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OUTDOORS: How about this for fresh air, fantastic scenery and a Sunday roast?

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Ashridge Estate, but with added rain.

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.

The Bridgewater Monument at the centre of Ashridge, where the circular walk starts (and ends!)

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.

Ashridge House

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.

The Greyhound Inn in Aldbury. Sunday roast deluxe baby!

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

4 comments on “OUTDOORS: How about this for fresh air, fantastic scenery and a Sunday roast?”

  • Emma Milford September 23, 2012

    Hi Hero (and fellow readers),

    Ashridge is an amazing place to visit for anyone of any age and my dog loves chasing the squirrels in the spectacularly beautiful woods! I urge all to don their Hunters (have you seen the Regency range?http://www.hunter-boot.com/fashion/women) and have an outing!

    Anyway, Tring! As a bona-fide Tring’ite and great lover of all things foodie, let me share my suggestions for eating in the town. Ok, I must start with the Akeman, part of the Oakman chain (Berko, Tring, near Hemel, Wallingford and Whitney), the Akeman is a wine bar meets country pub where it serves a delicious array of brunches, salads, flatbread sandwiches (highly recommend the smoked salmon flat bread with fries!) and AMAZING substantial food with all the favourites (Chateaubriand Fillet Steak, duck with spiced cherries, slow cooked pork belly, great fish and pasta choices) OMG, I’m salivating! Anyway; great food, very family friendly but also wonderfully grown up for you and your girlfriends, other half, colleagues etc. Oh, also cocktail hour 6-7 (BOGOF – check website as times do vary) and all teas and coffees 8am-6pm are £1!!!!!

    So, I spend a lot of time, and my salary, in the Akeman!

    Alternatively, there’s the family favourite Prezzo but for real feel good traditional italian head to Da Vincis down Frogmore St. Great service, delicious food, decent portions and it won’t break the bank……. owner some times won’t let you leave without consuming an entire bottle of Lemoncillo though (still suffering after last night!) so be warned but again extremely family friendly. However, I’d advise booking………

    Finally, I went to the Black Horse a couple of weeks ago (down Frogmore St past M&S carpark). It was reinvented around a year ago and I must say it’s lovely. Great decor, good service, feels traditional but not in a smelly old man kind of way and does great food. Have a look, you may be surprised, also great garden if/when sun came/comes out and pub is dog friendly.

    Loads of other suggestions so please get in touch anyone if you need Tring advice! (Shopping advice next week!) So enjoy and let me know what you think.

    Emma x

    Reply
    • Muddy Stilettos September 23, 2012

      Wowza! You’ll have a job at Muddy Stilettos whenever you’ve had enough of the day job. Thanks Emma. Will give some of those places a crack myself, they sound great. x

      Reply
      • Emma Milford September 23, 2012

        Ready and willing to review away! Let me know if you make it to Tring and I’ll buy you a coffee or cocktail (dependent on time of day and social regulations/etiquette!)

        Reply

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