Moving to St Albans can be an exciting venture, but like any relocation, it requires thorough planning and preparation. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, vibrant culture, or the promising job market, St Albans offers a plethora of opportunities for newcomers. It has just been named the second-best place to live in England and Wales so expect it to have everything you need!

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into every aspect of life in St Albans, from its geography and economy to its housing market and community life. So, let’s embark on this journey and discover what awaits you in this charming city.

Location and Geography

St Albans is a cathedral city located in the heart of Hertfordshire and boasts close proximity to several other large towns such as Watford, Potters Bar and Harpenden.

Situated northwest of London, its strategic location provides easy access to the capital while maintaining a distinct sense of tranquillity. The city is characterised by its historic architecture, quaint streets, and abundant green spaces, making it an idyllic place to call home.

Geographic Features

The city’s landscape is marked by its proximity to the River Ver and Verulamium Park, offering residents ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and leisure activities. Additionally, the nearby Chiltern Hills provide stunning views and hiking trails for nature enthusiasts to explore.

Climate

St Albans experiences a temperate maritime climate, with mild winters and warm summers similar to other towns and cities in Hertfordshire. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, ensuring lush vegetation and vibrant landscapes. Summers are typically sunny and pleasant, while winters are mild with occasional snowfall.

History and Culture

With a history dating back over two millennia, St Albans is steeped in rich historical and cultural heritage. Named after Britain’s first Christian martyr, St Alban, the city boasts a wealth of historical landmarks and attractions that offer insight into its storied past.

Historical Significance

One of St Albans’ most iconic landmarks is St Albans Cathedral, a stunning example of Norman architecture and a testament to the city’s medieval heritage.

Additionally, Verulamium Park is home to the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Verulamium, providing a fascinating glimpse into Roman life in Britain. The ruins include:

  • A Roman theatre
  • Ruins of a Roman city gate
  • A Roman mosaic and heating system

All are run by the Verulamium Museum located not far from the park.

Cultural Attractions

In addition to its historical landmarks, St Albans boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous theatres, galleries, and museums showcasing local art and heritage. The St Albans museums host a wide range of activities and events for locals and tourists alike. They include talks, cinema screenings, and art exhibitions for adults and families to enjoy.

Economy and Job Market

St Albans’ thriving economy is driven by a diverse range of industries, including technology, finance, and healthcare. The city is home to numerous multinational corporations and startups, providing ample employment opportunities for skilled professionals.

Major Industries

The technology sector plays a significant role in St Albans’ economy, with many companies specialising in software development, cybersecurity, and digital marketing. Additionally, the city is a hub for scientific research and wholesale and retail trade, likely due to its proximity to London.

Proximity to London

London is a strong contributor to the economy of St Albans as it is a more affordable option for Londoners seeking a home outside the expensive London sphere. Residents of St Albans opt to use the excellent transport links to commute into the capital for work.

Transportation

Getting around St Albans is easy thanks to its efficient public transit system and well-developed road infrastructure. Whether you prefer to travel by train, bus, or car, the city offers plenty of options for commuting and exploring the surrounding area.

Commuting to London

Commuters can use the M1 to drive directly into London. At 21 miles it is very close to the capital city, however, on average it can take over 1 hour to reach the centre. Most commuters opt to travel via rail. From St Albans City Train Station there are regular direct trains to London St Pancreas International Station which take around 20 minutes.

Road Infrastructure

The city is also well-connected by road, with easy access to the M1, A1(M) and M25 motorways to London and the rest of the country. Hatfield and Hemel Hempstead are connected to the city via the A414. Also, the A1081 connects to Harpenden to the north of St Albans

Bikes and Pedestrians

St Albans is bicycle-friendly, with designated bike lanes and cycling paths throughout the city for eco-friendly transportation options. In fact, the old rail line between St Albans and Hatfield gives cyclists and pedestrians 6.5 miles of road-free paths, called The Alban Way

Housing and Real Estate

St Albans offers a diverse range of housing options to suit every lifestyle and budget, from quaint cottages and historic townhouses to modern apartments and luxury estates. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, the city’s real estate market has something for everyone.

Average House Price

The average house price in St Albans is over £644,000. This is almost £100,000 more than the average price of a house in Hertfordshire, however, the level of amenities, proximity to London and picturesque location contribute to the price.

Education

St Albans boasts a strong education system, with a wide range of schools and universities catering to students of all ages and abilities. Whether you’re looking for top-rated public schools or prestigious private institutions, the city has plenty to offer in terms of educational excellence.

Schools and Universities

The city is home to several outstanding primary and secondary schools, including St Albans School, one of the oldest independent schools in the country. Other schools include:

  • Beaumont School
  • Heathlands School
  • Oakwood Primary School
  • Skyswood Primary & Nursery School

Additionally, several sixth form colleges such as Ark St Albans Academy and vocational schools such as Oaklands College provide further education and training opportunities.

The nearby University of Hertfordshire hosts their graduation ceremonies at St Albans Cathedral.

Healthcare

Access to quality healthcare is essential for any community, and St Albans is no exception. The city boasts a robust healthcare system, with state-of-the-art hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities serving the needs of residents.

Hospitals and Doctors

St Albans City Hospital is the primary hospital in the city, offering a wide range of medical services, from an Integrated Urgent Care Hub to general surgery, outpatient treatment and rehabilitation.

The closest Accident and Emergency department is Watford General Hospital.

There are several general practictioner surgeries spread across the city including:

  • The Maltings Surgery
  • Parkbury House Surgery
  • Highfield Surgery

Other Health Services

In addition to traditional medical care, St Albans offers a variety of health services and wellness programs to promote overall well-being and preventive care. From fitness centres and yoga studios to mental health counselling and support groups, there are resources available to help residents lead healthy and fulfilling lives. The council also provide residents with access to The Healthy Hub to boost health and wellbeing.

Recreation and Leisure

St Albans offers plenty of opportunities for recreation and leisure, with its numerous parks, recreation centres, and entertainment venues catering to residents of all ages and interests.

Parks and Recreation Centres

Verulamium Park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with its scenic walking trails, sports fields, and playgrounds. Additionally, Clarence Park and Highfield Park offer plenty of green space for picnicking, jogging, and relaxation.

Entertainment Venues

From cinemas and theatres to music venues and art galleries, St Albans has a vibrant cultural scene with something for everyone to enjoy. The Alban Arena hosts a variety of mostly music performances, while The Maltings Theatre and the Abbey Theatre showcases local talent and productions.

Shopping and Dining

St Albans boasts a diverse culinary scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and eateries serving up delicious cuisine from around the world. Whether you’re craving traditional British fare or exotic international flavours, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your appetite.

Retail

The city’s bustling high street is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, and department stores, offering everything from designer fashion and home goods to artisanal gifts and speciality foods. Shoppers can visit Christopher Place Shopping Centre for fashion, beauty, children and homeware shops and services.

The St Albans market can trace its roots back to Roman times, but the most clear evidence of market trading is from the year 860. Now St Albans regularly holds markets up to three times a week. You can find the market on St Peter’s Street with bus, rail and parking options available for visitors.

Restaurants

Foodies will delight in St Albans’ culinary offerings, with its numerous cafes, pubs, and restaurants serving up everything from gourmet cuisine to casual comfort food. Whether you’re in the mood for steak at Prime Steak and Grill, Mediterranean at Tabure or Moroccan at Al-Farid, you’ll find them in St Albans, and much more.

Crime Rate

St Albans consistently is ranked as the safest city in Hertfordshire. It has a 7% lower crime rate than comparable towns or cities in the East of England and when compared to England, Wales and Northern Ireland it has a 16% lower crime rate. Overall, it is a safe city with excellent emergency services serving the city.

Moving to St Albans with Professionals

Moving to St Albans is an exciting opportunity to embrace a vibrant community, rich history, and high quality of life. Whether you’re drawn to its picturesque setting, thriving economy, or diverse cultural scene, the city offers something for everyone to enjoy.

It is recommended that if you want a smooth move to the city you need to use the best removal company in St Albans. Alban Moves has almost 20 years of experience moving people to St Albans and the surrounding area. So, if you are looking for a move and decide St Albans is the nicest place to live then you will not go wrong with Alban Moves.

Contact our team today for a free consultation.