Welcome to the historic market town of Cranbrook

Welcome to the historic market town of Cranbrook

by David Hodgkinson

Shopping in Tunbridge Wells

Tunbridge Wells is renowned for its shopping because it offers a truly unique experience!

The combination of specialist shops and famous high street names, in a charming and historic setting, makes the town a very popular destination for shoppers, especially those looking to blend a little bit of retail therapy with a spa break or sumptuous meal.

Royal Tunbridge Wells is home to one of the 2018 Beautiful South Festival Finalists and 2018 Great British High Street Finalists: The Pantiles. Not any old covered shopping mall but a beautiful open-air promenade surrounded by the original stylish Georgian shop buildings.

You will not be disappointed as there are so many independently owned boutiques that are 'not on the high street' in any other parts of the country and selling enchanting 'objets' just as desirable as Harrods!

Whether it's a select gift, some fabulous homeware, piece of art, memorabilia or an exclusive item of clothing for a special occasion, you're guaranteed to find it in Tunbridge Wells.

Where to shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells

The main shopping areas are described in more detail on the High Street (a short wander from the station), The Pantiles and Royal Victoria Place pages.

However, there are a few other places which merit exploring. 

Chapel Place is a hidden gem, this pedestrianised street, linking the High Street and The Pantiles is full of gorgeous independent and specialist shops. Find wonderful homewares, amazing antiquarian books, luxuriously lovely jewellery and stylish boutiques.  Be warned, a trip to the Chapel Place Wine & Gin Bar might take a while, they stock more than 120 tempting gins as well as a superb wine list! 

To the north of the town, St John's Road, has a selection of gift shops, antiques and home interiors stores as well as cafés to rest the weary shoppers’ feet. This area is a popular community for locals. To see a full list of the shops located on St John's Road, click here.

Going along St John’s Road towards the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells is the 'top end' of town, Mount Ephraim, Calverley Road, and Mount Pleasant. These are home to many well known brands such as Hobbs, Lush and Superdry as well as numerous smaller, exciting, independent boutiques.

Click one of the links below to view the full list of shops:

Mount Ephraim on the hill (which means views!) and the home of Isabella Grace, one of the loveliest wedding dress shops in town.

Calverley Road, beyond the pedestrianised area, has a few shops like Sussex Beds and Catchpole & Rye, and nice little restaurants, mainly Asian.

Mount Pleasant Road, a wide avenue with large plane trees, has the oldest gentleman’s clothes shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells and the shop with the oldest gentleman’s clothes salesman (possibly in the UK?) – they are not the same shop!

Ladies clothes shops include Jigsaw, Jones Bootmakers, Russell and Bromley and Phase Eight as well as our own department store, Hoopers.

Hoopers is a grand old fashioned shopping experience where a number of celebs are known to shop here thanks to the excellent customer service.

At the bottom of Mount Pleasant opposite the Railway Station is The Great Hall Shopping Arcade, an attractive historic French Empire Style building dating from 1872. This houses BBC Radio Kent.

"Aladdin's Cave"

Camden Road and Monson Road make one long street which goes across Calverley Road.

They have an original, buzzy atmosphere normally found in grand cities - full of eclectic, quirky shops.

Click one of the links below to view the full list of shops in:

Camden Road – really, you will be amazed at the wonderful finds down here, definitely one for browsing along.

Monson Road - a short balconied range of shops looking very regal with two of the town’s favourites: Jeremy’s Home Stores (aka Aladdin’s Cave for fans of kitch fun!), and Saltmarsh (a goldmine of art materials).

Many of the outlying towns and villages in the area also offer an artisan alternative to shopping in the town centre with their distinctive characters and designs.

Cranbrook, Hawkhurst and the Wealden Villages are well worth a visit for their selection of small specialist shops, antique shops and cafés - exceptional places to seek out local specialities or a souvenir of the area to take home.

Accommodation, Parking & Getting Around

If you are planning on doing a spot of retail therapy, why not book some accommodation and make it a mid-week or weekend mini-break.

In Tunbridge Wells we are blessed to have a range of quality hotelsbed and breakfasts, and  self-catering properties, many within a 5 minute walk from the town centres and key shopping locations.

Click here for information on parking and car parks specifically for Tunbridge Wells shopping.

There are any number of buses that will whizz you around the town. One such bus is the green Arriva 281 town bus service in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

This provides a convenient and regular service from Royal Victoria Place and Calverley Road to The Pantiles.

Running every 12 minutes, the service is ideal for shoppers who want to visit both ends of the town. You can read more here about getting around.

Accessible Shopping

Shopmobility is a local charity which hires out powered scooters and manual wheelchairs for use in the town centre.  All details are on our Accessibility page

Farmers' Markets

A market takes place on The Pantiles in Royal Tunbridge Wells on the first and third weekends of each month from 10am to 4pm.

Our local stallholders sell flavoursome local produce, artisan crafts and gifts. Arrive early before they sell out!

See our page on Markets for more information about these and other nearby village markets.

Sunday and Late Night Shopping

On Sundays, the shops in Royal Victoria Place, some in Calverley Road, Mount Pleasant Road, the High Street and The Pantiles are open from 10:30am to 4:30pm for a leisurely stroll around the town.

The 'Search Shopping' box on the right will guide you to your purchases.

Use the 'Keyword' box to search for shops in Tunbridge Wells by shop name, road name/area or by item.

Late night shopping in Royal Tunbridge Wells is on Thursdays until 8pm in Royal Victoria Place and for some shops in Calverley Road and Mount Pleasant Road.

Retail Parks

Slightly out of town in an area known as High Brooms (near the station of the same name) is a number of large department stores such as John Lewis at Home, Marks and Spencer Food and Home, Next, Homesense and more.  The full list is here

The Arriva bus number 277 travels to High Brooms (also known as North Farm and Fountains Retail Park) from Royal Tunbridge Wells and is only a 15 minute journey.  Alternatively it is one stop on the train from Royal Tunbridge Wells or Tonbridge.

Further Recommendations

If you are planning on shopping in Royal Tunbridge Wells, then we highly recommend you explore the town whilst you are here and enjoy the numerous different things to do and places to eat.

In terms of food and drink, there are many excellent restaurantspubs and bars that serve amazing meals and refreshments all day and if it's things to see you are interested in, we urge you to pay a visit to The Chalybeate Spring in the Pantiles as well as Calverley Grounds.

Last but not least, there are always different types of events taking place so we suggest you take a look at our 'whats on' page to get a list of up-coming events that interest you.

Shopping Highlights

Royal Victoria Place

Royal Victoria Place

West Kent’s largest shopping centre, Royal Victoria Place is located at the heart of…

Hoopers department store has it's own restaurant in Royal Tunbridge Wells

Hoopers Department Store

Independent department store.

Trevor Mottram Kitchenware - Shopping on the Pantiles

Trevor Mottram

Kitchen accessories

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