This summer being my summer of 'get out and discover more of England', I headed north and spent a day in St Albans yesterday. Only a 20 minutes's train ride away from St Pancras Station, St Albans feels miles away from London's urban hustle and bustle.
Named after the first British martyr, St Albans dates back as far as Roman times. It's a charming, historic market town with an impressive cathedral that towers over the centre of town.
My friend and I visited on market day, so there was quite a lot going on. We walked around and browsed the various market stalls selling fruits, flowers and other merchandise. We stopped for coffee and cakes at The Merchant Tea & Coffee Company, which is housed the Town Hall building overlooking the main market.
We made our way to the cathedral, which is most likely one of the biggest ones I have ever visited. And there have been a lot. It was under construction, so it took a while before we found the entrance, but once we found it, I was awe-struck. It is so big, it seems to consist of a few churches stuck together. Reading a bit about its history, this seems to make sense as it was built throughout different eras picking up different architectural styles along the way.
Looking up the ceilings are impressive wooden structures and some have colourful flower patterns painted on them. There is a prominent, round stained glass window, projecting red and blue sunlight into the cathedral.
After our visit to the cathedral we made our way back to the Highstreet and popped into Raft Furniture store, lured in by the free Pimm's. We got quite comfy on their cushiony sofa, but after two rounds it was time for us to continue our walk.
We headed to Jamie's Italian on Chequer Street, where more free booze was awaiting us. (Their loyalty scheme is so worth it.)