Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Oxfordshire were the destinations of a series of day-trips during half-term.
Pitstone, Ivinghoe and Tring
Back in February we visited the pleasant town of Berkhamsted. On Bank Holiday morning we pushed a little further north to the area around Tring, as two museums were open. The Pitstone Farm Museum (situated in the village of the same name) and the Ford End Watermill in Ivinghoe are unusual in only being open on a handful of days a year. The reason being is that both are volunteer-run and require a good number of volunteers in place to operate.
The Pitstone Farm Museum is a real medley of attractions. At its heart is a preserved farm, however farm buildings have been turned into historic shops including a fascinating Smithy. There are also tractor rides, preserved vehicles, model railway and canal, crafts and stalls, and a brilliantly reconstruction of a Lancaster Bomber cockpit, to name but a few. There’s also a pleasant cafe selling home-made food at down to Earth prices.
Neighbouring Pistone is the attractive village of Ivinghoe, probably best known for the nearby Ivinghoe Beacon, one of the highest points in the Chiltern Hills. Also open for the Bank Holiday was the Water End Mill. This watermill is hundreds of years old and sells itself as being one of the only functioning watermills still to use its original machinery. There are friendly volunteers on hand to answer questions and activities for children to play with. The highlight undoubtedly was seeing the mill in full action, rattling away and actually grinding to make flour, which is for sale.