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TRING station is one-and-a-half miles outside the town in a hamlet called simply Tring Station. The Rothschilds lived at Tring Park, and their stamp is everywhere. They gave open spaces, provided cottages, and in 1905 built the stockbroker-style, half-timbered Rose & Crown Inn. Today Tring performs the dual role of commuter dormitory and market town. There is a farmers’ market on alternate Saturdays.

There are plenty of Victorian houses and new estates. A two-bedroom flat might cost £180,000; a two-bedroom Victorian cottage £215,000 to £265,000; a three-bedroom semi £269,000 to £375,000; a four-bedroom detached from £450,000. Tring does have a shopping centre, though people tend to use Aylesbury, Hemel Hempstead or Milton Keynes for more serious shopping. The Tring Nature Reserve’s four reservoirs, used to store water in the 18th century, attract flocks of wintering ducks and are a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Two-and-a-half miles further north of Tring Station is Ivinghoe – a pretty village close to Ivinghoe Beacon from which you can gaze across to the chalk-hill white lion of Whipsnade Wild Animal Park. The centre of the village makes a pretty picture out of the older houses sitting sleepily on two sides of the green and the handsome watermill.

Good for: walks, prettiness and prosperity.
Local knowledge: the Rothschilds also founded what is now known as the Natural History Museum at Tring, full of stuffed bears, sloths and other exotics typical of this eccentric family who were to be seen driving around in traps drawn by zebras.
London terminal: Euston
Journey time: 36 mins
Season ticket: £3292
Peak trains: 4 per hour
Off-peak trains: 3 per hour