What can you do in St Albans? Learn more about best tourist attractions & unusual things to do in St Albans, Hertfordshire.
Looking for the best things to do in St Albans? When it comes to awesome places to visit in the UK, St. Albans should definitely come pretty high up on your bucket list.
Are you planning a day trip to St Albans? It doesn’t matter whether you are travelling with friends, with family or perhaps on your own, you are still going to be able to find a range of things to do in St. Albans, an amazing city located in Hertfordshire.
Want to know more? Well, to make sure that you see all that you can in St. Albans, here are the top things to see in the city.
Where in Hertfordshire is St Albans?
St Albans is a city in Hertfordshire, England, located about 20 miles (32 km) north of London. The city is situated in the south-east of Hertfordshire, close to the borders of Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
How to get to St. Albans from London?
St. Albans is a perfect place for a day trip out of London! The driving distance between London to St. Albans is 21 miles. It will take approximately 30 min to drive from London to St. Albans by car. If you don’t own a car you can rent one for a day or two.
Alternatively, you can get to St. Albans from London St Pancras International. The direct Thameslink service will take you there in just 20 minutes.
St Albans postcode
The postcode for St Albans, Hertfordshire, UK varies depending on the specific area within the city. Here are some of the commonly used postcodes for St Albans:
- AL1: Covers the central area of St Albans, including St Albans Abbey and Verulamium Park.
- AL2: Covers the western part of St Albans, including Chiswell Green, Park Street, and Bricket Wood.
- AL3: Covers the eastern part of St Albans, including Marshalswick, Jersey Farm, and Oaklands.
- AL4: Covers the southern part of St Albans, including St Albans Park, London Colney, and Smallford.
It’s worth noting that some areas may fall under a different nearby town or village’s postcode, so it’s always best to double-check the postcode for the specific address you’re looking for.
So, what are the best things to do in St Albans?
Accommodation in St Albans
St Albans offers a variety of accommodation options to suit different needs and budgets. Here are some examples of places to stay in St Albans:
- Hotels: There are several hotels in St Albans ranging from budget options to more luxurious ones. Some popular ones include Clarion Collection Hotel St Albans City Centre, Premier Inn St Albans City Centre, and Sopwell House.
- Bed and Breakfasts: St Albans has a number of bed and breakfasts available, such as St Agnells Farm and Ardmore House.
- Self-Catering Accommodation: If you prefer the flexibility of self-catering accommodation, there are options such as St Albans Serviced Apartments, which offer a range of fully furnished apartments with all the necessary amenities.
- Hostels: For budget-conscious travelers, there are a few hostels available in St Albans, such as The White Hart Hotel and YHA St Albans.
- Guest Houses: St Albans also has a number of guest houses available such as St Michaels Manor Hotel and The White House.
These are just a few examples of the types of accommodation available in St Albans. You can find more options online or through local tourist information centers.
What is St Albans famous for
St Albans is a historic town with a rich heritage and several notable landmarks. Here are some things that St Albans is famous for:
- Roman heritage: St Albans was once the site of a major Roman settlement known as Verulamium. Today, visitors can explore the remains of the Roman town, including the Verulamium Museum and the Roman Theatre.
- St Albans Cathedral: St Albans is home to one of the oldest and most famous cathedrals in England. The cathedral is known for its impressive architecture, stunning stained glass windows, and historical significance.
- Market Town: St Albans has been a market town since the 10th century, and today it still hosts regular markets in the city center. The markets offer a variety of goods, including fresh produce, crafts, and antiques.
- Alban Festival: The annual Alban Festival is a popular event in St Albans, which celebrates the life and legacy of Saint Alban, the city’s patron saint. The festival includes a range of activities, including street performances, concerts, and a large street carnival.
- Local Beer: St Albans has a strong tradition of brewing, and several local breweries are located in and around the city. One example is Farr Brew, a popular craft brewery known for its range of ales and lagers.
These are just a few examples of the things that St Albans is famous for. The town has a rich and varied history, and there is plenty to see and do for visitors of all interests.
Explore the most unusual things to do in St Albans and top ideas for days out in St. Albans:
Top things to do in St. Albans:
1. Verulamium Park
What to do in St Albans? Verulamium Park is defintely one of the best things to do St Albans. Set in 100 acres of parkland, yet still close to the city centre, one of the most peaceful places that you can head to in St. Albans has to be Verulamium Park.
Named after the Roman City of Verulamium (where it now stands, when you visit this park you can still see the outlines of the London Gate as well as the city walls too.
Aside from the history, the park also has lakes, plenty of green parkland, children’s play equipment and enough spots that you can stop and take in some of the amazing wildlife and nature of the area.
2. St. Albans Cathedral
Anyone looking for St Albans things to do list has to have the cathedral on it! Open all day every day and free to enter (although donations are welcomed) this amazing Cathedral is a prime example of not only the rich history of the city but also the beautiful architecture too. Many say, it is one of the most interesting British landmarks.
Whilst the Cathedral may have been around for some time, it is still a place of worship and one that is changing and growing over time.
3. The Clock Tower
One of the most popular St Albans tourist attractions!
A clock tower is impressive enough, however, the Clock Tower in St. Albans has something extra special to offer. This particular clock tower is the only surviving medieval town belfry in England and as an ancient monument.
The tower was built by the people of the city and when it was completed in 1405, it was there to be a symbol of the resistant of the power of the abbot.
4. St. Albans Old Town
One of the best things to do in St. Albans is strolling around the narrow streets of the old town. Just admire the stunning old buildings and imagine how it would be like to live in one of them ?
St Albans old town really is worth visiting as it’s one of the best places to see in St Albans!
5. St Michael’s Church
What to see in St Albans? By now you might have realised that St. Albans is a city that is packed full of religious history and St. Michael’s Church is no different.
A church that is open for worship, there is regular church service held here each and every week. This includes your more standard services, as well as evening worships and children’s services too. You can also take a look around the church too if you just want to soak up some of the beauty.
6. Verulamium Museum
If you love museums then travel to St Albans and visit the Verulamium Park Museum!
Found in the grounds of Verulamium Park, the Verulamium Museum is a chance to take a look at the fascinating lives that were led in Roman Britain.
Built on the largest Roman city sites in the UK, the museum is your chance to see a variety of ancient treasures as well as some of the very best mosaics in the whole of Europe.
7. The Great Gateway of the Monastery
We couldn’t forget about about this attraction on our St Albans what to do list, could we?
Part of St. Albans Abbey, the gateway was built by Thomas de la Mere, whilst he was in office during 1349. However, during a storm in 1362, the gateway was destroyed.
After this, De la Mere decided that the time had come to build a larger, stronger gateway and this is what we still can see if we visit the site today.
8. St Albans Museum + Gallery
Set over 3 floors in a beautiful building, the St. Albans Museum and Gallery has only been open since 2018 and in that short time, it has worked hard to become a leading centre for both arts and culture in the city.
For those who visit, they will find state of the art spaces which showcase more than 2,000 years worth of heritage and artworks, all of which seem to change on a regular basis.
As one of the main St Albans attractions, it just has to be seen by anyone who is visiting St Albans!
9. Roman Theatre of Verulamium
This really is one of the most unusual things to do in Hertfordshire. A completely unique sight, this Roman Theatre is a theatre with a stage, rather than the usual Amphitheatre which we may be used to seeing from Roman times.
It was built in 140AD and is the only one of its type in the whole of the UK. Whilst it is not anywhere near as impressive as it once would have been, the ruins are still an amazing sight for those who visit.
So, is this theatre on your list of top places to visit in St Albans?
10. The Peahen
During your St Albans day trip you will definitely see the Peahen! If you trace back the history of The Peahen, then you will still see it mentioned during 1480. At this time The Peahen was a hotel and it soon became a vital stopping point for those who were travelling to or from London.
During the late 19th Century, the original building burnt down, which meant that The Peahen had to be re-built, which is the building that stands today.
Now serving amazing food and drink, the Peahen is a great place to visit when it comes to eating, drinking or perhaps just to take in some history.
11. Nkora Coffee
When you have spent lots of time walking through the city and learning everything that it has to offer, then chances are that you are going to want to find somewhere to sit and relax for a short period of time.
Nkora Coffee is a great option. This independent coffee shop has the unique charm and passion that can only come from those shops that are not part of a chain.
12. Alban Arena
There are many interesting things to see in St Albans. Depending on how much time you are planning on spending in St. Albans, you might want to take a look at taking in a theatre show.
If this is true for you, then you are going to want to take a look at what is on at the Alban Arena. More than just a beautiful building, it is also the home to a number of amazing shows, ranging from family-friendly to adults only.
13. Sunday market
Looking for things to do in St Albans this weekend? There isn’t much that can beat a traditional Sunday Market, and the St. Albans Market is a fine example of this.
One of the best in the area, not only is it perfectly set out for a walk around, but it also offers a high quality of produce and products available from the wealth of traders who sell there.
What is there to do in St Albans? Whilst you may not be able to afford a house in Romeland, it is definitely worthwhile heading to visit this amazing spot in St. Albans.
With the average house price around the £555,000 mark along this street, it is still a nice place to visit and take in during your time in St. Albans.
Other places to go in St Albans? Much like many other places in the UK, St. Albans is packed full of amazing wildlife and creatures that call it their home.
One of the best spots in the city to spot bird, mammal and insect life has to be the Watercress Wildlife Association nature reserve. Where you can take in some amazing creatures, whilst also taking in the beautiful setting too.
16. The Pudding Stop
Do you love pudding? Chances are that this is a bit of a silly question. If you are visiting St. Albans and you have a sweet tooth, then you might want to take a look at The Pudding Stop.
Open 7 days a week, The Pudding Stop, as the name suggests, is all about the pudding. Whether that be brownies, doughnuts, pastries or even just a spot of French Toast and tea. There really is something for everyone at this amazing city eaterie.
17. Ye Olde Fighting Co*ks
Fun cheap things to do Saint Albans? Known to be one of the oldest pubs in the whole of the UK! Or the oldest one if you ask the locals. Ye Olde Fighting Co*ks has been around since the 8th century. From all the places to visit St Albans, this one just has to be on your list!
Aside from being an impressively old pub, it is also a great place to get a drink as well as something to eat too. All whilst you take in the fascinating surroundings.
St Albans town history
St Albans is a historic town that dates back to the Roman era. Here is a brief overview of St Albans town history:
- Roman Settlement: St Albans was originally known as Verulamium, a thriving Roman settlement that was established in the 1st century AD. The town was an important center for trade, and the remains of several Roman buildings can still be seen today.
- Anglo-Saxon Era: Following the decline of the Roman Empire, St Albans became an important center for the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia. It was during this time that the town was named after the Christian martyr, St Alban.
- Medieval Period: St Albans played a significant role in the medieval period, with the construction of the impressive St Albans Cathedral, which began in 1077. The town also played a key role in the Wars of the Roses, with two major battles taking place there in 1455 and 1461.
- Tudor and Stuart Eras: During the Tudor and Stuart eras, St Albans continued to flourish, with the town’s market becoming an important center for trade. The town was also home to a number of prominent individuals, including Sir Francis Bacon and Samuel Ryder, founder of the Ryder Cup.
- Modern Era: St Albans continued to grow and develop in the modern era, with the construction of several notable buildings and landmarks, including the Clock Tower and the Maltings Arts Theatre. Today, St Albans is a thriving town with a rich history, and attracts visitors from around the world to explore its many attractions and landmarks.
These are just a few of the key historical periods in the development of St Albans. The town has a rich and fascinating history, and there is much more to discover for those interested in the past.
St Albans tourist information
St Albans is a popular destination for tourists, with plenty of attractions and activities to explore. Here is some tourist information for St Albans:
- St Albans Cathedral: This is one of the key attractions in St Albans and is an impressive example of Norman architecture. The cathedral has a rich history, and visitors can take guided tours to learn more about the building and its past.
- Verulamium Park and Museum: This is a large park that was once the site of a Roman settlement known as Verulamium. The park includes several attractions, such as the Verulamium Museum, which has a range of exhibits about the Roman era, and the remains of the Roman theatre.
- The Clock Tower: This is a historic landmark in St Albans that dates back to the 15th century. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower to enjoy views of the town and surrounding countryside.
- St Albans Market: This is a popular attraction in the town center, with a range of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to crafts and antiques. The market takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Abbey Theatre: This is a community-run theatre in St Albans that hosts a range of productions throughout the year, from plays and musicals to comedy and family shows.
- Shopping and Dining: St Albans has a range of independent and chain stores, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great destination for shopping and dining.
These are just a few examples of the attractions and activities available in St Albans. For more information, visitors can check out the St Albans Tourist Information Center, which is located in the town center and can provide further guidance on local events, accommodations, and things to do.
Pubs in St Albans
St Albans has a variety of pubs to choose from, whether you’re looking for a traditional local or a more modern gastropub. Here are a few examples of pubs in St Albans:
- The Boot: This is a traditional pub that has been serving drinks for over 500 years. It has a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, with a fireplace and a range of beers and ciders on tap.
- The White Hart Tap: This is a modern gastropub that offers a range of craft beers, wines, and spirits, as well as a menu of classic pub dishes with a contemporary twist. The pub has a trendy and relaxed vibe, and a beer garden that’s perfect for sunny days.
- The Fighting Coc*ks: This is another historic pub that has been around for over 500 years. It has a range of real ales, ciders, and wines, as well as a menu of classic pub food.
- The Six Bells: This is a cosy and characterful pub that offers a range of real ales, craft beers, and spirits. It has a welcoming atmosphere and a menu of classic pub dishes.
- The Great Northern: This is a popular pub that has a large beer garden and offers a range of real ales, craft beers, and spirits. It has a lively atmosphere and often hosts live music events.
These are just a few examples of the pubs available in St Albans. There are many more to discover, whether you’re looking for a traditional local, a modern gastropub, or something in between.
St Albans shops
St Albans has a mix of independent and high street chain stores, offering a variety of shopping experiences. Here are some popular shopping destinations in St Albans:
- The Maltings: This is a shopping center in the heart of St Albans, with a mix of high street stores and independent boutiques. It also has a range of cafes and restaurants, as well as a cinema.
- St Albans Market: This is a historic market that takes place in the town center twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It offers a range of stalls selling everything from fresh produce to crafts and antiques.
- Christopher Place: This is a small shopping arcade located in the heart of St Albans, with a range of independent stores and eateries. It also hosts regular events and pop-up shops.
- The Quadrant: This is a modern shopping destination located on the outskirts of St Albans, with a range of high street stores and restaurants. It also has a large car park and is easily accessible by public transport.
- Fleetville Vintage Emporium: This is a vintage and antique store located in Fleetville, a short walk from the town center. It offers a range of unique and quirky items, from vintage clothing to retro homeware.
These are just a few examples of the shopping options available in St Albans. Visitors can explore the town center and its surrounding areas to discover a range of independent and chain stores, as well as markets and other shopping destinations.
Places to visit near St Albans:
- Berkhamsted: 13 miles away from St. Albans
- Ashridge Estate: 17 miles away from St. Albans
- Old Amersham: 18 miles away from St. Albans
- Great Missenden: 20 miles away from St. Albans
- Hitchin: 20 miles away from St. Albans
- Wendover: 22 miles away from St. Albans
- Beaconsfield: 26 miles away from St. Albans
- Windsor: 32 miles away from St. Albans
- Turville: 33 miles away from St. Albans
- West Wycombe: 34 miles away from St. Albans
- Marlow: 34 miles away from St. Albans
- Henley-on-Thames: 42 miles away from St. Albans
Is it worth visiting St. Albans?
As you can see, St. Albans is a city that definitely has plenty to offer. You might not instantly think of it when it comes to city breaks in the UK, but if you do decide to head to St. Albans, then you will never have a dull moment. That we can promise you. The city is one of the best places to visit in the UK!
If you are looking for the best commuter towns near London then St. Albans should be high on your list!
Take in the culture, take in the history and, best of all, take in some of the delicious food and drink too. You will definitely fall in love with this amazing city as there are many interesting things to do in St. Albans! 🙂
With all that in mind, you can consider St. Albans as one of the best places to visit near London.
St Albans things to do FAQ
St Albans is located in the commuter belt north of London but it’s not part of London itself.
St. Albans is only 20 minutes away from London by train or 26 miles by car.
St Albans is a very popular city to raise a family and one of the top places to live in Hertfordshire. In fact, any area of St. Albans is great to move to!
Verulamium Park is probably the most popular free thing to do in St. Albans. Have you seen it yet?
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