St Albans is a cathedral city in Hertfordshire, England that is jammed packed with great things to see and do. The enormous cathedral is the city’s tourism highlight, closely followed by numerous attractions that unearth a rich history from the Roman-era.
Couple the long list of attractions to the city’s great location and public transport connections, and you have a city that’s perfect for day trips, particularly from London.
In this post, we introduce 8 exciting things to see and do on a day trip, before then explaining how you can plan and book your visit.
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8 Things to See & Do in St Albans
Before we go through how you can plan and book your visit, let’s go through the reasons why you should visit in the first place.
1. The Cathedral & Abbey Church of Saint Alban
The jewel in St Albans’ crown is its magnificent Cathedral. It is one of the most remarkable buildings in the whole of England. Most of the architecture dates back to Norman times, though there are some gothic and more recent additions. Entry is completely free, as are walking tours that will help you to spot the different architectural styles.
2. The Clock Tower
Constructed in the early 13th century, The Clock Tower is said to be the only medieval town belfry left in England. The tower is 19.6 metres (64ft) high and visitors are welcome to scale all five floors and enjoy the views from the top for just £2 each.
Please note: Opening times are limited to weekends and public holidays only. Please check the website for further details.
Discover more: Climbing St Albans Clock Tower
3. St Albans Museum & Gallery
Opened as recently as 2018, this state-of-the-art museum houses over 2000 years of local, national and international history and an ever-changing array of visiting exhibitions. Housed inside a former courthouse, it’s possible to visit the former cells and enjoy cake and coffee in the courtroom itself.
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4. Verulamium Park
Just to the south of the Cathedral are over 40 hectares (100 acres) of beautiful parkland. Doing a lap of the lakes is a popular pastime for locals, especially if they also tie in a visit to the cafe kiosk or a stop to the nearby Waffle House (see below).
5. Hypocaust & Roman Mosaic
In the centre of Verulamium Park, you’ll find a small building that houses the remains of a Roman hypocaust, the name given to an underfloor heating system that was discovered in the 1930s. In this free exhibition, you can learn about how the system used to work whilst marvelling at the intricate mosaics.
6. Roman Wall of St Albans
Also in Verulamium Park, a short walk from the Hypocaust, you’ll discover the remains of the wall that defended the Roman city of Verulamium from AD 270. In its heyday, the wall ran for over 3km (2 miles). All that’s left today are a couple of small sections.
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7. Verulamium Museum
To the west of the park, the Verulamium Museum gives visitors a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in recreated Roman rooms and admire a series of intricate mosaics and ancient artefacts from the Roman-era. One of the highlights is an exhibit that proudly displays over 150 Roman gold coins.
8. The Waffle House
No one can visit St Albans without enjoying a visit to the Waffle House. This perennial favourite serves a series of freshly-made sweet and savoury treats inside a former watermill. The Waffle House is very popular, so expect to queue up for a table.
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Plan & Book your visit to St Albans
In this section, we’ll go through how you can plan and book your visit to St Albans.
Getting to St Albans by Air
The nearest airport to the city is London Luton (IATA: LTN) which is around 17km (11mi) away from the city centre.
Short & medium-haul flights are operated by a variety of mainly low cost airlines from all over Europe.
Click the button below to search for the best fares for your flight to London Luton from your local airport.Find cheap flights to London Luton*
Getting from the Airport
The best way of getting from the airport to St Albans is by train. There are several services per hour from Luton Airport Parkway station to St Albans City station. Tickets can be purchased just before travel or in advance on Trainline*.
Getting to St Albans by Train
Getting to St Albans by train is very popular. If you’re travelling from London, it’s easily the best way of getting to the city.
St Albans has a number of stations within its limits, though you’ll want to alight at one of the following two stations.
- St Albans Abbey station is the terminus for the Abbey Line which runs from Watford Junction. Follow the signs to the city centre which is a short walk uphill.
- St Albans City station is a large and busy station with frequent services to/from Bedford to the north, through to London and beyond to Brighton and other towns south of the capital.
Tickets can be purchased from ticket offices/vending machines right before travel, but you can sometimes save money by buying tickets in advance from Trainline.Find train tickets to St Albans*
Getting to St Albans by Bus
If you’re travelling on a budget, travelling by bus/coach can save you some money. Click below to view the available options.Find bus tickets to St Albans*
Getting to St Albans by Road
St Albans is very well connected to the main road network, with the M1 just to the west and the A1(M) to the east, both of which are connected by the A414. There are plenty of car parks in the city centre, with most charging just £1 for the whole day on Sundays.
Getting Around St Albans
The city centre is small enough to explore on foot. There’s no need for you to hire taxis or use buses.
Hotels in St Albans
While there are plenty of hotels in the surrounding area, there aren’t many hotels in the city centre. The most convenient and (probably) best value choice will be the Premier Inn St Albans City Centre* which is right in the heart of the city.
Home rentals in St Albans
There are a good number of smart Airbnb rentals in and around the city with very reasonable nightly rates. We always prefer living like a local when we’re staying somewhere new as opposed to staying in hotels.Find places to stay in St Albans*
New to Airbnb? Get money off your first stay when you sign-up with our special link*.
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