Places to Visit
See also St Albans Tourist Information Centre, Town Hall, Market Place, St Albans. 01727 864511
In Roman times St Albans was an important city known as Verulamium. St Albans Abbey, the country's second longest church, was built and rebuilt on the site where Britain's first Christian martyr was executed. It was made a cathedral in 1877 when St Albans gained City status.
St Albans is a compact city whose historic streets are packed with pubs, restaurants, specialist shops and many high street names. The famous street market was first established over 1000 years ago and in 1553 Edward VI granted a Charter to St Albans formalising the right to hold markets as well as the right to a Mayor. The special character of St Albans continues to attract people to live, work and visit the city, which is active both during the day and in the evening. St Albans is easily reached from Bricket Wood by car, train or bus.
St Albans Market is held on Wednesday and Saturday each week, and the Farmers' Markets are held monthly - 2nd Sunday in St Albans, 3rd Sunday in Wheathampstead, and 4th Sunday in Harpenden.
Few traces of Watford, as it was years ago, now remain and it is a busy commercial town. The new Harlequin Centre, an excellent large shopping centre, is only a few minutes car journey using the M1 link road or travel direct from Bricket Wood by train or bus. Watford Hospital provides A&E and inpatient services.
With the reduction of St Albans hospital facilities, Hernel Hempstead is now a major hospital for many local patients. Old Hemel Hempstead, built on a hill overlooking the River Gade, contrasts with the modern shopping centre of Marlowes.
The County town of Hertfordshire is the meeting place of four rivers: the Mimram, Rib, Lee and Beane. Important in Saxon times, Hertford was the site of the first ever General Synod of the English Church held in 673. The town is famous as an antique centre.
Bricket Wood Common is easily accessible from Mount Pleasant Lane (junction with Bucknalls Drive or School Lane). Generally thickly wooded, work is being done to rejuvenate areas of the Common and it is a lovely place to roam.
Paths and Bridleways from School Lane and Old Bricket lead through farmland to the River Colne. Upstream at the confluence of the Colne and Ver, follow the Riverside Walk (running parallel to Drop Lane, this is part of the beautiful Ver Valley Walk) to historic Moor Mill. Then take a circular walk from here through Frogmore Gravel pits, now an attractive wildlife area.
Local walks on the many nearby footpaths and bridleways are varied and interesting; for example, the Ver Valley Walk to St Albans or in different directions walk to Aldenham or to Bedmond. The purchase of an Ordnance Survey Pathfinder map is recommended.
Capel Manor Gardens, Bullsmoor Lane, Enfield, Middlesex. Tel: 0208 366 4442 Thirty acres of richly planted imaginative and informative gardens.
Hatfield House, Hatfield. Tel: 01707 287010 www.hatfield-house.co.uk The Old Palace, one of the finest Jacobean houses in Britain, is surrounded by lovely gardens and parkland.
Aldenham Country Park, Dagger Lane, Elstree. www.hertsdirect.org
Cassiobury Park, Watford. A major park, situated close to Watford town centre, is 192 acres of scenic beauty. The open parkland with sports facilities, paddling pool and Miniature Railway, the meandering River Gade, Grand Union Canal (boat trip), and the woodland walks of Whippendell Woods combine to offer a wide variety of leisure opportunities.
Greenwood Park, Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green. This very attractive local park for Chiswell Green. Bricket Wood and Park Street is provided by St Stephen Parish Council.
Park Street Recreation Ground, Park Street Lane. Children's play area and sports field.
Verulamium Park, St Albans. In the shadow of the Cathedral, this beautiful park with the River Ver and its lake provides a habitat for many species of water fowl. Visit the Roman Hypocaust, Grebe House, the Verulamium Museum, The Fighting Cocks, St Michael's Church, Kingsbury Mill and the Roman Theatre (all in or close by the park).
Woodbury Field, West Riding. Currently has Bricket Wood's only children's 'play area'.
FARM/WILD ANIMAL PARKS
Willows Farm Village, London Colney. Tel: 0870 1299718
Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, Dunstable, Beds. Tel: 01582 872171. Almost 3000 rare or endangered animals live in 600 acres of beautiful Chiltern Parkland.
Birds of Prey Centre, Biggleswade, Tel: 01767 627527
Woburn Safari Park, Woburn, Beds. Tel: 01525 290246. Drive through Safari Park.
LEISURE CENTRES AND/OR SWIMMING POOLS
Bricket Wood Sports Centre, Smug Oak Lane, Bricket Wood. Tel: 01923 662224
Greenwood Park Leisure Centre, Tippendell Lane, Chiswell Green. Tel: 01727 874867
Watford Leisure Centre, (Woodside Sports Stadium), Horseshoe Lane, Garston.
Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre, St Albans. Tel: 01727 846031
THEATRES / CINEMAS
Abbey Theatre, Westminster Lodge, St Albans. Tel: 01727 857861
Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans. Tel: 01727 844488
Watford Palace Theatre, Clarendon Road, Watford. Tel: 01923 225671
Woodside Leisure Park, Warner Village Cinema, North Orbital Road, Garston. Tel: 01923 682886 for general enquiries, 01923 682222 for booking information.
Verulamium Museum, Roman Hypocaust, St Albans. Tel: 01727 751810. With several of the finest mosaics and rooms recreated, this is a museum of everyday life in Roman Britain. Walking directly from the Museum to the Hypocaust, streets and remaining walls of the Roman city lie underfoot. Just a short walk from the museum the Roman Theatre, Tel: 01727 835035 is the best preserved example in Britain. Admission free for residents.
Museum of St Albans, Hatfield Road, St Albans. Tel: 01727 819340. Story of St Albans from its rise as a medieval market town and coaching centre to today. Collection of craft tools and reconstructed workshops. Admission free.
St Albans Organ Museum, 326 Camp Road, St Albans. Tel: 01727 851557 Permanent working exhibition of mechanical musical instruments, including two theatre organs.
St Albans Clock Tower, corner of Market Place and High Street in the centre of St Albans. Open Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays, 10.30-5.0 pm Easter to mid September. Admission Adults 80p, Children 40p.
Mill Green Museum, Mill Green, Hatfield. Tel: 01707 271362
De Havilland Mosquito Aircraft Museum, Salisbury Hall, London Colney. Tel: 01727 822051. Exhibits include prototype De Havilland Mosquito, Vampire and Venom aircraft.
Stockwood Discovery Centre, Gardens and Mossman Collection, Farley Hill, Luton, Beds. Tel: 01582 738714. The Craft Museum has displays of Bedfordshire rural life, crafts and trades, regularly enhanced by craft demonstrations, the Period Gardens represent over nine centuries of English garden history and the Mossman Collection tells the story of horse-drawn transport before the invention of the motorcar.
Watford Museum, 194 Lower High Street, Watford. Tel: 01923 232297. Located in the original Benskins Brewery building, exhibits include local industry, particularly printing and brewing.
Walter Rothchild Zoological Museum, Akeman Street, Tring. An extensive collection of stuffed mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
Kingsbury Watermill Museum, St Michaels, St Albans Tel: 01727 853502