15 Best Things To Do In St Albans, England

15 Best Things To Do In St Albans, England

By will

Living in St Albans, I’ve been fortunate enough to experience some of the best that the city has to offer.

From its stunning architecture to its vibrant culture and stunning views, St Albans has something for everyone.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my favorite fifteen activities to do in the city.

From visiting the majestic St Albans Cathedral to exploring the Roman Theatre, you’re sure to find something you’ll love.

I’ll also be talking about Verulamium Park, the Clock Tower, and the Chiltern Hills, all of which are must-see attractions.

So if you’re looking for some exciting things to do in St Albans, read on!

St Albans Cathedral

St Albans Cathedral
Photo by Philip Halling

You can’t miss St Albans Cathedral while you’re in town – it’s absolutely breathtaking!

This stunning Gothic cathedral dates back to 1077 and has a rich history.

It’s the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in the UK and is home to the Shrine to Britain’s first saint, Alban.

Inside, you’ll find incredible artifacts, such as the shrine of St Alban, the 15th century painting of the martyrdom of St Alban, and the ancient painted ceiling.

The cathedral also houses many exquisite stained-glass windows, which depict scenes from the Bible.

Outside, the grounds are expansive and include a peaceful cloister garden.

There’s also an onsite cafe for a bite to eat after your exploration.

Whether you’re religious or not, a visit to St Albans Cathedral is a must-see.

Verulamium Park

Verulamium Park
Photo by Ian Capper

Verulamium Park’s vast, green spaces offer a tranquil spot to relax and unwind. Located in the center of St Albans, this park offers something for all ages.

Kids will love exploring the ruins of the Roman city of Verulamium, uncovering bits of history and mystery. There’s also a great playground, complete with swings, slides, and a sandpit.

Adults can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the tree-lined paths or simply sit and relax in the peaceful atmosphere. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables, making it the perfect spot for a leisurely lunch.

On sunny days, you can also make use of the grassy fields for sports like cricket or football. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a boat ride along the River Ver.

With its wonderful mix of nature and history, Verulamium Park offers a unique and memorable experience for everyone.

St Albans Market

St Albans Market
Photo by Ian Capper

At the heart of St Albans lies its bustling market, where locals and visitors alike gather to savor the sights, sounds, and flavors of the city.

Held every Wednesday and Saturday in the city center, the St Albans Market is an oasis of delicious food, vibrant colors, and friendly faces.

With over 60 stalls, selling everything from traditional English produce and handmade crafts to antiques and luxury items, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

You can wander the market, sampling fresh produce and chatting to the friendly stallholders, or take a break in one of the nearby cafés to watch the world go by.

Whether you’re looking for the perfect souvenir of your trip or just want to soak up the atmosphere of a traditional English market, St Albans Market has it all.

Clock Tower

Rising high above the city’s skyline, the impressive Clock Tower stands as a symbol of St Albans’ rich history. It is the oldest building in the city, dating back to the 14th century. The tower stands at an impressive 30 meters tall and is made of flint. It stands close to St Albans’ cathedral. According to legend, the tower was built on the site of an old oak tree, which was sacred to the Celts who originally lived in the area.

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Visitors can climb to the top of the Clock Tower and enjoy a stunning view of St Albans. It’s a great way to learn about the city’s history, as the clock has been marking time in St Albans since the 14th century. At the base of the Clock Tower, there is also a museum filled with artifacts and information about the city’s past. It’s a great place to visit and learn more about the city’s fascinating history.

Roman Theatre

Nestled in the heart of St Albans, the Roman Theatre is a remarkable reminder of the city’s ancient past. Built during the 1st century AD, the theatre originally served as a place for public entertainment, such as plays and performances.

It has since been restored to its former glory, and it’s still a popular destination for visitors and locals alike.

The theatre is a great place to explore and learn about the history of St Albans. It features an amphitheatre, which can seat up to 200 people, as well as an ancient stage and several other features.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the theatre and learn about its fascinating history. The theatre also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from plays to concerts, making it a great place for a day out.

High Street

After exploring the Roman Theatre, the next stop on my tour of St Albans is the High Street.

High Street is one of the oldest streets in the city and a great place to catch all the best sights. It’s filled with shops, restaurants, and historic buildings, each with its own unique character.

Walking down the street feels like walking through history. There are plenty of photo opportunities here, especially at the Clock Tower, which is a modern structure built on the site of an old Roman gate.

There are also a few pubs and taverns in the area, perfect for a spot of lunch or dinner.

The High Street also hosts many events, such as the St Albans Festival and the Christmas market, and is always bustling with activity.

St Michael’s Church

Perched atop the High Street, St Michael’s Church is a must-see for any visitor to St Albans.

Constructed in the 14th century, the building is a testament to the town’s long history.

The church boasts a stunning Gothic exterior that’s illuminated by its large stained glass windows, while the interior is just as impressive.

The wooden pews, ornately carved altar, and numerous monuments to the town’s past provide a beautiful backdrop.

Visitors can also explore the church’s crypts and take in the ancient artwork and artifacts housed within its walls.

St Michael’s Church is a remarkable site and a must-see for any visitor to St Albans.

Hatfield House

Situated just outside St Albans, Hatfield House is a stunning example of Jacobean architecture and a must-see for any visitor to the area.

Built in 1611 by Robert Cecil, the first Earl of Salisbury, it was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth I.

The house is a magnificent red brick, four-story mansion with an impressive array of rooms, including a Great Hall, State Room, and Long Gallery.

The house also features beautiful gardens and a lake, as well as a deer park and a historic landscape garden.

The grounds are perfect for a stroll and a picnic, or even a game of croquet.

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The house also houses an impressive collection of art and antiques, as well as a library containing the Earl of Salisbury’s collection of books and manuscripts.

Hatfield House is a great place to experience the grandeur of the past and a great place to spend an afternoon.

Sopwell Nunnery

You can’t miss the beautiful Sopwell Nunnery, located just outside St Albans.

Built in 1140, this former nunnery is now a Grade I listed building that is a popular tourist destination and a great way to spend a leisurely afternoon.

Located on Cottonmill Lane, the grounds of the nunnery feature a variety of attractions. Enjoy the peaceful gardens, including a rose garden, herb garden, and a walled garden.

Or, take a stroll around the lake and pond for a more serene experience.

Inside the building, you’ll find a collection of medieval furniture, as well as some interesting artifacts from the time. Take a look at the original 13th century cloisters or visit the chapel with its impressive stained glass windows.

There’s also a Victorian style nursery and library.

Sopwell Nunnery is a great spot for history enthusiasts and those who just want to soak up the atmosphere.

The peaceful grounds and the remarkable architecture make it an excellent destination for anyone visiting St Albans.

Alban Way

Take a stroll along Alban Way and explore the picturesque views of St Albans, a city in Hertfordshire, England.

This 4.5 kilometer linear park is an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll, as you can take in the stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.

The Alban Way is also a great spot for bird-watching, as you can spot a variety of species including robins, wrens, and ducks.

The path is lined with trees and there are several benches along the way, so you can take a break and take in the beauty of the area.

The Alban Way is also a great place to go for a run or a bike ride, and there are plenty of wonderful cafes and pubs nearby for a post-walk refreshment.

Whether you’re looking for a scenic stroll, a fun bike ride, or just a spot to relax and take in the views, the Alban Way is the perfect spot to explore.

Willows Activity Farm

Willows Activity Farm is a great place to explore and have fun with the family, located just outside of St Albans.

Here, visitors can enjoy farm animals, outdoor activities, and a number of attractions. From goat-petting to tractor rides, and a large adventure playground, there is something for everyone.

The farm also offers play areas, a cafe, and a gift shop. The farm also organizes special events throughout the year, such as Sheep Racing and Easter egg hunts.

The farm is open all year round, and there is plenty to do even in inclement weather.

The farm also offers educational activities and workshops for school groups, making it a great place to learn about the local area and agriculture.

Willows Activity Farm is an ideal destination for a day out, with plenty of fun activities and attractions that will keep visitors entertained.

St Albans Museum + Gallery

After visiting the wonderful Willows Activity Farm, I’m now ready to explore another one of St Alban’s treasures – the St Albans Museum + Gallery.

Located in the heart of the city, this museum and gallery is the perfect place to learn about the rich history of the city. From the Roman period to modern day, this museum has something to offer everyone.

The museum covers topics that range from the city’s medieval history to its local art and architecture.

The St Albans Museum + Gallery has a wonderful collection of artifacts and artwork from a variety of periods. From Roman pottery to modern paintings, the museum has something to please any visitor.

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Additionally, the museum has an interactive section that allows visitors to explore the history of the city in an engaging way. The museum also offers educational activities such as lectures, classes, and workshops, allowing visitors to learn more about the city’s history.

All in all, the St Albans Museum + Gallery is an excellent place to visit and explore the history of the city.

Chiltern Hills

Perched atop the Chiltern Hills, St Albans offers breathtaking views of the English countryside. From the top of the hill, the rolling landscape stretches out for miles, dotted with quaint villages, lush woodlands, and a patchwork of open fields.

This stunning panorama makes a perfect spot for a picnic, with plenty of nearby pubs and cafes to choose from for sustenance. It’s also ideal for a leisurely stroll, with plenty of trails to explore in the surrounding area.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax or an invigorating challenge, the Chiltern Hills are sure to meet your needs. With its stunning scenery and array of activities, this is one of the best places to experience the beauty of St Albans.

Gorhambury Estate

From the beautiful Chiltern Hills, the next must-visit destination in St Albans is the Gorhambury Estate.

This is a unique and stunning estate that spans over 500 acres of parkland, gardens, and woods.

The estate is surrounded by the Gorhambury Woods, a site of special scientific interest and home to many interesting species of birds and animals.

The estate is also home to the stunning Gorhambury House, a Grade I listed building that dates back to the 16th Century. It’s a stunning example of Elizabethan architecture and is a popular destination for visitors to the area.

The estate also features a number of other attractions such as a lake, a tea room, a walled garden, and a model railway.

Visitors can explore the estate on foot or by bike, or enjoy a guided tour of the house.

There is also a programme of events and activities throughout the year, from art exhibitions to educational talks.

Whether it’s a peaceful stroll through the grounds or an exciting day out with the family, the Gorhambury Estate is an unforgettable experience.

The Alban Way Trail

Take a stroll along the Alban Way Trail, nestled amidst the rolling hills of St Albans, for a breathtaking view of the countryside.

This 12-mile long circular trail is a great way to explore the beauty of the English countryside and its many attractions. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely walk, you’ll find something to enjoy on the Alban Way Trail.

As you walk the trail, you’ll pass by landmarks such as Gorhambury Estate and the Roman Theatre, as well as numerous churches, including the 12th-century St Peter’s Church. You’ll also be treated to views of local wildlife, including a variety of birds and small mammals.

The trail is also a great way to explore the history of St Albans, as it passes by many sites of historical interest, including an Iron Age fort and a Norman motte-and-bailey castle.

So why not take a stroll along the Alban Way Trail and enjoy the beauty of St Albans and its surroundings?

Conclusion

St Albans is a great place to visit, with plenty of attractions to keep you busy. From the awe-inspiring Cathedral, to the beautiful Verulamium Park, to the fascinating Roman Theatre, to the rolling Chiltern Hills, there’s something here for everyone.

I highly recommend you take the time to explore St Albans and experience all that this charming English city has to offer. You won’t be disappointed! From the warm welcome of the locals to the delicious food, to the unique attractions, St Albans is a must-see destination.

So don’t hesitate, pack your bags and come discover the best of St Albans.

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.