Tring, with its pretty Victorian High Street, is a short walk from Tring Park with its stunning chalk meadows and woodland rich in history and wildlife. The Ridgeway National Trail is just up the hill from the town, and enroute you’ll pass the famous Natural History Museum.
Just 40 minutes by train from central London, Tring is nestled in the Chiltern Hills and within easy walking distance of some of England’s most beautiful countryside and waterways. It's a wonderful place to visit and spend time enjoying the great outdoors, visiting the town's two museums, or just watching the world go by at one of its many superb independent cafes, pubs and restaurants.
The Manor of Tring is described in the Domesday survey of 1086 and the town received its market charter from King Edward II in 1315. A certain John Washington was born and brought up in Tring but left for Virginia in 1656, his great-grandson, George Washington, becoming the first President of the USA. In 1682 Tring Manor House, designed by Christopher Wren, was built for Colonel Henry Guy, Groom of the Bedchamber to King Charles II. The Grand Junction Canal, now the Grand Union, was begun in 1793 but the town developed further with the construction of the railway in 1835, overseen by the engineer, George Stephenson.
In the late 19th century the Manor became the home of a branch of the Rothschild family whose influence on the town was considerable. Lionel Walter Rothschild was so fascinated with the natural world that he began a museum collection, later donated to the nation. The Natural History Museum of Tring is still a big draw for visitors today.
There are excellent train services from London Euston, and from Birmingham, Northampton, and Crewe. There are regular bus services, too, from Aylesbury and Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead and Watford and links to Luton Airport. Tring is easily accessible by road from the A41.
Markets, Festivals and Events
Every Friday, Tring’s ancient Charter Market sets up its stalls on Church Square and every second Saturday there’s a Farmers Market on the same spot. The Farmers Market always co-incides with the Auction sale at Tring Market Auctions. The Spring Fayre and Summer Carnival welcome visitors, and you mustn’t miss the Tringe Comedy Festival (where you can find many of the top acts warming up for the Edinburgh 'fringe'). The Annual Chilfest music festival also takes place in July. October sees the Apple Fayre when Tring celebrates having one of the country’s few remaining ancient apple orchards with an Apple Day followed by apple themed events. An annual Book Festival has also been established and takes place during November and at the end of November, the Christmas market sees plenty of festive stalls along the atmospheric High Street with entertainment for all ages, and delicious food and seasonal treats to sample. For details of all events in Tring throughout the year, go to www.tring.gov.uk
There are a number of lovely circular walks starting from Tring town centre that explore the surrounding countryside. Little Tring takes you along the stream that flows into the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal; Stubbings Wood has ample wildlife-spotting opportunities, including 53 species of birds; Tring Park and beyond encompasses the second largest chalk downland in the county and an historic parkland; the canals and reservoirs walk takes you along the Grand Union Canal and around three reservoirs; the walk to Drayton Beauchamp takes in views of the Chiltern ridge; and the Tring Station, Wigginton and Tring Park loop joins the Ridgeway National Trail and affords spectacular views of Tring itself and Aylesbury Vale. And don't forget the Tring Heritage Trail, which provides a self-guided tour around the town itself.
Claim to Fame
Tring Park Mansion (now a school for the Performing Arts) is the original seat of the Rothschild family in the area, from where the ‘five arrows’ (as the five sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild were known) spread out to Mentmore Towers, Green Park, Ascot House, and Waddesdon Manor – all within a manageable ‘carriage ride’ of each other. In their day, the family had important links both with international banking, and with the UK government (Disraeli’s home at Hughendon was not far away), and in 1917 Lord (Lionel Walter) Rothschild was the senior signatory to the ‘Balfour Declaration’ – which led to the establishment of the state of Israel within Palestine.
Tring Market Auctions appears regularly as a location for the likes of ‘Flog It’ and the ‘Antiques Road Trip’. You can spot Inspector Morse’s red Jag outside ‘The Greyhound’ at Aldbury in a couple of episodes – similar goes for an episode or two of ‘Midsomer Murders’. And the most recent ‘Star Wars’ film includes sequences taken in the area around Pitstone Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon.
Did You Know?
The poet Gerald Massey was born in Tring in 1828. He was acknowledged by Tennyson and Ruskin as a major talent and the great Victorian novelist George Eliot had Massey in mind when she wrote her book 'Felix Holt - the Radical'. The ‘Great Train Robbery’ of 1963 took place just outside Tring, a mile or so beyond the point where the west coast mainline from London emerged from the infamous Tring Cutting.