St Albans street food
A circular walk of 9.5 miles in a slightly green suburban environment.
Main features: St Albans' idea of slums (ostentatious mansions, Victoriana, Edwardiana, Taylor semis and ultra-modern Eco-Euro re-builds), a walk through one of the deepest dykes in England, a memorial stump, an ancient woodland, a railway and the primary objective of enjoying hot street food from St Albans City Market at lunchtime. Depending on how much time we want to spend in St Albans, there is also the possibility of some night-time walking.
** Please note: i) a start time earlier than our usual start time; ii) the post-lunch meeting point and time; iii) bring a torch. **
At the time of a final inspection in Dec2023, street food cuisine included: Spanish (paella), Pakistani (kebab), Peruvian, Brazilian, Chinese, Nepalese, Italian (pizza), Lebanese (kebab), American/burgers/hot-dogs, fresh fruit (and veg), breads, cakes, pastries, coffee. Budget around GBP 10 per portion of hot food (prices as at Dec2023).
Wear sturdy boots. Much of the route is on pavement. The off-road route includes grass and track, with muddy patches.
Wear windproofs. Part of the route is exposed.
Bring water. Bring something to sit on. Bring packed lunch if you intend not to buy street food.
Bring a torch. Sunset will be at 15:51. Civil twilight will end at 16:31. The walk's end time might extend beyond 16:40 if the group wants to spend more time in St Albans at lunchtime.
Elevation: the first half of the route rises from 86m to 123m, a imperceptible incline. The second half of the route goes downhill quickly to the River Ver, from 123m to 86m, then goes uphill almost as quickly, back to 123m. In addition, there are steps to climb and, in the dyke, one very steep slope featuring slippery mud.
Orientation to street food at St Albans market: upon arrival at St Albans market, at its northern edge, there will likely be up to two street food stalls and a cheese stall (which is well worth a visit for provisions, if not food-on-the-go). The majority of street food choices will likely be at the southern edge, around all sides of the Clock Tower. In the middle of the market will likely be a bakery stall, https://www.brownbreadbakery.co.uk/. A link to a map of the market's likely arrangement appears in the meeting point section below for GOC members.
Remember that food items from market stalls are generally bulkier than stuff bought from supermarkets, and far less conveniently packaged. Prepare for spills and crumbs in your rucksack.
Toilets: this is an urban walk. Toilets are available at 1h30 into the walk, at 2h10 into the walk (lunchtime), at the end of the walk. Al fresco opportunities are very limited, confined to only two patches after lunch, and even those are on well-walked paths, with the best al fresco chance at ~4h50 into the walk (well after lunch). There are no toilets at the start point.
Optional pub crawl (!) at end of walk. 2 pubs to choose from.
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