Scotney Castle in the Garden of England, Tunbridge Wells region

Scotney Castle in the Garden of England, Tunbridge Wells region

a National Trust attraction with lots of family activities

Easter Breaks for Grown Ups in Tunbridge Wells

Need a break? Are you gasping to get away from those digital devices?

Are you hankering after some peace, tranquillity and natural beauty?  We may have the answer for you here in Tunbridge Wells.

Less than an hour from London by train, keep your carbon footprint low with a holiday in Tunbridge Wells.

Visit the most glorious gardens this Spring in Kent

With the flowers almost in full bloom scenting the air and a splash of sunshine as the countryside warms up, you can immerse yourself in the great outdoors.

Easter is not just about the children, this is the time of year when the gardens are waking up to their public.

Spring is when many of the gardens in the Tunbridge Wells area begin to look their best. We have them all: small, unusual, grand, imposing but all are truly glorious.

Shake off the winter blues and lift your spirits in a garden fresh with blossom and emerging spring flowers.

The gardens at Penshurst Place, Pashley Manor, Groombridge Place, Hole Park, Scotney Castle and Chiddingstone Castle and Gardens will surprise and delight.

Top 6 gorgeous gardens near Royal Tunbridge Wells

  1. Visitors to Penshurst Place can enjoy 11 acres of walled and hedged garden rooms that provide a variety of blooms and colour throughout the year.  In contrast to the formal gardens are the ancient crab apple orchard and the Kentish cob garden both playing host to daffodils, tulips, blossom, primroses, cowslips, and other wild flowers and spring bulbs beneath the tree canopies. The parkland surrounds make up to 50 acres of wildlife habitat, good walking and stunning landscapes.
  2. Wander around the peaceful gardens at Pashley Manor, with ancient walled gardens, hidden woodland paths and mesmerising views. The early spring flowers are followed by bluebells, tulips and roses. Luckily this year the Tulip Festival starts straight after the Easter Holiday period when the children go back to school. This is one of our recommended events of the year. 
  3. The tranquil gardens at Hole Park tucked away in the rural area of Kent, near the pretty historic market town of Cranbrook, provide a stunning display of tree blossoms, daffodils, rhododendrons, camellias and magnolia. The bluebells and wisteria of late spring are closely followed by the more vibrant colours of the herbaceous borders in the summer.
  1. Scotney Castle Gardens is a National Trust property, and has been described as a fairy tale castle. Often shrouded in mist due to its position near the river and the encircling moat it lends itself to a mythical feel. Explore the Walled Garden and hear the fortnightly talks about growing fruit and vegetables, see the Sussex Cattle in the wider estate and the 19th century house (separate to the castle) including evidence of occupation from 1137. Dogs are welcome.
  1. Sissinghurst Castle Gardens is also in the National Trust portfolio and was made into the world famous attraction it is today by Vita Sackville-West. The garden ‘rooms’ were painstakingly designed by Vita and her husband, the most renowned of which is the White Garden. Search out Vita’s writing hideaway overlooking the pretty countryside in the corner of the Gardens. The wider estate is open from dawn to dusk where you can admire the cornucopia of spring bulbs - daffodils, crocus, tree blossom - and take your dogs to the dog friendly pond with special dog jumping off ramp!
  1. The gardens at Chiddingstone Castle are delightful all year round. Wander the woodland walks and don’t miss the daffodil spectacular and the display of cherry blossom in the Japanese Earthquake Memorial Orchard.

The Seven Wonders of the Weald Discount Pass is a money saving option to include some the best sights in the area including the National Trust properties above.

For the culture vultures

There is a vibrant cultural scene in Royal Tunbridge Wells with art, theatre, dance, opera, music and comedy to suit young and old.

See some wonderful art and photography exhibitions in the galleries of Tunbridge Wells. Trinity Theatre & Arts Centre has just the ticket to feed the mind with the Colour POP! exhibitions over Easter providing bright perspectives from two artists.

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Art Society has an annual Spring Exhibition too; bookmark this page for confirmation of dates. Pay a visit to our Galleries page to find out about all the galleries in our region.

Theatre lovers, take your pick at the Assembly Hall Theatre or the Trinity Theatre both of which have a varied programme of events during Easter.

Swan Lake is being performed on 3 April by the Vienna Festival Ballet in full costumes with ‘stunning scenery’ at The Assembly Hall Theatre.

If you like Jools Holland he and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra are appearing at the Assembly Hall Theatre at the end of April.

For something else there is Burn the Floor with the Clifton siblings from Strictly Come Dancing, the Choral Society’s presentation of Verdi’s Requiem and the dramatic Mousetrap play, a suspenseful five day run of one of Agatha Christie’s greatest plays.

At Trinity Theatre, Stacey Kent, Grammy nominated vocalist will be performing. Chris Bannister is stopping off on his tour to share the magic of John Denver’s music.

The play Waiting for Godot by Beckett is being performed at the same venue by Theatre Nation, a professional theatre company based in Hastings. Their 2018 tour of Hamlet toured the south coast of England to an enthusiastic response from audiences.

Trinity Comedy Club with dinner will be making its monthly return to showcase Marlon Davis and Adam Morrison on 18 April.

Oscar winning film Parasite is being shown on 8 April and ROH Live is broadcasting Cavalleria Rusticana Pagliacci on screen on 21 April.

Peter Firman and the amazing TBC: Every night the magician will be joined by a different special guest who has no previous conjuring experience. Together they will perform jaw-dropping magic without any rehearsal. Unplanned! Unpredictable! Unwise! “Spellbinding” (The List). “The new poster-boy for British comedy magic” (The Telegraph).

Bumper Blyton: The Improvised Adventure - Bumper Blyton is a riotous improvised spoof chock full of innuendo and lashings of puns, all in the style of the nation’s favourite author, Enid Blyton.  Age 11+ - Blyton for grown ups!

Play – The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard: Henry is a successful playwright. His wife Charlotte, an actress, is appearing in a play by Henry about a couple whose marriage is collapsing. But all is not as it first appears; life seems to be imitating art. What is real and what is illusory?

Something different for Easter

Fancy a Good Friday night dinner out? What about a good old fashioned murrrder? The Mercure Hotel at Pembury is putting on The After Show Party – a participatory event for the detective in you!

More clue hunting can be had in trying to escape from ClueCracker Jailbreak at The Shuffle House pub or take the Time Quest challenge at Paddock Wood’s Hop Farm.

Tasty treats can be discovered and devoured at the new Central Market in the centre of town. Note that they only take card payments, no cash. Sit in amongst everyone else on the wooden benches underneath the fairylights and enjoy being part of something communal, like a street food market.

Clay pigeon shooting, climbing, kayaking, curling, residential piano courses in the country, aqua challenge, meet the brewery and bike hire: all do-able in Tunbridge Wells borough!

Explore on foot - rural Kent at its finest

Whether you are an ambler, a rambler, a stroller or a hiker the countryside is the place to escape to and recharge the batteries.

Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this breath-taking landscape with its patchwork of small fields, historic hedgerows, ancient woodlands, traditional orchards, downland villages and country lanes are all waiting to be explored.

We have suggestions for a number of walks of all lengths. Put your boots and coats on, get lost and discover some amazing wildlife, history and heritage along the way.  The Tunbridge Wells Circular is a good one to do over several days as it is 27.5 miles long.

The Heritage Walking Trail takes you around the town with a leaflet on a self guided walk.

The Chalybeate Spring usually opens on Good Friday – 10 April 2020 – for the summer season. Whether it flows or not is up to Mother Nature! The natural spring is situated in The Pantiles, the pretty historic heart of town so come and take your selfie at our 400+ year old well.

For a group of you book a guided tour from our professional blue badge guides who will open up your eyes and minds to the secrets of the Spa Town!

Beyond Royal Tunbridge Wells

Set amongst a rich agricultural heritage of fruit orchards, hop farms (and hop picking), vineyards, market towns, iron production and cloth weaving, the wider region of Tunbridge Wells possesses a fascinating depth of heritage and history.

Visit Cranbrook Museum for more depth about this area where it’s free to enter and free to park nearby. Only a 40 minute drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells although a bus journey is more relaxing and you can better admire the beauty of the rolling hills and beautiful English countryside.

Cranbrook has a number of cafes, pubs and restaurants in the locality as well as independent boutiques to form a delightful day out in the country.

Take a look at the country tour devised to take you round the best bits of the borough.

Book your accommodation tout de suite, otherwise you’ll be going home earlier than you wanted to!

Happy Easter Travels!

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  1. Add Spa Health to your Itinerary

    Spa Health


    Leisure / Swimming Pool

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Indoor heated swimming pool 10m, two gymnasiums,
    Steam room and saunas and floodlit tennis court
    There are Qualified Personal Trainers on site

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