By carTunbridge Wells can be accessed from the north using the A21 trunk road, which runs as a dual carriageway for most of its length between the M25 and the outskirts of the town. The A21 continues south past Tunbridge Wells to Lamberhurst and Hastings.
The single carriageway A26 runs through the town centre, providing a link to Brighton and Lewes to the south, and Tonbridge and the A21 to the north.
To the west, the A264 provides connections to East Grinstead, Crawley and Gatwick Airport. To the east, the A264 becomes the A228 and links to Paddock Wood, Maidstone, Rochester and Strood.
By trainTunbridge Wells station is located in the town centre at the bottom of Mount Pleasant Road, close to the historic High Street and 5 minutes' walk from the Pantiles. It is on the London (Charing Cross/Waterloo/London Bridge) to Hastings route; trains are operated by Southeastern, tel. +44 8457 48 49 50.
London is between 40 and 55 minutes away, depending on whether the train is direct or a stopper service. A standard class off-peak return ticket to London is £13.20 adult; £6.60 child.
Other Kent towns such as Canterbury, Ashford and Maidstone can be reached by train by changing at Tonbridge (10 minutes by train from Tunbridge Wells).
The centre of Tunbridge Wells is fairly small, and can easily be travelled on foot. The Pantiles is around 10–15 minutes walk downhill from the main shopping area around Royal Victoria Place. As with most other towns in England, the town is well served by buses and taxis.
- U4 Vehicle hire +44 1892 520273
Arriva is the main local bus operator in and around Tunbridge Wells, although other companies also operate some services:
Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus.
Paper timetables can be obtained at the Tunbridge Wells Gateway (8 Grosvenor Road, near the Royal Victoria Place shopping centre). The Traveline and Kent County Council websites provide journey planners and route maps.
The Arriva 281 "Shopper Hopper" bus service provides a useful link for those looking to avoid walking up the hill between the Pantiles and main shopping district. It runs every 12 minutes, with tickets costing £1 for the day.
By taxiThe main taxi rank is at the train station, although you can order a taxi by telephone to pick you up from anywhere.
- Streamline - +44 1892 511911
- County Cars - +44 1892 541666
- Crown Cars - +44 1732 368111
- Starline Taxis - +44 1892 531191
- MS Executive Chauffeurs - +44 1892 513042 or 0800 980 7252
- Kent Chauffeurs
Chalybeate Springaddress: The PantilesChalybeate Spring is in The Pantiles, London Road. See what created the wonderful vistas of the town at Chalybeate Spring. On some days, it is possible to drink the metallic water, however, the spring is somtimes not in use. When possible, it is free to drink the water.
phone: +44 1892 554171address: Civic WayFrom Victorian oil paintings and archaeology to historic fashions and toys. Admission free.
address: Pembury RdOnce a private landscaped garden, this park is well used by locals, having been restored following a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £2.1 million. There are two car parks: a small one on Pembury Road (beware, the access in and out is not the easiest) and a larger one on Halls Hole Road, a country lane at the bottom of the park - as both car parks fill up quickly on sunny days, if you're staying in town its only a 15-20 minute walk from the main shopping area. Kids and kids at heart will like the boating lake, and there is also a recently refurbished café selling snacks, drinks and ice creams.
phone: +44 1892 890381address: Furnace Lane, Little Bayham, TN3 8LP
phone: +44 1892 870307address: PenshurstFeatures an impressive medieval manor house. One of the oldest gardens in England. Includes a 100-metre-long peony border, the Union Jack garden and many fruit trees and borders. There is a large adventure playground for children. Visit on the first Saturday of the month to tie a visit with attending the monthly farmers market to pick up some cakes, cheeses, jams, bread and other delicious treats.
phone: +44 1892 863999Groombridge. Winner of the Top Garden Attraction in the UK by Good Britain Guide 2000.
phone: +44 1892 890661address: nr Lamberhurst,The largest man-made body of water in the South East, for walking and cycling, sailing, windsurfing and fishing. Admission is at the main entrance to park near the rather tacky visitor center. However many public rights of way approach the water, including one across the dam itself and these are open access.
phone: +44 1622 872068address: Paddock WoodOnce a working hop farm, it now offers a wide variety of attractions and events.
Haysden Country Parkaddress: TonbridgeBeautiful lakes, with rambling, bike and bridle trails.
phone: +44 1892 893820address: Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, TN3 8JNA National Trust-owned attraction. The small castle, surrounded by a moat, is very picturesque. The castle is very small with the well-managed gardens being the main attraction for many visitors. Like many National Trust properties, the tearoom serves delicious cakes.
- Walk along The Pantiles, the oldest part of the town, and sample the waters from the Chalybeate Spring (open daily from Easter to September). Great in warm weather when the various pubs and restaurants put out table and chairs and the clientele along here spill out into it giving it a great atmosphere.
- Take a walk in the High Rocks, impressive sandstone outcrops linked by eleven bridges that provide scenic walks in acres of peaceful woodland
- Go swimming, play tennis or have a game of squash at Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre, St Johns Road, tel: +44 1892 540744, .
- Ride the Spa Valley Railway from Tunbridge Wells to Eridge, Tel: +44 1892 537715. Carefully restored steam trains operate through 3.5 miles of glorious countryside. The line starts at the old Tunbridge Wells West station near Sainsbury's, with trains calling at High Rocks and Groombridge. Operates from Late March to End October plus December. Standard admission (return travel): adult £5, child & over 60s £4. Family & joint tickets with Groombridge Place also available.
- Visit the Salomons Museum. Admission: Free!
Penshurst place gardensVery near Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge is not as upmarket but houses this stunning ancestral home with gardens.
- Go to ' Halls bookshop', a second hand book shop in Chapel Place. The interior is incredible and looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie. It is very quaint with books dating back from the early 20th century including first editions.
- Have a drink in the Opera House pub (owned by Wetherspoons), so named as it used to be an opera house. The interior is mostly intact and pretty magnificent to explore from the comfort of a chair with a cheap drink. If you can, catch the legendary annual 'Spoons Opera when the pub is briefly returned to its former glory as a functioning Opera House.
- Tunbridge Wells is a shoppers paradise if you like designer clothes in a mellow setting with oodles of history. A long wait at Pizza Express and Carluccio's - booking imperative.
- Listen to live acoustic music every Sunday night from 8PM - free entry at the Mount Edgcumbe, Off Mount Ephraim, The Common Tunbridge Wells Tel: +44 1892 526823.. Also check out the Local Live Music Website for music listings in the Tunbridge Wells Area
- Cinema: the Odeon shows the blockbusters. It's out in Knight's Park, at the far end of the industrial estate.
- Tunbridge Wells circular walk. It makes a great day trip especially if you bring a picnic along. There are many entry and exit points on the footpaths so although the entire circular walk is 27½ miles (44.3 km) you can easily do a much shorter hike starting and ending in the town itself. Many of the walks take you through pretty villages, atmospheric woodlands, farmland (and through livestock fields), past churches, along streams/rivers and past lots of pubs. You can grab a copy of a map with details of the different walks in the tourist information centre in the Pantiles. There is lots of wildlife around - including birds, livestock, snakes and lizards (if you're lucky!) If you want to do some camping there are several camping areas on route.
phone: +44 1892 530613address: Crescent Rd
phone: +44 1892 678678address: Church RdThis converted church hosts a range of theatre, dance, comedy and music events. It also shows "arthouse" films on a regular basis. Bar/café available.
phone: +44 1892 514141address: Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN1 2SS
The main shopping area of the town is centred around the Royal Victoria Place shopping centre, although there are shops throughout the town centre, with more independent shops located in and around the High Street. There is a good number of quality charity shops around Victoria Place and down to the High Street.
There is also rather a generic industrial estate on the edge of the town with a variety of big box stores.
Apart from some in Camden Road, most restaurants can be found in the centre, on Mount Pleasant and in the High Street area. There are also many pubs in and around Tunbridge Wells that offer good food.
Specific restaurants (cost assumes starter, main course, one drink, tip):
Chez JJphone: +44 1892 525830address: 86 Camden RdFrench restaurant, so French even the signs on the door and the menu comes out in the language. Luckily the staff will speak English so don't be scared - it just adds to the experience. Good value food as well!
The Harephone: +44 1892 862 419address: Langton Rd, Langton Green, Tunbridge Wells TN3 0JA, UKQuaint gastro-pub in Langton Green with great decor and a garden backing onto a field, lovely in the summer months. Excellent food (especially the chunky chips!), a few options for vegetarians and vegans. Can be difficult to find parking in the summer.
phone: +44 1892 526455address: Crescent Road, TN1 2LYA bistro in the middle of town, near the town hall, that offers excellent food and a wide selection of wines. ~£40.
Java Beanphone: +44 1892 689205address: 67-69 High St, TN1 1XXGreat friendly staff and a great option for lunch or quick coffee (only open during the day).
Masala The Indian Restaurantphone: +44 1892 616700Just one of the Indian restaurants in the town. Authentic Indian restaurant at the heart of The Pantiles. Masala is the largest restaurant in the town, and part of the Nizam Inidan chain.
phone: +44 1892 526823The Common (off Mt Pleasant) Tunbridge Wells, TN4 8BX. At Mount Edgcumbe every meal is seasoned with overwhelming tranquility. With peaceful views and welcoming dining room, Mount Edgcumbe combines 18th century grandeur with a dining experience for the modern world. Try Moules Mariniere or Moules Thai, followed by Chargrilled Ribeye Steak served with thick cut chips and a Green Peppercorn Sauce, and raspberry creme brulee, or just enjoy a drink in the bar. It sounds good but tastes better.
phone: +44 1892 511422address: 39 Mount Ephraim, TN4 8AAConsistently high quality seafood from the British Isles, as well as some game. ~£30.
address: Mount Pleasant RoadOne of the Japanese noodle bar chain restaurants. Quite affordable. ~£14.
Fuggles Beer Cafephone: +44 1892 457739address: 28 Grosvenor Rd, TN1 2APFriendly bar specialising in beer near the centre of town. Regular events held, a wide range of drinks and much of what they stock is available to be bought in bulk.
Mount Edgcumbephone: +44 1892 526823address: The Common (off Mt Ephraim), TN4 8BXA country pub up on the Common just minutes from the town centre. Plenty of free car parking, and an excellent beer garden overlooking the Common. In the bar there is a 4th-century cave where you can sit and drink. Outside the large beer garden overlooking the Common, and a huge outcrop of sandstone rocks, is where you can sit under huge umbrellas shading from the summer sun, or sheltered under the heaters well into the night. Choices of 6 x lagers, 2 x ciders, and 9 different house wines - served by the glass.
The Compassesphone: +44 1892 530744address: 45 Little Mount SionSaid to be the oldest pub in Tunbridge Wells, this pub has plenty of character and warm open fires.
phone: +44 1892 511770address: 88 Mount Pleasant Road, TN1 1RTThis former opera house, and later bingo hall, was converted to a pub a few years back. It's a vast boozer with a certain charm, always busy, largely due to the dramatically cheaper beer here than in other watering holes in the town.
phone: +44 1892 53 9350address: Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8AUCosy, traditional tavern near the centre of town. Hidden behind some houses just off the main road going through the town so it stays quiet. Friday is soul night and the first Sunday of every month is open mic night from 8PM. Pub quiz every Tuesday at 8:30PM.
phone: +44 871 984 6381address: Mount Ephraim, TN4 8BUA Victorian spa hotel (circa 1860) now run by Travelodge. The public areas retain many original Victorian features although the rooms are Travelodge corporate bland. There is a charge for parking.
phone: +44 1892 520331address: Mount Ephraim, TN4 8XJ
phone: +44 1892 552700address: 55 - 57 London Road, Kent, TN1 1DS
phone: +44 1892 526455address: Crescent Road, TN1 2LY