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St. Albans, England

One of my favorite things about life in London is how easy it is to jump on a train and day trip to another city in England. There are multiple rail stations in the heart of London with frequent train times, making it a cinch to travel.

On Saturday Gail and I headed to St. Albans, a quiet picturesque town just 20 miles north of London. Despite being overcast and windy it was a lovely day! 

St. Albans Cathedral is noted to be the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain, built approximately circa 250 AD. The history is fascinating along with the architectural design and the inside is downright inspiring. We just don't have locations like this in the States. 

The Clock Tower amongst the medieval town stands facing the Cathedral and is another highlight. Tours are available during the warmer months, however in the winter just observing the Tower is enjoyable! When we visited a local band was performing at the base of the tower. 

Ye Old Fighting Cocks is reputably the oldest pub in Britain and cock fighting occurred in the main bar, hence the name! The main bar is an octagon shape, with low ceilings, an elaborate fire place, dark wood paneling and adorable little spots tucked off to the side. This was a lovely spot to warm up from the wind and enjoy a delicious meal! 

Steak and ale stew

Steak and ale stew

Our last stop of the day was The Pudding Shop, the brain child of former competitor Johnny Shepherd of the Great British Bake Off. It's a great local spot that's low key and cosy, the perfect place for a pot of tea and a sweet treat! 

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

I really loved St. Albans. London is amazing but at the end of the day it's a bustling city. It's nice to get away from the fast paced life and enjoy a bit of quant Britishness. The 20 minute train ride makes it really easy to get away for the day. Just walking the streets of the town and observing other people was enjoyable. The town is a very dog-friendly place; dogs are welcome in all shops and in the pubs, and I made several friends (as evidenced early on in this post!). There is a large market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and currently a Christmas Market nearby the Cathedral for the holidays. Overall an affordable great get away! 

The necessities-

  • Wear your best walking shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. St. Albans is experienced on foot with the occasional slanted street and muddy grass. 
  • Trains run every 15 minutes or so from St. Pancreas International rail station and cost around Β£8. 
    . Check out the train schedule here and simply buy your ticket when you arrive at the station.
  • Opt for the travel anytime option so you can depart and return whenever you please. 
  • Make sure you check out opening times and any special events prior to going to avoid surprises.