5 Places for Outdoor Walks in and Around St Albans

St Albans and surrounding area has many beautiful places just perfect for a gentle stroll to get some fresh air and stretch those legs, here are a few ideas...

Next time you fancy getting out of the house, we can suggest the following places that are easily accessible, and most have somewhere you can sit and enjoy a light snack or coffee.

Verulamium Park

Home to our very own Roman remains and a lovely lake with a large car park nearby. The area is quite flat and has a wonderful path that takes you around the lake. There is a large children’s playground and splash park (which is open in the summer months). Many people take advantage of the gentle terrain and walk around the lake stopping for a coffee and light lunch/snacks at “The Inn on the Park” or taking advantage of the ability to visit reputedly the oldest pub in the country “Ye Olde Fighting Cocks”. At the weekend the park is home to many local football teams who play regularly there and on a Sunday morning the local “Parkrun”.

Toilets can be found at either end of the changing rooms in St Michael’s car park.

Clarence Park

Smaller than Verulamium Park, Clarence Park is still a popular recreational spot for visitors and local residents alike consisting of a large, grassed area and children’s play area and even a bandstand! There are always lots of families with children, joggers, and people walking their dogs. The local Italian restaurant  on the corner is renowned for their authentic pasta and pizza and they also do the most wonderful takeaway coffee and ice cream to die for, while just across the road there are a couple of locally owned independent cafes where you can get an appetising sandwich and drink to finish off your walk. Parking is on the adjacent road or in the small car park right next to the park.

Toilets are next to the bowling green on York Road, so keep that in mind before visiting, while the park is however fully accessible with benches spaced throughout.

Heartwood Forest

Heartwood Forest is a dedicated area of new trees planted within the last 20 years by the Woodland Trust to give local people direct and easy access to an area of nature and beauty. There is a large car park and well-marked paths and trails for all to enjoy.  You are so close to nature you will often see rabbits, hares and sometimes the odd deer who live in the forest? In Springtime, the bluebells are a ‘must see’.

There is an abundance of birds and butterflies and a local group have written a book with some fabulous photography of the many different varieties of butterflies that have made their homes in this wonderful wildlife haven.

There are no toilet facilities in the Forest – you have been warned!

Bricket Wood Common

Bricket Wood Common is a large open space on the outskirts of St Albans, that has diverse habitats and wildlife. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Green Flag Award Winner. It is owned by the Munden Estate and managed by St Albans City and District Council. It is popular for recreation activities such as walking, horse riding and cycling.

Bricket Wood Common does not have many facilities, as it is a natural area for wildlife and recreation. There is no formal car parking surrounding the Common12, so visitors are advised to use public transport or cycle. There are public footpaths and bridleways for walking, horse riding and cycling. Dogs are welcome but should be kept under control.

Wheathampstead Heritage Trail

The Wheathampstead Heritage Trail is a series of seven self-guided walks that explore the rich history and natural beauty of Wheathampstead, a few miles East of St Albans.

The trail covers various heritage sites such as ancient earthworks, historic buildings, nature reserves and former railway lines. The walks range from one mile to eight miles in length and start from the free parking in the village centre. The trail also provides printable maps, interactive maps and information boards along the way.

Some of the heritage sites on the trail are:

  • Devil’s Dyke, an ancient defensive earthworks from Celtic times
  • Mackerye End, a Grade I listed manor house dating from the 16th Century
  • Ayot St Lawrence, a historic village with a ruined Norman church and a Palladian-style church
  • Wheathampstead railway station, a former station on the branch line that closed in 1965
  • The River Lea, one of the main rivers in Hertfordshire and a chalk stream

There are several places where you can find food and drinks on the trail. For example, in the village centre, you can visit The Swan, a pub that serves traditional food and local ales. On the Old Railway & River Lea walk, you can stop at The Brocket Arms, a 14th-century inn with a large garden and a restaurant. On the Lamer & Ayot St Lawrence walk, you can enjoy a tea or coffee at The Old Rectory Tea Room.

The biggest excuse for staying at home is the weather.  However, once you get out there it doesn’t matter whether its snowing, raining or just overcast – a bracing walk lifts the spirits and is a great form of exercise.  The locations above in and around St Albans, Harpenden and Radlett need to be explored!

If you want to find out about the benefits of home care in St Albans, Harpenden, Radlett and the surrounding villages, please click on the link below or call us on 01727 895941.