philadelphia and the entry of a revengeful France into the conflict providing much needed naval support, military training and equipment to the patriots. Despite a relatively successful campaign in Georgia and the Carolinas, Lord Cornwallis was forced to march northwards to Virginia where the anticipated extraction by the Royal Navy was foiled by a larger French fleet, the consequence of which was the surrender of the main British Army at Yorktown in October 1781 and the ensuing independence of the United States of America.

Highlights

  • With expert historian & author Dr Stephen Brumwell
  • The witch-trial town of Salem, Boston’s Freedom Trail, Bunker Hill, Lexington and Concord
  • Visit George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon
  • Philadelphia, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown and so much more!

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival

Fly to Boston and drive to Salem, MA, home to the infamous 17th century witch trials and our base for two nights. Welcome dinner.

Day 2 – Boston

Travel in to Boston by MBTA train. Enjoy a full day on foot exploring Revolutionary Boston following its ‘Freedom Trail’ encompassing, amongst others, Boston Common, the Old South Meeting House (home to the Boston Tea Party), the Old State House, the site of the so called ‘Boston Massacre’ and Old North Church which ‘ignited’ the Revolution. This afternoon we examine the siege of Boston visiting the Bunker Hill museum and monument on Breed’s Hill as well as Dorchester Heights, where Washington sited his heavy guns forcing the British to abandon the city thus bringing the siege to a close.

Day 3 – Lexington & Concord

Travel out to Lexington and Concord where a poorly executed British search and destroy expedition provoked the first shots of the war to be fired. We will explore the Buckman Tavern, Visitors Center and Battle Green at Lexington, whilst at Concorde we explore the Minuteman Visitor Center, follow the battle road trail and the Old North Bridge where “the shot heard ‘round the world” was fired. Continue to Albany, the state capital of New York and our base for the night.

Day 4 – Saratoga

We visit one of the pivotal battle areas of the war, Saratoga. A highly complicated British plan to split the colonies resulted in a series of actions and the surrender of a large army directly resulting in the French recognition of American independence. The site of these actions is now preserved in a National Park. Continue to West Point where we spend the night.

Day 5 – West Point and Monmouth

We take a short tour of West Point, home to the United States Military Academy and explore its revolutionary past in which it was so nearly betrayed by Benedict Arnold. Thence to Monmouth, site of perhaps the largest battle of the war. Check-in to our hotel just outside Trenton.

Day 6 – Trenton and Valley Forge

Today we will visit several of the sites of key events of the war, Trenton, NJ ­ scene of Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and a surprise winter attack on a force of the King's Hessians on Boxing Day 1776, and Valley Forge national park where the American forces spent a brutal winter in 1777/1778 from which it emerged as a modern professional army. And like George Washington, we make Valley Forge our base for two nights.

Day 7 – Philadelphia

We take the 40 minute train ride in to the centre of Philadelphia which was one of the largest cities in the British Empire in the 18th century and as the Continental capital, a natural military target. A full day on foot exploring the key Revolutionary sites contained in Independence National Park and preserved colonial sections in the heart of the modern city. Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was debated and signed in the summer of 1776, and the famous Liberty Bell, one of the cherished symbols of American independence, are both key components of this park. We will also look at the occupation of this city by the forces of General William Howe.

Day 8 – Brandywine Creek and Fort McHenry

The opportunity to corner Lord Cornwallis's army in the south led to a rapid concentration of American and French forces in Virginia. We will follow the route of the march, first visiting the site of the significant British victory at Brandywine Creek, which paved their entry into the city of Philadelphia. This afternoon we drop into Fort McHenry, the scene of a valiant defence during the War of 1812 that inspired the words of the ‘Star-spangled Banner’. Continue to Williamsburg where we spend the last three nights of our tour.

Day 9 – Williamsburg

We spend a full day back in the 18th century in Williamsburg, the former capital of colonial Virginia, where independence was first declared. Here, working re-enactors demonstrate a diversity of artisan and historic skills in a wealth of lovingly restored and recreated establishments. You’ll visit the courthouse, merchants’ houses, a foundry, the Governor’s house, the magazine, the military camp and a whole lot more to provide you with a thorough understanding of life in Revolutionary America.

Day 10 – Jamestown & Yorktown

This morning we will visit the preserved site of Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in the New World, with its extant and restored buildings, re-enactors, archaeological digs and museums. Thence to Yorktown where Cornwallis found himself abandoned and surrounded by the concentration of enemy troops coupled with the timely arrival of a French fleet. Following a short siege his surrender brought to an end military action in the war. We spend the whole afternoon exploring the siege lines, batteries, redoubts, battlefield, the visitor centre and the surrender ground.

Day 11 – Mt Vernon & Departure

This morning we visit George Washington’s home at Mont Vernon. We find time to explore the 18th century plantation: the mansion and outbuildings, the gardens and grounds, the museum and his tomb. Head to the airport for our overnight flight to London which arrives on 14th June. 

Recommended Reading List

Your Holiday Essentials

3rd - 14th June 2020
(12 Days)

Return flights from London, 3 and 4 star hotels, buffet breakfast, 3-course dinner with drinks each evening, all entrance fees and expert guide throughout.

Activity Level: 2

Expert Historian: Dr Stephen Brumwell

Tour price: £5,395

Single supplement: £795
Deposit: £525
Price without flights: £4,795

contact us for more information

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