Id always say that people moved from new york to st albans in 2003 because we guessed hertfordshires cathedral city, with its deep levels of record, green spaces, and feeling of community, is a perfect destination to sit down a pandemic. actually, we elected it because of the mainline teaches into london in addition to great schools.
We ended up buying a residence 3 minutes from st albans city station. ive been into london one time since march. however, our leisurely 90-minute walk could be translated as a nod to 2,000 several years of journey to, from and through commuterland.
We begin and finish at the end of our street, regarding the edge of the well-kept, victorian clarence park, at verdis, a family-owned trattoria that entrepreneurially reinvented it self as a backyard community store and served takeaway pizza pie and beer throughout the depths regarding the pandemic.
Walk south to the place and cross the mainline, turning kept past the restored st albans southern signal field before ducking into a typical leafy road lined with victorian villas to emerge regarding self-explanatory london path.
Perfectly, not exactly self-explanatory, because runs parallel to old london path. coaches 72 of these each day, based on tom doigs history of the town had been clogging this route into st albans by the very early 19th century, bearing 600 guests to chester and holyhead. the celebrated professional thomas telford was hired to drive a new course up the mountain into the city centres numerous inns. that thriving company had been it self superseded for good because of the arrival regarding the railways within the 1850s.
From odyssey cinema, wonderfully restored six years ago to its 1930s glory, we wind right down to the river ver, an unusual chalk flow, unfortunately mistreated recently. gladly, the river appears to be completely circulation, two years after singer feargal sharkey lamented the decline of hertfordshires rivers for an ft video function. the only real snag is maintaining length off their walkers from the overgrown riverbank path. the trail leads after dark point in which we estimate the pinnacle of christian convert alban rolled to, following their decapitation at the top of the hill, where cathedral named after him now appears. he had been martyred within the third century for sheltering a priest.
From right here, we like to follow the lake into verulamium park. it seemed to united states an undesirable replacement new yorks central park whenever we initially relocated straight back from a posting here 17 years ago. on many strolls since march, but weve learnt to appreciate its sweeping parkland under some dazzling cloudscapes. this park also has one benefit that even ny cannot match: it sits from the remains associated with old roman settlement. you can easily sit searching west through flattened ruins of london gate and imagine merchants, travellers, mendicants and centurions entering verulamium on watling street, the truly amazing roman road that connects dover to chester via london.
We circuit the playground, fortified with a restorative takeaway waffle from waffle home when you look at the old watermill on the ver, in which we consumed our last sit-down meal before lockdown and our first after restrictions eased. skirting the lake brings you right back past what exactly is presumably britains oldest club, ye olde battling cocks. it traces its origins back once again to the 8th century and it is currently battling for funds to enhance its way out of this covid crisis.
From here, we continue our secular pilgrimage as much as the cathedral as well as on to your marketplace which have attracted purchasers and vendors into st albans considering that the old. we strolled right here when it had been bare probably for the first time since plague swept the town within the seventeenth century. but on market day, even with stalls socially distanced and consumers masked, main st albans has begun to recoup a bit of its pre-covid liveliness.
In fact, once we walk downhill once more, via old st peters churchyard, along with its broken and overgrown gravestones, towards clarence park, it does occur if you ask me that i have finally began to consider st albans not merely as a spot to commute from, but as a location in its very own right.
Map by liz faunce
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