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Tring, a traditional market town in the south west of Hertfordshire, nestles among the Chiltern Hills. The town is bursting with character and offers a warm welcome and a choice of varied activities to any visitor. Damion Roberts explores
For those interested in the brewing of real ales, a trip to the award winning Tring Brewery would be a highlight of the visit. The brewery, founded in 1992, uses the traditional methods to brew its real ale. Discover the stories behind the names of the ales and investigate what makes it taste so good.
Tours are available to book on Saturday afternoons at 3pm on various dates in the month. The cost of the tour is 5 with the option of sampling a pint during your visit or of taking home a bottle of Side Pocket for a Toad to enjoy at your leisure.
You could also combine your visit with a trip to the brewery shop where a wide range of beers is available as well as gifts and food items. To find out more about the brewery and the tours visit www.tringbrewery.co.uk
Why not begin your visit with a trip to the Tring Market Auctions? The auctions were first established in 1832, and have operated independently since 1992. Viewers of BBC1s Bargain Hunt will soon be able to view the rooms on a future edition of the programme as filming took place on December 10.
The auctions have something to interest even the most avid collector with general antique sales, fine art sales, 20th century and decorative arts and toy sales all taking place on various dates throughout February and March.
The Saturday General Antique Sales take place fortnightly with the bidding commencing at 9.30am but the doors opening for viewing at 8.30am. If all that bidding has left you with a thirst, then there is also the auction rooms coffee shop Le Gavel which is open on both viewing and sales days and offers a variety of refreshments.
For more details and dates of the other sales visit www.tringmarketauctions.co.uk/home
The Natural History Museum at Tring is home to the collections of its founder Lionel Walter Rothschild, 2nd Baron Rothschild. Walter Rothschild held a lifelong fascination with animals and the natural world and was a world famous zoologist. From a childhood ambition of wanting to open a museum, his collection grew and grew, resulting in the opening of the Zoological Museum in 1892. This museum was donated to the nation in 1937 and remains a popular attraction.
The museum has a variety of galleries displaying the collections so lovingly preserved including the recently re-designed Gallery Six. Visit the Rothschild room to discover more about the founder of these collections and how he established them. Any children with you will love the Discovery Room where their scientific interest can be challenged.
The museum is open from Monday to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and on Sundays from 2pm to 5pm. Entry is free although there may be a charge for certain exhibits and activities.
For more details about the museum and its exhibits check out www.nhm.ac.uk/tring/index
Keen walkers will find the countryside surrounding Tring too hard to resist exploring. The circular walk through Wendover Woods is a long one but enables you to see the beauty of the Chiltern Hills first hand.
Alternate Saturdays see the Tring Farmers Market come to life. Selling a wide range of home-grown and homemade products, the market gives shoppers the opportunity to buy the freshest produce from the experts or choose from a wide variety of handmade goods. Ask any questions you may have or simply just enjoy the products. The next markets take place on February 4 and 18.
After your visit to the Farmers Market, you should also explore the wide variety of shops in the town, featuring many independent stores. You are sure to find what you need or indeed what you want!
During an activity-filled day, you are sure to have worked up an appetite and the town is able to offer restaurants to suit everyones tastes. For traditional pub fare, a visit to the Black Horse on Frogmore Street would be a hit. For vegetarians fancying a leisurely lunch, The Anusia Cafe on the High Street offers a wide choice of menu in a contemporary and eco-friendly setting.
Those who like their food hot and spicy may wish to venture to The Tamarind on the High Street or for those preferring Italian cuisine Da Vinci pizzeria and trattoria will be more to their taste.
For the afternoon tea connoisseurs Pendley Manor, situated on the outskirts of the town, allows visitors to enjoy this English tradition in historic and beautiful surroundings. Teas are served between 1pm and 5.30pm daily.