Champneys Blog

Location guides: what to do in and around Tring

Set in 170 acres of rolling Parkland, our Champneys Tring resort is the one that started it all and is the UK’s original health spa.

It has been a bastion of health since 1925 and is still to this day one of the most popular resorts for spa breaks in the country, with its innovative yet traditional spa treatments. Now at Champneys Tring, you can enjoy a relaxation hideaway, manicure and pedicure salon and the Marine and Wellness Spa, which is the first of its kind in the UK.
If you’ve booked a stay at our Tring resort and are looking at staying in the area for a short break, then there are lots of attractions in the area that you should visit. You can see some of the top things to do in Tring that we’d recommend.
Enjoy a relaxing spa treatment

One of the best things to do in Tring is to come and enjoy a relaxing spa weekend,

Champneys Tring is one of the best attractions in the area.

Our resort has lots of walks available and there are 62 rooms where you can enjoy a range of different treatments. If you’re looking for an active getaway, then you will enjoy our 25-metre swimming pool, a gym and workout pod, two fitness studios and our fitness classes (up to 20 classes per day).

You can hire a bike to ride around the resort, play tennis and table tennis or visit our music and reading rooms to relax. There is even a chauffeur-driven Bentley you can go in, but this is subject to availability.

You should also look out for our latest spa deals to check out some great offers for our Tring resort.

Explore the stunning countryside at Ashridge Estate

Ashridge Estate is an area of unspoilt countryside surrounding the magnificent Ashridge House. Here you can experience the best of the countryside, with rolling chalk hills to nationally-important ancient woodland. There’s wildlife ranging from majestic fallow deer to rare birds such as skylarks. The estate is also one of the best places in the country to see carpets of bluebells in the spring and a kaleidoscope of warming colours in the autumn.

Emma Dunne, Visitor Experience Officer at Ashridge Estate, adds, “There’s a lot on offer on the estate. Our friendly staff are on hand in the visitor centre to talk about an array of beautiful walks around the area and National Trust membership. The Brownlow Café is hugely popular with our visitors and serves a range of hearty food and warming drinks. We also have our National Trust shop that sells a range of gifts, cards, books and food – the perfect place to do some shopping at any time of year.”

Annette from Visit Chilterns told us why you should head to the Ashridge Estate and Ivinghoe Beacon.

“Champneys lies on the edge of the Ashridge Estate, 5,000 acres of woodland and rolling downland owned by the National Trust, of which Ivinghoe Beacon is a part. It is one of the most accessible parts of the country, with a dense network of paths to choose from, including iconic long-distance trails such as the Ridgeway National Trail. Ivinghoe Beacon is a prominent landmark in the Chiltern Hills, standing 233 m above sea level and offering panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. It used to be an iron age hillfort and is also the start/end of the Ridgeway National Trail. There are lots of promoted routes taking in Ivinghoe Beacon.”

Go wildlife watching at the nearby nature reserves

College Lake is widely regarded as one of the best places in Buckinghamshire for water birds, and with many bird hides overlooking the water, this is a great destination to bring your family for a wildlife walk, whatever the weather or time of year. Take the 2-mile circular walk around the whole lake then revive yourself in the café at the visitor centre.

Nature reclaimed this worked-out chalk quarry and created an outstanding centre for wildlife, giving nature-lovers of all ages easy access to amazing wildlife.

Close to Tring, you can also explore Aston Clinton Ragpits nature reserve, bursting with thousands of wild orchids in spring and summer, and Dancersend nature reserve, a tranquil haven with woodland and chalk grassland.

Explore Tring and the surrounding area on a Wild Walk. The Tring Reservoirs walk includes College Lake, and the Tring Park walk includes Dancersend nature reserve.

On the edge of the Chilterns, this area contains some amazing places to discover wildlife.

Natural History Museum at Tring

What was the private museum of Lionel Walter, 2nd Baron Rothschild, is now run by the Natural History Museum. It houses a huge collection of stuffed animals, from insects and reptiles to mammals and birds.

The Natural History Museum in Tring was built in 1889 and you will be able to enjoy the authentic Victorian atmosphere of the building whilst coming face-to-face with the likes of a full-sized gorilla and a large anaconda.

The museum is one of the areas most popular attractions and, depending on what time of the year you visit, you can enjoy some lunch in one of the two outdoor picnic areas. You can also enjoy wonderful views of chalk and meadow downlands, typical of the Chiltern foothills around Tring.

Relive your childhood at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

This great little award-winning museum and story centre, situated in Roald Dahl’s home village, is aimed at 6 to12 year-olds and their families. It houses three fun and fact-packed interactive galleries. Boy Gallery focuses on Roald Dahl’s prank-filled school days. In the Solo Gallery, you can peek into his original Writing Hut and check your spark-factor on the Sparkometer. The Story Centre is full of fantabulous creative displays and activities. Join in with clue trails, storytelling, workshops and events at weekends and in the school holidays.

The museum, which is where the World’s No.1 storyteller lived and wrote for 36 years, has only just reopened after being closed for almost 6-months of renovations following damage caused by flash floods.

Museum Director Steve Gardam says: “After a summer of hard work we are enormously excited that we are re-opening with a packed programme of phizz-whizzing activities for the autumn half term. We’ve recreated the fantabulous replica Writing Hut where you can put yourself in Roald Dahl’s writing chair, make your own stop-frame animation, compose some fridge-magnet nonsense poems and enjoy a film of Roald Dahl himself sharing the secrets of his story-making craft. Whether you are a brand-new visitor or someone who knows us well, we’ve got oodles for you to enjoy.”

Learn about Tring’s brewing history

Tring Brewery is an award-winning microbrewery taking its namesake from the historic market town in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire. Tring was found as the first brewery in the town in over 50 years and celebrated 25 years of brewing in 2017. 

Tring town received its Market charter in 1315, welcoming tradesmen and industry from Icknield Way, an ancient Roman road. In the 19th century, a stretch of the Grand Junction Canal was built in Tring, allowing travellers to pay a visit to the town, passing through a gap in the Chiltern Hills (now certified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty).

Of the many trades that grew in Tring, brewing was one of the biggest. Tring Brewery prides itself as a place of interest for those visiting the local area, joining others such as the Tring Natural History Museum.

Tring Brewery is located on the rustic Dunsley Farm estate, set back from the London Road, just off the A41. The ducks, chickens, cows and pigs of Dunsley Farm have been neighbours of the brewery since 2010 when the brewhouse relocated from Akeman Street in the town centre.

During 2018 the brewhouse produced ten core range ales, exclusive small-batch specials and seasonal and monthly brews. Side Pocket for A Toad and Ridgeway Bitter have become staples in the countryside pubs that the home-counties are renowned for. Tring also brews progressive and complex ales, such as their award-winning Death or Glory barleywine and hoppy IPA Pale Four.

Visit Tring to discover a taste of Hertfordshire and raise a ‘cheers’ to the Chilterns!

Spend a day at the zoo

Set over 600 acres on the picturesque Chiltern Hills and home to over 3,000 animals, including lions, tigers, rhinos, hippos, brown bears, giraffes, zebras, penguins and a herd of Asian elephants, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo makes for a magical day out. From the furry and feathered to the jumbo and majestic, there are amazing animal exhibits, talks, feeds and demonstrations every day.

The zoo’s two endangered Amur tigers had cubs in 2018, so look out for the whole family in the Asia exhibit. Watch the Zoo’s nine-strong herd of Asian elephants – including newest arrival Elizabeth, who was born in July 2016 – in their new state-of-the-art Centre for Elephant Care or out in their huge paddocks.

The zoo’s Butterfly House, one of the largest butterfly biomes of any UK zoo, allows you to immerse yourself in a tropical environment whilst marvelling at hundreds of colourful butterflies and moths (and a ‘bask’ of West African dwarf crocodiles!)

There are lots of great demonstrations and encounters to enjoy such as the Birds of the World demonstration, the Sea Lion demonstration and the immersive In with the Lemurs experience.

Fly high at Go Ape Wendover

GoApe Wendover Woods’ Tree Top Adventure course is the only one in the country to have an all extreme Site 5 where instead of a ladder there is a climbing wall, and once at the top all the crossings are extreme in difficulty. This means there is a challenge for even the most experienced GoApe adventurer. The rest of the course goes through the stunning forest with views out over the Chilterns and features two 150 metre zip wires.

Dan James, Site Manager at GoApe Wendover, adds, “Our Tree Top Junior course was opened this summer and is a challenge in line with our extreme Tree Top Adventure where it is seen as one of the harder Tree Top Junior courses there are. Standing at 6 metres up there are 26 different crossing for children to conquer finishing with an 85m zip wire. As there is no minimum age just a minimum height of a metre this is a great activity to conquer with your whole tribe of mini Tarzans.”

Why should people visit Tring?

Don’t just take our word for visiting our Tring resort and its surrounding attractions. Here you can see what some of the other locals have to say.

Emma Dunne from the Ashridge Estate tells us why Tring is a great area to visit, “The area around Tring is great because it’s so varied. There are quaint English villages, bustling towns with independent shops, farms, and of course the glorious countryside. It’s a great place to take some time to relax.”

Dan James, the Site Manager at GoApe Wendover, adds, “One of the best things about the Chilterns is the amount there is to do outdoors, whether its Mountain Biking, walking or zipping through the trees there is loads to come rain or shine.”

Visit Chilterns’s Annette, says that the countryside is what she really loves about the area.

“I love Tring and the surrounding area because of the incredible tapestry of the countryside - from steep rolling hills to commons, the Grand Union Canal to ancient woodland. It is an ancient landscape that tells a story, from iron age hillforts to historic country houses, museums housing polar bears and fleas in their collection, to brewery and gin tours. And the market towns are a delight with a strong food and drink offering.”