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

Here we provide a brief overview of annual and typical events in and around Tunbridge Wells. Tunbridge Wells is almost always abuzz with things to do and see.

Events for every season

With such a local interest in culture and a variety of town and country attractions there is something happening somewhere in the borough throughout the year.

Every week, there are a huge variety of events in Tunbridge Wells such as music, comedy, art exhibitions, local sports or outdoor events and festivals as well as theatre productions inside and out.

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. 

This is just a small taster of what is going on, from May onwards there is a fiesta of festivals, the search tool will give you a full picture of over 100 events including ticket prices.

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 cinemas and the theatres 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.

Join the lively, characterful parade and see the enormous eye-popping paper lanterns, all home-made and bright, like the zebra, tiger and dragon of past years.

Afterwards, warm up with hot chocolate or dinner in one of the local cafés or restaurants.

Half term and Valentines events also dominate the What’s On scene. Romantic Valentine dinners and hotel packages adorn the calendar. There’s nowhere more romantic than a weekend in the gentle Kent country.

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

Mad on March

Mother’s Day and early Spring flowers are the theme this month.

Mouth-watering 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

There are lots of theatrical companies, operas, orchestras, and ballets touring or broadcasting live from places like the Royal Opera House and National Theatre at this time, so look out for those.

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.

Most of all, the gorgeous gardens and flowers are opening up into their most magnificent, look out for the special events.

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.

From May onwards, festivals going on are live music, family, literary, art, food…take your pick! Unfest is one of the live music festivals that takes place during May and it's all in Royal Tunbridge Wells.

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.

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.

Jaunty June

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

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

To celebrate Father’s Day, most of the attractions have special events and offers on, so do check our listings to spoil Daddy. 

Jubilant July

Long light evenings at last and everywhere feels more alive. Jazz on the Pantiles starts up, see our Festival page.

Now is time to explore the villages of Tunbridge Wells and enjoy the energy and beauty of the area as well as the local pub gardens. 

School holidays mean plenty of goings on for the kids all over the borough. 

Visit Groombridge Place and the Enchanted Gardens for crazy outdoor antics or the Spa Valley Railway for a traditional train ride.

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 (yes, another bank holiday!), a chance to listen to some real live local music.

Surreal September

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

The annual Royal Tunbridge Wells Food Month is a fantastic line up of foodie events for trying out the sumptuous local delicacies.

Theatres and art gallery exhibitions are calmer.  Dahlia Days at Pashley Manor is a highlight to end this season.

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!

Outstanding October

As the temperatures drop, don't panic! 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 very popular for adults and children.  Gasp in horror at murderous theatre at The Trinity Theatre, scream at the bands in The Forum music venue, whilst most of the larger attractions have Hallowe’en themed activities, 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.

Dazzling 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 Together Christmas Festivities programme and Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds.

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

Don’t wait! You only live once

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! And we’ll retweet it too from @TWellsTourism.

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  1. Add Local and Live at The Forum to your Itinerary

    Local and Live at The Forum

    Tunbridge Wells

    Local and Live is a fantastic music festival which takes place in Royal Tunbridge Wells each year over the bank holiday weekend in August from the last Friday in August to Bank Holiday Monday. The festival takes place at The Forum, well-known music venue, and features a wide range of music; what's…

    Type

    Festival

    Dates

  2. Add Twilight Ensemble at King Charles the Martyr to your Itinerary

    Twilight Ensemble at King Charles the Martyr

    3 Warwick Park, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    As part of the Tunbridge Wells International Music Festival, the Twilight Ensemble performs at King Charles the Martyr Church.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  3. Add A Celebration of Neil Diamond to your Itinerary

    A Celebration of Neil Diamond

    Royal Tunbridge Wells


    The legacy of hits such as Sweet Caroline, Love On The Rocks and Forever In Blue Jeans evoke memories in all of us, back to a time when the singer-songwriter regularly ruled the charts.


    Wayne Denton fronts this live concert, faithfully recreating the songs, atmosphere and evoking memories of the…

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

  4. Gardeners' Question Time - Trinity Theatre

    Add Gardeners' Question Time - Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Gardeners' Question Time - Trinity Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    Gardeners' Question Time will be held on the 19th of September at Trinity Theatre and will be hosted by Horticultural experts Helen Yemm, Peter Chapman and Steve Moore. As with every year this fabulous and fascinating event is a fund-raiser for Cancer Research UK.

    Dates

  5. Add Rhythm of the Dance to your Itinerary

    Rhythm of the Dance

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come and experience the very best of Irish culture right here in the centre of Tunbridge Wells at the Assembly Hall Theatre. Rhythm of the Dance is a fully live show that celebrates Irish culture through music and dance, featuring world champions, a traditional Irish band, singers and a highly…

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  6. Three Sisters at the Trinity Theatre

    Add Three Sisters at the Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Three Sisters at the Trinity Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    The Trinity Theatre Club are presenting Chekhov's Three Sisters from the 16th to the 20th of October. Book your ticket now for a stirring performance which could reveal more about yourself than you know.

    Dates

  7. Seann Walsh: After This One, I'm Going Home - at the Trinity Theatre

    Add Seann Walsh: After This One, I'm Going Home - at the Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Seann Walsh: After This One, I'm Going Home - at the Trinity Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    On the 29th of September, Seann Walsh will perform his brilliant comic show: "After this one, I'm Going Home" at the Trinity Theatre.

    Dates

  8. A Celebration of Sport Exhibition at Trinity Theatre

    Add A Celebration of Sport Exhibition at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    A Celebration of Sport Exhibition at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1JP

    This Celebration of Sport will feature prints and memorabillia honouring our favourite sporting heros from Roger Federer to Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Type

    Exhibition

    Dates

  9. Add Open Air Theatre - Merchant of Venice performed by Illyria to your Itinerary

    Open Air Theatre - Merchant of Venice performed by Illyria

    Tunbridge Wells

    Shakespeare's great courtroom drama is by turns thrilling, funny, romantic and unsettling. International award-winning Illyria promise a production to keep you on the edge of your seat!

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  10. Add Live Transmission:Everybody's Talking About Jamie at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Live Transmission:Everybody's Talking About Jamie at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Nominated for 5 Olivier Awards and Winner of 3 What's On Stage Awards, including Best New Musical, "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" will be transmitted live to the Trinity Theatre Tunbridge Wells from the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in London.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  11. Add Rachmaninov's Sonata in G Minor for cello and piano. to your Itinerary

    Rachmaninov's Sonata in G Minor for cello and piano.

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Hear Rachmaninovs's Sonata in G Minor on the cello and piano. Wednesday 26th September, 7:40pm start at the King Charles the Martyr Church.

    Type

    Lecture

    Dates

  12. Superheroes Murder Mystery Dinner at Mercure Hotel

    Add Superheroes Murder Mystery Dinner at Mercure Hotel to your Itinerary

    Superheroes Murder Mystery Dinner at Mercure Hotel

    Pembury, Tunbridge Wells

    Superheros Murder Mystery Dinner Friday 13th July

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  13. Soultrain

    Add Soultrain to your Itinerary

    Soultrain

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Music event

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  14. Add Trinity Youth Theatre Infants Summer Project to your Itinerary

    Trinity Youth Theatre Infants Summer Project

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Over three mornings, professional dance and singing tutors will organise workshops on the songs and routines of The Little Mermaid, finishing with a final performance at Trinity Theatre for family and friends. A more relaxed version of Trinity Theatre's Summer Projects.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  15. Add Volks Weald at Penshurst Place & Gardens to your Itinerary

    Volks Weald at Penshurst Place & Gardens

    Penshurst

    Come and enjoy this celebration of classic Volkswagen, featuring some of the finest examples of their iconic vintage vans.

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

  16. Add Muse Concert Movie at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Muse Concert Movie at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Filmed during multiple performances from Muses’s internationally acclaimed world tour Drones from 2015-16, this spectacular concert movie gives exclusive insight into the band and includes never before seen special effects from their ambitious shows.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  17. Add Film: On Chesil Beach at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Film: On Chesil Beach at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Don’t miss this opportunity to see this highly anticipated adaptation of Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach, showing this July at Trinity Theatre.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  18. Allo Allo Comedy Dining at Mecure Hotel

    Add Allo Allo Comedy Dining at Mecure Hotel to your Itinerary

    Allo Allo Comedy Dining at Mecure Hotel

    pembury, tunbridge well

    Enjoy a 3 course meal with comedy tribute during the meal, a hilarious comedy dinner show not to be missed!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  19. Add An Introduction to Puppetry workshop to your Itinerary

    An Introduction to Puppetry workshop

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Specially commissioned promanade piece, Hall of Dreams, tells the story of the Assembly Hall Theatre in Royal Tunbridge Wells through puppetry, music and performance. It is a collaboration between Assembly Hall Theatre, Herringbourne Arts and the Tunbridge Wells Puppertry Festival. A workshop made…

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  20. Add Hall of Dreams promenade performances to your Itinerary

    Hall of Dreams promenade performances

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Specially commissioned promanade piece, Hall of Dreams, tells the story of the Assembly Hall Theatre in Royal Tunbridge Wells through puppetry, music and performance. It is a collaboration between Assembly Hall Theatre, Herringbourne Arts and the Tunbridge Wells Puppertry Festival.
    Tickets are FREE…

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

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