Leicester St Albans Train
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The development of the city of Leicester is strongly linked to the completion of the Grand Union Canal in 1790 which linked Leicester to London and Birmingham, and also to the arrival of the railways in 1832. This process of industrialisation continued throughout the reign of Queen Victoria with the appearance of factories along the canal and the River Soar and of mills in districts such as Frog Island and Woodgate.
The city is the county town of Leicestershire in the East Midlands of England. Lying at the edge of the National Forest and on the River Soar, the city has a number of historical monuments including the 15th century Belgrave Bridge and the 12th century Leicester Abbey and medieval Leicester Castle.
Shopping in the city is divided between the Haymarket Shopping Centre, Highcross Leicester, St Martin's Square and Leicester Lanes. Leicester is also home to the largest outdoor covered marketplace in Europe. Leicester Market sells fruit, vegetables, fresh fish and meat and also hosts festivals which are organised by Leicester City Council. The market was given royal consent in 1229 by Henry III. Other markets in Leicester include Beaumont Leys Market. There are other markets, including the farmer's market and the continental markets usually held on Humberstone Gate or Gallowtree Gate.
About St Albans
Located in the county of Hertfordshire, the city of St Albans is a historic market town and is now a dormitory town within the London commuter belt being only about 20 miles to the north of London. The St Albans Museum service runs two museums. The Verulamium Museum, which tells the story of everyday life in Roman Britain using objects from the excavations of the important Roman Town and the Museum of St Albans, which focuses on the history of the town and of Saint Alban. The Watercress nature reserve is by the River Ver and is run by the Watercress Wildlife Association.
St Albans is not a large city and it is possible to walk from one edge to the other in about one hour. Most bed and breakfasts, hotels and attractions require a shorter walk. The main railway station is roughly 10 minutes walk from the city centre with the St Albans Abbey railway station located down a steep hill right next to the Verulamium Park and near the Abbey itself, which is around 15 minutes walk. St Albans is well linked to neighbouring towns by bus, although despite the distances, journey times are relatively long. There is also a frequent direct bus service to London Heathrow Airport.