Tring is a busy market town situated within the Chiltern Hills in Hertfordshire, England, an Area of outstanding Natural Beauty.
The modern town of Tring is lively and bustling, with a wide selection of shops and boutiques ranging from specialist food and gift shops to independent retailers and high street stores.
There are also 2 regular markets in Tring to complement the shopping experience.
The former livestock market in Tring was redeveloped in 2005. The market was believed to be the last remaining example of its type in the UK. It is now the home of the weekly Friday Charter Market and a bi-weekly farmers Market on Saturdays. The farmers market offers a wide range of delicious local produce including; meat, game, fish, eggs, bacon, cheeses, pies, preserves pickles and honey, bakery goods including bread, biscuits and cakes, fruit and vegetables. Other stalls offer products such as plants, herbs, cider, cards, pottery and jewellery.
The town has a good selection of public houses and restaurants to choose from. The cuisine ranges from traditional pubs and British restaurants to more exotic fare such as Indian, Chinese and Italian food.
Tring sits within the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, excellent walking and rambling country. The Ridgeway National Trail, an 85 mile walk, running from Wiltshire to Ivinghoe passes along the ridge above the town. See below for web link with details of the walk.
For a relaxing treat for both mind and body, why not visit the health farm and spa at Champneys Tring. The former Rothschild mansion is steeped in history yet has state of the art facilities. Opened as a health farm in 1925, the resort remains true to its holistic roots and provides a haven from the pressures of modern life. Set in the heart of the Chiltern Hills, in 170 acres of beautiful parkland this beautiful stately home has the latest gym and cardio fitness equipment in addition to the full range of spa facilities.
The strategic position of Tring, at a low point in the Chiltern Hills, has been used for centuries as a point of easy crossing. Inevitably, with the well drained soil, local springs and hillsides for mills, people have lived, farmed and traded in the area since ancient times. The Icknield Way, which follows the Chiltern scarp, is thought to be the oldest road in Europe, whilst the Bulbourne valley offered a key route for the Romans heading out west from St. Albans.
The Manor of Tring was recorded and described in the Domesday Book of 1086 . The Manor was held by the Crown and a succession of religious houses and was the dominant influence on the town for centuries. Later, in 1682, a Mansion designed by Sir Christopher Wren was built for Colonel Guy. A later tenant of the Manor was the Reverend Lawrence Washington. His great- great grandson, George Washington became the first President of the United States of America. In the late 19th century the Rothschild family, whose influence on the town was considerable, became the new owners of the estate.
The arrival of the Grand Junction Canal (later the Grand Union Canal) in 1799 brought profound changes to this peaceful agricultural area. It took hundreds of labourers four years to dig the long, deep cutting necessary to cross the Tring gap. In addition, four reservoirs were built to supply water to the canal. The four reservoirs at; Wilstone, Tringford, Startops End, and Marsworth have formed a national nature reserve since 1955, and have been awarded Site of Special Scientific Interest status since 1987.
The canal revolutionised trade in the area; coal, bricks and slates arrived via a wharf at New Mill, whilst flour and farm produce could be dispatched to distant markets.
Industry came to the area in 1823, following the purchase of the Manor by a northern businessman, William Kay. He built a huge Silk Mill in Brook Street, Tring employing some 600 people. Other expansion followed; new housing was built on the western side of Tring; a bank was established by the Butcher family, while John Brown came up from Dorset to buy a brewery and build some attractive new public houses to serve the growing population. For many people, the family income was also supplemented by plaiting straw for the Luton hat trade.
In 1835 the London and Birmingham Railway was built alongside the Grand Junction canal. It needed a longer and deeper cutting than previously excavated, so the labourers were drafted in once again and brought further prosperity to the area by spending their earnings in the local hostelries. The railway was not intended to pass through the town of Tring, but local traders successfully petitioned the company to provide a station. The line opened in 1837 and put Tring within an hour's journey from London.
Still further changes came to Tring after 1872 when the Rothschild family purchased Tring Park. The banker and statesman Nathaniel, later the 1st. Baron Rothschild, embarked upon a radical transformation of Tring over the next forty years, rebuilding the local farms and building new cottages to replace dilapidated dwellings around the town.
Natural History Museum at Tring
The 2nd Lord Rothschild built a private zoological museum in Tring, The Walter Rothschild Zoological Museum. The Museum, renamed the Natural History Museum at Tring in 2007, has been part of the Natural History Museum since 1937.
The 2nd Lord Rothschild also released the edible dormouse into Tring Park. He is remembered for riding around the town in a zebra-drawn carriage, and to commemorate him, the town's symbol has been the head of a zebra ever since.
Further tourist information is available from the Information Centre, Market House, Akeman Street in the town centre.