The days are getting longer, the birds are chirping, and the blossom is out. Yes, it’s finally spring! From picturesque villages such as Lamberhurst, Brenchley and Matfield and vibrant towns like Royal Tunbridge Wells and Cranbrook to our famous historic houses and gardens, walking trails and rich heritage, Tunbridge Wells borough has so much to offer. Here is some inspiration from Visit Tunbridge Wells, to fill your weekend with fun!
Here in the Garden of England, spring is the time of year when our countryside is at its best! And it’s not just in the countryside that things are blooming. We are lucky to be surrounded by greenspaces in the towns too, with great parks and play areas (with cafes!) perfect to keep the children happy for hours on a day out.
We are also fortunate to have two National Trust properties in our borough with award winning gardens to explore. Climb the Sissinghurst Castle tower to marvel over the gardens and find a new perspective on the surrounding countryside. Make the most of the free entry to the Scotney Castle estate which offers a perfect afternoon walk in an ever-changing woodland. Be sure to look out for the moated castle in the distance and the only working oast house in the National Trust. Don’t forget to book for the car park before setting off.
Bluebells and Railways
Starting on Tunbridge Wells Common, why not walk part of the Tunbridge Wells Circular route going via High Rocks to Groombridge (approx. 90 mins walk). Arriving at High Rocks, we recommend you explore this hidden gem for bluebell spotting. Through the main car park, into the woods, you will find a palette of blue and purple tones. After lunch, continue onto the village of Groombridge via Groombridge Place and Enchanted Gardens. Keep an eye out for the peacocks and deer that roam the property. If you are still feeling energetic continue the trail back to Royal Tunbridge Wells or hop on board the Spa Valley Railway for a leisurely return! Be sure to check the Visit Tunbridge Wells events calendar for cream team, Sunday Roast, murder mystery evenings and other themed experiences on board the steam trains.
Indulge in the Good Things in Life…
Royal Tunbridge Wells is growing as a foodie destination, and I think we will all agree we have some delicious fare on our doorstep. We all have our favourites, but here is a selection to inspire your next outing and maybe discover a new favourite (or two)? From casual dining at Roddy Burgers or Plant Base in Camden Road (the only vegan restaurant in town) to great pub grub from the White Bear, The Ragged Trouser, The Guinea or the Sussex Arms or maybe date night at The Warren, Sankey’s, The Ivy or The Square Peg? As the days start getting longer and warmer, bask in the sunshine while dining alfresco at the Compasses, the Mount Edgcumbe or in one of the many eateries in the Pantiles.
Some of the best rural beer gardens to enjoy after a walk include: The Halfway House in Brenchley, an award-winning real ale pub with concerts and barbecue events in their large gardens, the Vineyard and the Chequers, both in the picturesque Lamberhurst village, or the Milk House in Sissinghurst just minutes away from the world-famous gardens.
Each of the borough’s towns and villages have their own character which is shaped by the community and local businesses. We have so many independent businesses which makes Tunbridge Wells a great place to find your next treasure!
In Cranbrook, you will find Mrs. T.Potts, an old-fashioned sweet shop which is rare to find today, as well as fashion boutiques such as Duck and Dog and Maisie K. Look out too for the Glasshouse Project, a social enterprise offering people second chance through horticultural training.
In Royal Tunbridge Wells, if you enjoy hunting through treasure troves try Trevor Mottram, the Green Duck Emporium, the newly opened Retro Stuff or Jeremy’s Home Store. Some other notable independents include Kotiki Interiors, Glass by Claudia, Fuggles Beer Shop, Le Petit Jardin or Hall’s Bookshop.
The villages also have their own treasures, in Hawkhurst you will find ‘Ooh How Lovely’, a shop that certainly lives up to its name. In Lamberhurst, the Little Green Pantry sells an array of local produce and handmade gifts. And so many more to discover including Brenchley, Stapelhurst, Paddock Wood and Southborough to name just a few.
Its’ good to feel like you are supporting someone local’s passion and dream, don’t forget to share your new findings with us on social media…
Local History (Free Audio Trail)
Why not learn more about local history and take advantage of our free audio app ‘Tales of Tunbridge Wells’ which will give you a guided tour round 30 historic sights in Royal Tunbridge Wells. Go at your own pace, pause and stop off for a break in a local café or hostelry when you like!