Beyond the Museum: the best things to do in Tring
While it is worth visiting Tring just for the Natural History Museum, there is so much more to the historic market town.
Whether you want to spend a weekend or make a day trip, find all the information you need to extend your trip beyond the Museum at Tring and discover Hertfordshire's hidden cultural gem.
A (very) brief history of Tring
Tring is a market town located in a gap between the Chiltern Hills, which is classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is just 48 kilometres (30 miles) from Central London. There have been settlements in Tring since prehistoric times. It was mentioned in the Domesday Book and has held market status since 1315. The first President of the United States George Washington's great-grandfather John Washington, was born and raised in Tring.
More museums and culture
After you've visited the Museum, there are plenty more places to secure a spot of culture in the local area.
Tring Local History Museum
Located in the old livestock market office, the Tring Local History Museum holds objects, images and documents related to the town. Learn about important families and individuals as well as the events, trades and pastimes that have helped to shape the town.
Open Friday and Saturday 10.00-16.00
© Tring Local History Museum
Held every July, Chilfest is a one-day rock and pop festival held at Pendley Meadow. For the past 10 years, Chilfest has hosted acts as diverse as The Proclaimers to Boney M. Chilfest is preceded by Totally Tribute, an evening dedicated to tribute acts.
Tring Book Festival
Held across multiple venues including the Natural History Museum, the Tring Book Festival is made up of author talks, book signings and shows for all types of readers. As well as the main festival, individual events are held throughout the year.
© Tring Book Festival
Run by Get Stuffed Comedy Club, the Tringe Festival is a small festival held at the Court Theatre and Our Bookshop in Tring. Festival dates and line-up announcements are confirmed on Twitter.
Blues Bar Tring
Located at Tring Park Cricket Club, this is the best spot for a beer and a band in Tring. The Blues Bar Tring usually has shows on the first and third Thursday of every month, but also hold special one-off events so checking the gig guide is advisable.
The Chiltern Sinfonietta holds three concerts a year at St Peter and St Paul's Church. Programmes usually feature classical composers but also draw from chamber orchestra pieces from the Baroque period to the present day. Admission is free with donations recommended.
The Court Theatre
Located at Pendley (just 10 minutes from Tring railway station), The Court Theatre has been putting on everything from amateur dramatics to concerts since 1978. The theatre is entirely run by volunteers and is a registered charity.
Get back to nature
Explore the natural beauty surrounding the Museum, including woodland, nature reserves, reservoirs and scenic views.
Tring Park was landscaped by Charles Bridgeman, Chief Gardener for the royal gardens, in the early eighteenth century. A mix of woodland and parkland makes the park the perfect spot to see a variety of plant life and wildlife. This was originally the grounds to Tring Mansion, which was the home of Walter Rothschild. He has a walking tour named after him, 'Walter's Wander'. The park also has a natural play area.
Tring Memorial Garden
Just off the High Street is a small garden built in the 1950s for those who lost their lives in the Second World War. The gateway has plaques in honour of the fallen. Not just a place of remembrance, Tring Memorial Garden has a fishpond, giant redwood, ornamental fountain and seasonal floral displays. It is a popular spot for dog walkers.
© Peter Fleming/Shutterstock
Tring Reservoirs and the Grand Union Canal
Tring Reservoirs are a great spot to see wildlife and have been declared a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Expect to see great crested grebes, swans and herons, and in autumn, the reservoir is visited by wading birds travelling south for winter. The reservoir is linked to the Grand Union Canal which connects London to Birmingham. You can walk or cycle the canal towpaths which lead to Wendover or Aylesbury.
© Shen Stone/Shutterstock
Just a 15-minute drive from the centre of Tring is the 2,023-hectare (5,000-acre) Ashridge Estate. Owned by the National Trust, the property boasts miles of footpaths and bridleways to explore making it a popular spot with families and dog walkers.
© Sarah Howard Photography/Shutterstock
View Tring from above
Enjoy spectacular views of Tring and the surrounding areas from Irvinghoe Beacon in the Chiltern Hills. Be sure to check out the nearby Pitstone Windmill too. You can drive to the carpark and walk from there, or for a longer walk (about 45 minutes to one hour) you can walk through Dockey Wood.
© Ronald Ian Smiles/Shutterstock
College Lake is a nature reserve run by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust. It has interactive geology displays, wildlife exhibits and signposted walking routes. Once you've seen the taxidermy wetland birds on display, see if you can spot their living counterparts on the lake. Events are run in conjunction with the Museum. It has picnic facilities and a cafe.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10.00-16.00
Drink and dine
Worked up an appetite after a day of exploring? Whether you're looking for the perfect pint or a luxurious afternoon tea, Tring has plenty to offer.
Kings Arms Pub
A traditional family-run pub, the King's Arms is a pillar of the local community. As well as real ales, ciders and lagers, all food is freshly prepared in-house meaning they can easily cater for any dietary requirements. The cobbled courtyard has heated parasols, so you can people watch all year round.
© David Bostock Photography
Located five minutes northwest of Tring, Puddingstone Distillery distil artisan gins. Their Campfire Gin has won numerous awards including Great Taste 2021, The Gin Guide Awards 2021 and London Spirits Gold 2021. Evening tours of the distillery are run bi-monthly, and the store is open every Friday and Saturday for gin tastings.
© Puddingstone Distillery / Matthew Bishop Photography
Founded in 1992, Tring Brewery are dedicated to keeping beer local. Not only do all their beer names have a connection to the local area, but most of their staff live in the town too. The 30-barrel brewery offers tours on Thursday evenings and Saturdays so that you can see the brewing for yourself and try a beer (or three).
Craft Yard is a gin and craft beer bar offering a rotating selection of beers on tap and in bottles. They have 10 rotating kegs every week and over 90 different gins to try. Looking for a special spot for an event? You can privately hire the entire bar.
The Akeman is a gastropub boasting a stunning fireplace, courtyard and outdoor dining area making it the perfect spot whatever the weather. As well as pizzas, pastas and home comforts, The Akeman has plenty of vegan options on the menu. Located just around the corner from Tring Park on the same road as the Museum, there has been a pub on the site since 1901.
Black Goo Coffee
Bringing the east London cafe culture to Tring, this Instagram-friendly coffee spot is the perfect place to grab a coffee and a cake. They also offer a bottomless afternoon tea, with tea, prosecco or G&T, plus plenty of veggie and vegan options.
The Espresso Lounge
There is no shortage of places to grab a great coffee in Tring and the Espresso Lounge is another solid choice. Established in 2010 and run by a husband-and-wife team, this spot offers organic coffee accredited by the SCA, seasonal produce and homemade cakes.
Open Monday to Friday 8.00-13.00 and Saturday 8.30-17.00
Mentioned in the Michelin Guide, Crockers offers upscale dining in a relaxed environment. Head Chef Scott Barnard came second in Masterchef: The Professionals in 2015. The Chef's Table offers a tasting menu with the option to pair wines, while the mid-week lunch menu and cellar bar offer more casual experiences.
Whether you want to eyeball antiques or pick up some fresh produce, these spots are not your usual high street fare.
Pick up the perfect gift at Fancy That, a Tring staple since 1992. Browse their amazing range of cards or choose from candles, soft toys, scarves and homeware.
Open 9.00-17.30 Monday-Saturday.
Tring Farmer's Market
Held on the second and fourth Saturday of every month (except in December), the Farmer's Market is held in the same location as the historic market. Some of the ancient livestock pens have been kept on display. The market is a great place to pick up locally produced goods directly from the maker.
© Caroline Hendry Smith
Tring Market Auctions
Originally the auction house was part of Brown & Merry, an auction company formed in 1832. Then, it used part of the old cattle market buildings. Today, auctions are held in a purpose-built building that is one of the largest and best-known venues of its type. For over 20 years, Tring Market House has offered fine art and general auctions alongside valuations, collections and deliveries. See the auction calendar and view catalogues.
© Tring Market Auctions
G. Grace and Sons
G. Grace and Sons has been selling homeware and tools for 270 years. This Tring staple has a tool hire and a refill scheme to help you reduce your impact.
Open 9.00-18.00 Monday-Saturday and 10.00-16.00 Sunday.
Maggie J. and Co
A mother and daughter team who have taken over the historic jewellers on Tring High Street. As well as jewellery and gifts, they also offer watch repairs. The shop also has a pop-up shop where they display the work of independent creatives, start-ups and small businesses. Expect to see anything from children's clothing to artwork.
Make it a weekend break
With so much to do in and around Tring, why not make it a weekend break? There are plenty of places to stay with something to suit every budget.
Pendley Manor Hotel
A Grade II-listed building, Pendley Manor is a Tudor-revival building set among 14 hectares (35 acres) of grounds. Pendley Manor has a spa and offers high tea.
Champneys Tring is the UK's first health spa. Opened in 1925 on a 69-hectare (170-acre) site once owned by the Natural History Museum at Tring's founder Lord Rothschild, the spa hotel is the perfect location for a relaxing break.
Home Farm Camping and Caravan Park
Located in the village of Radnage just outside nearby High Wycombe, Home Farm offers places to pitch your tent (for those who want to sleep under the stars with none of the fuss) or park your caravan. There are also furnished glamping tents for those who like their creature comforts.
The Orchard at Norcott
Just 10 minutes from Tring, The Orchard at Norcott offers a relaxed tent-only spot to camp with gorgeous views of the Chilterns. Dogs welcome and there is space for campfires.
Open 1 March-31 October.
A five-minute drive or 30-minute walk from the centre of town, this branch of the Premier Inn boasts modern rooms and countryside views. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and play area.
Getting here and away
Tring is about 48 kilometres (30 miles) northwest of London and there is parking onsite at the Museum. There are also regular train services to Tring station.
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