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 Hal Cruttenden: Chubster at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Hal Cruttenden: Chubster at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    After a 2 year hiatus from touring, one of the UK's most popular TV and live comedians is back with a new show entitled 'Chubster' coming to Trinity Theatre this November.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  2. Christmas Circus Spectacular at Groombridge Place

    Groombridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The timeless magic of the Circus is rolling into town this Christmas and pitching its Big Top in the stunning grounds of Groombridge Place.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  3. Add Live Music at Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill to your Itinerary

    Live Music at Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill

    Tunbridge wells

    Jazz Trio playing jazz standards, Latin and funk.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  4. Add Live Music at Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill to your Itinerary

    Live Music at Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill

    Tunbridge wells

    Come along to Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill to enjoy an evening of delicious food and drink and a captivating live performance by Charley Blue.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  5. Ho Ho Hospice Rumble

    Add Ho Ho Hospice Rumble to your Itinerary

    Ho Ho Hospice Rumble

    Tonbridge

    Join Hospice in the Weald for our Ho Ho Hospice Rumble around the beautiful grounds of The Schools at Somerhill and raise money for your local Hospice.

    Type

    Sporting Event

    Dates

  6. Add TWODS present 'Hello, Dolly!' to your Itinerary

    TWODS present 'Hello, Dolly!'

    Tunbridge Wells

    A fantastic night's entertainment as we take you back in time to the world of Dolly Levi, a professional matchmaker & meddler! Featuring some great tunes, such as Put On Your Sunday Clothes & Before the Parade Passes By, sure to have you tapping your feet .. Don't miss Broadway's favourite musical…

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  7. Capture Christmas on Camera Workshop at Burrswood

    Add Capture Christmas on Camera Workshop at Burrswood to your Itinerary

    Capture Christmas on Camera Workshop at Burrswood

    Tunbridge Wells

    Full day workshop Thursday 15th November 10am-4pm £60

    With international photographer Sharron Goodyear, bring your SLR camera or iPhone to learn the basics of good photography with a Christmas theme.

    All events are held in the Orangery overlooking our beautiful grounds. Tea/coffee & pastries…

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  8. Add Blues with Bottle Club - Steve James to your Itinerary

    Blues with Bottle Club - Steve James

    Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells

    Steve James is an American bluesman - prolific songwriter, soulful singer and incredible fingerpicking and slide guitarist, now on tour in the U.K. This is a unique chance to see him up close and personal! www.stevejames.com

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  9. Add Film: Journey's End (2017) Rusthall Community Cinema to your Itinerary

    Film: Journey's End (2017) Rusthall Community Cinema

    Tunbridge Wells

    Free screening to mark the centenary of the WW1 armistice.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  10. World War One Commemoration Concert at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra is presenting a concert to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  11. Add "Funny Girl" The Musical Recorded Transmission at The Trinity to your Itinerary

    "Funny Girl" The Musical Recorded Transmission at The Trinity

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come and watch a special showing of the West End smash-hit "Funny Girl" The Musical on Thursday 22nd November at The Trinity Theatre.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  12. Add Snow Play at The Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Snow Play at The Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    How much do you love snow? When Winter decides to turn up, move in and never leave, you'll soon find out!

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  13. Add Hospice in the Weald's Christmas Market to your Itinerary

    Hospice in the Weald's Christmas Market

    Pembury, Tunbridge Wells

    Kick off the festive season with our Christmas Market with over 45 stalls, craft workshops and Santa's Grotto - the perfect opportunity to get in to the Christmas spirit and find wonderful presents for your friends and family, while also supporting the Hospice.

    Type

    Markets

    Dates

  14. Add Rusthall Community Cinema presents The General (1926) to your Itinerary

    Rusthall Community Cinema presents The General (1926)

    Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells

    The General is Buster Keaton's iconic silent action comedy. Presented with live accompaniment by Costas Fotopoulos, enjoy this all-time great at it's best.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  15. Add Puccini's La Boheme Matchbox Opera at Burrswood to your Itinerary

    Puccini's La Boheme Matchbox Opera at Burrswood

    Tunbridge Wells

    Puccini's classic love story will be performed by Matchbox Opera at Burrswood this November.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  16. Add Pop Up Christmas Fair at One Warwick Park Hotel to your Itinerary

    Pop Up Christmas Fair at One Warwick Park Hotel

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come along to the Pop Up Christmas Fairs at One Warwick Park and find the perfect Christmas gifts or simply treat yourself!

    Type

    Fete / Fair

    Dates

  17. Add St Dunstan's Church Christmas Fair Cranbrook to your Itinerary

    St Dunstan's Church Christmas Fair Cranbrook

    Cranbrook

    A festive Christmas Fair at St Dunstan's Church, Cranbrook

    Type

    Fete / Fair

    Dates

  18. Add Christmas Lights Switch On - Brenchley to your Itinerary

    Christmas Lights Switch On - Brenchley

    Brenchley

    Christmas Lights Switch on 6pm under the grand old oak tree on the High Street.

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

  19. Add Christmas Gift Shop at Penshurst Place & Gardens to your Itinerary

    Christmas Gift Shop at Penshurst Place & Gardens

    Penshurst

    Get away from the high street this Christmas and visit the quaint Christmas Gift Shop.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  20. Add Christmas Farmers Market in Cranbrook to your Itinerary

    Christmas Farmers Market in Cranbrook

    Cranbrook

    Christmas Farmers Market in Vestry Hall, Cranbrook

    Type

    Markets

    Dates

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