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Harpers Ferry makes a popular excursion from Washington DC and is served by several trains daily on the Maryland Rail Commuter network ($11 one-way; t 1-800/325-7245, w http://www.mtamaryland.com) and by one daily Amtrak service, the Capitol Limited. Otherwise, you’ll need to drive here.

If you want to spend the night, appealing B&Bs are sprinkled throughout the area, among them the Ledge House, 280 Henry Clay St (t 304/582-2443, w http://www.theledgehouse.com; $101–130), whose simple, pleasant units have balconies and wireless internet. The cosy Laurel Lodge, 844 E Ridge St (t 304/535-2886, w http://www.laurellodge.com; $101–130), is a charming Craftsman bungalow with three rooms featuring wireless internet and smart antique decor. The Angler’s Inn, 867 W Washington St (t 340/535-1239, w http://www.theanglersinn.com; $131–160, save $30 on weekdays), an 1880 Victorian dwelling, provides the requisite B&B amenities, plus the opportunity to go on a full-day fishing expedition on local rivers (combo packages start at $540). Another option is the Harpers Ferry Hostel, seven miles east at 19123 Sandy Hook Rd in Knoxville, Maryland (t 301/834-7652, w http://www.harpersferryhostel.org; dorm beds from $21, private rooms $41–60). The park’s visitor centre and the Jefferson County tourist bureau, 37 Washington Court (t 304/535-2627, w http://www.hello-wv.com), have details on area camping.

Eating choices in town are limited, though the Canal House, 1225 W Washington St (t 304/535-2880), is a reliable option for its coffee and sandwiches.

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