We were in St Albans to review the St Albans Museum, which didn’t take too long, so I thought we’d pop into the Cathedral as well. Although it’s a special place for Hubby and I, I haven’t been inside for quite a few years. The first thing you notice is the size. St Albans Cathedral is MASSIVE and has the most beautiful stained glass windows!
Admittedly a church isn’t your typical family day trip, but it really is more than “just” a church. There are lots of things to see, an exhibition, family activities and a trail. You can combine your visit to the Cathedral with a trip to the St Albans Museum, Verulamium park or Verulamium museum (review coming soon) to make a full day of it.
Key highlights include the Shrine of Saint Alban and the Rose stained glass window. There are also regular tours of the cathedral, but these are more suited to adults than families.
The Story of St Albans Cathedral Exhibition
This is new since the last time I visited, there is now a small exhibition to the side of the cathedral. It tells you the life and history of the cathedral and the story of how Alban became a Saint. There are some interactive screens, a kids dressing up area and some activities for kids. The boys particularly liked the video about the life of St Alban.
Near the cafe there is also a exhibit about the monastery itself, including a touch screen tour of the monastic grounds. The boys loved that bit!
Fun facts 1) It is home to the shrine of Britain’s first saint. 2) It’s the oldest site of continuous Christian worship in Britain 3) It has the longest nave of any cathedral in England.
Family activities at St Albans Cathedral
There’s a tree trail that you can buy from the cathedral shop for £2. I didn’t know about it before our visit so we didn’t try it out sadly. It takes about 45 minutes to follow the trail around the grounds and park. They also run weekly Abbey Tots sessions each Tuesday during term time from 9:30 – 11:00.
There’s a digital guide you can follow on your phone by clicking this link.
They regularly host family friendly events and activities. When we visited to do our review of St Albans Cathedral they had various space themed activities going on. Just in front of the altar they had a huge Moon Mat. It’s a massive padded mat with the surface of the moon printed on it and there were astronaut and alien costumes the kids could wear. Smallest child LOVED running on the surface of the moon. I had to genuinely drag her away from the mat when it was time to leave.
Entry is free. Some activities may have a charge
Parking / How to get there
There is no parking on-site but there’s plenty of car parks within a few minutes walk.
Address – Sumpter Yard, St Albans, Hertfordshire. AL1 1BY
On-site, including baby change
Cafe on-site. There is plenty of space in the park for picnics.
Our St Albans Cathedral Review
3 / 5 – I know this isn’t necessarily the first place you’d think of when planning a family day trip to St Albans but if you’re in the area I would recommend popping in. They’ve designed the cathedral to be more family friendly that you’d expect and there’s a fascinating history to the place.
Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with out three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook