Visit a secret roman city near London

St Albans, Hertfordshire

Spend a weekend in the historic city of St Albans, just a short journey from the centre of London.

Home to world-class heritage attractions, picturesque shopping streets, award-winning eateries, gorgeous green spaces and a thriving arts and entertainment scene, St Albans is a top place for a weekend break and, it's just 20-minutes by train from London.

Attractions in St Albans

Dating back over 2,000 years, glimpses of the past are around every corner of this small city. From the ruins of the Roman town of Verulamium to the Norman-built St Albans Cathedral and the Abbey Church – an impressive landmark that stands on the site where Alban, Britain’s first Saint, was buried over 1,700 years ago.

Other must-visit attractions include the The Museum + Gallery which is set over three floors and spans 2,000 years of history and the Verulamium Museum, famed for housing some of the finest mosaics outside the Mediterranean. Once you’ve explored the museum, head outside to Verulamium Park, a serene space with an ornamental lake and a wealth of wildlife.

Nearby, St Albans’ Clock Tower is the only surviving Medieval town belfry in England and you can climb its 93 steps for magnificent views. Another way to soak up pretty views of the city is on the Alban Way, a flat and traffic-free route perfect for cycling.

Food and shopping in St Albans

St Albans is also a top spot for shopping with independent shops and boutiques offering the latest trends and unusual items set in beautiful, Medieval buildings. Plus, three large shopping areas play host to well-known retail brands.

After some retail therapy, there are plenty of places to relax and refuel. From fine dining restaurants to alfresco cafes, there’s no shortage of top-notch food. Pay a visit to Ye Olde Fighting Cocks too, said to be Britain’s oldest pub.

If you’re in the mood for even more shopping, the city also is renowned for its thriving market scene. From the 500-year-old St Albans Charter Market and Farmers Market to its vibrant touring markets, all offering an eclectic mix of fresh produce and diverse artisan goods.

More things to do in St Albans

With a packed programme of cultural events, including live music, family entertainment, food festivals, arts and literature, Christmas events and much more, it’s worth extending your stay. From small and intimate bed and breakfasts to large hotels including Premier Inn and the 15th century White Hart Hotel, both of which are in the centre of town.

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