Enjoy the Outdoors

The countryside around St Albans is wonderfully diverse. Thousands of years of human activity have left us with a layered landscape that is full of hidden secrets waiting for you to discover. Historic Bronze Age routes lie alongside Roman roads and modern motorways. Areas of ancient woodland meet the more planned landscape of the 18th century. Great mansions stand within picturesque parkland, and if you look carefully, you can find trees up to 1000 years old. This is a landscape that is crying out to be explored!

Walking and cycling

Walking and cycling routes around the district plus guided walks Never more than a short bus or cycle ride from the centre of St Albans there are many footpaths, bridleways, byways and quiet country lanes, providing lots of opportunities to get active in and around St Albans.

For walkers and cyclists there are paths and cycle routes criss-crossing the district, including old railway trails the Alban Way and Nickey Line. Try a Sky Ride group cycle ride, or find out more about the city and district with a guided walk.

Verulamium Park

St Albans AL3 4SW 150px Disabled Go logo100 acres of beautiful parkland close to the city centre and is a popular attraction throughout the year with wide range of facilities. The Park is named after the Roman City of Verulamium on which it stands. The City walls and outline of the London Gate can still be seen. Verulamium Museum displays hundreds of remarkable objects that have been excavated from the ground.

Rothamsted Park, Harpenden

Amenbury Lane, Harpenden, AL5 2EF Rothamsted Park covers an area of 56 acres and is located close to Harpenden town centre. It is adjacent to the world famous Rothamsted Experimental Research Centre. Whilst the park includes a sports centre, a paddling pool and an indoor swimming pool, the park is much loved for its wide open spaces which provide opportunities for walking and general relaxation. There is a very popular children’s play area, and the District’s only purpose built skateboard park.

Clarence Park

Clarence Road, St Albans AL1 4NF (access on foot also via Hatfield Road and York Road) A 25 acre park located in the heart of the city divided into two distinct compartments: a formal park, including rose and flower beds, extensive tree and shrub planting, the Aberdeen granite drinking fountain and the park-keeper's lodge, and a recreation ground with sports facilities such as, Cricket, Football, Tennis, Bowls and Hockey. The park has held a Green Flag since 2005.

Heartwood Forest

Near Sandridge village, just north of St Albans 150px Disabled Go logoEngland’s largest new native forest. Within the 858 acres are 45 acres of existing ancient woodland complete with bluebells in spring. There is community orchard, new wildflower meadows, open spaces and a network of footpaths, cycle paths and bridleways which cross this area of beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.

Bernard's Heath

Off Harpenden Road, St Albans Bernard's Heath is a unique green space, close to the centre of St Albans, consisting of playing and sports fields and established woodlands which harbour a wide variety of wildlife. It has a fascinating history dating back to the Dark Ages and is the site of one of the major battles of the Wars of the Roses. In Victorian times it was the site of clay pits and brick making from which much of St Albans is built. Click "more" to go to the Friends of Bernard's Heath website for more information.

Bricket Wood Common

By the village of Bricket Wood, 2 miles south of St Albans Bricket Wood Common consists of diverse habitats including ancient semi-natural woodland, hornbeam coppice woodland, wet lowland heath/acid grassland, ponds and seasonal streams. The Common supports an array of wildlife including great crested newts, butterflies, heather, fungi, blue bells and Heath Spotted Orchids.

Ellenbrook Fields

Off Hatfield Road, St Albans AL4 0HP This area of private land has been opened up to the public for your enjoyment. A series of linking permissive footpaths, suitable for walkers and cyclists have been created through the areas of open grassland and cattle grazing. Learn more about the history, restoration and management of this part of the former Hatfield Aerodrome through information boards that can be found throughout Ellenbrook Fields.

Highfield Park

West Lodge, Hill End Lane, St Albans AL4 0RA Highfield Park is situated on the south eastern side of St Albans. The Park was created in 1996 following the closure and redevelopment of Cell Barnes and Hill End Mental Health Hospitals. The hospitals had extensive grounds, which now form Highfield Park. Among the features are parkland with mature trees, a tree trail, football fields, woods, orchards and a maze. Highfield Park is rather unusual as it is managed by a dedicated charity - Highfield Park Trust, rather than being financed and managed by the local council.

Nomansland Common

North of St Albans, between the villages of Sandridge and Wheathampstead Nomansland Common is a very popular recreational area for dog walkers, horse riders, flying kites & model airplanes, and families who enjoy a picnic on a Sunday afternoon.  The Common is also a haven for wildlife and the heathland on the north side of Ferrers Lane is some of the best in South Hertfordshire and continues to support a wealth of rare plants, including Dwarf Gorse and Heather.

Other parks and green spaces

Play areas and smaller parks around the city and district There is a wealth of beautiful parks, open spaces, and nature reserves around St Albans city and district in addition to the three main parks on this page. Our Parks and Green Spaces Team provide detailed information on these on the council's main website. Click "more..." to see these web pages.