London Discovery: St Albans

St Albans: Explore a city dedicated to a beheaded pagan saint.

St Albans Abbey

Inspiring Journeys: St Albans

Where else can you find historic Roman ruins, medieval markets, one of England’s oldest pubs, and a cathedral dedicated to a beheaded pagan? The answer: St Albans, a market town of note just a 20-minute train journey from central London.

Joel Bond Travels offers a day-long journey through 2000 years of history. Starting when St Albans — then Verulamium — served as capital for the Celtic tribes inhabiting the marshy lands north of the Thames estuary, discover glimpses of wealthy pre-Roman Britain at the Verulamium museum. The agriculturally rich Catuvellauni tribe farmed the land below the grassy hillock that is now surmounted by St Alban’s Abbey; and when the Roman army marched in during the first century AD, Verulamium only grew in power and importance — soon becoming the third largest Roman settlement in Britain. To this day, St Alban’s boasts the only Roman theatre still visible.

The city became known as St Albans much later in history, when Christianity became a major part of Britain’s culture. The Abbey, which has the longest nave in England, presides over the town today, just outside of what were the ancient Roman walls to the city. It is here that St Alban is said to have been beheaded for his conversion to the Christian faith, and the abbey remains a pilgrimage site to this day.

Further up the hill, in the modern town centre, a medieval clock tower presides over the market square — bustling with greengrocers’ and artisans’ wares on display during market days. Finish the day with a well-deserved meal at one of the city’s restaurants serving contemporary twists on British classics, using locally sourced farm ingredients.

Visit St Albans with Joel Bond Travels to learn more about the multi-layered history of one of Britain’s oldest towns. Why not extend your trip with a guided driving tour to the sites of Bedfordshire, including Whipsnade Tree Cathedral and Woburn Abbey? Book your experience today at joelbond.co.uk.


 

Location: St Albans

Type: London Discovery Tour (also possible as part of a larger Driving Tour)

Recommended Journey Length: 1 day

Suggested Accommodation: Staying in St Albans? I recommend the historic White Hart Hotel, a 600-year-old coaching inn opposite the Abbey.

Cost from London: £150 (half-day) / £250* (full-day tour), up to 7 persons

*Guideline price subject to variation according to season and availability

Interested in a similar tour? Save time and remove stress with Joel Bond Travels. UK Driving Tours include private transportation in a comfortable vehicle with me as your driver-guide, hand-picked accommodation, and entrance fees to select attractions. Contact me here to enquire about booking and availability.