The essential journalist news source
Best UK staycations - 10 Reasons to Visit St Albans

Best UK staycations - 10 Reasons to Visit St Albans

A picture containing sky, building, outdoor, oldDescription automatically generated

Photo credit: ©Pan Hapeshis

(May 13th, 2021, St Albans, Hertfordshire)With lockdown restrictions lifting further next week, St Albans, one of Britain's most historic cities, is preparing to welcome visitors back.


Just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London, the city provides plenty to see and do whether staying a few days or longer. Explore the Cathedral, discover Roman history, browse the independent shops and famous Charter Market, and relax in one of the many pubs and award-winning restaurants.


Here's 10 reasons to come and visit.

1. Independent Shopping

St Albans is a spectacular shopping destination. Old meets new with independent shops and boutiques offering cutting-edge and unusual items set in beautiful, medieval buildings. Three large shopping areas The Malting, Christopher Place and Heritage Close play host to well-known brands and include open spaces for relaxing.



2. Historic Charter Market

For over 500 years the legendary Charter Market has been trading every Wednesday and Saturday, attracting locals and visitors from far and wide. Come rain or shine, traders offer everything you could want or need including fresh produce, diverse artisan goods and world foods.


Photo credit: ©Ren Behan


3. Fascinating History

The city has played a significant role throughout history; the site of England's most important Roman settlement, the home of Britain's first Saint, Alban, and the scene of the first battle in the War of the Roses. Continuing to make its mark, more recently Stephen Hawking was a student at St Albans School, one of the oldest public schools in the world.


4. Foodie Heaven

Thanks to over 100 restaurants, bistros, pubs, cafes and coffee shops, St Albans is the perfect place for food lovers. There is something to suit every taste from award-winning restaurants such as Thompsons, the only 3AA rosette fine-dining restaurant in Hertfordshire, to food stalls at the weekly markets offering dishes from around the world.


5. Historic Pub Scene

If you like your pint with a bit of character, St Albans is your place! As an historic inn-keeping city, it's no surprise St Albans has the most pubs per square mile in the country, and is home to England's oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Dotted amongst cobbled streets and residential roads venues offer food and drink, live music, sport - all served with a smile.


Photo credit: ©Stephanie Belton


6. Events & Festival Fun

Year round the city hosts events and festivals for everyone. Celebrate food at the month-long Food & Drink Festival, sample a carnival atmosphere at the Alban Pilgrimage, swing by for the George Street Gin & Jazz Event, and celebrate Christmas at the Christmas Street Festival.


7. Family Activities

Indoor and outdoor fun is all around; Verulamium Park has a splash park and children's playground, the Alban Way is a safe place for kids to cycle or scoot, there is soft play, two museums in the city centre, a cinema and many family friendly restaurants, it's easy for families to fill their days!


Photo credit: ©Stephanie Belton


8. Stunning Parks & Open Space

With over 100 acres of parkland in the city centre, you don't have to look far for fresh air, nature and a slower pace. Venture a little further afield and there are fantastic walking trails and cycling routes leading visitors through picturesque countryside, native woods and meadows.


9. St Albans Cathedral

This spectacular cathedral has been the centrepiece of the city for centuries. An impressive landmark it stands on the site where Alban, Britain's first Saint was buried over 1,700 years ago. This Norman Cathedral is a treasure trove of history and a must-see on any visit.


Photo credit: ©Dave Wood


10. Spa Day

Everyone needs to relax and recharge and a visit to the Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House will do the trick. With first-class facilities set in enchanting grounds it is the perfect place to indulge your mind and body.


Photo credit: ©Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House


Plan your visit now! Download the new 2021-2022 official visitor guide for St Albans




Press office contacts:for images, interviews, filming, press visits or promotional opportunities please contact:


About St Albans

  • St Albans is one of the best-kept secrets in UK tourism. A historic gem of an English Cathedral City just 20 miles and 20 minutes by train from London is easily accessible by road with links to the M25, M1 and A1(M)
  • The city's colourful history and heritage can be seen in the Roman remains and the beautiful medieval architecture and picturesque buildings that look spectacular all year round.
  • A fabulous shopping destination, St Albans is home to an array of innovative independent retailers and well-known chains
  • The city is famous for its café and pub culture with a fantastic range of award-winning eating and drinking establishments, including Britain's oldest pub, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks
  • Enjoy lots of green, open spaces and parks - making St Albans a family friendly destination.