I'm an Albanian, which means I am a born and bred St.Albans-er!! I've lived in St Albans most my life - apart from a few stints over seas, in London and in Bristol. It's a pretty gorgeous little city to live in and full of hidden gems and secret spots. Here are some of the less well known places I'd recommend you check out...


Fishpool St is super old. In fact, next time you walk down it, try to spot the original Tudor rose on one of the houses close to the St.Michaels end. But the whole street is packed full of history and although I’ve been walking it my whole life, I always seem to find something new each time. Walk from town centre down Fishpool and end up in St Michaels village - the bridge boasts amazing views of the cathedral across the back gardens of lower Fishpool St. Stop at the Waffle House for a delicious brunch lunch or dinner (they’ve recently opened their dinner menu for summer) and then finish off the loop by wondering through Verulamium park, along the edge of the lake, spotting herons and ducks galore (maybe even our resident Kingfisher - oooooo) before either finishing for a pint at the Fighting Cocks (number 6 on this list) or walking up the hill to check out the majesty of St Albans Cathedral.


How people don’t know about this place I am amazed?! This theatre is the oldest working theatre in the country and it is in our little city - that’s epic!! And it’s beautiful. Picture this - dusk on a warm summers evening, watching Romeo and Juliet with a glass of Prosecco in hand - heaven. Of course the reality is British summer is unpredictable and sometimes it pours with rain or is freezing cold - but either way - it’s a fantastic experience and every evening throughout the summer there are different shows to watch.



Finally St Albans has boojie London style gym come to town! Ok so it’s not cheap… but it is worth it because the work outs are addictive, high energy, fun and the sense of community is brilliant. If you are looking to change up your exercise patterns and want to get fit quick - this is the place to do it! I’ve never enjoyed going to the gym, but I love this!!



Batchwood Bluebell woods come alive in the spring. The whole woods become a sea of blue. You can park at the Everyone Active carpark and then cross the golf course and wander in the woods that back onto Childwickbury estate or stick close by and walk in the smaller woods that run along side the entrance road up to the old nightclub.


Looking for the best Brunch in St.A, look no further. Located between the back of M&S and Boots - this place has gorgeous interiors, fantastic fresh delicious food, great coffee and it is fairly priced (not always easy to find in this little city). But it’s the owner and his team that make this place special, because I’ve never had anything but brilliant service. If you go over the weekend expect to queue for a table - but it is worth the wait! 



This iconic St.A landmark, lays claim to being Britain’s oldest pub and having worked there, behind the bar, in my early 20’s and learnt a bit about the history - it is the real deal. Brought up to scratch and under new management since 2021, this pub is better than ever!! The pub garden overlooking Verulamium lake is a gorgeous spot to spend a summers evening, pint or pimms in hand. The pub has always championed live music as the part owner (Martin) is one of St Albans best guitarists. Monday night is Open Mic night and Friday always has live music. On Sunday's the roast dinners are huge and delicious, the vibe is cosy in the winter, cute in the summer and it’s just got to be one of the very best pubs in the country, let alone in St Albans!!



The Childwickbury Estate was the home of the late Stanley Cubrick - director or Clockwork Orange and …. And his family still live in the manor house. The estate is beautiful, there is one long drive which runs from the Harpenden road entrance all the way down to the back of Batchwood golf course and in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful walks in St Albans, with views of sprawling fields, lots of cows and sheep to ogle at and beautiful old romantic trees.

At the Harpenden Road end sits the most gorgeous little hamlet. It’s like something out of a film, the houses sit around a green, with St Mary’s church amongst them. It is idilic. In May/June time the rhododendrons are in bloom and the road leading into the village comes alive.



I only found this place last year and wow! I’d sat in Hollywell Hill traffic looking at the outside of the shop more times that I could remember… but when you go in, you can get lost in this gorgeous world of..well books!! But the big secret is the cafe attached to the shop on the first floor. Oh wow - it’s so cute and floor to ceiling full of books. If you told me the bookcases opened into a Hogwarts library I would 100% believe you. This place has buckets of charm and is definitely worth checking out.



Also on Hollywell Hill sits my new fave hobby - painting pottery at Pots of Art. This little shop holds a huge amount of creativity. Each time I go in there people of all walks of life and all ages are enjoying a couple hours of artistic escapism. Even for someone like me who can barely draw a stick man, it’s infectiously enjoyable and don’t worry if you aren’t a natural because the staff are super supportive …and you might even surprise yourself at how good your masterpieces comes out!



Have you ever walked to the top of the hill in Verulamium Park? Well if you haven’t, I think you should. The view from the top of the hill spreads across St Albans with the Cathedral dominating the skyline. It is a beautiful view and the perfect place for a summer picnic or a winter dog walk.

If you enjoyed this blog, please let me know and although St Albans has been my home town for 34.5 years, I’m sure there are still spots I don’t know about - so please send me your St.A secrets to check out!