An American walk for the Fourth of July. Enhance that 'special relationship with a tour of landmarks celebrating the good times and the bad in the stormy love match between our two countries.

From Hyde Park Corner, walk up Park Lane to the Hilton, the first of the big American hotels to be built in London (in 1963). To its right is Hertford Street where No 10 bears a plaque announcing it as the former home of General John Burgoyne, commander of the defeated British forces in the War of Independence.

Follow the street into Shepherd Market. If you have not had breakfast, Minsky's - at the far end of the market just before it runs into Curzon Street - serves a proper New York bagel, while the Washington Hotel, on the other side of Curzon Street, advertises American food and drink.

Walk up Queen Street, then left on Charles Street and right up Chesterfield Hill. Where the hill ends, turn left on South Street and go up the alley between nos 49 and 51. It leads to Mount Street Garden, a shady green oasis where many seats are dedicated to Americans who lived in London.

Leaving the gardens at the top left-hand corner you are in Chapel Place North. On the left, with its entrance on South Audley Street, is the Grosvenor Chapel, where a plaque records that it was the place of worship for American forces in the Second World War. No doubt they were comforted by its resemblance to Colonial-style churches in New England.

Turn right from the church and walk to Grosvenor Square, its west side dominated by Eero Saarinen's impregnable US Embassy, topped by a menacing giant eagle. Outside is a statue of President Eisenhower, in military dress, peering towards the house on the north side of the square that served as his headquarters when he was masterminding the Allied invasion of Europe.

The square's garden is laid out round a statue of the wartime President Roosevelt. Opposite is a tall plinth commemorating the Eagle Squadrons, in which American pilots served before the United States officially entered the war.

Leave the square by the south-east corner into Carlos Place, turning left at the Connaught Hotel to enter Berkeley Square. The modern building at its southern end is Lansdowne House, named after the Georgian mansion by Robert Adam, pulled down in the 1930s. The American connection? Two bits of Adam's house are now across the Atlantic, the drawing room at the Philadelphia Museum and the dining room at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

Cross Berkeley Street and turn left up Hay Hill, then right on Dover Street, passing the discreet back entrance of Brown's Hotel, where Franklin Roosevelt spent his honeymoon and Mark Twain stayed. Reaching Piccadilly, turn left, then right down St James's Street.

On the left is the headquarters of The Economist, which has more readers in the United States than in Britain. Cross its sculpture-studded courtyard to turn right into Bury Street, then left into King Street to reach St James's Square. No 4, at the north-east corner, is where the American-born Nancy Astor, the first woman to sit in Parliament, hosted her fashionable parties in the 1920s and 1930s.

Turn left into Charles II Street and walk towards the Nash porticos of the Haymarket Theatre. Two doors to its right is the one place in London you are certain to find Americans: the American Express office.

Turn left at the end of Haymarket. On your right is the equestrian statue of George III, fated to be known as the king who lost the colonies. Further on, standing on the lawn beyond the main entrance to the National Gallery, is a statue of the man he lost them to, George Washington.

Cross Trafalgar Square and walk down Whitehall. Past the Banqueting House on the left, in front of the Ministry of Defence, is a statue of Sir Walter Raleigh, coloniser of Virginia. Past the Cenotaph, in Parliament Square, is Winston Churchill (he had an American mother) and, in front of the Middlesex Guildhall on the west side, Abraham Lincoln.

After all that street pounding, the walk ends with a stroll across two of the nicest royal parks. Great George Street leads to St. James's Park. Keep to the north of the lake to see the colourful flower beds and, if you are lucky, hear the band; then make for the exit in front of Buckingham Palace.

Cross into Green Park. The low pyramid in front of you is the new Canadian war memorial, opened only a month ago, with water flowing intriguingly over bronze maple leaves - a reminder of the bit of the colonies that Washington failed to liberate. From here, keep roughly parallel to Constitution Hill to return to Hyde Park Corner, and make a day of it by joining the queue outside the Hard Rock Cafe: where else?

Length: Three and a half miles

Time: Two hours plus.

Public transport: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line and numerous buses).

Car parking: Inadvisable. Meters in Mayfair and garage in Park Lane all expensive. Use single yellow lines on Sundays.

(Photograph omitted)

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