Tring is the best hometown of them all
It’s the jewel in the crown of the Home Counties
Seen the new Star Wars? Yeah, Daisy Ridley went to school in Tring.
A population of nearly 12,000 people doesn’t exactly scream “boom town”, but the dramas in the small villages of Albert Square, Coronation Street and Emmerdale prove otherwise – and Tring is no exception.
Nestled in the Chiltern hills, Tring has been classed as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” – and the sights are quite pretty too. In fact, it’s so beautiful that its frequent occurrence on Countryfile makes the program a home video for the likes of Tring villagers.
With the pretty walks along Tring reservoir and the colossal-sized swimming pool of Pitstone Quarry, who needs stunning beach views? Not us – we have enough Instagram opportunities already.
But what makes Tring stand out is its simplicity. The struggle involved in organising to meet every one of your old school mates when you’re back home is real. Which hub? Which pub? Which club? Forget the stress, the heart of the social scene is The Akeman, serving up two-for-one cocktails, unbeatable banter and the 411 on Tring School’s new knee-length skirt policies.
Not only does it offer an array of cafes, but a social bubble in which gossip feeds are no longer needed – only ears, a cup of cha and Cressida from 22 Akeman Street.
Sunglasses are a daily incognito fashion accessory, because a trip to Tesco is likely to turn into an hour’s catch up with your mum’s friend from tennis asking you if you ever overcame that embarrassing stomach bug from 2012, or that old teacher from your nursery (who you pretend to remember) who reminds you of that occasion where you took a bite out of another toddler because you were a little shit.
Aside from the cafes, catch-ups and countryside beauties, Tring also offers culture. The Natural History Museum, or “the dead zoo”, is by far the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Originally privately owned by Walter Rothschild, who bred zebroids, the museum houses both cool and creepy stuffed mammals, reptiles, insects and birds. Where else can you take a snapshot with a fat sloth that looks like your mate Ryan?
It’s a tourist attraction for many reasons, but one of its proudest achievements has to be that it holds the position for homing the highest demand for online porn than almost anywhere else in the country. In other words, other villages have a hard time competing.
“Scandalous”, you’ll probably say, but it’s just one of the reasons Tring should probably be made into a soap opera – and we’re not the only ones who think so. Bradley Branning from Eastenders claimed to have moved from Tring to Albert Square, and seeing Stacy Slater’s mum in the vegetable aisle in Tesco is a casual occurrence.
In fact, gone are the days where grocery shopping was a chore with so many celebs to spot. The red carpet of Tesco has paved the way for The One Show’s Matt Baker, and that boxer who everyone forgets, but you get the idea.
Hollywood… Tring… They’re the same really. You might see Bargain Hunt’s Tim Wonnacott in Fancy That, the cast of Made In Chelsea in Champney’s spa, or Keith Lemon rocking through the highstreet, sat at a desk, on a trailer.
Not only was the Russian ballet scene in Avengers: Age of Ultron filmed at Tring Arts Educational School, but Star Wars protagonist, Daisy Ridley, studied there. It’s also been said that Brad Pitt ventured into the little borough for a pint with Vinnie Jones – no paps though please, we’re a classy bunch.
Tring really is a hometown with movie star quality – we can only assume construction of the ‘TRING’ sign on The Chiltern Hills will start in 2018.