Southern Vermont

After a few days in Boston, we headed from the hustle and bustle of the city to the rather more peaceful Vermont. This was a new state to add to my tally – although I’ve been to New England before, it was to the states south of Boston. I won’t give up till I’ve visited them all!

We planned two stops, Manchester in the South and Burlington in the North. It’s really strange driving around all these places with British names which are nothing like the originals at home (then suddenly, just to confuse you, a road sign to somewhere called Peru appears).The Inn at Manchester, where we spent three nights, was both beautiful and comfortable:

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Just on the edge of Manchester is Hildene, summer home of Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert, which was the highlight of our visit to this area. It’s now owned by the Friends of Hildene who do a wonderful job of looking after it. It’s one of the best presentations of a historic home that I’ve seen – I really did feel that the family had just popped out and would be back any minute. Pictures inside weren’t allowed – but just look at the gardens! Who could tire of these views?

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Equinox Mountain is just outside Manchester. From its 3848 ft summit, there are panoramic views across four states – but, ok I confess, you can drive up it:

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However, we did the short hike to Lookout Rock at the top, so we weren’t totally lazy. We also spent some time in the visitor centre which is, unusually, owned by the Carthusian Order who have a monastery at the base of the mountain.

A few miles south of Manchester is Bennington. Passing through North Bennington, we found their annual outdoor sculpture show was on. The old Railroad Station (now the town offices) was festooned with strange hangings and a man was still waiting for his train.

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Across the street were more sculptures and a shack which had been seriously yarn bombed. I love the imagination that goes into these things!

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Further on, in Old Bennington, we visited the monument to the Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington (1777) – the British lost but we liked the monument anyway.

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From Bennington, we looped back to Manchester via Jamaica State Park – another unexpected name – where we did a six-mile hike up to Hamilton Falls and back. We also drove through our first covered bridge – so they aren’t just something from Bridges of Madison County then!

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Next stop – Burlington.

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