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Tunbridge Wells Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    In 1606 a courtier to King James I, Dudley Lord North, went to Tunbridge Wells hoping that the country air would improve his constitution. During his visit, he discovered a chalybeate spring and Tunbridge Wells became famous as a spa town. By 1636, two houses were built next to the spring for visitors to stay at while they enjoyed the spa retreat. The Pantiles in Tunbridge We...Read morells, which were built in the 18th century, are colonnaded walkways that were once the playground of visiting royalty and gentry. At the peak of the town’s popularity in Georgian times, there was a strict protocol which allowed only gentry and nobility onto the ‘Upper Walks’. In 1909, King Edward VII granted the town its ‘Royal’ title, and it became Royal Tunbridge Wells. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Tunbridge Wells remains the only spa town in the South East of England and is very proud of its Georgian heritage. It offers a combination of history, style and relaxation and is the perfect place for a short break or a longer holiday.

  • 3. Events

    Tunbridge Wells is home to a variety of festivals throughout the year including the Summer Festival, the Electric Lantern Festival and Local and Live. The Pantiles Jazz Festival hosts free outdoor jazz performances throughout the summer from the famous Pantiles bandstand. Unfest is an independent music festival which sees performances from unsigned acts.

  • 4. Attractions

    Tunbridge Wells is surrounded by some of the finest and most famous stately homes in Kent. Anne Boleyn’s childhood home: Hever Castle, is 8 miles away from the town and Leeds Castle is renowned for its stunning landscaped gardens and 500 acres of parkland. Sir Winston Churchill’s country home Chartwell is only a short distance from Tunbridge Wells and is full of memorabilia...Read more belonging to one of Britain’s most famous leaders. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    No trip to Tunbridge Wells is complete without a tour of the Pantiles where you can shop, stroll and visit the many restaurants and bars. The 27-½ mile long Tunbridge Wells Circular Walk offers a real challenge for visitors spending a few days in the area or it can be split into sections for those who are looking for a more leisurely walk.

  • 6. Business

    Tourism is still one of Royal Tunbridge Well’s main areas of business and 30% of the area’s income comes from the tourist industry. The Royal Victoria Place shopping centre in the town was opened in 1992 by Diana, Princess of Wales and is still a popular shopping destination. Tunbridge Wells is an important retail centre between London and Hastings.

  • 7. Transport

    Tunbridge Wells has direct access to many primary roads including the A26 that runs from Maidstone to Newhaven and the A21 that goes from London to Hastings. Buses provide local town and rural services as well as express services to Maidstone and Bromley. The town has two railway stations: Tunbridge Wells Central and High Brooms.

  • 8. Entertainment

    The Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells has shows from popular musicians, comedians as well as theatrical performances and a pantomime every winter. The Trinity Theatre hosts around 350 events every year ranging from comedy to dance and the best in theatre. It is recognised as one of the leading venues in the South East and welcomes over 90,000 visitors every year.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    The historic Pantiles act as Tunbridge Well’s most famous landmarks as they offer a piece of Georgian history that are still highly maintained and celebrated to this day.

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    The 2500-acre Ashdown Forest, a short drive away from Tunbridge Wells, was the inspiration for AA Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood in the Winnie the Pooh stories. Visitors to the forest can enjoy a game of Pooh Sticks at Pooh Bridge.


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