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For other places with the same name, see St. Albans.

St Albans is an English cathedral city to the north of London, in the county of Hertfordshire. Its rich Roman and Medieval history mean it is much more worth a visit than the typical commuter suburb.

St Albans Cathedral

Understand[edit]

The Wallingford Screen in the cathedral

St Albans began in the Iron Age as the Catuvellauni settlement of Verlamio, renamed and developed by the Romans as Verulamium. Burned to the ground by the rebellious Iceni princess Boudicca during her rebellion, it was soon rebuilt. Ruins of portions of the Roman wall, the theatre and a hypocaust can be visited today. A resident of Verulamium named Alban became the first British martyr of Christianity, and thus St Albans became an important abbey and monastic centre in the Middle Ages. The cathedral, founded as the Abbey Church of the monastery on the site, was built partially of stones taken from the old Roman town. After the Reformation, St Albans faded from prominence, becoming a typical Home Counties market town. Yet its historical importance was recognised by the state in 1877, when Queen Victoria bestowed city status on the town and cathedral status on the Abbey Church. Today, St Albans is a well-off suburb, with many residents commuting into London.

Tourist information[edit]

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

St Albans is close to the M1, A1M and M25 motorways. From the M1 take Junction 6 for the A405 or Junction 8 for the A414 (previously known as the M10). From the A1M take Junction 3 Hatfield for the North Orbital Road/ A414. From the M25 take Junction 21a for the A405/North Orbital Road or Juncton 22 for the A1081.

By train[edit]

St Albans is easily accessed via the Thameslink railway which runs from London St Pancras (25 minutes, easy connections to the Eurostar, and London King's Cross for Edinburgh and York) to the main 1 St Albans City station, located on Victoria St. Going north is Luton Airport Parkway, Luton (Midland) & Bedford (Midland) (40 minutes). From Luton and Bedford, you can connect north to Leicester, Sheffield and Leeds. Going south, the train runs to Gatwick Airport (70 minutes) and Brighton on the south coast (100 minutes). Trains also stop at the London stations of West Hampstead Thameslink, Kentish Town, St Pancras, Farringdon, City Thameslink, Blackfriars, Elephant & Castle, East Croydon & Wimbledon.

Fares from London are relatively high, but are slightly cheaper if travelling off-peak (departing St Albans/London after 9:30AM, and departing London 4:30-7PM), or super off-peak (weekends and bank holidays). Open returns (return within 1 month) are not available from St Albans, but are from London. A Travelcard bought from St Albans includes the return fare from St Albans to London, as well as unlimited travel around London on the tube, overland train, bus and trams service.

The city's second railway station, 2 St Albans Abbey station, is to the south of the city centre in the Verulamium neighbourhood, at the foot of Holywell Hill, and is the terminus of the local line to Watford Junction Station from which you can connect to London Euston, and north to Northampton and Birmingham. The train runs as a shuttle every 40 minutes.

By bus[edit]

St Albans is well linked to neighbouring towns, although despite the distances, journey times are relatively long. There is a frequent direct bus service to London Heathrow Airport, the No. 724. This takes between 70-120 minutes (depending on the time of day) and costs £9 one way. This stops at the main station and the Abbey station (on request only).

Get around[edit]

You can explore the city in a number of ways. Residents Parking means that on street parking is restricted and car parks can be busy so once you have a space its best to leave the car and walk. Shopmobility scooters are available in St Albans (office is on the ground floor entrance of the Drovers Way car park).

On foot[edit]

From edge to edge St Albans takes an hour to walk, the city centre, most hotels and B&Bs and the main attractions much less. The only obstacle comes from the fact the city is built on a relatively steep hill, with Verulamium Park and the Roman remains at the bottom, the medieval and modern town centre at the top, and the Abbey halfway up. The main station (for London, airports, Bedford & Brighton) is a 10-minute walk to the city centre, and the Abbey station perhaps 15 minutes.

By bike[edit]

There are cycle routes around the city but best to avoid the town centre (St Peter’s Street/High Street). Plan your route and beware of steep hill as above. You would need to bring your own bicycle as there are no hire facilities. The Alban Way runs directly through St Albans and is suitable for bikes, making it useful for travel between some parts of the city.

By bus[edit]

Buses run around the city, but are not of use for most visitors. Could be a good option getting to/from the stations to town centre for those with pushchairs or mobility issues.

By taxi or minicab[edit]

Taxis are a good option but can be expensive. There is a taxi rank both at the main station, and on St Peter’s Street. There is a taxi marshal scheme to help people return home safely from bars, clubs and pubs with late licences (and reduce alcohol-related violent incidents). Minicabs operating in the area must be prebooked. Uber is also available in St Albans.

See[edit]

History[edit]

St Albans is packed with a rich history with something around nearly every corner.

Roman[edit]

The Romans left their mark on St Albans (Verulamium as they knew it). There are Roman Remains that you can still see:

  • 1 Roman Wall (in Verulam Park). It was the defensive wall of Roman Verulamium. Free. Verulamium, part of wall and ditch of Roman city (Q17645317) on Wikidata
  • 2 Roman Theatre of Verulamium, Bluehouse Hill, AL3 6AE (by car: off the A4147 (Sat Nav AL3 6AE); by train: nearest station St Albans Abbey Station), +44 1727 835 035, . Mar-Oct: 10AM-5PM, Nov-Feb: 10AM-4PM. A well-preserved stone theatre that lies the other side of the main road near the Verulamium Museum. From here you can walk up to the manor house of Gorhambury (home of the Earl of St.Albans) which is open Thursdays only, May-September, 2-5PM, and some special occasions. Adults £3, students and seniors £2.50, children (5-16) £2.00, under 5’s - free. Verulamium (Q19861) on Wikidata Verulamium on Wikipedia
  • 3 Verulamium Museum, St Michael's, AL3 4SW (by car: accessible via St Michael's Street or off Bluehouse Hill (the A4147) follow signs; by foot: about a 20-minute pleasant walk from the Town Centre; by train: about a 30-minute walk away from St Albans City Station (Thameslink) and 10-min walk from the St Albans Abbey Station (Abbey Flyer)), +44 1727 751 810. M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 2-5:30PM, last admission 5PM. Tells the story of the Roman city of Verulamium (that was the third largest city of Roman Britain). The museum is home to some of the finest Roman mosaics and wall plasters outside the Mediterranean, along with pottery and other artefacts. Within the museum they have recreated Roman rooms as well as having hands-on discovery areas. Some of the Sandridge Hoard of Roman gold coins are on permanent display. During the week there are often school groups, so try and schedule your visit for after the school day. Verulamium Museum is wheelchair-accessible. Adults £6, children (under 16s) £3, under 5s free, senior citizens and concessions £4, residents of St Albans District (with proof of residency) free, group and family discounts are available. Verulamium (Q19861) on Wikidata Verulamium on Wikipedia
  • 4 Hypocaust (Verulamium Park Hypocaust), Verulamium Park, AL3 4SW (by the football pitches in Verulamium Park). This 1800-year-old hypocaust and mosaic floor was uncovered during excavations in Verulamium Park in the 1930s. Although the Hypocaust is wheelchair accessible, it is off of a gravel footpath and up a bit of a hill. Free.

Medieval[edit]

St Albans Clock Rower

Medieval times shaped the look of St Albans to the picturesque town you can see now. St Albans city centre was the site of two battles during the Wars of the Roses 1455 & 1461.

  • 5 Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban. A cathedral which has the longest true nave in Britain. The Shrine of St. Alban is inside. There is no entry free, just a suggestion donation. Most weekdays there is a free Evensong concert at around 5PM. There are free guided tours M-Sa at 11:30AM, Sa 2PM, and Su-F 2:30PM. A shorter “highlights” tour runs daily at 1:05PM. Tower Tours run on some Wednesdays and weekends between May and October, and cost £8 per person. Approximately 4 times a year there is a candle-lit night-time tour. Tickets cost £10 per person and include a drinks reception before the tour. The building is referred both as the Cathedral and the Abbey... they are the same place, so don’t “do” one, then go looking for the other! St Albans Cathedral (Q334377) on Wikidata St Albans Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 6 Clock Tower, High Street, AL3 4EL, +44 1727 751 810, . Sa Su bank holidays 10:30AM-5PM. This medieval tower was built in the early 15th century. You can climb the tower most weekends and bank holidays from Easter to September, although the tower may have to close unexpectedly in bad weather. During the climb, you are able to see the workings of the clock and learn about some of its history. There is also a view from the top. Plaques in the surrounding area give more historical context. Adults £2, children free. Clock Tower (Q9373871) on Wikidata Clock Tower, St Albans on Wikipedia

Tudor[edit]

  • 7 Sopwell Ruins (Sopwell Nunnery, Sopwell Priory, Lee Hall), Cottonmill Lane, AL1 2BY (a 10-min walk from St Albans Abbey Station). Ruins of a Tudor mansion built around 1560 by Sir Richard Lee. It was built on top of the medieval nunnery. It is a good spot for a family picnic and included in two Ver Valley walks. Surrounded by level grass but there is no path so may be unsuitable for those less mobile. Free. Sopwell Priory (Q7563217) on Wikidata Sopwell Priory on Wikipedia
  • 8 Old Gorhambury House (English Heritage), Gorhambury Drive, Gorhambury, AL3 6AH. Open nearly every day of the year and at “any reasonable time”, excluding all Saturdays in winter when the road is closed the public. Free. Old Gorhambury House (Q7084112) on Wikidata Old Gorhambury House on Wikipedia
  • 9 Pemberton Almshouses, St Peter's St, AL1 3EU (opposite Church of St Peter). Built in 1627 of brick. Pemberton Almshouses (Q26630632) on Wikidata

Recent history[edit]

  • 10 St Albans Museum + Gallery, Town Hall, St Peter’s Street, AL1 3DH, +44 1727 864 511, . 11AM-5PM. The original town hall, restored and now acting as a museum and art gallery. The highlight of the museum is the original court room and cells. A café, shop and toilets are also available. free (some exhibitions may have additional costs).
  • 11 St Albans South Signal Box (close to St Albans City Station, Sat Nav use AL1 3AJ). Su 2-5PM (selected days only). The largest preserved Midland Railway signal box in the UK and one of the few preserved boxes that's open to the public. The site is fully accessible except for the long flight of steps to the upper floor of the signal box. For those unable to get upstairs a video of the upstairs workings can be shown downstairs. Accessible toilet and hand washing facilities available on request. By donation. St Albans South Signal Box (Q26397078) on Wikidata
  • 12 De Havilland Aircraft Museum (Mosquito Museum), Salisbury Hall, London Colney, AL2 1BU, +44 1727 826 400, . Tu-Su 10:30AM-4PM. The only museum in the world where you can get close up to 3 iconic DH Mosquito Aircraft including the unique prototype, where it was designed and built. Adults £14, children £8, concessions £12. De Havilland Aircraft Museum (Q5244410) on Wikidata De Havilland Aircraft Museum on Wikipedia

Sights and Explore[edit]

It is worth taking time to explore and discover St Albans.

  • 13 Fishpool Street, AL3 4RS. picturesque street leading to St Michaels Village 13, Fishpool Street (Q17555382) on Wikidata
  • The St Albans Festival runs for two weeks in late June, and features a series of events in and around St Albans.
  • 14 St Michaels Street (from town centre either walk through Verulamium Park or down Fishpool Street). This pretty street with a mixture of houses, some thatch roofed and some half-timbered makes for a charming area to have a wander around. St Michaels Bridge takes you over the River Ver. Two traditional pubs and Kingsbury Mill (now the waffle house) are located here. Look out for the "Hertfordshire Puddingstone" found at the front of the mill. The street has the feel of an old English village. St Michael (Q5561596) on Wikidata St Michael, Hertfordshire on Wikipedia

As seen on screen[edit]

St Albans has appeared as the backdrop in many films and TV shows. As you explore the city you may recognise some places.

Films[edit]

  • Birthday Girl with Nicole Kidman as a St Albans bank clerk was set entirely in St Albans and the surrounding area
  • First Knight with Richard Gere and Sean Connery used St Albans Cathedral for a wedding scene
  • Incendiary with Ewan McGregor used St Albans Cathedral and the city station
  • Johnny English with Rowan Atkinson used St Albans Cathedral as a double for Westminster Abbey
  • Mike Bassett England Manager with Ricky Tomlinson used St Albans to double as Norwich (locations included the town hall)

TV[edit]

  • Foyles War with Michael Kitchen filmed scenes in Fishpool Street
  • Holby City has filmed at St Albans City Station
  • Inbetweeners with Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison and James Buckley the field trip episode was filmed by the town hall
  • Inspector Morse with John Thaw and Kevin Whatley scenes where shot at Ye Old Fighting Cocks and St Albans Cathedral
  • Life Begins with Caroline Quentin & Alexander Armstrong filmed at various places around St Albans including Market Place & French Row
  • Midsummer Murders with John Nettles filmed a scene at St Albans School
  • Porridge with Ronnie Barker. The opening titles used the 15 old prison gate house, in Victoria Square, AL1 3T. St Albans Former Prison (Q104853659) on Wikidata
  • The Apprentice with Lord Sugar had the introduction and ‘walk of shame’ exit sequences (series four onwards) filmed at the Viglen HQ building in St Albans.

Adverts[edit]

  • Morethan: In 2013 Morethan dedicated a whole advert to St Albans

Do[edit]

There is lots to do in St Albans whether its just for: a short few hours, day trip or longer holiday.

Cinema and Theatre[edit]

Trestle Arts Base
  • 1 The Odyssey, 166 London Road, AL1 1PQ (by foot: a 15-min walk from town centre; by car: on London Road (A1081); by train: nearest station St Albans City Station). An independent single screen Art Deco cinema. Showing a broad selection on film titles each month, including new releases & classics. Odyssey Cinema (Q41794584) on Wikidata Odyssey Cinema, St Albans on Wikipedia
  • 2 Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, Holywell Hill, AL1 2DL (by car: off Holywell Hill use Sat Nav AL1 2DL; by train: nearest station is St Albans Abbey Station just across the road from the theatre), +44 1727 857861, . A small theatre built and run entirely by members. The resident production company being the Company of Ten. The theatre has visiting professional and amateur groups which helps provide a truly diverse programme of events throughout the year. Wheelchair accessible with disabled toilet. Abbey Theatre, St Albans (Q31675505) on Wikidata
  • 3 The Maltings Art Theatre, Level 2, 26 The Maltings, AL1 3HL (on Level 2 of the Maltings Shopping Centre next to the Library), +44 333 666 3366. The Maltings Arts Theatre is a lively, buzzing fringe venue in the centre of St Albans providing high quality performances at affordable prices and a platform for the best local creative talent. The Maltings Theatre St Albans (Q104773696) on Wikidata
  • 4 The St Albans Organ Theatre, 320 Camp Road, AL1 5PE, +44 1727 869 693. Contains theatre organs, punch-card cafe organs and other instruments. It opens every Sunday afternoon, when visitors have the opportunity to see and hear the fascinating instruments. St Albans Organ Theatre (Q42795419) on Wikidata Q42795419 on Wikipedia
  • 5 Trestle Theatre Company Ltd, Russet Drive, AL4 0JQ, +44 1727 850 950, . Trestle Theatre (Q17035740) on Wikidata Trestle Theatre on Wikipedia

Parks and nature[edit]

  • 16 Verulamium Park. An enormous stretch of greenery lying to the south of the city centre. There is a lake in the middle, and the River Ver flows to the side. To get here, walk from the Chapter House entrance of the Cathedral through the Orchard to the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub, then over the little bridge. Alternatively walk down George Street from the Clock Tower, turning left onto Romeland, and then through the millennium old Abbey Gateway, then follow the road down the hill to the pub and bridge. From the park, you can easily walk to the Verulamium Museum.
  • 17 Clarence Park, 1A Clarence Rd, AL1 4NF (located just to the west of the St Albans City train station.), +44 1727 866 100. A medium-sized park. It contains the stadium for St Albans City FC in addition to a cricket pitch and pavilion, tennis courts, and bowling green. free. Clarence Park, St Albans (Q1409639) on Wikidata Clarence Park (St Albans) on Wikipedia
  • 18 Heartwood Forest, AL4 9DQ (either side of the B651 north of Sandridge). The largest (858 acres) continuous new native forest in England Heartwood Forest (Q5693113) on Wikidata Heartwood Forest on Wikipedia
  • 19 Grebe House Wildlife Garden, 39 St Michael's St, AL3 4SW (next to the Verulamium Museum), +44 1727 858 901. Grebe House Wildlife Garden (Q105027262) on Wikidata

Walks[edit]

  • 6 Alban Way (cycle path). A cycle path that runs from St Albans, close to St Albans Abbey railway station and the site of Roman Verulamium, through Fleetville and Smallford to Hatfield, ending close to Hatfield railway station. The route follows the former Hatfield to St Albans railway line. Alban Way (Q4709023) on Wikidata Alban Way on Wikipedia
  • [dead link] St. Albans: Let's Walk, St. Albans City & District Council, Tourist Information Centre, The Old Town Hall, Market Place, AL3 5DJ, +44 1727 864511, . The St. Albans Tourist Information Centre has information about a large number of guided walking tours in St. Albans. These tours are led by trained guides. Most tours now start at the clock tower due to the old town hall being closed for redevelopment. £5 for adults, £2 for children (5-15 years old).

Buy[edit]

The main shopping street in St Albans is St Peter’s Street which has a selection of usual high street stores. Market Place with its more oldie worldly feel is often used in pictures to depict St Albans with the Cathedral tower in the background.

Markets[edit]

St Albans is home to three markets. The Charter/Traditional market which is the world’s longest running street market, the monthly farmers market for locally produced products, and the monthly antiques market:

  • 1 St Albans Traditional Street Market (St Albans Charter Market) (along the length of St Peter’s Street). W Sa 8:30AM-5:30PMish. St Albans market is one of the World’s longest running street markets being founded by Abbot Ulsinus, the sixth abbot of St Albans, in circa 860. In 1553, Edward VI sold the right to hold the market on Wednesdays and Saturdays to a group of local merchants and landowners and the letters patent recording the sale also incorporated the borough of St Albans which continues to run the market to this day. You will find a range of items from food, cloths, gifts and plants to electrical items at this bustling market. A food section of the market can be found in Market Place selling sweet and savoury bakes, hot and cold food and street food.
  • 2 St Albans Farmers Market (on St Peter’s Street opposite the Town Hall), . 8AM-2PM on the second Sunday of every month. With local farmers, growers, and producers as well as local crafts traders this is a vibrant and entertaining shopping experience.
  • 3 St Albans Antiques Market (Vintry walled Garden is next to St Albans Cathedral), . 9AM-15PM on the third Sunday of every month. An antiques and vintage market with collectibles, furniture, and artwork.

Shopping centres[edit]

  • 4 The Maltings (Maltings Shopping Centre), 28 The Maltings, AL1 3HL (in St. Albans city centre; bounded on north by Victoria Street and on west by St. Peter’s Street), +44 1727 844226, . M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-5PM. This pedestrian shopping centre has a variety of shops, eateries and service establishments. It has approximately 50 establishments on two levels. Its largest shops are Wilko and T K Maxx. The Maltings is also home to the local public library and to the Maltings Arts Theatre. On its east side is a multi-level 800-space car park. The car park is much of the time extremely crowded.
  • 5 Christopher Place Shopping Centre, Upper Dagnall St, AL3 5DQ, +44 1727 832889, .
  • 6 Village Arcade, 7 High St, AL3 4EP. 9AM–5PM. More for the arcade (that leads to the Abbey) than the shops. Village Arcade St Albans (Q104708269) on Wikidata

Shops[edit]

  • 7 Books on the Hill, 1 Holywell Hill, AL1 1ER (next to the Peahen), +44 1727 807 248, . M-Sa 10AM-5:30PM, Su 11AM-4PM. An independent bookshop with a focus on old and rare books, although newer books are also available. 1, Holywell Hill (Q26583960) on Wikidata
  • 8 Chaos City Comics, 20 Heritage Close, AL3 4EB, +44 1727 838719, . Tu-Sa 11AM-5:30PM, Su noon-4PM. A comic shop with a good selection of current issues and a basement with a sizeable collection of back issues. Graphic novels, trading cards and RPG rulebooks are also available, among other pop culture items.
  • 9 Warhammer - St Albans (Games Workshop St Albans), 18 Heritage Close, AL3 4EB, +44 01727 861193. W noon-3PM, 4-9PM; Th F noon-3PM, 3:30-6PM; Sa 10AM-1PM, 1:30-6PM; Su 11AM-1PM, 1:30-5PM. A typical Warhammer store selling all of the usual products (miniatures, paints and other items for the Warhammer table-top game). There are also regular build paint play sessions, particularly for children and teenagers. The manager and other staff are also very friendly and helpful.
  • 10 Waterstones, 8 St Peter’s Street, AL1 3LF, +44 01727 834966, . M-F 9AM-5:30PM, Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10:30AM-4:30PM. A chain bookshop with a substantial selection of books across all genres, including a large children's' section. There is a café on the first floor, along with non-fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and young adult books.

Eat[edit]

St Albans has a wide variety of restaurants and pubs serving food, though nothing of particular excellence. The Hot Cross Bun (the Alban Bun) originates from St Albans, where Brother Thomas Rocliffe, a 14th Century monk at St Albans Abbey, distributed the bun to the local poor on Good Friday, starting in 1361. The Alban bun is available from the Abbots Kitchen (St Albans Cathedral) during the run up to Easter. There are lots of places around St Albans suitable for a picnic when the weather is fine. A good alternative to bringing a picnic and carrying it round with you is buying a supermarket meal deal (Tesco/Boots in the town centre & Sainsburys/Waitrose to the south of Verulamium Park).

Restaurants[edit]

Waffle House in Kingsbury Mill
  • 1 Côte Brasserie, 3 High Street, AL3 4ED, +44 1727 858587. M-F 8AM-11PM, Sa 9AM-11PM, Su 9AM-10:30PM. Excellent French restaurant, with a little garden in the back.
  • 2 The Waffle House (Kingsbury Water Mill) (Follow Fishpool Street to St Michaels). Su-W 8:30AM-6PM, Th-Sa 8:30AM-8PM. St Michael's Place serves sweet and savoury waffles, in a converted watermill (worth a quick visit in its own right). Very busy for lunch during holiday times so prepare to queue. Kingsbury Watermill (Q6413169) on Wikidata Kingsbury Watermill on Wikipedia
  • 3 Wagamama, Unit 6, Christopher Place, +44 1727 865122. M-Sa noon-11PM, Su noon-10PM. A trendy Japanese noodle restaurant in the town centre. Prices are moderate (£10-15/person) and the staff are well trained and friendly.
  • Pizza Express, 11 Verulam Road, +44 1727 853020. Su-W 11:30AM-11PM, Th-Sa 11:30AM-midnight. The local branch of the popular pizza restaurant chain.
  • Cafe Rouge, chain restaurant on Holywell Hill; the building is a former seed hall used by Samuel Ryder who donated the Ryder Cup, a golf trophy played for between the United States and Europe.

As with most UK cities, there are plenty of curry houses:

  • Devdas, St Peter’s Street, AL1 3DQ, +44 1727 730830. Tasty selection of Indian food, and winner of a few awards.
  • Veer Dhara One, 9 Hatfield Road, AL1 3RR, +44 1727 226226, . M-Sa noon-2:30 PM and 5:30-11PM, Su 12:30-3PM and 5:30-10:30PM. A popular Indian restaurant located in the old liberal club building
  • 4 Nonnos Pizza, 215 Hatfield Road, AL1 4SY, +44 1727 851144, . 11AM-11PM. Part of a small chain of pizza restaurants selling stone baked pizzas. Other meals, such as chicken, are also available. Nonnos can get very cramped and busy but collection or delivery is available. £12-£20.

Fish and chips[edit]

  • 5 The Camp Fish & Chips, 33 Sutton Rd, AL1 5JQ (corner of Cambridge and Camp View Road), +44 1727 868 858. The Camp Fish & Chips (Q105026574) on Wikidata
  • 6 Fishy Place, 1-3, Catherine St, AL3 5BJ, +44 1727 845 902. Tu W Th noon-9PM, F Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-8PM (M closed). Fishy Plaice St Albans (Q104667402) on Wikidata
  • 7 Master Fryer, 8 Beech Rd, Bernards Heath, AL3 5AX, +44 1727 861 188. M-Sa 11:30AM–2PM, 4:30–9PM. Master Fryer St Albans (Q104667253) on Wikidata

Snacks[edit]

  • 8 Simmons Bakers, 27 The Quadrant, Marshalswick, AL4 9RB, +44 1727 846 962. M-Sa 7AM-5:30PM, Su 8AM-5PM. Brilliant bread and pastries Simmons Bakers Quadrant St Albans (Q104649817) on Wikidata
  • 9 Incredible Edible Civic Centre Garden, AL1 3LD (the garden is adjacent to the Alban Arena off St Peter's Street). Pick your own salads, herbs, fruit and vegetables. Free - help yourself - scissors recommended. Incredible Edible Garden St Albans (Q104667717) on Wikidata

Drink[edit]

St Albans has the largest number of pubs in one square mile in England (and the UK). On Friday and Saturday nights, most bars and pubs are full, and may have bouncers on the door checking ID. Closing times vary between 11PM and 2AM, so ask when you're at the bar what time 'last orders' is. There are plenty of very nice country pubs near St Albans, although you'll need your own transport to get there. On sunny days, plenty of people drink in Verulamium Park. This is allowed in certain areas. There are signs where alcohol is prohibited. Tesco on St Peter's Street is generally cheaper than off-licences.

Pubs and bars[edit]

St Albans has an large range of pubs and bars given its relative size, most of which offer a selection of food.

Historic[edit]

Ye Old Fighting Cocks
  • 1 Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, 16 Abbey Mill Lane, AL3 4HE, +44 1727 869152, . Britain's oldest pub that still runs today. It dates back to the 8th century with the pub you can see today built in the 11th century. Full of history cock-fighting used to take place in the main bar in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the octagonal half-timbered structure was once a medieval dovecote. The old building is full of charm with low ceilings, a bread oven next to the main fireplace, nooks and crannies. There is a nice beer garden in the back. Serves pub grub food. Ye Olde Fighting Cocks (Q8050759) on Wikidata Ye_Olde_Fighting_Cocks on Wikipedia
  • St Michael's Village is one of the oldest areas of St. Albans, and features some lovely old pubs including the 2 Six Bells. The Six Bells (Q83558841) on Wikidata The Six Bells on Wikipedia , 3 Rose and Crown. Rose and Crown, St Albans (Q28402493) on Wikidata Rose and Crown, St Albans on Wikipedia and 4 Lower Red Lion, 36 Fishpool St (on the way from the city centre). The Lower Red Lion (Q26397206) on Wikidata The Lower Red Lion on Wikipedia.

Other recommended pubs:

Contemporary/nightlife[edit]

  • 10 The Horn (Was The Horn Reborn), Victoria Street, AL1 3TE (near St Albans City Station), +44 1727 853 143, . A pub and live music venue. Has a selection of original bands, tribute acts, cover bands, acoustics and comedy. Ticket may be required. Pub grub is also available. The Horn (Q83559687) on Wikidata
  • 11 Mad Squirrel Tap, 17 High Street, AL3 4EB (on an alley that goes from the clock tower towards the cathedral, also accessible from heritage close), +44 1727 236 867. A pub owned and operated by the hertfordshire brewery Mad Squirrel. While only having their own beers on tap they usually have a large number, around 25, with a good variety in types of beer. Has a small beer garden with views of the cathedral and also serves pizzas. Mad Squirrel Tap (Q83559700) on Wikidata
  • 12 Club Batchwood (Batchwood Nightclub), Batchwood Drive, AL3 5XA (by Batchwood golf course/tennis club), +44 1727 856596, . F Sa 11PM-4AMish. Local nightclub outside St Albans city centre to the north-east in Batchwood Hall. Clientele mainly 18-24 year olds. Batchwood Hall (Q48797353) on Wikidata Batchwood Hall on Wikipedia

Traditional local[edit]

Farmers Boy
  • Near the Odyssey Cinema in London Road are 13 The Farmer's Boy, 134 London Rd, AL1 1PQ, +44 1727 860535. with log fire, board games and suntrap garden. They serve home cooked style food everyday (with a BBQ menu in the summer) The Farmers Boy (Q83558961) on Wikidata and 14 Great Northern, 172 London Rd, AL1 1PQ (Next to the Odyssey cinema), +44 1727 730 867. Great Northern (Q83558798) on Wikidata

In the Sopwell Lane area east of Holywell Hill there are several good back-street pubs:

Village pubs[edit]

In Tyttenhanger south east of St Albans:

  • 28 The Plough, 30-32 Tyttenhanger Green, Tyttenhanger, AL4 0RW (Follow Highfield Lane SE of St Albans), +44 1727 857 777. M-Th 11:30AM–2:30PM 6–11PM, F Sa 11:30AM–11PM, Su 11:30AM–11PM. A delightful local in the outlying hamlet of Tyttenhanger. The Plough (Q83558716) on Wikidata

In Sandridge north of St Albans:

  • 29 The Green Man, 31 High St, Sandridge, AL4 9DD, +44 1727 854 845. noon-10PM. Green Man (Q83558889) on Wikidata
  • 30 The Queen's Head, 7 Church End, Sandridge, AL4 9DL (facing St Leonards Church). Queen's Head Public House (Q26396952) on Wikidata The Queen's Head, Sandridge on Wikipedia
  • 31 Rose & Crown, 24 High St, Sandridge, AL4 9DD, +44 1727 859 739. Rose And Crown Public House (Q26470097) on Wikidata
  • 32 John Bunyan, Coleman Green Lane, Sandridge, AL4 8ET (follow Colemans Green Lane west through Heartwood Forest), +44 1582 832 037. A countryside pub with vintage and Lotus Car meet ups John Bunyan (Q83558942) on Wikidata

Campaign for Real Ale[edit]

St Albans is home of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) head office. The 33 The Farriers Arms, 32-34 Lower Dagnall St, AL3 4PT, +44 1727 851 025. is the quiet local's pub where in 1972 the first CAMRA branch was formed. The Farriers Arms (Q104708217) on Wikidata

  • 34 St Albans Beer & Cider Festival, Alban Arena, AL1 3LD. Runs for four days in September. The Campaign for Real Ale hosts its annual beer festival every September. The festival has hundreds of real ales on offer along with real ciders and bottle conditioned beers. A Beer Tokens system is used so you get served quicker at the bar. A refundable glass (£3) is required. Free CAMRA members & non members £3 or £5. Alban Arena (Q4708988) on Wikidata Alban Arena on Wikipedia

Brewing and tasting[edit]

  • Verulam Brewery, 134 London Rd, AL1 1PQ (at the back of the Farmer's Boy), +44 1727 860535. It brews beers for the Farmer's Boy Pub and other outlets. They offer brewery tours with samples, taste lecture and Q&A with the brewer.
  • 35 Beer Shop, 71 London Road, AL1 1LN, +44 1727 568030. An independent retailer of craft, traditional and foreign bottled beer with tasting rooms. They hold regular Beer Nights (informal tasting evenings) drinking a curated selection of brews. The Beer Shop (Q83558719) on Wikidata

Sleep[edit]

St Albans has a range of hotels and B&Bs, although no youth hostels. If visiting from London on a day trip, there is no need to stay in the city overnight, although there are some nice options if you want to stay out of London.

Clarion Collection Hotel
Sopwell House (geograph 3431360)

Cope[edit]

City Centre:

  • 1 Car Park Public Toilet, Marlborough Court, 10 Bricket Rd, AL1 3JX (near the Council Offices in the wall of the Civic Car Park). 8AM–6PM. free. Public Toilets Marlborough Court St Albans (Q104649839) on Wikidata
  • 2 The Maltings Public Toilet, The Maltings, Level 2, 28 Victoria St, AL1 3HL (on Level 2 next to the Maltings Theatre or from TK Maxx east door). free. Public Toilets The Maltings St Albans (Q104774252) on Wikidata

In Verulamium Park

  • 3 Verulamium Museum Public Toilet, 39 St Michaels St, St Albans, AL3 4SW (faces the Verulamium car park). Public Toilets Verulam Museum St Albans (Q104774096) on Wikidata
  • 4 Causeway Public Toilet, Verulam Park, AL3 4HE (south edge of Verulamium Lake next to London Gate of Verulamium). Daylight. free. Public Toilets Verulam Causeway St Albans (Q104774126) on Wikidata

Go next[edit]

See also: Hertfordshire#Cities, towns and villages
  • North to Harpenden 5 mi (8.0 km)
  • East to Hatfield - best known for Hatfield House, where Queen Elizabeth I grew up, which has beautiful Renaissance gardens
  • South East to London Colney - village 3.7 mi (6.0 km) where St Alban was captured by the Romans; has a couple of nice parks and an old mental hospital turned housing development


This city travel guide to St Albans is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.