History of the town

History of the Town

Visitors have been coming to Royal Tunbridge Wells since the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606.

History of the town

The Secret Garden of England

Wide open landscapes, painted skies, nights under the stars, we look forward to welcoming you back to Kent, the secret Garden of England, soon.

History of the town

Dog Friendly Places

Whether you decide to walk or run along the path around the lake, it’s a great way for the two of you to exercise, keep fit and set tails a-wagging.

History of the town

The Seven Wonders of The Weald

A hand picked selection of very special places to visit in this beautiful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Visit Tunbridge Wells

The area offers town and country at its best. The historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells has welcomed visitors for over 400 years. Browse among the chic independent shops of the collonaded Pantiles and the High Street, with buzzy cafes bars, music and one-of-a-kind shops. Royal Tunbridge Wells lies in the heart of the beautiful High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The High Weald has many picturesque towns and villages amid the rolling hills, ancient woods and open heaths ready to explore.

Explore Tunbridge Wells
Visit Tunbridge Wells Blog

Our blog is written by local residents who give you the inside information on the best places to go in the borough.


Seasonal Highlights

Benenden see more... Benenden If you’re looking for a beautiful small rural Kent village with a village green, overlooked by a majestic medieval church, then you must visit Benenden.

Nestled between Sandhurst and Cranbrook, the village is in the heart of the rural Garden of England and an experience to be enjoyed at leisure.
Brenchley see more... All Saints church, Brenchley - photo by David Hodgkinson Brenchley A popular village for commuters even almost 200 years ago!

The Flower of Kent was the name of the London-bound stagecoach that galloped back and forth from Brenchley, three times a week in 1823.
Cranbrook see more... Cranbrook Windmill & shopping high street - photo by Dave Hodgkinson Cranbrook, Capital of the Weald Cranbrook is a pretty settlement with a medieval layout of streets and alleys. Many buildings date from the 15th century through to the 19th century.

With famous attractions nearby, plenty of accommodation and events running throughout the year, Cranbrook in the Weald of Kent is the ideal destination for both a short break or long vacation.
Goudhurst see more... Goudhurst Duck Pond - photo by David Hodgkinson Goudhurst Goudhurst is a delight with its village high street tumbling down the steep hill from the church to the village pond. This winding hill played host (or is that havoc?!) to the Tour de France in 2007.

The village and, in particular the historic 14th century tower at St Mary’s Church, commands wonderful views over the Kent countryside.
Hawkhurst see more... The pretty colonnaded shops in Hawkhurst - photo by David Hodgkinson Hawkhurst This historic and infamous village is situated within the Kentish High Weald near the border of East Sussex.

Hawkhurst is really two villages in one – the tranquil settlement in the oldest part known as The Moor, and a pretty shopping area complete with hanging baskets and a covered walkway at Highgate.
Horsmonden see more... The Heath, Horsmonden - photo by David Hodgkinson Horsmonden The name of this pretty agricultural village means ‘horsemen’s woodland pasture’.

For such a tiny village in the middle of one of the most rural parts of the Weald of Kent, Horsmonden has a huge history.
Lamberhurst see more... A rambler's view in the lovely Weald village of Lamberhurst - photo by David Hodgkinson Lamberhurst The famous Lamberhurst Gloucester ironworks, named after Queen Anne’s shortlived son, was amongst the last in Kent to produce iron.

In the main street is a portion of the early railings of St Paul’s Cathedral, made in the village in 1710 and returned to the village in 1976.
Matfield see more... A ramble and picnic at Matfield Green - photo by by David Hodgkinson Matfield Near to Royal Tunbridge Wells, it is definitely a contender for the quaintest English village with chocolate-box village green, cricket pitch, and endearing duck pond encircled by graceful Georgian houses.

Siegfried Sassoon, the famous World War I poet, was born and grew up in Matfield.
Paddock Wood see more... Typical Oast House Roofs - photo by Mike Bartlett Paddock Wood The small town of Paddock Wood grew up around the railway in 1842 which provided access for local fruit growers and hop farmers to London and the coast.

Hop pickers used to come on their annual summer ‘holiday’ to this area and spent the summer in the surrounding fields.
Rusthall see more... Rustic Rusthall! - photo by David Hodgkinson Rusthall A lovely little haven one mile west of the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells and Tunbridge Wells Common, Rusthall is hidden among the trees and surrounded by rocky sandstone outcrops complete with some lively village shops.

A village with two centres, one developed around Toad Rock in the 1800s, the Victorian era, as a summer holiday resort.
Sandhurst see more... Sandhurst village green & clock tower - photo by David Hodgkinson Sandhurst With very early military credentials going back to 1066, Sandhurst in Kent is only a 30 minute scenic drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells, and a marvellous stop off between coast and town.

A charming white clapboard rural Wealden village and home to the 2014 Kent Tea Shop of the Year.
Sissinghurst see more... Welcome to Sissinghurst village - photo by David Hodgkinson Sissinghurst The little village of Sissinghurst in Kent is most well known for the famous gardens in the ‘Castle’, and is surrounded by woodland in the far east of the region of Tunbridge Wells.

For horticultural hobbyists and garden groupies it is a stalwart on the garden tours of the Garden of England!
Southborough see more... Enjoy Southbourgh Common - photo by David Hodgkinson Southborough Today this busy town has many quieter areas to offer the visitor, especially if you are looking for strolling and dining options just on the doorstep of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Since 1639, the Cavaliers have stayed at Southborough lodgings in order to partake of the waters at the Chalybeate Spring!
Speldhurst see more... St Mary's church, Speldhurst - photo by David Hodgkinson Speldhurst Only 5 km from Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent, much of Speldhurst dates from the 19th century and is another fine example of our quaint Wealden villages.

Original birth place of the Speldhurst Sausage, these delicious little lovelies are now made in nearby Eridge.
The Pantiles see more... The Pantiles - photo by David Hodgkinson The Pantiles The chance discovery in 1606 of a Spring with distinctive reddish tinted mineral deposits led to the development of the Pantiles and later on, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

The practice of drinking from natural springs for health reasons dates back to Roman times.






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