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Join in the annual Jazz Festival at The Pantiles

Join in the annual Jazz Festival at The Pantiles

by David Hodgkinson

Events in Tunbridge Wells

You've come to the right place for all the information about events in Tunbridge Wells. Here it is at your fingertips and Tunbridge Wells is abuzz with things to do and see.

Something for every season

With such a local interest in culture and a variety of town and country attractions there is always something happening somewhere.

Every week, there is music, historical or art exhibitions and local sports or outdoor activities.

Use the What’s On Search tool to the right nearer the time of year you are interested in to find out more about the events below.  This is just a small taster of what is going on, the search tool will give you a full picture of over 100 events!

The Tunbridge Wells Calendar of Events

Gentle January

A quiet time, recovering from Christmas although the panto and the ice rink still run for the first week.  Aside from sales shopping, check out the spa's, the Oscar winners at the cinema and the theatre for the rest of the month.

Fanciful February

The Lantern Parade is a large family oriented community parade that lights up a dark winter night in February each year. Watch out for the lantern workshops taking place in the run up then join the parade itself and see the enormous eye-popping paper lanterns, all home made, like the zebra, tiger and dragon of past years. Afterwards, warm up with hot chocolate or dinner in one of the cafés or restaurants.

Half term and Valentines events also dominate the What’s On scene. Romantic Valentine dinners and hotel packages adorn the calendar. 

Cafés, museums and theatres offer exciting goings on for children at half term including crafty workshops and story telling.

Not so mad March

Wedding season arrives with panache in Tunbridge Wells.  Where better to view your venue options and suppliers than in the inspiring and romantic Garden of England?  Hotels and attractions invite you to review their sumptuous offerings.

Mother’s Day and Spring flowers are also the theme this month. Mouthwatering lunches for Mother made from local produce at beguiling stately homes and castles are the order of the day at the end of March.  Fawn over the flora for the post-lunch stroll in the estate gardens. 

April Antics

A stunning month for visiting the resplendent gardens in the High Weald of Kent.  Take The Tulip Festival at Pashley Manor – you’ll be astounded at the sight of so many tulips in so many colours!

Easter Trails triumph in numerous attractions in every corner of the region to keep the children enchanted and entertained.  Parents can sit down and enjoy a refreshing drink and snack while the little darlings seek out the treasures.

Merry May

With 2 bank holidays, what a month to savour. Village fetes celebrate charming local heritage and traditions of maypole dancing, pig racing, duck racing and morris dancing. Now is time to explore the villages of Tunbridge Wells and enjoy the energy and beauty of the area. 

Don’t miss the bluebells at Hole Park Gardens (noted in The Times newspaper for their splendour)which come out in mesmerising force for the shortest time.

The Food Festival celebrates our rich local larder and the Family Fun Day in Hilbert & Grosvenor Park is not to be missed either – check the What’s On search tool nearer the time.

Jaunty June

Traditionally Summer starts here! Enjoy full blooms out and about in the countryside, nature reserves, parks and gardens. 

Marle Place is secluded gem of a garden out of the way near the quaint village of Brenchley and Chiddingstone Castle hosts an annual Japanese celebration. 

Get outside at one of the half term events at Bewl Water or Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest and take in the fresh air.

Jubilant July

Long light evenings at last and everywhere feels more alive. Jazz on the Pantiles starts up, school holidays mean plenty of goings on for the kids all over the borough. 

Visit Groombridge Place and the Enchanted Gardens or the Spa Valley Railway for exciting events for all the family.

Arresting August

Forest schools, bushcraft workshops and camp-building activities are often available for budding adventurers at this time of year. Try Bedgebury National Pinetum &  Forest and Penshurst Place.

Dramatic twilight live performances are an outstanding evening out at the Hever Castle Festival Theatre or Scotney Castle.  Bring your own hamper, picnic chairs and candelbra!

Local & Live kicks off at the end of August (ooh yes another bank holiday!), a festival of local music in the open air.

Surreal September

Often surrendering Summer with great reluctance, this month can still remain warm.  Now that school is back, the adults can play again!

Museum and gallery exhibitions are calmer.  The Weald of Kent Craft and Design show is held at Penshurst Place early in the month.

The leaves on the trees at Scotney Castle and Bedgebury Pinetum display their awesome autumnal blaze – a photographer’s paradise.

For something a bit quirky, visit the lovely Speldhurst village for its annual Scarecrow competition!

Ogling in October

Harvest time in this part of the world means farms and orchards can now display their produce at their peak.  Be sure to taste our local produce, go to a farmers’ market and the  Apple Fair in Cranbrook (don’t forget to see the Red Barrows display team!!).

Hallowe'en events are becoming more popular.  Gasp in horror at murderous theatre at The Trinity Theatre!

Some of the larger attractions have workshops on theatrical make up, Hallowe’en Storytelling and Fancy Dress too.

Noisy November!

Guy Fawkes’ Bonfire Nights and Fireworks really go off with a boom in Tunbridge Wells.

Take your pick from Dunorlan Park in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the village of Rusthall, amongst many other parks and village greens across the borough.   Check the What’s On search box nearer the time.

One bonfire night with a difference is The Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Event commemorating the infamous gang of smugglers who controlled the area in the 1700s.

After these spectacles, why not enjoy the additional warmth of the local hearty food in the pubs and restaurants as well.  The odd toffee apple might even have been grown in Kent thanks to this year’s harvest.

In mid-November the great Christmas Light Switch On at Royal Victoria Place Shopping Mall takes place in the town centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells.

Diverting December

Christmas sees the towns and villages come alive with colour, lights and seasonal fun. 

Shopping events are at their peak at this time of year including the Royal Tunbridge Wells High Street Christmas Festivities and the Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds.

Local attractions welcome you to their Christmas extravaganzas and you can always find a Santa’s grotto or two! 

What are you waiting for?

Check our search tool for events that interest you and make a move from your armchair now!

For more details on the larger festivals go to the Festivals page to see what is in store in the upcoming year and plan your trip with our handy planner.

Accommodation is available across the borough and can be viewed right here right now! Don't forget the Tourist Information Centre is here to help.

If you’ve got your own event to add, go to the Events Form and upload it now for free!

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