Hi guys, in this post, I will tell you about my recent day trip from London to St. Albans, located just 30 min away from London. Even though St. Albans is so close to London, it has an entirely different atmosphere and feeling, and also there are plenty of points of interest in St. Albans. In this post, I will tell you how to get from London to St. Albans and what are the best things to do in Saint Albans and nearby. You can visit Saint Albans for a day or even for a weekend if you really want to stay away from London without even being too far away.
How did I find out about St. Albans? Is St. Albans in London?
When I just moved to London a couple of years ago, I was reading countless articles about things to do in London / nearby, and one of the articles has featured an gorgeous photo of a frozen lake and a park covered by a thin layer of snow. Another time I came across St. Albans when reading about the best food markets in England – St. Albans Market was featured in this article. And finally, I passed it multiple times when going from London to Luton airport, so I was aware that St. Albans is just a short ride away.
So how to get to St. Albans from London?
You can quickly get to St. Albans by train or by bus. You can either buy the train tickets online (sometimes it’s cheaper in advance, check the prices on Trainline). The off-peak day return ticket costs around £10 per person. However, if you travel a lot across the UK and you have your travel buddy (e.g. spouse, best friend, parent etc), it may be worth to apply for a Two Together railcard. We managed to save a lot of money with the railcard this year (and last year as well). Oh, and I forgot to tell you that you can hop this train in St. Pancras, Kentish Town etc, so there’s a wide range of stop to suit your needs.
Alternatively, you can get to St. Albans from North London (Barnet), but it will take you longer and will barely be any cheaper. However, it’s a convenient option if you already live in North London.
Best things to do in Saint Albans during a day trip
Visit St. Albans Market (only open on Wednesday and Saturday)
If you’re planning to visit St. Albans during a weekend, you will have a bonus – the market, where you can buy some local produce and delicious street food from the local vendors. Read more about the market opening times here. Where is the St. Albans Market located? Head to St Peters Street and you’ll notice some 150+ stalls! Moreover, on every 2nd Sunday on the month, there’s a special farmers market at St. Albans, so if that’s what you’re interested in, you can definitely check it out!
Walk around in the Saint Albans park (Verulamium Park)
The park of Saint Albans is honestly very impressive and it’s great for a nice walk or even a picnic. You can find it on the map as St. Albans Park, however, the official name is Verulamium Park. From the park, you can see the stunning views of the Saint Albans Cathedral.
Visit and admire Saint Albans Cathedral
One of the main things to do in Saint Albans during a day trip is visiting the famous Saint Albans Cathedral. St Albans Cathedral is one of the oldest in the country and Alban is the first saint of Great Britain. The entry to the Cathedral is free and it’s open every day from 08:30 to 17:45 pm. The Cathedral is magnificent inside and outside and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful cathedrals in England (my second favourite is York Cathedral (read my post about the weekend in York) and on the third place I’d put Canterbury Cathedral (read my post about a day trip to Canterbury).
Have a pint in one of the local pubs
During the day trip to Saint Albans, I saw so many lovely pubs, but I could only visit one (it wasn’t the time for the proper pub crawl, and I can’t drink that much beer anyway). In the end, we picked Ye Olde Fighting Cocks which is one of the best pubs in Saint Albans City, and it also has a lovely outside terrace for a warm and sunny day. It’s located outside the city centre, next to the park and the Cathedral, so it’s a perfect spot if you want to relax.
Go shopping in St. Albans
I didn’t expect much from shopping in Saint Albans city, but I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of shops in the city centre. It’s nothing like Oxford Street in London, but still, there were quite a few nice stores and not that many people at all, so walking around and looking for clothes was a pleasure rather than a chore.
Visit the museums of Saint Albans
If shopping is of no interest to you, you can visit the Verulamium Museum in Saint Albans, where you can learn more about the history of Saint Albans, and it’s Roman past. Alternatively, you can visit the St. Albans Organ Theatre to see the collections of Organs.
Have a lunch / dinner in a sustainable restaurant in St. Albans
Finally, after exploring all St. Albans has to offer, I would recommend you to have lunch or dinner in a sustainable restaurant in Saint Albans called Lussmans. All the ingredients in Lussmans are ethically sourced from the U.K. producers and they also offer fixed price menus. The early dinner menu was quite affordable and delicious, so I would definitely come back to Saint Albans to eat at Lussmans again!
Okay, that was it. Hope you enjoyed this post about the day trip to St Albans from London and the best things you can do in Saint Albans! Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!