Area Guide: The Hertfordshire market town of Tring
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
This Hertfordshire hotspot celebrated its 700th year as a market town in 2015, and continues to attract visitors to its thriving high street today. We found out more about Tring's enduring appeal...
Just outside the The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the border with Buckinghamshire, is the pretty town of Tring.
Nestled in the Tring Gap, an aptly named opening in the Chiltern Hills, the commuter town is home to a selection of independent stores, cafes, bars and restaurants, as well as many high street favourites.
Evidence of Tring dates back to the medieval period – the area was mentioned in the Domesday Book – and it has been a market town since 1315, when it was granted a market charter by Edward II. However, settlements in Tring date back even further, to the prehistoric period.
Tring Park Mansion was designed by acclaimed architect Christopher Wren and built for Colonel Henry Guy, Groom of the Bedchamber to King Charles II, in 1682.
In 1872, the Manor became home to a branch of the Rothschild family whose influence on the town was considerable. The famous collectors built a private zoological museum in the town, which has been part of the Natural History Museum at Tring since 1937.
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The mansion is now home to Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, and its 300 acre park is in the care of the Woodland Trust.
Tring offers a mix of period homes and more modern properties, from the cottages and lodge houses surrounding the former Rothschild estate, to the detached homes perched on the Chiltern slopes.
Not surprisingly, such properties tend to come with a substantial price tag attached. According to Rightmove, the average price for property in the town over the last year was £514,296.
Homes currently on the market in Tring include a Grade II listed former gate lodge on Station Road, with a hefty £2.25m asking price, and a more modest two-bed apartment above a shop on the historic High Street for offers in excess of £325,000.
Popular schools include Tring School, a Christian secondary school rated 'good' by Ofsted at its most recent inspection, and 'outstanding' Goldfield Infants' and Nursery School.
For creative types, there's also Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, an independent school for seven to 19 year olds, specialising in acting, dance and musical theatre.
Sport and leisure
Tring has countless sports clubs, including football, rugby, hockey and cricket.
Tring Sports Centre, in the grounds of Tring School, houses a 25m pool, artificial football pitch and multi-purpose sports hall, which are all open for public use.
The town has plenty of walking routes around the Tring Reservoirs and along the Grand Union Canal, while the Tring Natural History Museum is another popular attraction, one of its eccentric highlights being the grinning polar bear.
Then there's Tring Local History Museum, which offers an interactive and engaging timeline of the town's history for children and adults.
Between the station and the town is Pendley Manor Hotel, which is a popular wedding venue, while Tring Park – which once belonged to Tring Park Mansion – is a 264-acre open space.
Around 30 miles north of London, Tring is blessed with excellent road and rail links, making the capital an easy commute. The A41 connects the town to the M25 and M1, while the station gives direct access to Euston in about 40 minutes.
Food and drink
A local favourite is the Kings Arms, a traditional pub serving good quality British food and well-kept ales, proudly free of all ‘electronic distractions’, from gaming machines to TVs.
Another popular option is Crockers' Chef's Table, which offers "the ultimate in relaxed fine dining". Diners are invited to take a seat at the 15-seat chef's table and watch as their food is prepared in front of them using fresh, seasonal ingredients.