Tring & Aylesbury
In the last post, I mentioned that we had visited Aylesbury by bus. We did this to try and help us decide whether or not to travel down the Aylesbury arm and visit the town. The bus trip from Berkhamsted took about 45 minutes and the bus station in Aylesbury is built under a shopping area in the town centre. After we had eaten an early lunch, we walked to the canal terminus to check out the facilities there. Surrounded by modern buildings, the terminus basin is very clean and impressive with plenty of mooring available. We then walked along the towpath until we reached Circus Fields marina where the Aylesbury Canal Society offer free mooring for visitors. Unfortunately, the towpath is on the opposite side and although there is a bridge about half a mile further on, a thunderstorm was just beginning. We sought shelter under a wide road bridge until it had passed over and then returned to the terminus. We walked back into town and tried to work out whether we wanted to spend a few days in Aylesbury; the question being, would the transit through 32 locks (16 each way) be worthwhile?
On our wanderings, we found the local museum which was hosting a Lego exhibition so we went in and took a few pictures of the models.
Did we reach a conclusion on whether to return to Aylesbury by boat? Not really, we didn’t see anything that made us keen to make the effort to go to Aylesbury but there was nothing that put us off either. At the time of writing, we are moored at Cow Roast so the final decision will be made later in the week.
The bus to Aylesbury passed through Tring and we saw enough from our seats at the front of the top deck to encourage us to spend a day there. The town itself sits on the junction of two ancient pathways, The Icknield Way and Akeman Street which was possibly the reason that it became a market town as early as 1315AD. Its prosperity improved with the 19th century arrival of the Grand Junction Canal and the London to Birmingham Railway.
There was still a bit of mizzly drizzle in the air when we got up on Monday but undeterred we got ready and set off for Tring, some two and a half miles away. Our original intention had been to walk there but the drizzle persisted so we walked no further than the bus stop by the Cow Roast Inn and waited for the next bus. The High Street in Tring has some lovely buildings dating from a number of centuries and with odd exceptions they house local, independent businesses. One of the exceptions is a Prezzo restaurant and since we are able to get 25% off all food and drink there now, we popped in and had lunch.
An unusual feature in Tring is that there is an annexe of the Natural History Museum in the town centre.
Originally a private collection open to the public, it was gifted to the nation by its creator, Lionel Walter Rothschild upon his death. We visited the museum after lunch and although it was busy with parents and small children, we enjoyed viewing the impressive collection of exhibits there. It was half past two when we got back to the bus stop and after a few minutes, the bus arrived and carried us back to Cow Roast.