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A Day in St Albans, Hertfordshire



I've recently been exploring a few towns and cities on the outskirts of London as day trips for a change of scenery and to see what the local counties have to offer.


St Albans is a beautiful city located in the county of Hertfordshire. It is known for its dramatic hilltop Abbey and Roman history, but did you know that this charming little town also has plenty to offer when it comes to food and activities?


I visited St Albans on Shrove Tuesday and witnessed the local Pancake Race in town, raising money for charity - loads of fun!


Perhaps you also work remotely and want to see somewhere new on your lunch break? Why not hop between wifi hotspots and explore the town on your lunch and coffee breaks?



Let Lady PA help to plan your day trips, book restaurants, events and activities - get in touch.


 



How to get there

Just a short train trip Northbound on the Thameslink line to St Albans City; 32mins or 19mins on the fast trains from London Bridge or St Pancras Intl respectively. Trains run approximately every 15mins and until very late at night if you were to stay for dinner.



What to do


Culture hits

St Albans is a great place for those who love history. Originally the Roman settlement of Verulam, you will still spot ruins of the original Roman wall encircling the town, most notably in Verulamium Park.


Verulamium Museum is located at the far end of Verulamium Park (near the Waffle House, see "Where to Eat") and is filled with ancient Roman treasures and boasting some of the finest mosaics outside of the Mediterranean.


St Albans Cathedral ("The Abbey") is also one to visit; accommodating the longest nave in England, the free daily tours cover the 1700 year history of the site.





The Clock Tower in St Albans is the only surviving medieval town belfry in England, built in 1405. If you visit St Albans at the weekend you can climb to the top for a small entry fee to see magnificent views of the city and surrounding countryside.


St Albans Museum and Gallery is located in the very heart of the town on the High Street. Recently renovated, you can visit its permanent and rotating displays. It's also a great place to hot-desk with free wi-fi in the octagonal courtroom.



Shopping

Looking to do a bit of shopping? The Maltings is a pedestrianised area of St Albans and home to your classic big brands of TK Maxx and H&M, as well as the more boutique shops like Oliver Bonas and Crew Clothing.


There is also a vibrant market on Wednesdays and Saturdays with a monthly Farmers Market, and Sunday Antiques fair. The High Street is packed with stalls selling clothing, artwork, food, fabrics and much more, accompanied by live entertainment.



Where To Eat

St Albans is becoming well know locally for its many cafés, but it also has so many great restaurants offering delicious food from all over the world, and for varying budgets.


There are all the usual chain restaurants there; Thai Square, Pizza Express, Nandos and Café Rouge, but there are so many independents that easily surpass these.



Chez Mumtaj - £££

Ever considered visiting an Indian/French Fusion restaurant? Sounds a little unusual, but imagine a super tender lamb shank, cooked in Indian spices... absolutely divine and well worth a visit.


The Prime philosophy is to offer the quality of a top London restaurant, and their food definitely delivers that! Steaks are the main draw to this restaurant, and if you fancy a Monday night out, then BYOB with no corkage fee.


Lussmans - £££

This refined restaurant, open Tuesday-Sunday, boasts sustainable food, which rotates on a seasonal basis. The main dining room is very spacious, and restaurant-goers are treated to live background piano music. There is also a private dining area for that special occasion.


Thai Rack - ££

Delicious Thai food at this cosy, family-run restaurant. Friendly staff and some seriously good quality, authentic food. If you want spicy, you can get SPICY!


Just like it says on the tin, everything here is served with waffles! This relaxed café-style eatery is across the other side of town after a beautiful walk through Verulamium Park. With alternative waffles for those with gluten-free and vegan preferences, you can choose either sweet or savoury options, or both if you're feeling hungry! No bookings are accepted but on a weekday, you won't need to wait long for a table.




Where To Stay

Needing to stay over in the area? Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly B&B or something more luxurious like a hotel with spa facilities there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.


Popular choices include the newly built Premier Inn on the High Street, St Michael's Manor Hotel near Verulamium Park, or Sopwell House, a 4* Hotel with spa facilities located a short taxi ride from the city centre.




 

No matter what your budget or tastes may be, you will find plenty of things to do and places to stay in St Albans that will leave you wanting to come back again soon!



Let Lady PA help to plan your day trips, book restaurants, events and activities - get in touch.



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