The glorious landscape which characterises the borough of Tunbridge Wells is the perfect backdrop for creating special memories this year.

Whether you’re are seeking a challenge, or simply looking to cancel out the Christmas calories and escape the indoor fuggy feeling, the area contains both extensive walking trails and pretty, undulating rambles that won’t push you unnecessarily.

Our walking page has a number of route suggestions. Feel free to have a browse so you can make the most of this High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which covers 70% of our region and provides a protected status for this unique patch of England.

Some of the finest gardens and grounds are open and promise to add some Christmas sparkle to your seasonal strolls.

Christmas at Bedgebury

1. Christmas at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest

Spend a spectacular evening in one of the most popular natural attractions run by Forestry England. Christmas at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is a wonderland of Christmas illuminations and musical delights. Read our blog ‘Walking in a year long wonderland’ to get a flavour of of the gently rolling utopia of evergreen firs and pines.

Polar ExpressTM Steam Train PNP Events Ltd at Spa Valley Railway, Royal Tunbridge Wells

2. Polar Express

From 26 November, Spa Valley Railway will welcome you aboard the Polar ExpressTM. You and your family can come dressed in PJs, to experience a fun filled theatrical adventure, as the train makes its way through the beautiful High Weald countryside to the North Pole!

When you hop aboard the awe-inspiring steam train you will begin a journey of a lifetime with a Christmas experience to top all others

Christmas at Hever Castle

3. Hever Castle

A little further afield, Hever Castle is all decked out and ready for your visit.  From the Adventures of Pinocchio trail in their magnificent grounds, to the illuminated walkways after dark, all the family will be filled with Christmas wonder, open from 20 November to 24 December. And for one day only, a Christmas Fair will be held on 11 November. Pre-book your tickets to avoid disappointment especially if you want to meet Santa in the grotto!

4. Scotney Castle

A short drive from here, near the village of Lamberhurst is Scotney Castle. With its stunning grounds, medieval castle ruins, and handsome house, this National Trust owned property is a true fairy tale setting for a festive visit this winter.  Grounds only are open daily from the first Sunday in January 2022.

The shop, packed full of exquisite gifts, and the tea room with seasonal treats will be open too.

Scotney Castle (c) National Trust Images - John Miller
Sissinghurst Castle, National Trust

5. Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Also in the borough, near the charming village of Goudhurst, Sissinghurst Castle Garden has a rich history.  It has been (amongst other things) a family home to a host of fascinating characters, most famously writer Vita Sackville-West, who during the 1930’s, alongside her husband Harold transformed its grounds into the world-renowned gardens that exist today.

The house and grounds are open daily, although the Old Castle is shut for maintenance, with the Granary Restaurant serving delicious food and drinks from their vegetable gardens and organic producers.  Dogs on leads are welcome in the wider grounds but not in the formal gardens.