Royal Tunbridge Wells is a town famed for its glorious parks and common. Less than three miles from Redcliffe Place is one of the most attractive green spaces – the 78 acre Grade II listed Dunorlan Park. This Gold Medal* winning park offers a lovely boating lake, ponds and marshlands, a water garden and a Grecian temple. It provides the backdrop for a free park run, held every Saturday as well as being the venue for a variety of events including a spectacular firework display on Guy Fawkes’ night.
If you’re seeking a peaceful oasis in the town centre, Calverley Grounds is the perfect place to stroll or to enjoy a coffee. In summer, the gardens host live music events and festivals and in the winter, there’s an ice rink. The oldest of the parks, Grosvenor and Hilbert Park features lakes, grottoes and winding walks. Of course, there’s the Common, only a few minutes’ walk from the town centre which is a perfect picnic spot, a wildlife haven and a great place to sit back and watch the world go by.
For a day out, step back into the past at Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, where the wooded estate houses an Elizabethan manor and a moated medieval castle set in romantic gardens. Following a walk around the parkland of Salomons Estate on Broomhill Road, you’ll be ready for afternoon tea at the historic house, now a hotel – and the museum is worth a visit. One of the most famous local attractions must surely be historic Penshurst Place and Gardens, once owned by Henry VIII but home to the Sidney family for the last 460 years.
Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred-Acre Wood is the perfect place to walk, cycle or horse-ride – and it’s less than 15 miles from Tunbridge Wells.
Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, stayed here after the birth of her son, Prince Charles. Princess Anne, later Queen Anne, was a frequent visitor in the 18th century but it was King Edward VII who granted the town its ‘royal’ status in 1909.
Georgian grandeur is still evident in The Pantiles, home to over 70 independent stores, art galleries, cafes, restaurants and bars – each offering something special. Listen to live music, relax with a coffee in a pavement café or browse around the designer boutiques. Head to Hoopers on Mount Pleasant for fashion, furniture, beauty and homeware or to Victoria Road, where you’ll find the award-winning Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre, home to Fenwick’s department store.
When you’ve had your fill of shopping, there’s a vast array of places to eat and drink. Thackeray’s, set in a building once owned by the novelist, William Makepeace Thackeray, is popular as is Sankey’s The Old Fish Market Champagne & Seafood Bar in the Pantiles. There are plenty of well-known chain restaurants in Tunbridge Wells including The Giggling Squid, Zizzi, Ask and Prezzo but for morning coffee and delicious cake, lunch or afternoon tea, sample the delights of The Pantiles Café or Juliet’s Café on the High Street. For a special occasion, The Ivy is the talk of the town or there’s the Hotel du Vin, an architectural landmark, offering fine wines, delicious food and a relaxing atmosphere.
If you’re cooking – or entertaining at home – the twice-monthly farmers’ markets offer an enticing array of fresh, local, seasonal produce. Tunbridge Wells also has branches of Sainsbury’s and M&S Simply Food with branches of Waitrose at Crowborough and Tonbridge.
By road, central London is approximately 30 miles away. Tunbridge Wells is situated close to the A21 and junction 5 of the M25, about 10 miles away, provides access to the national motorway network.
From the A21, take the A26 turning to and traveling through Southborough. Go through the traffic lights onto St John’s Road and continue along the road until you reach the roundabout. Take the second exit onto Mount Ephraim and drive down the hill. Go straight over at the traffic lights onto London Road. At the next roundabout, take the left turning onto Nevill Street. Continue up the hill and after approximately one mile, the road becomes Frant Road where you’ll see the signage for the development.
The area has a good bus network and, from the bus stop outside Redcliffe Place, the journey into the centre of Tunbridge Wells only takes a few minutes. Bus routes 251, 252, 254, 256 and U19 run along Frant Road serving the town centre and Heathfield, Mayfield, Rotherfield, Ticehurst, Wadhurst, Hawkhurst and the villages in between.
“No matter what the weather, and of all the things to do in Kent, Tunbridge Wells is a vibrant ‘town and country at its best’.”
, Tunbridge Wells
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