Where is Puddingstone Distillery?
The gin loving geologists out there might have a better idea than most as to where our gin distillery is located for there is a clue in our name. Puddingstone is a rare rock formation found in Hertfordshire. We wanted a distillery name that connected us to our location and the outdoors, giving a sense of place and an identity. Our research into Hertfordshire led us to discover puddingstone. It’s full name used to be plum pudding as it’s said to be named after said pudding with the reddish iron content in the rock causing the flint pebbles to resemble plums! Personally I think you need to have a very good imagination to see this!
If you visit us at the distillery in Tring, a small market town, tucked on the western edge of Herts you will see a small piece of puddingstone on display in the shop but you can also see sizeable pieces dotted around the county. Back in the day the rock was often used as way-markers directing travellers to their destination. The Verulamium Museum in St Albans, just 30 minutes drive from the distillery, has a large piece outside. On a side note this is a fascinating museum built on the site of one of the largest Romain cities in Britain!
Another sizeable piece of the rock can be found up the road from us over the county border in Bucks. It sits close to the cricket club in Cholesbury, a small village not too far from Champneys Tring. If you like a good country walk I can highly recommend a puddingstone to puddingstone walk starting in Cholesbury. Head on through Tring Park and down to Tring High Street, then head across the fields towards the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal and Wilstone Reservoir. The distillery is located at the base of Wilstone Reservoir. It’ll take 1.5 to 2 hours but once you reach the distillery you can partake in a gin tasting and then re-fuel next door with coffee and cake at P E Mead Farm Shop and Cafe. Don’t forget though Puddingstone Distillery is only open on Fridays and Saturdays for gin tastings. We wouldn’t want you to be disappointed if you arrive as a weary traveller mid week and we’re closed.
One of the more interesting uses of puddingstone is as a construction material in the grotto and souterrein at Ashridge House on the edge of Berkhamsted, our closest neighbouring town. Once owned by Henry VIII, it’s worth a visit just to look at the building exterior and walk around the National Trust estate. For more info on the grotto check out this article on Historic England.
The Chiltern Hills
We call Tring home and Tring falls within the Chiltern Hills. The Chilterns is a chalk escarpment and designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just northwest of London before you reach the Cotswolds if heading west. Starting in Goring-on-Thames and stretching 45 miles over to Hitchin it covers four counties – Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire and, of course, Hertfordshire. It’s a fascinating area full of history with very beautiful English countryside. The area has lots of unique small market towns like Amersham, Great Missenden (famous for Roald Dahl), Henley-on-Thames, Princes Risborough and Turville (famous for the windmill featured in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and larger towns like High Wycombe, Chesham, Dunstable and Luton.
How to get to Puddingstone Distillery
By car is the easiest form of transport as we have a rural location – do bring a designated driver if you want to try our gins on arrival! For the most accurate directions download the app what3words and use location
///sketch.listening.bashed. This will bring you straight to the front door of our gin distillery. It’s an easy drive from London either via the M25 or M1 and A41. Alternatively pop our postcode HP23 4NT into your sat nav.
If you prefer the train then Wendover and Aylesbury stations on the Chiltern line are pretty close but the nearest stations are Tring and Cheddington on the Euston/Birmingham line. Whichever station you arrive at you’ll need to get a taxi to bring you the extra distance to Puddingstone Distillery. Tring and Cheddington are approximately a four mile walk if you’re up for it. Tring is a 15 minute train ride from Watford Junction station or 25 minute journey from Milton Keynes.