Why it's time to move to Tring
PUBLISHED: 18:40 22 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:04 20 February 2013
Pat Bramley discovers a picturesque town with plenty to do right on the doorstep
THE market town of Tring has had much good fortune over the centuries. One of the greatest strokes of luck was the arrival of the Rothschilds.
Since Baron Lionel Nathan de Rothschild bought the 300-acre Tring Park estate for 230,000 in 1872, he and his descendants have boosted the local economy through their involvement and philanthropy bringing relative prosperity to the area without laying it open to the excesses of commercialism.
The towns most enduring advantage is its position. Tring is surrounded on almost all sides by the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty yet it is only 36 minutes to London if you catch the right train.
Today Tring is a centre for arts and auctions, for nature lovers, for walkers, for natural history and for supporters of small independent shopkeepers.
Message to homebuyers: Move here and youll never be stuck for something stimulating to do or somewhere enjoyable to visit.
Road: Tring is between Berkhamsted and Aylesbury on the A41, 25 minutes from the M25 and M1.
Rail: Fast trains from Tring get to London Euston in 36 minutes but its safer to allow three-quarters of an hour in case a slower train comes in first and its too cold to hang about on the platform.
Tring Park School for the Performing Arts, previously known as the Arts Educational School at Tring, attracts young talent from all over the world. Its an independent co-ed for boarders and day pupils aged from seven to 19. Ex-students include Julie Andrews, Sarah Brightman, Jane Seymour, Valerie Singleton and Geraldine Somerville who plays Lily Potter in the Harry Potter films.
The other Tring School founded by the Church of England in 1842 is a state secondary with specialist humanities status and 1,350 pupils, many of whom are also stars in the making.
Shopping and leisure
Tring has been a market town since 1315. The charter market is still held in the town centre every Friday and theres a farmers market twice a month on Saturdays. Theres also a Saturday general auction and a bi-monthly fine art sale in what is claimed to be the best known provincial saleroom in the home counties.
Shops in the town include family-run establishments where you can find non-run-of-the-mill items, not just everyday essentials.
The sports centre has a multi-purpose indoor hall and swimming pool and all weather outdoor pitch. Otherwise Champneys Health Spa is just up the road.
Tring is home to what is thought to be the largest selection of stuffed animals in the world. The zoo museum, founded by the Rothschilds and gifted to the nation in 1937, is now part of the Natural History Museum in London.
Pendley Manor, once the family home of Dorian Williams, BBC commentator in a class of his own at the annual Horse of the Year Show in days gone by, has become a hotel and conference centre. Fortunately the Pendley tradition of hosting the annual Shakespeare festival continues and the management also stages murder mystery weekends and other productions from time to time.
For nature lovers and walkers, theres the Grand Union Canal and four local reservoirs as well as the 300 acres of Tring Park now managed by the Woodland Trust.
When weekend visitors turn up to admire your new surroundings, take them to see Pitstone Windmill or what remains of Berkhamsted Castle finest motte and bailey Norman castle in the country. Then call in at a local hostelry and sample the award-winning beers of the local Tring Brewery. Award-winning local brewery? Could be worth moving house for.
How much to live here?
Average asking prices for properties in Tring at the end of last year according to a survey by Home.co.uk
One bedroom flat: 158,347
One bedroom property: 141,981
Three beds: 322,188
Four beds: 528,379
Five beds: 856,000