Tunbridge Wells is a historic Spa town. It is a beautiful and unusual town as Tunbridge Wells Common, an area of woodland and sandstone outcrops, runs from the south west into the very centre of the town by the railway station and The Pantiles houses the Chalybeate spring, the water source that brought the English court and nobles to Tunbridge Wells in the 17th century for the restorative powers of the water and the town grew from these London visitors.
TUNBRIDGE WELLS TODAY
400 years on Tunbridge Wells is a bustling county town with plenty of shops http://www.visittunbridgewells.com/shopping/high-street and http://royalvictoriaplace.com/and restaurants (see section of website on “Eating”) and plenty to do. Just to mention a few ideas.
WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO
Walk on The Common http://www.twcommons.org/ with its extraordinary rock formations, or go boating on Dunorlan Park lake http://www.tunbridgewells.gov.uk/residents/parks-and-play-areas/dunorlan-park or stroll in Calverley Park gardens part of Decimus Burton’s town development http://www.visittunbridgewells.com/things-to-do/parks-and-lakes/calverley-grounds In the Christmas period there is a skating rink in the gardens.
The arts are strong in the town with a busy theatre The Assembly Halls and the Trinity Theatre http://www.trinitytheatre.net/Whats-On which has theatre, film and art exhibitions. There is an active art society on The Panties which holds exhibitions http://rtwas.org/ and a number of jewellers, Peter Jenner on the Pantiles http://www.peterjenner.com/ and Collins nearby on the High Street http://www.gcollinsandsons.com/. On summer evenings there is live music on the Pantiles, Jazz on the Pantiles http://www.visittunbridgewells.com/whats-on/jazz-on-the-pantiles-2016-p239031 and soul music on Saturday night. Also food festivals and other attractions are held on The Pantiles at various times throughout the year.
STEAM TRAIN TO HIGH ROCKS AND GROOMBRIDGE
For steam train enthusiasts there is the Spa Valley Railway http://www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk/ which runs from near The Panties out to the village of Groombridge via High Rocks where there is a pub with gardens over some dramatic rocks http://www.highrocks.co.uk/ At the end of the line is Groombridge Place http://www.groombridgeplace.com/ a 17th century house and garden open to the public with displays of birds of prey and much more.