Over 400 years ago a travelling nobleman came across a natural spring welling up from the ground. The spring and its beautiful surroundings became known as “The Tunbridge Wells” (the wells at Tonbridge). Since 1606 tourists have come to see and be seen in fashionable Tunbridge Wells and to ‘take the waters’ from the spring. With royal visits from Queen Anne, and then Queen Victoria, Royal Tunbridge Wells came into being.
Today, Tunbridge Wells is still a beautiful and fashionable place to visit. It offers lots of great restaurants and indie shops surrounded by fascinating eclectic architecture and green park spaces. The town sits on the Kent side of the border with East Sussex and has wonderful countryside and places of interest on its doorstep. There is also a thriving arts scene, with regular live music events (check out The Forum), theatre (Trinity Theatre and Assembly Hall Theatre), art exhibitions and, of course, the Tunbridge Wells Puppetry Festival!
Travelling to Tunbridge Wells
Royal Tunbridge Wells is located where the A26 and A21 main roads meet. Both these A-roads run between London and the South Coast.
The area can be accessed from the M20 and M25 motorways too, within 20 minutes by car.
Tunbridge Wells is on a mainline Southeastern railway from London Charing Cross to Hastings. Direct services run at least every half hour calling at London Bridge, London Waterloo East, Sevenoaks and Tonbridge.
Services take approximately one hour from London Charing Cross. There are also connecting services to Gatwick Airport and Ashford and Ebbsfleet International stations for the Eurostar.
Further details on trains to Tunbridge Wells are available on the National Rail Enquiries website.
By Air / Sea
Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, London City Airports and Stansted Airport can be reached with ease from Royal Tunbridge Wells. Stansted, Luton and Southend Airports are under a 90 minute drive. The Channel Tunnel terminal (Eurotunnel) at Folkestone and the ferry ports at Dover are just over an hour by car from Tunbridge Wells.
Tourist information and accommodation
For a complete guide to Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding areas see Visit Tunbridge Wells