Population: 57,772

Living in Royal Tunbridge Wells, England:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

one local expert

If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Royal Tunbridge Wells, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked one person living in Royal Tunbridge Wells what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:


One comment on “Royal Tunbridge Wells”

If you are moving to Tunbridge Wells in Kent, UK, you will need deep pockets as it is possibly one of the most expensive locations. However, Tunbridge Wells offers a lot in terms of historic interest, parks and gardens, a bustling shopping center, and the beautiful and largely unspoilt Regency Pantiles area. It gained fame through Beau Nash due to the healing properties of the iron-rich but rather unpleasant-tasting ‘waters.’ Tunbridge Wells Pantiles can be considered Kent’s miniature version of Bath, with the Pump Rooms hosting numerous Regency balls. It’s easy to imagine famous London faces strolling alongside the Georgian crowds that flocked to Royal Tunbridge Wells every year.

Situated on the edge of the rolling hills of the Kent/Sussex border, close to Ashdown Forest to the south (known as the deer hunting ground of Henry VIII at Kings Standing) and the Medway Valley near Tonbridge to the north, Tunbridge Wells offers many country walks and places of interest. There are also interesting and well-worn sandstone rock formations, such as the Wellington Rocks on the Common, Toad Rock in Rusthall, and the High Rocks on the way to Langton Green.

Tunbridge Wells has two sides: a more affluent side in the south and a previously less exclusive side in the northern part of town, merging into Southborough. The local accent used to have a more ‘Cockney’ influence in the north since many hop farm workers who moved there a century ago came from London. However, the north of Tunbridge Wells and Southborough offer more opportunities to find slightly more affordable properties that are also within easy reach of the best local secondary schools, mostly accessed along the London Road. The influx of Londoners seeking cheaper properties outside of the city has kept prices considerably high for many of these turn-of-the-century properties. In 1982, you could buy a tiny house with your own front door and a small garden in the Camden area for as little as £16,000, but they could now sell for upwards of £170,000. The route also passes by two famous and ancient grammar schools, one for boys and one for girls. Tonbridge School, located further along in Tonbridge itself, is a sought-after public school.

Tunbridge Wells offers numerous theaters, shops, and pubs, while growing shopping centers outside of town provide easy parking for those with transportation. Parking in Tunbridge Wells itself has always been quite problematic for visitors, and the available two or four-hour slots can make life difficult for commuters who need to find a space very early if they want to work in the town center. Shoppers can park directly in the Victoria Centre, but day tickets are expensive. It is probably better to take a bus ride if you are coming to work for a whole day from the surrounding villages such as Rusthall, Southborough, Mayfield, Wadhurst, Langton Green, etc. Visitors and shoppers would be wise to avoid the rush of school children at 4 pm after school, unless they want to be caught in the dash for the back seat!

However, Tunbridge Wells has excellent train links to London, and a quick trip up the A26 by car will get you into the city and onto the underground within an hour. A train journey to Hastings in the southerly direction takes approximately another hour or so. Hastings has recently won an award as one of the best venues for family fun.

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