On a very wet, grey day in November, Mary Beard, classicist, professor and familiar face on TV, hopped off the train to visit Royal Tunbridge Wells!

Mary Beard was in the town to record an episode of the Hop On Board podcast series for Southeastern Railway; and to help her get the facts and the history of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Mary met Alison Finlay, a local Blue Badge guide.

During her flying visit, Mary walked with Alison through the Pantiles and Chapel Place. Despite the torrential rain that day…Mary seemed fascinated by the stories and rich layers of history on offer: ‘my first stop isn’t just somewhere special it’s downright Royal […] it’s like going back in time more than 300 years to this wonderful Georgian colonnade’.

Did you spot Mary Beard? The visit was brief, and she was soon off to Hastings to continue her historical journey through the south east, but you can listen to what Mary has to say about Royal Tunbridge Wells in Hop On Board here.