A Magical Place
A Magical Place
Tring Park is a magical place. It's where I go to unwind after lunch before returning to work in the afternoon. I must be very lucky to have such a great place only five minutes walk from my office. You cannot imagine the calming effect Tring Park has on my mind. Events in the morning can really wind me up, but after twenty minutes in the Park suddenly everything seems so much better.
Tring Park used to be the grounds of the home of Lord Walter Rothschild. It's near to the small market town of Tring in Hertfordshire, England. The house itself is now a theatre school, and the grand avenue of trees is bisected by Tring by-pass, the A41 trunk road. The Park is the area south of the by-pass, north being the private grounds of the theatre school.
Tring Park is now owned by Dacorum Borough Council and managed for them by The Woodland Trust. A local farmer keeps a few normally docile cows in the Park, leading to it being closed for six months in 2001 from the end of February to mid-August due to the Foot and Mouth outbreak. It is reached by a narrow public footpath between two fences which runs from the end of the road behind the Zoological Museum (itself a fascinating visit and very popular with primary school pupils). The path leads to a footbridge over the by-pass with spiral ramps at either end. A sign at this entrance to the Park states that "Visitors are welcome to walk in our woods".
From here you can either walk the length of the great Avenue which leads on to the far end of the Park where there is a bench offering a superb view across the Park, or you can walk eastwards past a fenced-off algæ-covered pond to a coppice of copper beeches, resplendant in their purple mantle, the only break in the pattern of greens.
Either way brings you to the south side of the park where it abuts the woods, also owned by the Trust and open to visitors. A sloping path up towards the village of Wigginton leads past the "Obelisk" to a folly of Gothic style, both built of white stone. The woods are quite extensive and harbour several different species, the more noticeable being Muntjac deer, rabbits and squirrels. It is quite easy to get lost in the upper woods as there are many paths and visibilty is short-range due to the density of the trees.
Thirty minutes is just long enough to walk the perimeter of the Park, the south end (away from the by-pass) being particularly quiet. You will not meet many people here even in summer. Most people are walking their dogs, or taking a brief time out from the rat-race like me. I love the openness of the Park, with its isolated majestic trees, and the many dead trees left standing or just as they fell, many with exotic fungi growing in their dark crevices. There are not many places in Britain like this - it reminds me of the openness and dead trees of the Torres del Paine National Park in Chilean Patagonia. Five minutes away from the office and I'm transported half way round the world by this magical place.
The Park changes significantly with the seasons, being a bare and cold place in winter, and so green and full of life in the summer with the Sun beating down. But whatever time of year you visit, I'm sure you'll find the Park welcoming and relaxing. It's a great place to chill out. Enjoy your visit!