Sometimes You Just Need a Church in a Field

Caroline Witts Queen Mary University of London, England


February 11, 2015

Being in London can sometimes make your forget that the country of England stretches far beyond the city’s limits. Sure the city is fun and glamorous but after a while you just need to take a little break from crowded sidewalks and honking horns and super inflated prices. Lucky for me, England had a lot of beautiful places to escape to.

Have you ever heard of St. Albans? Don’t worry, I hadn’t either. It’s a small city about twenty minutes outside of London by train and it’s fantastic. My friends and I decided to go there for the day because it was close and we heard there was a really nice park there, which is all we really wanted.

The city of St. Albans is a pleasant blend of old and new. There’s plenty of crooked little English houses mixed in with cute café’s and major chain stores. There was a farmer’s market happening in front of an H&M, which was a beautiful yet odd thing to see.

The main attraction of St. Albans however is St. Albans Cathedral. Like most churches in England it was very old and very beautiful. It is the oldest sight of continuous British worship in Britain dating back 1700 years ago. It was open to the public on the day we went and we got to wander around and see some pretty impressive stain glass windows.

Right outside the cathedral is the park we were promised. It’s called Verulamium Park and it was beautiful with trees, fields, and a huge pond that had the largest amount of water foul I had ever seen in one area outside of that scene from the Notebook. Seriously, the entire pond was just filled with ducks and swans and geese all just chilling together.

The park sits on the original sight of the Roman City of Verulamium and there’s a piece of the original wall from the city in the center of the park. It’s falling apart in some places but they had the whole thing fenced off to preserve it.

Seeing as St. Albans was the first place in England I had gone to outside of London, I say I picked a pretty good place to start.


England Travel