Royal Tunbridge WellsUnited Kingdom

4.2/5Top Destination

Trip time! Discover the gardens, spas and local cuisine in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Royal Tunbridge Wells rose to prominence during the 17th and 18th centuries as a spa destination, attracting upper-class visitors with its mineral-water spring. The spa craze has faded over the centuries. Today, you can enjoy the town’s shops and restaurants, and admire the elegant buildings that were constructed during its golden age.

The city gained popularity beginning in 1606 when Dudley Lord North, a courtier to King James I, discovered an iron-rich mineral spring. Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, royal visitors flocked to the town, seeking cures for everything from impotence to melancholy. Trips to the town remained in vogue throughout the reign of Queen Victoria and it was given its “Royal” prefix in 1909. Visit during the summer nowadays and drink the waters of the town’s Chalybeate Spring, where costumed “dippers” dole out drinks.

Go for a stroll along the Pantiles, a lovely colonnaded walkway bordered by 17th-century buildings. Browse the promenade’s unique shops, enjoy a coffee at an open-air café or check out a live performance on the bandstand. Stop by the Saturday farmers’ markets, held on alternating weeks at the Pantiles or Town Hall.

Inspect the 18th-century buildings that line the lower end of Tunbridge Wells’ High Street.

Near the northern end of Mount Pleasant Road, you’ll find the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery. This family-friendly museum is dedicated to the exhibition of local artifacts. Look for the world’s largest collection of Tunbridge ware, consisting of decorative wooden objects inlaid with small pieces of colored wood.

Save time to check out the 17th-century Church of King Charles the Martyr. Although the church’s exterior is relatively plain, the interior features a beautiful plastered ceiling. You may also be able to watch one of the organ recitals that regularly take place here.

Royal Tunbridge Wells is located 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of London. Take the train from London's Charing Cross or Cannon Street station towards Hastings, which passes through Royal Tunbridge Wells’ town center.

Known for

Friendly People, Gardens and Spas

Explore map

Where to stay in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Denny Bottom
Denny Bottom, Royal Tunbridge Wells, England, United Kingdom
trover photo by Snappy David

Denny Bottom

While Denny Bottom may not have many sights to explore, venturing just a little farther will lead you to top things to see and do like Pantiles and Assembly Hall Theater.

Top hotels in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
The Spa Hotel
The Spa Hotel
4 out of 5
Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells, England
£89
per night
23 Oct-24 Oct

Situated in Royal Tunbridge Wells, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Tunbridge Wells Golf Club and Pantiles. Trinity Theatre and Assembly Hall Theater ...

4.3/5Excellent! (396 reviews)

"Great food and service in a tranquil setting close to the town"…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2019

The Spa Hotel
Tunbridge Wells Retreat
Tunbridge Wells Retreat
3.5 out of 5
54-57 London Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells, England
£49
per night
5 Nov-6 Nov

Situated in Royal Tunbridge Wells, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Pantiles and Trinity Theatre. Assembly Hall Theater and Tunbridge Wells Museum and ...

3.4/5 (170 reviews)

"Lovely peaceful and welcoming to me and my young son. Particularly nice staff serving breakfast who chatted to him. Room was nice and spacious and comfortable with a good shower. Everything we needed!"…"

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2019

Tunbridge Wells Retreat
Royal Wells Hotel
Royal Wells Hotel
3 out of 5
59 Mount Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells, England
£65
per night
27 Oct-28 Oct

Conveniently located near to the ski slopes, this Royal Tunbridge Wells hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Trinity Theatre, Pantiles and Tunbridge Wells Golf Club. ...

4.2/5Very Good! (334 reviews)

"This was a very pleasant place to stay.The room we had was spacious clean and comfortable with a lovely bathroom and a comfortable bed.The staff where very helpful and attentive,the Lounge Bar and Brasserie had a nice atmosphere and we had an excellent breakfast"…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct 2019

Royal Wells Hotel

Popular things to do in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Pantiles
Image for Pantiles

Pantiles

This pretty colonnaded walkway is lined with diverse shops, excellent galleries and charming cafés.

Leeds Castle
Image for Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

4.5/5(45 reviews)

Visit this grand castle on an island in a lake to see rooms decorated in medieval style, picnic in serene grounds and enjoy entertainment for all the family.

Bluewater Shopping Centre
Image for Bluewater Shopping Centre

Bluewater Shopping Centre

4.5/5(24 reviews)

One of the largest shopping malls in Europe has seemingly endless options for entertainment, events and adventure for all the family.

Reviews of Royal Tunbridge Wells

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
34
5 - Excellent 36.55913978494624%
4 - Good
46
4 - Good 49.46236559139785%
3 - Okay
8
3 - Okay 8.602150537634408%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 3.225806451612903%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 2.150537634408602%

4/5 - Good

Jonathan

19 Oct 2019

The main shopping area had some unoccupied stores as do most towns these days but as you walk down to The Pantiles we found a good variety of Cafes shops and several Art Galleries.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

17 Oct 2019

Great town

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

23 Sep 2019

It's an easy walk from the hotel to the pubs and restaurants along the Mount Ephraim high street.

4/5 - Good

MrsJill

9 Sep 2019

The family wedding took up the whole of Saturday and on Sunday morning I had to return to Exmouth so unfortunately I had no time to explore Tunbridge Wells. Another time perhaps!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

6 Sep 2019

Fine old town

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

2 Sep 2019

We do like the area having lived in Maidstone for several years so we visited many of the places listed [ well nearly all of them] but not this time as we spent Sat. at the Kent & Weald Craft Show in Pembury. We also visited the town.. Traffic !!!!!