city and unparished area in southern Hertfordshire, England

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 means 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

There are several major routes into the St Albans area:

  • From London, exit   at junction 6 for  /St Albans. Follow signs for  /St Albans into the city centre.
  • From Hatfield (Galleria) follow   St Albans Road West direct into Fleetville and the city centre.
  • From Hemel Hempstead follow  , which runs along the southern rim of St Albans. Follow signs for  /St Albans into the city centre.
  • From Luton and The North, exit   at junction 9 and follow   for St Albans (North). Exit at junction 7 for   and follow signs for southern St Albans.
  • From The South West and Heathrow Airport, exit   at junction 21A for  /St Albans. Follow signs for  /St Albans into the city centre.
  • From Stevenage, Peterborough and Yorkshire, leave   at junction 3. Join   and follow signs for southern St Albans.
  • From Waltham Cross, Essex and Kent, exit   at junction 22 and follow  /St Albans into the city centre
  • From Watford, join   (via   from the town centre) and follow signs to St Albans.

There are car parks throughout St Albans, which are signposted from major routes. The 1 St Albans Civic Centre multi-storey, is close to   Hatfield Road and   St Peter's Street (for the shops). 2 London Road car park is off   London Road, direct from the   and  , close to The Maltings shopping centre.

By train edit

There are two railway stations in St Albans.

3 St Albans City     is just over 900m from St Peter's Street, the main shopping drag. It is served by Thameslink trains. There are direct connections from various destinations in London, including:

There are also direct connections to St Albans from major destinations such as Luton, Bedford and Brighton, and direct rail links from London Luton and London Gatwick airports.

Passengers from London and the airports can travel to and from St Albans by "touching in" and "touching out" with their Contactless cards, without the need for a paper ticket.

Thameslink trains through St Albans City run overnight into London and Luton Airport Parkway.

4 St Albans Abbey     is around 700m from St Albans Cathedral. Direct trains from the villages of Park Street and Bricket Wood, as well as stations in Watford including Watford Junction  OGD . At Watford Junction, there are connections from London Euston  NOR  VIC , Milton Keynes, Northampton and Birmingham New Street  1 .

By bus edit

Local routes from locations throughout Hertfordshire, including:

A longer distance route GreenLine 724 connects St Albans with Harlow (Essex), Ware, Hertford, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Watford, Rickmansworth, Uxbridge (London), London Heathrow Airport.

For journeys across Hertfordshire using multiple bus operators, ask for the "Intalink Explorer" ticket.

By air edit

London Luton Airport is less than 10 miles north of St Albans city centre. Luton has plenty of routes from mainland Europe, including Amsterdam, Berlin, Ibiza, Tel Aviv, Tenerife and Zürich. There are also flights from UK destinations such as Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is a major base for the easyJet and Wizz Air.

From Luton Airport Parkway to St Albans, take any Thameslink southbound into St Albans City. You don't need to buy a paper ticket if you can "touch in" and "touch out" with your contactless card.

By road, follow   through Harpenden into St Albans City.

London Heathrow Airport, London's busiest airport, is just over 20 miles from St Albans. By bus, take GreenLine 724 into St Albans City, which leaves roughly once per hour during the daytime. Board at Heathrow Central Bus Station Stand 20 or Heathrow Terminal 5 Stand 8. By road, follow   clockwise to junction 21A for  /St Albans.

London Gatwick Airport, with international flights from destinations in Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America, is a direct train ride away. From Gatwick Airport, take a Thameslink train towards Luton or Bedford and alight at St Albans City.

Get around edit

St Albans has a fairly large city centre set on a hill, with large residential areas to the north, east and south. If you are walking from the railway station or visiting the ancient ruins in Verulamium Park, expect to walk at least two miles on your visit.

On foot edit

From the railway stations:

  • From St Albans City train station, the walk into the city centre is around 15 minutes with a moderate slope.
  • From St Albans Abbey train station, the walk is around 10-15 minutes up the steep Holywell Hill.

Most buses stop in St Peter's Street, the main shopping area, with a short walk to some shops.

The Civic Centre car park is around two minutes walk to the main road.

There are signposts dotted throughout the city, pointing to key destinations.

Most footpaths are well paved and wide. Market Place is pedestrianised on market days, and is not a through route for general traffic at other times, with plenty of space to walk.

St Albans Cathedral and St Peter's Street is on top of a steep hill, with St Albans Abbey railway station, Westminster Lodge leisure centre and Verulamium Park at the bottom.

By Shopmobility edit

Borrow a scooter or wheelchair from St Albans Shopmobility. The charity is based at Drovers Way Car Park, AL1 3JE ( +44 1727 819339). It is open during the mornings and into early afternoons on Monday - Saturday. You must show two forms of ID, such as a blue badge and bus pass, to sign up, with full details on the website:

By bike edit

The Alban Way is part of National Cycle Route 61 and connects St Albans Cottonmill Lane with the east of the city, Smallford and Hatfield Galleria

Beware, the   St Stephen's Hill, Holywell Hill and Verulam Road are very steep. The   St Peter's Street can become congested, particularly at peak times and daytimes, with lots of bus traffic.

There is cycle parking in and around St Peter's Street.

National Cycle Route 61 (Maidenhead - Hoddesdon) follows The Alban Way between the city and Hatfield. Join The Alban Way opposite The Galleria in Hatfield, Smallford Road south of Smallford, and at   London Road west of the railway bridge. National Cycle Route 6 (London - Keswick) is signposted through the city, including along St Peter's Street.

By bus edit

Most buses call at St Peter's Street. There are bus routes to most neighbourhoods in St Albans. Plan your journey on the Intalink website:

There are all day tickets for travel within St Albans, the St Albans BUSnet:

The seven-day Colney 7 ticket allows travel on Sullivan 84, Red Rose 357 and Uno 602 between London Colney and St Albans:

Buses between St Albans City railway station and St Peter's Street include: 34, 84, 230, 301, 302, 304, 305, 357, 601, 602, 653 and 724.

By taxi edit

Most bus routes end in the late-evening. Be prepared to pay for a taxi if you need to travel between St Albans and Bushey, Hatfield, Hemel Hempstead, Potters Bar or Watford.

Firms include:

Uber is 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.  
  • 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.    
  • 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.    
  • 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. Its 84-metre-long nave is the longest of any cathedral in Britain. Featuring a shrine to Britain's first saint, St Alban, who is said to have sheltered a priest fleeing Roman persecution. 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!    
  • 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.    

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.    
  • 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.    
  • 9 Pemberton Almshouses, St Peter's St, AL1 3EU (opposite Church of St Peter). Built in 1627 of brick.  

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.  
  • 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.    

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  
  • 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.    

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.  
  • 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.

  • 1 Alban Arena, St Albans. City centre theatre which hosts a range of events - from local theatre and dance groups to shows on the national comedy circuit.    
  • 2 St Albans Comedy Garden, Verulamium Park, St Albans. An annual summer festival of comedy in St Albans city centre, featuring some of the biggest names on the London and national circuts    

Cinema and theatre edit

Trestle Arts Base
  • 3 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.    
  • 4 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.  
  • 5 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.  
  • 6 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.    
  • 7 Trestle Theatre Company Ltd, Russet Drive, AL4 0JQ, +44 1727 850 950, .    

Parks and nature edit

  • 8 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.
  • 9 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.    
  • 10 Heartwood Forest, AL4 9DQ (either side of the B651 north of Sandridge). The largest (858 acres) continuous new native forest in England    
  • 11 Grebe House Wildlife Garden, 39 St Michael's St, AL3 4SW (next to the Verulamium Museum), +44 1727 858 901.  

Walks edit

  • 12 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.    
  • [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.  

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.  
  • 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 1727 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 1727 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.    
  • 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.  
  • 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).  
  • 7 Master Fryer, 8 Beech Rd, Bernards Heath, AL3 5AX, +44 1727 861 188. M-Sa 11:30AM–2PM, 4:30–9PM.  

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  
  • 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.  

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.    
  • St Michael's Village is one of the oldest areas of St. Albans, and features some lovely old pubs including the 2 Six Bells.     , 3 Rose and Crown.     and 4 Lower Red Lion, 36 Fishpool St (on the way from the city centre).    .

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.  
  • 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.  

Traditional local edit

Farmers Boy
  • Near the Odyssey Cinema in London Road are 12 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)   and 13 Great Northern, 172 London Rd, AL1 1PQ (Next to the Odyssey cinema), +44 1727 730 867.  

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:

  • 27 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.  

In Sandridge north of St Albans:

Campaign for Real Ale edit

St Albans is home of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) head office. The 32 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.  

  • 33 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.    

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.
  • 34 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.  

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.  
  • 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.  

In Verulamium Park

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

Go next edit

See also: Hertfordshire
Routes through St Albans
Milton KeynesLuton  N   S  HendonBrent Cross (London)
Heathrow AirportRickmansworth  W   E  Potters BarDartford Crossing
StevenageWelwyn Garden City  N   S  BarnetCity of London
END  N   S  Watford
Hemel Hempstead  W   E  HatfieldHertford

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.