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Local places to visit in St Albans City and District

The district lies in the western half of the county, and is home to the city of St Albans with its cathedral. St Albans is also the site of Verulamium, the second-largest town in Roman Britain after Londinium. Remains of Verulamium are still visible in the city centre’s Verulamium Park.

As with all our ‘local places to visit’ these are free and open all year round.

Heartwood Forest

Located at Sandridge just north of St Albans, Heartwood covers an area of 347 hectares.  Some of the forest has ancient woodland with bluebells and old hedgerows.

Another area is notable as the largest new native-species woodland in England, with over 600,000 trees planted in recent years. A new community orchard is also underway.

Some of the trails are surfaced and wheelchair accessible.  Find out more about Heartwood Forest.

Batford Springs Nature Reserve

This local nature reserve in Harpenden features the River Lea chalk stream and surrounding grasslands. It’s a great place for children and families to play and look at the ducks.  Read more about Batford Springs Nature Reserve.

The Friends of Batford Springs volunteer group has a monthly working party to maintain and improve the site. We recognised their achievements with our CPRE Hertfordshire Environment Award in 2019.

Sopwell Nunnery

A nunnery was founded on this site in St Albans in 1140. The ruins visible today date from the time of Henry VIII.

Today the site is an open grassy space with expansive wildflower meadows and the River Ver nearby. It’s a lovely place to relax or enjoy a picnic.  Read more about the site here.

Ver Valley Walk 4 near Hammonds End Elizabeth Hamilton