My Neighbourhood | Alice Adams on Tring

Alice Adams, exhibitions curator at the Natural History Museum at Tring, reveals her favourite places to dine, visit and shop in her local neighbourhood of Tring, in Hertfordshire.

home is…

Tring. I moved here from Edinburgh as a twenty-something, expecting to stay for a couple of years – that was 14 years ago! I love living on the edge of the Chilterns and the town has a really positive community spirit. It’s also where I met my husband, Mark, whose family has been in nearby Berkhamsted for generations.

work is… 

Inspiring people about animals! I create and run the exhibitions programme at the Natural History Museum at Tring and manage the small but brilliant team who develop and deliver our events and learning activities. The current Dodos exhibition has been one of my favourites to work on, although I did feel the pressure when we were installing the incredibly rare and fragile dodo skeleton. It’s a real privilege to work with an amazing zoological collection and with Natural History Museum scientists who are passionate about the natural world. I also run a group of Rainbows, the youngest section in Girlguiding. I’ve taken them to work a couple of times, though we’re yet to brave one of the Museum sleepovers!

favourite place to spend a relaxing Sunday…

I love being outdoors, and from spring to autumn Mark and I can often be found down on our allotment on Duckmore Lane. There are loads of good walking, cycling or running routes in the woods or along the canals too. If I’m feeling less energetic or fancy a little treat, it might be brunch in Black Goo on the high street or Cog Café on Parsonage Place.

most memorable meal I’ve had locally… 

The best Indian meal I’ve ever had was courtesy of Olive Limes on the high street. Our local pub, The King’s Arms on King Street, also does good food – we often recommend it to visiting staff and researchers at work. 

favourite place for a night out with friends… 

Believe it or not, Tring has its own regular comedy club, Get Stuffed. Edinburgh might have the Fringe, but we have the annual Tringe Festival – we’re so lucky to be able to see big and up-and-coming comedy names on our doorstep. 

favourite local discovery…

I almost don’t want to share this, but Totality Day Spa on Miswell Lane is a wee world of calm behind an otherwise unassuming row of shops. My friends from Edinburgh loved the downstairs room for a mini girls’ get-together. Our neighbours recently took us to The Old Swan pub in The Lee in Great Missenden for Sunday lunch at the end of a good walk. It’s truly off the beaten track and the beer garden will be lovely when the weather warms up!

favourite place to soak up some culture… 

If I’m in town for the Friday Market or the Saturday auctions, I sometimes pop by the pint-sized but perfectly formed Tring Local History Museum. The Court Theatre has an amazingly diverse programme of drama, live music and live comedy. 

best spot for a family day out… 

Of course it’s the Natural History Museum here in Tring! You could say I’m biased but 150,000 visitors a year can’t be wrong. It’s easy to take the galleries for granted having worked there so long, but when I see the faces of the visitors as they round that first corner and come face to face with the polar bear and floor-to-ceiling cases of animals from all over the world, I remember it’s somewhere really special.

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