Relocating? Your Guide to St Albans

Minimum 3 nights stay

St. Albans - A Jewel of a City

Welcome to St. Albans, a city with 2000 years of history which is only an 18-minute train ride away from London. We have it all here – a cathedral with the longest nave in the country, the only fully excavated Roman amphitheatre in Britain, England’s oldest pub, elegant coaching Inns and lots more beside. By the way did you know that St. Albans is the home of the Ryder cup?

At HomefromHolme we have created this guide to St Albans to help anyone relocating to our beautiful city permanently or even for a few months. We have tried to include everything anyone moving to the city might need as essential information.

Location

St Albans is situated in Hertfordshire, just 25 miles from London’s Marble Arch. Access to Heathrow and the major motorways is fast and easy to find.

Get to know St Albans

St Albans is an exciting and comfortable place to live. The city is steeped in history.

The original Celtic settlement became one of the three largest Roman towns in Britain and was known as Verulamium (”the settlement above the marsh”).

The Roman town had many large buildings including an amphitheatre which is still used for plays and concerts in the summer. In Verulamium Park you can see large pieces of the old Roman city wall and part of the layout of the original city.

Where once a large Roman villa stood you can see the carefully preserved hypocaust (heating system) and mosaics. In the Roman Villa style museum nearby, there are many amazing mosaics rescued from the ancient Roman town.

How St. Albans got its name

In the third century AD Christians were being persecuted. A Roman soldier, called Alban gave his cloak to a Christian priest to help him to escape. Subsequently Alban was beheaded on Holywell Hill and became the first British saint. As the Roman city declined the town was named St. Alban.

Walking Around

St Albans is a wonderful historic market town and city. An ideal place to explore. Medieval buildings surround narrow alleys and cobbled streets. Grand Georgian buildings stand next to Victorian terraces and the 1000 year old Abbey can be seen from every angle. Join one of the guided walks around the city on the weekend. Visit the reputed birthplace of the hot crossed bun!

Your Stay and Searching for Housing and Accommodation

In this guide to St Albans you will find that serviced apartments are the ideal base whilst you search for a permanent place to live, or you may decide they are ideal for your whole stay. Here at HomefromHolme we have seven locations in central St Albans with a choice of studios,one, two and three bedrooms serviced apartments.

St. Albans is blessed with a myriad of open green spaces to explore, relax or exercise in. Clarence Park is home to the football team and the cricket club. Summer Sunday afternoon concerts at the bandstand in Clarence Park are a treat for the whole family. Verulamium is a huge open space in the centre of the city. When you are starting your search for accommodation look at a map or Google earth, to see which is the nearest park or heathland to your selected area.

In the centre of St. Albans and in surrounding villages such as Wheathampstead, accommodation options include medieval cottages and Georgian houses, which are stunning to look at.

Edwardian and Victorian terraces are abundant in St Albans too. They can work out to be more cost effective for young professionals. You can expect to find these along many of the residential streets spanning from the city centre. Look for roads including: Spencer Street, Pageant Road, Bernard Street, Portland Street and Oswald Street. Which park is close by?

Not too far away from the city centre, are larger terraced properties, situated on residential streets. Look at the roads between Brampton Road and Hatfield Road to the east of the city, such as Glenferrie Road. These spacious properties are architecturally attractive and located on leafy streets and some have driveways. They tend to have large gardens and are ideal for modernisation and extension.

For modern-built properties, Jersey Farm, Oaklands and Tyttenhanger areas are a good place to search. The average price for a property in St Albans is £557,000 - see Zoopla for more information.

There are many flats and apartments in the city centre. Some are located above retail premises or in converted houses. Ridgmont Plaza, Ziggurat House and De Novo Place are examples of newer apartments and they are close to the main St Albans City train station.

Transportation in St Albans

Public Transport

St Albans is home to two railway stations: St Albans City (main) and St Albans Abbey.

St Albans City station has regular direct services to London, and stop at St Pancras International (18 minutes), Farringdon (25 mins), London Blackfriars (30 minutes), and Gatwick Airport (70 minutes). Alternatively take the train seamlessly to Brighton and enjoy a day at the seaside.

The cost of an annual season ticket from St. Albans to Central London is around £3,600.

Travel direct from St. Albans City station northbound to Harpenden, Bedford and Luton.

It’s just 15 minutes from St Albans Abbey station to Watford Junction. Trains run from there to Manchester and Liverpool.

Car Travel

St. Albans is ideally placed to access the rest of the UK via the network of motorways and airports close by.

By car St Albans is about 15 minutes from the M1 and about the same to the AIM. The M25 to the south is about the same. By car, it takes an hour to drive directly into central London, and 20 minutes to Luton.

London Heathrow Airport is between 30 minutes and 45 minutes away depending on traffic. London Stanstead is 45 minutes or an hour away depending again on traffic. The closest airport is London Luton at around 20 minutes away.

Education in St Albans

In this government guide to schools you will find that St Albans has many primary and secondary schools. It also has several excellent independent schools.

In Hertfordshire generally schools are well above average. St. Albans is even better. This is a fantastic place to be for children’s education.

London and its many colleges are easily reached. In Hatfield there is the University of Hertfordshire. The University Campus in St Albans is a joint venture with the University and Oaklands College. Oaklands is a large further education college in Hertfordshire with campuses in Welwyn Garden City and St Albans.

Hospitals and Healthcare in St Albans

West Herts NHS Trust organises the healthcare in St. Albans and the adjacent towns.

St. Albans City Hospital has a minor injuries unit. It is a local general hospital offers a range of services including planned surgery. It is located on Waverley Road.

For more information on hospitals and health services in the area click here.

For information on Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacies in St. Albans click here.

Banks

We know how stressful it can be when planning to relocate to a new area for some time. You will need access to local banks and post offices at times, as well as a useful guide to St Albans. Here is a list of all banks and building societies in St. Albans;-

Within this link you can locate a post office for admin or collecting official documents or even for buying stamps!

Shopping

Essentials

There are three large supermarkets in St. Albans

There is also a Tesco Metro in the city centre on St. Peters Street.

There are two Tesco Express stores on Hatfield Road and on Beech Road.

Petrol and Diesel

Sainsburys on Holywell Hill

Morrisons on Hatfield Road.

BP Service Station (with M&S express shop) Verulam Road.

Electric Charging points

BP Chargemaster and Polar Plus on Hall Place Gardens

Polar Plus on Spencer Street

BP Chargemaster in Waitrose car park

Shopping Fun

  • George Street for fashion and jewellery.

  • Simply French for fashion on Holywell Hill.

  • The Maltings for H&M, River Island, TKMaxx, Oliver Bonas, Swarovski and Office.

  • Christopher Place for Hobbs, French Connection, Neal's Yard, Tomoka Spirits and The White Company.

  • St. Albans Market on St. Peters Street. This is on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

  • Farmers’ Market on St. Peters Street on the 1st Sunday of each Month.

Keeping Fit

Hairdressers

  • For men: The Alternative Barbering Co on George St; Headcase Barbers on Holywell Hill.  

  • For women: Trinder Hair Studio on George St;  HOB Salons on Chequer St.

 

This is by no means a definitive list. If you need more info try the civic centre or email us. We’re always happy to help.

If you are looking for things to do in St Albans - take a look at our page "14 Things to do in St Albans" and see how many you can tick off our list!

Get social

To find out latest updates of what is going on in St Albans, whether that is any area information, tourist information, upcoming events or programmes, alert notifications, new openings of any high-street businesses etc, then you can check out these Twitter accounts: @StAlbansCouncil, @stalbansguide, @StAlbansTourism, and @stalbanslife.

You can also check out a St Albans local information page they have set up on Facebook.