Here are five reasons why St Albans is a gem of Hertfordshire and is worthy of a visit at any time of the year
Old meets new with independent shops and boutiques offering cutting-edge and unusual items set in beautiful, medieval buildings and three large shopping areas play host to well-known retail brands. From charming boutiques and quirky interior shops to artisan jewellers and health and beauty independents, you’ll enjoy spending hours browsing.
St Albans is also renowned for its markets – the legendary twice-weekly Charter Market offers an eclectic mix of fresh produce, diverse artisan goods and world foods, simply fantastic for atmosphere and a vibrant place to shop.
The colourful city is full of history – it was the site of England’s most important Roman settlement and it’s where the hot cross bun originated. The impressive landmark of St Albans Cathedral stands on the site where Alban, Britain’s first Saint, was buried over 1,700 years ago.
The Museum + Gallery is a world-class centre for arts and culture, set over three floors and showcases over 2,000 years of momentous history – spend a few delightful hours absorbing the wonderful sculptural textile work by acclaimed artist, Anna Ray, in the ‘Fibre & Form’ exhibition, on until 17 April 2022.
Also catch Winterscapes, an outside community arts project exhibition, on the Museum + Gallery railings until end of February. Stop at the Clock Tower, the only surviving Medieval town belfry in England and climb the 93 steps for magnificent views.
Wrap up warm and enjoy taking in the views of Verulamium Park. It’s a beautiful, serene area with an ornamental lake that is home to a wealth of wildlife and plenty of facilities for children. The Alban Way is a safe, flat and traffic-free route that is great for cycling and is dotted with pretty views, play areas and recreation grounds and reminders of its previous use as a railway line.
FOOD & DRINK
St Albans has a remarkable history and reputation with food and drink. With over 100 restaurants, bistros, pubs, cafes and coffee shops, you’re spoilt for choice. From fine dining restaurant experiences to cosy intimate meals in the pub, the eateries in town will provide the most memorable foodie experience. It’s also the home of Britain’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, which is always worth popping in for a refreshment. Look out for a sumptuous selection of healthy new year options on the menus.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Birthplace of 60s rock band, The Zombies, and home to Stanley Kubrick, St Albans retains a thriving arts and entertainment scene. The Sandpit Theatre hosts concerts, dances, comedy and film, while The Maltings and Abbey Theatres offer a kaleidoscope of productions from musicals to Shakespeare and folk to children’s shows. St Albans has a packed programme of vibrant and fun cultural events, including everything from live music, family entertainment, street festivals and more.
Download the official St Albans visitor guide at EnjoyStAlbans.com