The ancestral home of first US president George Washington is an atmospheric stone manor with fragrant gardens, set in a picturesque village.
Washington Old Hall was famously once home to the “de Wessyngtons”, later known as the Washington family, who gave the United States of America its first president and gifted their name to its capital city.
History seeps from the manor’s wood-panelled walls, carved-oak furniture and stone-flagged floors, where the gentry and their serving folk once trod. Memorabilia line the walls and fill the Liberty Room, including a hand-written letter by George Washington himself.
Outside, a stroll through beautifully recreated 17th-century gardens leads you to a wildflower nut orchard.
Thanks to this hall, Sunderland is the only non-capital European city that has a friendship agreement with Washington DC. There is a flag-raising ceremony every Independence Day, and more celebrations at Thanksgiving and on George Washington’s birthday.
Washington Village is in northeast England, 5 miles (8km) west of Sunderland by bus or car. Sunderland 3 hours north of London by train.