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The Pantiles

The Pantiles

Royal Tunbridge Wells | by Chris Parker

School Trips

If you’re in charge of organising the school trip then this page is here to help you.

The professional visitor services team at the Tunbridge Wells Tourist Information Centre (TIC) can assist you to plan and organise your tour with advice on:

Getting Here & Around

Guided Walks

Parking Options

Brochures for your group

Best places to stop for food and drink

Click here to see the ways in which you can Contact Us at your convenience.

School trips can have a Guided Tour with a Blue Badge Guide | Royal Tunbridge Wells

Who Says School Trips are Boring?

We have an number of organisations which can help you plan the interactive activities you need for your classes and groups.  These are all outlined on this page.

Inspire your pupils with a fascinating cultural and cross curricular walking tour of the Pantiles and historic heart of the town with one of our highly trained Blue Badge guides.

The Blue Badge is internationally recognised as the qualification of excellence in heritage interpretation and communication skills.

With a wealth of knowledge and expertise, Blue Badge Guides are engaging, entertaining and professional and will bring an educational visit to life.

On the walk you will hear about the very beginnings of the town from the time that the Chalybeate Spring was discovered in 1606 in the wooded landscape of the High Weald to present day.

Learn about everyday life in the Georgian period on the Pantiles, the visitors who came to 'take the waters' with their many health-giving therapeutic properties.

It was claimed that "These waters youth in age renew, Strength to the weak and sickly, Give the pale cheek a rosy hue and cheerful spirits to the sad."

Taste the cool mineral spring waters containing salts of iron, served by a 'Dipper' in costume. Don’t worry the water is tested monthly by our Environmental Health Officer!

Tunbridge Wells Common and surrounding countryside provided the perfect setting for healthy walks and rides to complete the cure.

Discover how the town started to develop and became a favourite destination for fashionable society who came to see and be seen as they promenaded on the walks.

The rapid increase of visitors resulted in the demand for lodgings, places of worship, coffee houses, gambling rooms and venues for regular dances, balls and music evenings to cater for the influx.

In the 1600s the earliest tourist souvenir industry began in Tunbridge Wells which featured ‘Tunbridge Ware’, a type of decoratively inlaid woodwork – quite in demand by collectors now. Tunbridge Ware could be made into large pieces of furniture such as tables and desks, to small objects such as a napkin ring. Early examples were small and often decorated with places of local interest.

Richard (Beau) Nash appointed himself as master of ceremonies, responsible for all the entertainments that Tunbridge Wells had to offer. He remained in this position until his death in 1762, and under his patronage the town reached the height of its popularity as a fashionable resort that was to rival Bath.

Ask us about our private tours - we can cater for groups of any size and age range and can tailor the content of your tour to the particular interests of your group. We also offer tours in languages other than English.


THE TUNBRIDGE WELLS MUSEUM & ART GALLERY

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery provide fascinating school workshops

Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery offers many cross-curricular learning experiences designed to be educational, practical and fun. Session themes span the entire curriculum, not just history, and are lead by experienced museum educators capable of delivering to any age group.

Museum learning is about creating a real hands-on experience for learners (no matter what their age) and that is why all of the sessions are based on the real collection and most involve the chance to handle real objects and create real art.

For more information, visit the website.

Please note: From September 2018 the Museum Learning Service will be available as an outreach service.


OUTDOOR LEARNING IN GROSVENOR & HILBERT PARK

Outdoor learning for school children at Grosvenor & Hilbert Park | Tunbridge Wells

Pond Dipping - KS1 and KS2+

Uncover the underwater world that lives in the wetland pools, from newts to dragonfly larvae. The park has two large dipping platforms that are ideal for safely exploring the aquatic environment, allowing groups to get up close and personal with a great variety of wetland wildlife.

Stream Dipping - KS1 and KS2+

Discover an underwater world thriving in the woodland streams, from freshwater shrimp to cased caddisfly larvae. The park is home to two healthy streams that flow through the park’s Ancient Woodland. Each child will learn how to identify what they have caught from their own kick-sampling.

For both these guided programmes, KS2 groups will learn about how the creatures have adapted to live in the underwater world, as well as learning to key out the invertebrates.

For this visit a class (of around 30) will be split into 2 groups, one taking part in the dipping and the other in another one of the self-led activities, before swapping over.

Bug Hunting - KS1 and KS2+

Learn how to distinguish between your grasshoppers and crickets, butterflies and moths, and hoverflies and bees. The park is home to a wide variety of habitats, providing a haven for a mix of different invertebrates. Children will get the opportunity to catch and identify a range of different invertebrates. With the help of an experienced staff member, children will learn why bees buzz, crickets bite and why a harvestman isn’t a spider!

For this visit a class (of around 30) will be split into 2 groups, one taking part in self-led bug hunting in the woodland whilst the other is led by a staff member to uncover the invertebrates that can be found in the park’s meadows, before swapping over.

Apples and their Pollinators - KS1 and KS2

Available from the 2018 Autumn term onwards

Thanks to the collaboration with the National Fruit Show, we are able to offer a session that engages children into the world of apples and their pollinators; combining, science, geography, biology and healthy eating into one half day session. Children will get a chance to learn about the year in the life of an apple tree, make their own apple juice, and learn to identify some of the park’s orchard trees and discover who pollinates them.

This session works best if booked by 2 classes at once as this session is split into two, half of which will take place in the park’s community orchard and half in the community room with the park as a backdrop.

This session will include 1 x TWBC staff and 1 x National Fruit Show staff member. Please note, the National Fruit Show is a free service for schools, the cost of this session covers the cost of the hire for the community room in the park. Please contact National Fruit Show for a free in-school visit.

Please note for this session you are booking with both Grosvenor & Hilbert Park and The National Fruit Show. Your information therefore will be shared with The National Fruit Show when you make a booking. The National Fruit Show is organised by the Marden Fruit Show Society CIO, registered charity number 1168291

Forest Schools - EYFS, KS1 and KS2

Take part in Forest School in the park’s Ancient Woodland, led by a Level 3 Forest School trained staff member. Sessions are catered to the needs of the group and can take part over a period of several weeks or can be one off sessions. For more information contact the park’s Community Engagement Officer - details below.

Bug Hunts for School Trips in Grosvenor and Hilbert Park | Tunbridge Wells

Self-led programmes

Bug Hunting

The park is home to a wide variety of invertebrates from broad-bodied chaser (dragonflies) to the brimstone butterfly, which can be found in the park’s meadows, wetlands and the Ancient Woodland. These are all easy to access for groups, being only a short walk away from one of the many park entrances.

For a self-led programme you can hire out 10 sweep nets, along with ID charts and bug pots. Bug hunting in the meadows is only available between May and October, however during the winter months bug hunting is still available in the woodland.

Nature Themed Brass Rubbing Trail

The park has 10 brass rubbings located around the park. There is an educational leaflet (including a map of each of the rubbings) that goes with this trail enabling groups to learn about the park’s habitats as they collect the rubbings. The rubbings allow groups to explore the different habitats that can be found in the park with an interactive twist. This self- led activity is provided free of charge for all groups

Other activity arrangements

If you are arranging to visit the park with a school or group, please contact the Community Engagement Officer, as soon as you know when you would like to come. Once we are aware of your visit, we will be able to work with you to make sure your visit runs as smoothly and safely as possible.

Where to find us

The park is located North of Tunbridge Wells, just South of High Brooms train station. The park is made up of two main parts, the well visited southerly edge with play area, café and football pitches, and the more northerly edge with Hilbert Woods Local Nature Reserve.

The two main entrances to the park are found on Rochdale Road (TN1 2JB) and Hilbert Road (TN2 3SF). The park is a 20 minute walk from the centre of Tunbridge Wells.

To book email the Community Engagement Officer on: steff.dagorne@tunbridgewells.gov.uk or call: 01892 554006.

Costs for groups

½ Day = 1 x Guided programme (1-2 hours) £40

Each guided programme includes: 1 x staff member, all equipment required, session for max 34 children, activity risk assessment/s required

Equipment hire for ½ day £30 + equipment deposit

Download the full Grosvenor & Hilbert Park Schools Offer to view and print at your convenience.


HOW LIBRARIES CAN HELP PRIMARY & SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Library services support school learning in Tunbridge Wells Borough

Library services support the improvement of reading & literacy, & enhance learning across the whole curriculum. They can help you bring books & reading to life in your classroom to improve your pupils’ attainment, stimulate their imaginations & provide for their language needs.

We offer school age children the following services free of charge:

  • individual library cards
  • access to a wide range of story & information books for children of all ages & abilities, plus all free library services including storysacks, audio books, eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers with free ordering for under 18
  • opportunity for children up to year seven to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge & keep their reading habit up over the long summer break – runs in all Kent libraries and is free
  • free access to library computers. Under 16’s need internet permission from their parent / carer
  • Library Treasures App – encouraging children to read & review books while playing games
  • free printouts or photocopies for homework support for all children and teenagers in full-time education (up to 5 A4 sheets a day)
  • free online resources for individual students (not for classroom use, as licensing doesn’t cover that)
  • online Ask a Kent Librarian service to support homework (& much more)
  • volunteering opportunities for young people to support the local community - a great way of gaining new skills and experiences.

We offer schools the following services free of charge:

  • school cards for teachers to borrow up to 50 books and other items for a longer loan period (up to 8 weeks). Choose from a wide range of books from any Kent library or online to support your students’ needs, including storysacks, books in other community languages and resources to support people with dyslexia
  • introductory talks promoting library services, by library staff in the library or at school (advanced booking needed)
  • visits to the library guided by teaching staff (advanced notice needed to ensure your class gets the best experience)
  • “Teachers’ toolkit” to assist with library visits.

We also offer schools the following chargeable services:

  • Enhanced Sessions on themes of your choice (eg exploring the local history resources) at the library, your school or other venues to support your curriculum. For details visit the Library pages on the Edukent website.

For more information on any of the above contact www.kent.gov.uk/libs  or 03000 41 31 31 / Text Relay: 18001 03000 413131


TRINITY THEATRE

Trinity Theatre Workshops for Schools | Royal Tunbridge Wells

Trinity Theatre offers a variety of programmes, deals and workshops for primary, secondary and SEN schools. Discounted tickets, private screenings and theatre tours can be arranged with the Youth and Learning team, and are a great way to get to know the theatre and see what happens behind the scenes. We can also create bespoke workshops for primary and secondary schools, focusing on a wide range of arts media.

Additionally, we are proud to be a partner for Speech Bubbles, a programme which helps those in school years 1 and 2 (ages 5-7) with communication needs through specialised drama workshops which focus around stories created by the children themselves.

For more information, please visit www.trinitytheatre.net/participate/education

Email us at education@trinitytheatre.net 01892 500673


ASSEMBLY HALL THEATRE

Assembly Hall Theatre Workshops for Schools | Royal Tunbridge Wells

Assembly Hall Theatre is a 1,000-seat, multi-purpose venue in the heart of Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

We’re committed to bringing an exciting and eclectic variety of theatre, music, comedy, family and entertainment events from around the world to south east England – encouraging everyone in the local community to participate in the arts.

Schools and Group rates are available for most productions. Theatre tours, talks and workshops are available for booking for schools and groups, as well as educational workshops.

Contact the Creative Learning Manager, 01892 554221, http://www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk/


If your organisation offers services for schools, and would like to be listed here, please email us, touristinformationcentre@tunbridgewells.gov.uk 


Highlights

Summer nights - Jazz on the Pantiles - photography David Hodgkinson

Jazz on the Pantiles featuring Project Five

Live Music on the Pantiles every Thursday from 7pm during the Summer.

Discover the town on a guided walking tour of the town

Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Guided Walks of Tunbridge Wells every Thursday and Saturday from April to End of...

Discover the town on a guided walking tour of the town

Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells

Guided Walks of Tunbridge Wells every Thursday and Saturday from April to End of...

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