St Albans is a district and city located in Hertfordshire, in the East of England, lying 22 miles North of London. It has many links to London, primarily through the multiple commuter train lines, as well as multiple connections by road via the M1. It has, in recent years, become a much sought after dormitory town, and it is famous for its historic market. With a population of over 140,000, it was created after several separate districts merged in 1974.
It is said that the first ever British martyr, the aptly named Saint Alban, lent his name to the City after he was beheaded by the Romans in 300 AD. Whether or not this is true, the fact remains that St Albans is a place that is littered with history, in the form of buildings, monuments and archaeological finds, from the past 1500 years.
The most prominent of these is the St Albans Abbey, which is, although its name doesn’t indicate, a Cathedral. It has the unusual moniker of being the second longest Cathedral in the U.K, and most of its architecture dates from Norman times.
For those who are looking for an active edge in their cities, In 2007 Sport England named St Alban’s residents as the 10th most active in the country. It has strong links in nearly all the major games played in the U.K, ranging from amateur players to the professional leagues. As well as sport, it is also a bustling cultural centre. There are two key museums in St Albans, the Verulamium Museum, which is a showcase for everything Roman, owing to the strong local links to the era, and the Museum of St Albans.
With a large range of culture and sport, there is something for everyone, and it can certainly be seen as a reason for the ranking of St Albans on many top places to live in the U.K list.
With regards to the district, it is primarily made up of the City itself, with 60,000 of the district’s 140,000 population living there. It is the city which also provides most of the transport links. There are two stations, St Albans City and St Albans Abbey, both of which provide access to London, and are busy stations used for commuting.
The city is also home to the historic market for which St Albas is famous, and a high number of schools. There are 10 secondary schools in the district, as well as a large number of primary schools, which, given the size of the city and district, means that they cater excellently to those looking to for good education for their children.
All in all St Albans can be seen as a perfect example of how great a City-District steeped in history can be. It sits at the perfect intersection of modern and antiquated living, with a 21st century lifestyle set to the backdrop of beautiful architecture. Much like a fine wine, and the buildings that give it its character, St Albans is only due to get better with age.