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Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

Columbus, Ohio
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Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

At the suggestion of a poster on the London form (AdamsHornets or some similar username), my mother, another friend, and I are planning to spend the morning/early afternoon on Sunday, 16 December in St Albans prior to visiting the Harry Potter studio tour. We'll arrive by train from London to St Albans about 10 and leave from St Albans Abbey around 15:30. I've heard that there is less going on in St Albans on Sundays, but that was the only day we could book the studio tour. We would like to see the Roman ruins (these are at Verulamium Park, if my research is sound), have lunch at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks (or another pub if anyone has a better suggestions--I like that this one claims to be so old), and perhaps tour the Cathedral, but I know that tours don't start until 1430 on Sundays, so I'm not sure we will fit it in.

We're not tied too closely to this itinerary, except for the times, so I would love to hear other suggestions. We picked St Albans because I understand that while it is a London suburb it retains a bit of a village quality. My friend lives in London, but my mom and I are only there for a week, and I want her to get to see a bit of England that is different than London (so we're going to St Albans and Windsor). Given that, maybe it would be better to skip the park and walk around the High Street, I'm not really sure and would be very grateful for advice. Thank you in advance.

Herts
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1. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

If the weather is dry your plans are good. They do contain a walk and St Albans is a bit hilly. The High St is a little boring now , too many of the normal shops M&S

BHS and far too may Banks/phone shops. So make sure you get down George St and around the shops near clock tower..

Park /Romans /Pub and Catherdral and perhaps a short walk across the park , other side of Bluehouse hill to the Roman Theatre.That could easily fill your time.

But if it rains !!

Re reading your posting , if you 'do' Windsor , St Albans High st will be a let down

Columbus, Ohio
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2. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

Thank you, wallbash, that's very helpful. I'll have to do some thinking about alternatives if it rains.

Herts
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3. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

I live only three miles to the North of St Albans and have tried to think of what I would do in bad weather .

My answer ...... get in the Car and go home.

london
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4. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

december is winter time in the uk so its likely to be cold and likely to be raining so if the local shops and a pub lunch doesnt do it you can always get a train from st albans abbey to watford to see a wider range of shops.

personally id stick with your plan to have a bit of culture and a pub lunch with a bit of local shopping. as for which pub take your choice the city (a small city) is packed with them

Columbus, Ohio
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5. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

Thanks, LondonAndymac and wallbash, we knew that going in mid-December we're taking a chance with the weather, so we'll just hope for the best and plan for the worst with warm clothing and rain coats. I'm glad to know that we'll have a range of food options, and perhaps if the weather's too bad it will just mean a n afternoon at a pub.

Watford
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6. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

Me here. You remembered my name :-)

What time is your Harry Potter tour and are you arriving via Euston and Watford Junction at St Albans Abbey station or at St Albans City from St Pancras?

I ask as if you are taking the former route and the weather is really dreadful you might just want to get off at Watford Junction and take a bus into Watford Town Centre, The Harlequin Centre is a decent (by UK standards) shopping centre and there are plenty of places to grab a bite.

St Albans is of course a much nicer option if the weather is dry.

Columbus, Ohio
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7. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

Hi adamhornets, I think your advice on the London forum is great! (And I hold you in such awe and esteem that I was terrified of getting your name wrong.) The plan is to take the train from London Bridge to St Albans City, then St Albans Abbey to Watford Junction.

Of course, we could easily take the train from Euston to Watford Junction and go to the Harlequin Center instead, or stay in London for a longer time that day and go to a museum or something else indoors. This has been very helpful for identifying options.

The last time I was in London it was unseasonably warm and dry--maybe I'll get lucky and lightening will strike twice...or we should all prepare for a blizzard....

Oklahoma City...
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8. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

I am a big fan of St. Albans, it is a lovely place and well worth a visti.

There are Roman ruins in the park but there is not a lot to see except for the Hypocaust which is beautiful and fascinating. However, if it is raining and you don't want to walk out to it, the Verulanium Museum itself is also fascinating. It is a bit of a walk from the main part of town but unless it is pouring an umbrellla will get you there.

The Cathedral is beautiful and built partly of Roman bricks. While you say that tours don't start until 14:30 on Sundays, you don't need a tour to see it. You can pick up a guidebook at the gift shop and self tour. The shrine to St. Albans, dated 1308 and reconstructed from 2000 fragments is worth a trip all by itself. St. Alban was Britain's first Christian martyr and the Cathedral was an important pilgramage site.

I don't know if self touring is limited on Sunday mornings because of services, but if it is, joining a service is a wonderful way to see a Cathedral used for what it was built for.

If it is raining and you don't want to walk to a pub, the Cathedral has a nice cafe where you can get lunch.

If you are interested in history, St. Albans was the site of the first and second battles of St. Albans in the Wars of the Roses. I seem to remember sign posts in the park giving details of the battles.

If you go I think you will enjoy it very much. There is so many great things to see in England outside of central London.

9. Re: Several hours in St Albans -- Itinerary suggestions/modifica

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