Verulamium – Roman times in St Albans

A day trip out with my best friend and her 10-year-old son was perfect for visiting St Albans in Hertfordshire, a beautiful small city with lots of Roman history.

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It took us about 40 minutes from Romford  by car, easily reached just off the M25. We found somewhere to park then walked into the city centre. A beautiful little place with lots of unique shops mingled in with the high street favourites. We hadn’t had breakfast so we stopped off in a local bakery for a croissant before continuing on round the shops. Our plan was to finish looking round the shops then visit the cathedral, that should then bring us up to lunch time. After lunch we would explore Verulamium Park which was jammed pack with Roman history.

The main attraction in the city centre is the clock tower which you can go inside and climb the 93 steps to top but we didn’t do this. It was built in the early 1400’s and was used by the town to sound the hours of day. It was also used to sound alarm of fire or fray, sounded the beginning of the battle of St Albans in 1455.

We then took the short walk to the cathedral which stood peacefully in very green surroundings. We walked through the gardens and in through a side door as the front of the cathedral was drenched in scaffolding. It was quite busy inside and the choir were setting up for a performance. As it was the summer holidays, there were activities for children to get involved in around the cathedral. The walls were covered with ancient artworks and the ceilings were spectacular. A nice touch to this cathedral was that it had a museum within, which gave the history of the building, the city and of St Alban himself. The remains of a 14th century shrine to St Alban also lies within the Cathedral.

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It was now lunch time so we decided to make our way down to the park which signs told us would be a 15 minute walk from the cathedral. Turns out we took the longest route to the park but by doing that we found The Waffle House!!!!!

Tucked away behind the leafy surroundings was a fantastic place serving sweet and savoury waffles. Upon looking it up on social media, this place was difficult to get  table in as it is always busy, however it was a weekday so we were hoping we wouldn’t have to wait long. We queued for around 15 minutes but seeing the plates of waffles come out, we felt it would be worth it. The special that day was Jerk chicken which my friend went with and I had the humus and avocado. We had never had savoury waffles before …….and they didn’t disappoint. We even treated ourselves to the sweet waffles for dessert lol.

The final part of our day was to explore the Verulamium Park (Verulamium being the Roman name for the town where St Albans now stands) The park was absolutely huge and we weren’t able to cover all of it however we did see the Roman Mosaic and the remains of the North gate. It reminded me very much of Castle park in Colchester with its Roman wall and River Ver running alongside the park. St Albans is a truly beautiful part of England, well worth a visit.

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