- Take a trip to Verulamium Park in St. Albans, a beautiful open space with a rich history going back thousands of years.
- Relax in the picturesque natural landscape of one of the best parks in Hertfordshire, just a stone’s throw from the vibrant St. Albans city centre.
- Discover what it was like to live here two thousand years ago in Roman times at the Verulamium Museum in the park.
- Explore the city of St. Albans, which has impressive museums, independent shops, and exciting restaurants.
This magnificent park lies in the heart of the Hertfordshire city of St. Albans, just a short drive from London. The park is home to the ruins of Verulamium, the city of the ancient Romans which once stood where modern St. Albans stands today. Whether you’re looking for a fun family day out in a beautiful park or want to learn more about the rich history of this area, Verulamium Park makes for a fantastic day out.
The park features over 100 acres of green space to run about and relax in. There are many different paths where you can walk and explore or cycle around. The park also has a large children’s playground, which has equipment for younger kids and older kids in the nearby outdoor gym. On a warm summer’s day, nothing’s better than spending an afternoon at the Verulamium Park splash park, which is great for toddlers.
The park is also home to Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, which features two swimming pools, the Verulamium Spa, and sports activities such as badminton, squash, and rock climbing. In the park, you’ll also find outdoor tennis courts, basketball nets, and even a beach volleyball court. There are also two lakes in the park. The larger one is home to wildlife, including swans, kingfishers, and geese. The smaller one is a model boat lake which regularly holds competitions.
While Verulamium’s amenities already make it a top choice to visit, the history of the park is what sets it apart. Over 2000 years of history can be witnessed through the numerous historic features that remain in the park.
The city of Verulamium was one of the most important cities in the country during Roman times, and what remains of it can be found in the park which today bears the ancient city’s name. The ruins of the city’s outer walls are easily found in the park and do not have any barriers separating them from the rest of the park. There are also the remains of the Roman Amphitheatre that once stood in the town.
Located in the north of the park, Verulamium Museum brings St. Albans’ Roman history to life. Many of the incredible archaeological discoveries in the area have found a home at this Roman museum, and it makes for a fantastic and very educational experience for kids and adults alike. Admission is free for St. Albans residents, with a small fee for other visitors.
Nearby the museum is the brilliant Roman hypocaust and mosaic. Discovered in the 1930's but dating back to 200 AD, this is the remains of an impressive Roman townhouse and a marvel of engineering. The hypocaust is a heated underfloor system and was one of the first of its kind, whilst the floor mosaic is one of the most well-preserved of its kind in the UK. These historic features are housed in a building inside Verulamium Park, and admission is free for all.
In addition to the amazing Roman remnants that can be found in the park, Verulamium Park is also a short walk away from St. Albans Abbey. This impressive structure is almost a thousand years old, having been built soon after the Norman conquest of Britain. You can go inside the Abbey when church services are not happening, where you’ll see the ornate decorations and furnishings.
Due to the park’s central location, you can also discover the historic city of St. Albans when you make a visit. Just a few minutes walk from Verulamium Park is the newly-opened St. Albans Museum and Gallery, which charts the history of the city and features some of the best local art, both contemporary and ancient. The city itself is also home to a lovely collection of interesting shops and restaurants to explore.
What to know before you go
- Verulamium Museum will reopen on September 1, with an opening time of 10 am-4:30 pm on weekdays, and 11 am-4:30 pm on Saturdays.
- Verulamium Park is free to visit, although there is a fee if you want to go to the nearby Verulamium Museum. The park is open 24 hours a day year-round.
- There’s plenty of great spots to eat and drink near Verulamium Park. Inside the park, you’ll find the Inn On The Park Café, which serves a range of hot meals, snacks, and drinks. It’s child-friendly and has lots of outdoor space to sit and eat.
- Just outside of the park, you’ll find The Waffle House, a local St. Albans favourite. For decades, it’s been the place to go after a walk in the park, serving a great range of delicious waffles and pancakes. You’ll also find Ye Olde Fighting Cocks near the park, a historic pub which is thought by some to be the oldest pub in the UK. There are countless other excellent pubs and restaurants within walking distance of the park too.
- There are various toilets dotted around the park. They are wheelchair accessible and have baby changing facilities.
- The park is accessible for buggies and wheelchair users. There are lots of tarmacked paths throughout the park that are wide and smooth.
- Verulamium Park is a 40-minute drive from London.
- For St. Albans parking at Verulamium Park, there’s a large car park available. It’s open seven days a week from 7:30 am-6:30 pm every day. The car park costs £1.70 for up to a three-hour stay, and £3.80 for a longer stay. There’s also parking in St. Albans at the nearby Westminster Lodge car park, which is larger than the central Verulamium car park and is free for up to two hours.
- Verulamium Park is also accessible by public transport. The nearest Train Station is St. Albans City, which serves Thameslink Trains and is a 20-minute ride away from London St. Pancras. From there, the 300 and 302 buses can take you within a few minutes walk of the park, or you can walk through the city, which takes around half an hour.