Royal Tunbridge Wells, previously just Tunbridge Wells, is a town in western Kent, England, 30 miles (48 km) south-east of central London, close to the border with East Sussex upon the northern edge of the High Weald, whose sandstone geology is exemplified by the rock formations at the Wellington Rocks and High Rocks.
The town came into being as a spa in the Restoration and enjoyed its heyday as a fashionable resort in the mid-1700s under Beau Nash when the Pantiles, and its chalybeate spring attracted significant numbers of visitors who wished to take the waters. Though its popularity as a spa town waned with the advent of sea bathing, the town remains highly popular and derives some 30 per cent of its income from the tourist industry.
Top Attraction In Royal Tunbridge Wells
1. Dunorlan Park
Totaling approximately 78 acres (31 hectares) and containing a 6-acre (24,000 m2) lake, the grounds were landscaped by Robert Marnock for Henry Reed, the merchant and philanthropist who owned the estate and the now-demolished house that once overlooked it.
- Address: Pembury Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells TN2 3QN, United Kingdom
- Timings: Monday To Friday From 8am to 9pm
2. Spa Valley Railway
The Spa Valley Railway (SVR) is a standard gauge heritage railway that runs from Tunbridge Wells West railway station in Tunbridge Wells to High Rocks, Groombridge, and Eridge, where it links with the Oxted Line. En route it crosses the Kent and East Sussex border, a distance of 5 miles (8 km), along the former Wealden Line between Tunbridge Wells Central and Lewes. The railway headquarters is at Tunbridge Wells West railway station.
- Address: West Station, Royal Tunbridge Wells TN2 5QY, United Kingdom
- Timings: Saturday and sunday from 9am to 5pm.
3. Scotney Castle
Scotney Castle is an English country house with formal gardens south-east of Lamberhurst in the valley of the River Bewl in Kent, England. It belongs to the National Trust.
The gardens, which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a celebrated example of the Picturesque style, are open to the public. The central feature is the ruins of a medieval, moated manor house, Scotney Old Castle, which is on an island on a small lake. The lake is surrounded by sloping, wooded gardens with fine collections of rhododendrons, azaleas and kalmia for spring colour, summer wisteria and roses, and spectacular autumn colour.
At the top of the garden stands a house which was built to replace the Old Castle between 1835 and 1843. This is known as Scotney New Castle, or simply Scotney Castle, and was designed by Anthony Salvin. It is an early and unusually restrained example of Tudor Revival architectural style in 19th-century Britain. Following the death of the resident, Elizabeth Hussey, in 2006, this house was opened to the public for the first time on 6 June 2007.
- Address: Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells TN3 8JN, United Kingdom
- Timings: Monday To Friday From 10am to 5pm
4. Trinity Theatre
Trinity Theatre is a theatre and arts centre, located in the former Holy Trinity Church in the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Supported by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council (15,000), Kent County Council and Arts Council England, over a five-year period the internal redevelopment addressed dry rot and damaged stonework, to turn the building into a theatre with 350 raked seats.
Subsequent grants have allowed developments to include a cafeteria, public bar, and redevelopment of the side vestibules to allow for art shows and local arts classes. In March 1996 an application was approved by the National Lottery for 600,000 of additional internal improvements, which provided a computerised box office, new seats, and an access ramp for wheelchair users.
In its now 25-year history, Trinity Theatre has collaborated with performers and groups from Steven Berkoff to the Royal National Theatre, as well as hosting international performing arts, film and visual arts. With over 90,000 people now coming through its doors annually, Trinity is acknowledged as one of the leading arts and performance venues in the South East of England.
- Address Church Road Tunbridge Wells England
5. Grosvenor & Hilbert Park
Public space since 1889 with a playground, a bowling green, a cafe and wildlife/bird habitats.Grosvenor and Hilbert is one of the town’s oldest public parks designed by the renowned Victorian landscape architect Robert Marnock in 1889. It still contains original historic features, such as Marnock Lake and the grottoes or ‘dripping wells’. There is an exciting and challenging play area which is well worth a visit. This play area was updated in 2015 thanks to Heritage and Big Lottery Funding.
- Address: Upper Grosvenor Rd, Tunbridge Wells TN2 3GG, United Kingdom
- Timings: Open 24 hours
6. Royal Victoria Place
Royal Victoria Place (RVP) is a mostly covered shopping centre located in the town of Tunbridge Wells, Kent. The centre features a three-floor Fenwick’s department store, a two-floor Marks and Spencer, a two-floor Boots and around 110 other stores, as well as a community centre (the Camden Centre) managed by Tunbridge Wells Borough Council.
The centre was opened by Diana, Princess of Wales on 21 October 1992 after 36 months of construction.
The site is bounded by Goods Station Road, Camden Road, Calverley Road and Grosvenor Road. Some of the shops in RVP have two entrances – one to the internal mall and one onto Camden Road (such as Next) or Calverley Road (such as Marks & Spencer and Topshop). The bus stops on Mount Pleasant Road are close to RVP.
A small part of the centre lies above the railway line between Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms stations.
- Location Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
7. Groombridge Place Gardens
Groombridge Place is a moated manor house in the village of Groombridge near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. It has become a tourist attraction, noted for its formal gardens, vineyards. The manor house has an associated Dower House.
- Address: Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells TN3 9QG, United Kingdom
- Timings: Monday To Friday From 10am to 4pm