OUTDOORS: How about this for fresh air, fantastic scenery and a Sunday roast?
23rd Sep 2012
I’ve brainwashed my youngest child.
I know this because as it tanked it down this afternoon and I thrust him into the torrent the Ashridge Estate, he looked up at the sky and said, ‘We don’t mind a bit of rain – we’re British!’ Strangers looked pityingly at my bedraggled, blue-lipped children wearing inappropriate footwear but on they forged, delighted with my bribery tactic of one sweet every three minutes. Sometimes *sniff* my kids make me so proud.
I’ve mentioned Ashridge previously in the Muddy Guide - have you been yet? National Trust-owned, the 5000 acre woodland estate is in the Tring/Berkhamsted/Aldbury neck of the woods, and it’s just heavenly. Well known locally, it’s definitely worth a day out from further afield if you’re in the mood for a drive.
It’s great calling card for lazy good-for-nothing mothers like me who can’t be arsed pushing their kids up muddy hills on their bikes is that it’s FLAT, so great for family mountain-bikers or walkers too. We did the 1.25 mile circular family walk, which started and finished at the monument, and my 3 year old went around no problem.
There’s a National Trust shop (buy maps for walks/rides at the pay desk), visitor centre and cafe there – all outside seating but with cakes the size of fists to make it worth your while- plus soups, jacket potatoes and other lunchy favourites.
If you’re looking for something more substantial, try the Sunday roast at The Greyhound Inn (reliable, locals use it, I’ve been there several times and it’s kid friendly) in nearby picturesque Aldbury with its medieval church, stocks and duckpond.
Or go into Tring and take in the Victorian charms of the town’s Natural History Museum. I haven’t eaten in Tring for some time so I’m handing suggestions for this onto you. Please don’t be shy – I could do with the help! Any bright ideas, just scribble them in the comment box below. Thank you!Ashridge Estate, Visitor Centre, Moneybury Hill, Ringshall, Berkhamsted, HP4 1LT. Tel: 01442 851227