There are a number of day trips by rail to Britain’s Roman towns from London. With enough time to travel there, have a good look around and enjoy some time in the town, and still get back to London in the same day, Roman British towns are an ideal excursion either independently or as part of many escorted holidays.
22 miles north of Central London in Southern Hertfordshire lies St Albans, a historic market town where much of its Roman heritage. It was the first major town situated on the Roman road Watling Street that travellers going north came across, and went by the Roman name of Verulamium. St Alban was the first Christian martyr who was beheaded by Maximium under the orders of Emperor Diocletian who denounced Christianity.
The stunning architecture is the first thing you notice while walking around St Albans; be it the 15th century clock tower or the stunning cathedral, the building of which started in 1077. Getting to St Albans from London is very simple; St Pancras and Blackfriars are just two of the London stations that will take you to St Albans, and the journey last between 17-45 minutes, depending on which station you travel from.
Within 2 hours of getting on your train at Paddington, you can be in the beautiful Roman spa town of Bath. It was first established by the Romans in AD 43 as a spa under the name of Aquae Sulis. Much of its Roman origins are sill in evidence today and in 1987, UNESCO bestowed the honour of Bath being designated as a World Heritage Site. The Romans saw Bath as being a strategically based town for the south west, seeing as it was both a crossroads for trade and also somewhere for weary soldiers to rest.
Colchester sits 60 miles north west of London and by catching a train from Liverpool Street station you can be in this historical town in around an hour. Colchester is the old recorded Roman town in England, and was the capital of Roman Britain for a while. It claims to be Britain’s oldest city and to have the oldest market.
Soon after the Romans conquered Britain in AD 43, they established a fortress here and the town was given the name of Camulodunum. One of the major archaeological finds was under the garrison where, in 2004, experts discovered the remains of a chariot race course, a unique discovery in the UK.