a station-by-station guide for UK tourist attractions

St Albans (City)
St Albans Abbey

National Rail | St Albans (City) SAC | St Albans Abbey SAA

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The cathedral city of St Albans has a long history. It was the site of Verulamium, one of the major cities of Roman Britain, and there are Roman remains to be seen today.

St Albans City is the main station with a very frequent service and it is often simply called St Albans (without City). St Albans Abbey station is the terminus of a separate minor line from Watford Junction. The walking distance between the stations is 1 mile.

TI Town Hall, Market Place. Tel. 01727 864511.

St Albans Cathedral ¾ mile (Abbey stn ½ mile)

St Albans Cathedral is the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain. It stands over the place where St Alban, Britain's first Christian martyr, was buried over 1700 years ago. The Cathedral's architecture is a blend of many periods and its great tower includes Roman bricks salvaged from the ruins of Verulamium. Guided tours are available. Refreshments and meals are served in the Abbot's Kitchen. Tel. 01727 860780. There is no entry fee but a donation is suggested.
Open Daily 0830-1745 but occasionally access may be restricted for services or special events.

St Albans Museum & Gallery ½ mile (Abbey stn ¾ mile)

Housed in the historic town hall, regularly changing exhibitions cover over 2000 years of local history from the departure of the Romans to the present day, including contemporary artworks. Assembly Room with Georgian architectural features, Courtroom and Cells. Café. Tel. 01727 864511. Admission free.
Open M-S 1000-1700, Sun 1200-1700.

Clock Tower ½ mile from both stations

Built between 1403 and 1412, the Clock Tower is the only medieval town belfry in England. You can climb the 93 narrow steps to the top and enjoy magnificent views of St Albans.
Open Easter-Sept, SSu & BH 1030-1700.

St Albans South Signal Box ¼ mile (Abbey stn 1 mile)

Built in 1892, this Midland Railway signal box is one of the few preserved boxes open to the public beside a mainline railway. Demonstrations are given using the original lever frame. Museum of signal equipment. Working signals in garden. Light refreshments. Tel. 01727 836131. Admission free.
Open 2nd Sunday of the month (also 4th Sunday Apr-Oct), 1400-1700. See website for other dates.

St Albans attractions map

Verulamium Museum 1½ miles (Abbey stn 1 mile)

The Museum covers everyday life in Roman Britain with recreated Roman rooms. Many objects from the Roman City of Verulamium are on display including some of the finest Roman mosaics and wall plasters to be seen in Britain. Café nearby in Verulamium Park. Tel. 01727 751810.
Open M-S 1000-1730, Sun 1400-1700.

Roman Hypocaust and Mosaic 1½ miles (Abbey stn ¾ mile)

A modern building protects the 1800 year old hypocaust and its covering mosaic floor which were excavated in the 1930's. The hypocaust is a Roman underfloor heating system. Tel. 01727 751810. Admission free.
Open M-S 1000-1630, Sun 1400-1630, closes 1545 daily Oct-Mar.

Roman Wall of St Albans EH 1¼ miles (Abbey stn ½ mile)

Remains of the Roman Wall built between AD 265 and 270 to defend the Roman city of Verulamium.
Open any reasonable time during daylight.

Watercress Nature Reserve ¾ mile (Abbey stn 1 mile)

A Local Nature Reserve with a variety of habitats created from old watercress beds beside the River Ver.
Open Daily 0700-dusk.

Roman Theatre 1½ miles (Abbey stn 1 mile)

The only visible example of a Roman Theatre in Britain. It would have been used during religious festivals and for armed combat and wild beast shows. Nearby excavations have revealed the foundations of a Roman town house, secret shrine and a row of Roman shops. Tel. 01727 835035.
Open Daily 1000-1700 (1600 Oct-Mar).

Gorhambury House 3 miles (Abbey stn 2½ miles)

Seat of the Earl of Verulam and an impressive Palladian house, Gorhambury was built in the late 18th century by the architect Sir Robert Taylor. It replaced Old Gorhambury House (see below). Guided tours. Tel. 01727 854051.
Open closed for refurbishment, please check website.
Access is through the entrance to the Roman Theatre (see above), Gorhambury House is a further 1½ miles.

Old Gorhambury House EH 3½ miles (Abbey stn 3 miles)

Remains of the original Gorhambury House include an elaborate entrance porch.
Open Daily 0800-1800 during daylight but check website for occasional closures. |
Access is through the entrance to the Roman Theatre (see above), Old Gorhambury House is a further 2 miles.