St Albans, Hertfordshire
In London for the Olympics but want to get a small taste of England outside the capital? In Rough Guides' 30th year we asked Martin Dunford, Rough Guides co-founder and author, to round up his top spots to experience a unique piece of Englishness within half an hour of central London.
Just 20 minutes from central London, yet with a vibe that's very much its own, St Albans is a commuter's dream. The cathedral is officially the oldest place of Christian worship in the country, it's got decent pubs and restaurants, and the buzzing centre of this thriving market town is a great place for a wander at any time of day.