Stuart Forster looks at 8 places with American names in North East England.
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Keen to visit places such as New York, Philadelphia and Washington? If you live in the United Kingdom you don’t need to board an aircraft to get there. Several places in North East England share names with cities in North America.
Will those near and dear to you smile and roll their eyes if you take them to these spots after bigging up a special day out? There’s only one way to find out.
North East England is dotted with places that share names with towns and cities in North America. Here’s a look at eight of them.
New York in North Tyneside
Dreaming of a romantic weekend in New York City? Hopefully, activities such as cycling in Central Park, shopping at Macey’s and riding the Staten Island Ferry will all be possible for international visitors before too long.
England’s New York is about 85 miles north of the original city of York. That’s more than 3,300 miles eastwards of New York City.
The Tyneside village was named New York after the North American city was captured by the British in the American Revolutionary War.
Philadelphia in Tyne and Wear
The former pit village of Philadelphia in North East England was also named after an American city. The name was chosen after British forces captured the city in Pennsylvania during the conflict alternatively known as the American War of Independence.
Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia is a cracking place for a short break and home to the world’s most famous cracked bell. The Liberty Bell is displayed in the Liberty Bell Center. (Did you know that John Philip Sousa’s Liberty Bell March is used as the theme tune for the Monty Python’s Flying Circus television show?)
The United States Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were both debated in Philly’s Independence Hall, a short walk from the Liberty Bell Center.
Pack your running shoes to jog up the ‘Rocky Steps’ leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where art aficionados will easily be able to spend a day. The steps offer impressive views of the Philadelphia skyline.
Head to Philly’s Reading Terminal Market for moderately priced food and drink, including Philadelphia cheesesteaks and a broad selection of craft beer at Molly Malloys.
The former county of Cleveland
Head to Cleveland, Ohio, and you can step inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The city in the USA is the home to franchises playing in the National Football League, Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association. The city’s basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, won the NBA Championship in 2016.
Book a flight to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport if you want to visit Ohio’s most populous city. Teesside International Airport would be a better bet to reach its English namesake.
From 1974 until 1996 the county of Cleveland straddled the River Tees. Cleveland included areas traditionally part of County Durham and North Yorkshire.
Enjoy hill walking? Roseberry Topping is the best known of the Cleveland Hills. Its summit offers impressive views of the surrounding countryside.
If you appreciate history, pop to Stewart Park in Middlesbrough and visit the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum. The attraction opened to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s birth. Between 1768 and 1779 Cook famously led three voyages of discovery.
A skilled cartographer and surveyor, in the 1750s Cook mapped the channel of the Saint Lawrence River known as The Traverse. His work helped the British win the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in September 1759 and take Quebec City from the French.
If you think including Cleveland on this list is tenuous you could always head to Durham instead. There’s also a Durham in North Carolina.
Quebec in County Durham
The village of Quebec in County Durham was named after its larger Canadian counterpart in honour of that military victory.
If you’re in the vicinity, stop by Ushaw Historic House, Chapels and Gardens. Established as a seminary to train Roman Catholic priests, Ushaw has expansive grounds and hosts art exhibitions.
Richmond in North Yorkshire
Virginia’s state capital straddles the James River. The Richmond in North Yorkshire overlooks the River Swale and is well situated as a base for exploring Yorkshire Dales National Park.
The town’s website proudly states that Yorkshire’s is ‘the first of all Richmonds in the world’. Bearing that in mind, it’s fair to say that the other Richmonds bear an English name rather than this one a North American name.
If you enjoy seeing sites associated with medieval history, plan a visit to the English Heritage-operated ruins of Richmond Castle and Easby Abbey.
The town’s Georgian Theatre Royal opened back in 1788 and is Britain’s most complete operating playhouse from that era.
Toronto in County Durham
The Toronto on the edge of Bishop Auckland is named after the city in Ontario, Canada.
County Durham’s Toronto is near the entrance of the site of Kynren, the outdoor show whose plot is based on England’s history. Auckland Castle and other attractions forming the Auckland Project make Bishop Auckland worth visiting on a day out.
If you appreciate ancient history visit Binchester Roman Fort. The Roman bathhouses are among the best-preserved in the country.
Boat tours represent one of the best ways of viewing the Canadian city’s skyline. For an overview of Toronto, the CN Tower’s LookOut observation deck is tough to beat. The SkyPod, further up the tower at an altitude of 1,465 feet (447 metres) is one contender.
Washington in Sunderland
Washington Old Hall, a National Trust property, dates from the 13th century. The historic house once belonged to the ancestors of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Washington Village is a pleasant place for a stroll.
Pack comfortable shoes for a trip to Washington DC. Thanks to its many monuments and museums, it’s easy to spend long hours on your feet exploring the USA’s capital city.
The top of the Washington Monument, a ticketed but free-to-visit obelisk honouring the memory of George Washington, offers fine views of the city and its surroundings.
Meanwhile, back in North East England, one of Washington’s districts shares its name with a town in Massachusetts. On 19 April 1775, some of the first shots of the American Revolutionary War were fired in Concord. The story of the first battle of that war is told at Minute Man National Historic Park.
Places in North East England with North American names
The Google Map below shows places in North East England that share their name with North American cities:
Hotels in North East England
Planning to visit County Durham, North Yorkshire, Northumberland or elsewhere in the region? You can search for hotels in North East England via Booking.com:
Stuart Forster, the author of this post, is based in North East England. An award-winning travel writer, his work has been published by national newspapers, travel magazines and leading travel websites.
Thank you for visiting Go Eat Do and reading about places in North East England that share their names with North American cities. Interested in spending time in North East England? You may enjoy this post about things to do in Sunderland. Want to stay in a castle? Take a look at this post about Lumley Castle Hotel in County Durham.
Photos illustrating this post are by Stuart Forster.
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