With budget flights between UK and US’s East Coast, Boston is a winning weekend trip

The shortest journey between a major U.S. city and the UK starts or ends in Boston — the vibrant and stylish state capital of Massachusetts. It takes just 6½ hours to get there.

Thanks to low oil prices and a fleet of fuel-efficient Dreamliner jets, budget air travel across the Atlantic is back. Fares start from £149 one way with Norwegian. Factor in the five-hour time difference and you’ll be there less than two hours after leaving Gatwick, in plenty of time for dinner.

After a towering plate of lobster bake, how else can you make the best of a short break? 

Walking on sunshine: You can do Boston on a budget with low-fare flights from the UK

First, you’ll find it has a familiar feel.

Boston was founded in 1630, just ten years after the first English settlers arrived at Plymouth Rock 40 miles down the coast, and they brought with them the idea of a ‘city upon a hill’ which reflected their history and culture. They also brought cobblestones, still a feature in the oldest parts of the city.

Boston is known as America’s Walking City. Despite its gleaming skyscrapers, it has a small-town feel and is easy to get around on foot.

Choose a central hotel like The Godfrey, a lavishly refurbished 1900s office building in the Downtown Crossing district, and follow the paved red line of the Freedom Trail winding two-and-a-half miles through the city’s most significant colonial sites.

Each is a reminder that this is the birthplace of the American Revolution, where the Declaration of Independence was made in 1776. 

Start from Boston Common, the oldest public park in the country. You can also board an amphibious vehicle called a DUCK, and waddle downtown into the Charles River.

There may be more dignified ways of touring a city than in a hybrid of boat and bus, with a ‘quack’ for a horn and a rapper as your ‘conDUCKtor’, but they’re not as much fun. 

One constant theme talking to locals is their civic pride, especially in Boston’s claim to have the youngest and most culturally diverse population in the country. More than 140 languages are spoken.

Newcomer: Boston was founded in 1630, ten years after settlers arrived at Plymouth Rock

Newcomer: Boston was founded in 1630, ten years after settlers arrived at Plymouth Rock

‘We’re a nation of immigrants, though some presidential candidates just don’t get that,’ one Bostonian told me.

Another source of pride, is Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox where the legendary Babe Ruth began his baseball career.

Five miles out of town, another of Boston’s heroes is celebrated in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Housed in a soaring monument, the 1,000 days of ‘Camelot’ is covered in detail — with the glaring exception of any reference to his alleged extramarital activities.

If you have time for an iconic selfie, zoom in on Cheers, the bar in Beacon Hill which was the inspiration for the long-running Eighties TV sitcom.

Sadly, it bears little resemblance to the original.

Even more sadly, to paraphrase the words of the theme music — nobody knew my name.

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