St Albans has long been a prime destination for people who want to escape busy cities and suburbia and decamp to the leafy borders of the Chiltern Hills. While the cathedral city has lots to do and see including shopping, markets and culture, it’s also a haven for people who want to get outdoors and enjoy the fresh air. But where should you walk when in St Albans?
Read on to find out four of our favourite walks in and near St Albans, then make sure to use Thameslink’s website to simply and quickly book your tickets.
St Albans Pilgrim Church Trail
The St Albans Pilgrim Church Trail is as circular walk around some of the more central areas of the city, making it a great choice if you want to get your bearings, see the historical sights, and really soak in the heritage atmosphere.
Beginning at St Albans Cathedral, the route heads out of town past sights like Kingsbury Mill, the Roman Theatre, and the Verulamium Museum, going past St Michael’s Church (built in the 10th century) and St Stephen’s church (11th century). From there it arcs back into town past the Clock Tower up towards St Peter’s Church (15th century) – the perfect circular walk around St Albans.
Check out the leaflet from Enjoy St Albans to learn more about the churches and sights on the Pilgrim Trail.
Spanning over 850 acres, Heartwood Forest is a short three-mile (4.8km) journey to the north of the city, close to the village of Sandridge, making it a great choice for a walk near St Albans.
Home to half a million trees, this new woodland features countless native plant species which, combined, have created a habitat for all manner of birds, insects and animals on the furrier end of the spectrum.
There are lots of walks that you can take through Heartwood. Explore wildflower meadows, trails through ancient woodland, jaw-dropping viewpoints and much more. There are plenty of pubs and cafes to enjoy close by in Sandridge, too.
Shaw’s Corner is a great circular walk around the Hertfordshire countryside close to St Albans. For 44 years this slice of quaint cottage life was the home of the playwright Bernard Shaw, author of Pygmalion. The adventure starts in Wheathampstead, around five miles north of the city.
Starting in the village, head north along pretty footpaths, crossing a disused railway, passing farms and beautiful countryside views. After a few kilometres, you’ll reach Shaw’s Corner. As well as having a fine Edwardian house to explore, the property has a rustic three-and-a-half-acre garden in which to relax – the perfect pitstop.
Once you’re done, head south back to the village, taking in the lay of Hertfordshire along several more leafy countryside footpaths.
St Albans Circular
Starting at Abbey Rail Station, this two-mile (3.5km) walk takes you through Verulamium Park, Watercress Wildlife Association nature reserve and River Ver. It’s a relatively short St Albans walk close to the city centre – good if you’re travelling with kids or fancy a bit of shopping or food afterwards.
It’s a great choice if you want to get a taste of the countryside while also enjoying some history – Verulamium Park has an interesting Roman history museum and you can see the city’s Roman walls and London Gate, too.
The Watercress Wildlife Site has a range of lakes, bogs, orchards and gardens where you can see lots of birds and insects, as well as Kingfishers and Muntjac Deer.
Get walking in St Albans with Thameslink
St Albans is a great choice for walking, and you can explore easily with Thameslink. Whether you’re travelling from London, Cambridge, Luton, Peterborough or anywhere else on the line, you’ll find fast and frequent services, seven days of the week.
Book your tickets now online and begin your adventure around St Albans’ walks. Don’t forget your walking shoes!