As regular readers will know, our theme for the blog this year is friendship. So today it’s a great pleasure to tell you about a visit to St Albans in Hertfordshire, where we were able to spend time with each other and to meet some very good friends. Living on either side of the Atlantic as we do, our get-togethers don’t happen very often! The last time we met in person rather than via Zoom was two years ago at a beautiful riverside pub in Pangbourne, Berkshire.  You can read about it here.

A visit to St Albans

St Albans is an historic city with lots to do, and we want to share with you some of the places we enjoyed visting:

  • Surrounded by a beautiful park, the Cathedral is well worth seeing. It stands over the place where Alban, Britain’s first saint, was martyred over 1,700 years ago. The interior is very beautiful and full of historic details, which you can explore yourself or learn about on a guided tour. Until the end of August, you can also see the Saints in Colour installation, where the screen behind the High Altar is illuminated in its original bright colours, a sight which hasn’t been seen since 1539. Click here to watch a film about it.Part of the ceiling in St Albans Cathedral, painted in an intricate pattern of leaves and symbols in red, green and gold.
  • St Albans has its roots in the Roman city of Verulamium and there are lots of traces of this history to see, including a beautiful mosaic floor which once belonged to a large town house. A small exhibition explains how this covered an early system for underfloot heating!St Albans: A Roman mosaic floor with a geometric patten in rust, blue and yellow from a town house. It would have covered an underfloor heating system.
  • St Albans Museum and Gallery is housed in the Georgian Town Hall, and includes an historic Court Room and cells where defendants were held. You can stand in the dock and read the fascinating stories of the people who appeared there and the sentences they received, some of which are very harsh by today’s standards.
    Cells at St Albans museum, showing the brick walls and the rust-coloured doors to the cells.
  • The city is also full of stylish independent shops and great places to eat and stay, making it an excellent choice for a weekend visit.  You can explore all the main attractions on this map. 
    A photograph of St Albans from the air, showing red brick historic houses and the Cathedral

Have you ever visited St Albans? Is there anywhere you’d recommend for a short break, in the UK or elsewhere? We’d love to hear what you think in the comments below,

Until next time, stay safe and well,


Claire and Sam


Images used with thanks to Visit Herts, St Albans Museums and the Samuel Ryder Hotel.

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