(10 minutes from Bushwood)
St Albans has a history spanning more than 2000 years and this can be traced vividly by visiting a few sites within easy walking distance of one another. It was a regional capital of ancient Britain and became a major Roman settlement and then a key ecclesiastical centre. It was so important that during the Wars of the Roses two battles were fought for it.
St Albans Cathedral and Abbey Church
This outstanding example of medieval architecture was begun in 793, when King Offa of Mercia founded the abbey in honour of St Alban, Britain’s first Christian martyr, the oldest parts which still stand date back to 1077.
On the outskirts of St Albans are the remains of the walls of Verulamium, one of the first British cities the Romans established in circa AD 45.
This excellent Museum tells the story of the city, it has splendid collections of well preserved Roman Artefacts, notably some breathtaking mosaic floors.
A stone’s throw from the museum are the foundations of the open air Roman theatre built circa AD 140. It is one of only six known to have been built in Roman Britain.
Ye Olde Fighting Cocks
16 Abbey Mill Lane, St Albans – reputed to be the oldest pub in England by The Times, Ye Olde Fighting Cocks dates back to the 8th Century. The pub you can see today was built in the 11th Century and original features can still be seen by visitors. In fact the pub still has the original fireplace with a bread oven to the side. St Albans Cathedral and grounds are just across the road from the Fighting Cocks and there are tunnels stretching from the beer cellar to the Cathedral, apparently used by monks. Cock fighting took place in the main bar in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, hence the name of the pub.
St Michaels Church
First founded during the Saxon reign and built partly with bricks from Verulamium. The church contains a 17th century monument to statesman and writer Sir Francis Bacon; his father owned nearby Gorhambury, a large Tudor House, now in ruins, that is 15 minutes walk from the Roman Theatre.
(30 minutes from Bushwood)
One of England’s finest Jacobean houses it was built in the early 1600s for the statesman Robert Cecil. Elizabeth I spent much of her childhood at the palace and it is where she held her first council of state in 1558.
(35 minutes from Bushwood)
A notable Tudor mansion with a beautiful Jacobean banqueting hall, its exterior was overlain with a 19th century Gothic exterior.
(15 minutes from Bushwood)
On this stunningly beautiful 543 acre estate they have two challenging 18 hole Championship Golf Courses and the Faldo Golf Institute. They also have the award winning, much acclaimed lakeside restaurant, Auberge du Lac.
(20 minutes from Bushwood)
Bernard Shaw lived in this Edwardian Arts & Crafts-influenced house from 1906 until his death in 1950. The rooms remain much as he left them, with many literary and personal effects evoking the individuality and genius of this great dramatist. The kitchen and outbuildings are evocative of early 20th-century domestic life. Shaw’s writing hut is hidden at the bottom of the garden, which has richly planted borders and views over the Hertfordshire countryside.