in Travel

St Albans clock tower

We recently had a lovely picnic in St Albans with a couple of our good friends who live there. I’ve always loved the town and it’s a great place to visit whether you’re a shopper or a tourist. The central part of the high street is pretty with a beautiful clock tower right in the centre, apparently the only medieval clock tower in the country.

One of our friends mentioned that you can climb the tower and I jumped at the chance. After giving the lovely old ladies 80p for a ticket at the entrance I heard the bell strike for three o’clock. They told me I was lucky I was on the ground floor and it was only after I got up to the belfry that I realised what they meant – the bell is BIG and you get to stand within an arm’s length of it. Being next to it and thinking that it could be struck at any time scared the wits out of me – I had visions of jumping at the sound and tumbling down the spiral staircase back to the entrance – so I legged it up to the rooftop.

The view from the top is fantastic – you get to see the cathedral as well as a lot of the town and surrounding countryside. On top of this, the masonry was covered with grafitti going back to the 1800s which completely fascinated me. I had the same spooky feeling I get when I see a photo of somewhere I know that was taken decades ago and can’t help thinking about the people that have stood in the same place years before. I took some pictures on my Blackberry but the camera is pretty crappy:

Old graffiti

If you want to see more, take a look at the set I’ve uploaded to Flickr.

If you visit St Albans, have 30 minutes to spare, are happy to climb an extremely narrow spiral staircase and want to chance your luck with the giant bell, it’s worth a visit!

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