Sunday, May 8, 2011

Walking in England, The Alban Way

I'm back from a wonderful April visit to England and France, and am still floating in happy memories of walks, pubs, fish and chips, and get-togethers with friends and family.

I thought I'd post a few photos from my overseas adventures, and begin by concentrating on the Rail Trail walks I accomplished in England. I managed three in total, and the first one took place in Hertfordshire, north of London. It's the Alban Way, which I visited from west to east, beginning in St. Alban's and heading six miles or so eastwards to Hatfield.

Here's the map showing the Way...

The Alban Way's western end starts quietly enough, as a sidewalk drifting to the right of a hedge around the corner and down the street from St. Alban's Abbey railway station.

You have to be careful at the railway pedestrian crossing. St. Alban's Abbey station is just up the tracks a bit to the left. This spur line connects to the main line at Watford Junction, where you can transfer to trains for London, Birmingham or elsewhere.

Way in the distance is a view of the Abbey at St. Alban's, with some garden allotments in the foreground.

You can see how this was once a railway line in its own right. Also note how GREEN it is! It seemed to me that the mid-April spring season in England was a good six weeks in advance of Toronto. It was a wonderful day for a walk.

Further evidence of the Alban Way's past life as a railway line appears with the remains of a station platform on the left.

Towards the Hatfield end of the path, the route curves slightly upwards and crosses yet another main line railway. It's an easy ramble down to the train station, where there are frequent trains back to London.

I happened to make a special trip back to St. Alban's later in the week, specifically to visit this highly-rated brewpub called The Farmer's Boy. If you were walking the Alban Way from east to west, this London Rd. pub would offer a tasty reward for your efforts!

The reward? Some outstanding chips and a tasty home-brew called Farmer's Joy.

It was a real pleasure to have added The Alban Way to my list of Rail Trails, and I highly recommend it as an excellent day trip out for anyone visiting London. I felt physically energized and mentally refreshed after my walk, and was looking forward to the next path, wherever it may be!

NEXT: The Centurion Way and another gem of a pub!

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