Today we visited College Lake, a former chalk quarry, near Tring and one of the flagship reserves of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. The reserve has been transformed into a thriving nature reserve, offering a really nice place to spend a few hours exploring and adventuring in the great outdoors. It has a Visitor Centre, education facilities, a café, toilets and a shop.
When we arrived we found there was plenty of onsite parking, but I imagine on a nice day, the car park would fill up quickly. Parking is free, however there is a suggested donation at the ticket machine of £3 (the money goes to the Wildlife Trust) which was very reasonable considering it’s FREE to visit. Please note that dogs aren’t allowed plus scooters and bikes are prohibited too.
As we arrived at noon, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Café before setting off on our walk. The café is small (with an inside and outside seating area) but the views across the lake are spectacular! They have a limited lunch menu (see picture below) but the food was good and did the job of staving off the children’s hunger 🙂
The best way of exploring College Lake is by following one of the three trails around the site. We chose The Wild Trail (2 miles), a full circuit around the reserve so that you can see it all. The trail is fairly flat and fully accessible, so great for pushchairs.
Along the trail there was a display of old farming implements, a woodland theatre (not sure what they do there) a farm and a flower meadow. The routes are well-marked and the footpaths are in good condition.
If you’ve not been, then I’d definitely say College Lake Nature Reserve is worth a visit for a little bit of everything wildlife-related.
Address: Upper Icknield Way, Bulbourne, Tring, HP23 5QG.
Parking: A large car park – suggested £3 donation.
Opening Times: 7 days per week, 9.30am-4pm (Winter), 9.30am-5pm (Summer). Last entry is always 1 hour before closing time.
Price: Free (donations welcome).
Toilets: Yes. Male, Female and Disabled toilets in Visitor Centre and by Outlook Inn. Baby change facilities also available.
Café: Yes. Providing drinks, snacks, hot and cold food. Seating inside and outside.
Duration: 1 to 3 hours.