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!

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 Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells to your Itinerary

    Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    We regret that the guided walking tour on Thursday 12 April has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. The next walking tour will take place on Saturday 14th April.

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

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  2. Add Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells to your Itinerary

    Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

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

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  3. Add Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells to your Itinerary

    Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

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

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Add Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells to your Itinerary

    Guided Walking Tour of Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret that today's guided walk has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Add Rich Hall's Hoedown at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Rich Hall's Hoedown at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Catch Rich Hall on this second leg of his acclaimed new tour.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  10. Add Outside Edge at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Outside Edge at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Delighting fans of theatre (and cricket) ever since its premiere in 1979, Outside Edge is a hilarious satire of a seemingly idyllic, quintessentially English community.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Add Surgery through the Centuries at Penshurst Place & Gardens to your Itinerary

    Surgery through the Centuries at Penshurst Place & Gardens

    Penshurst

    Ideal for those with a strong stomach and an interest in the macabre! Discover a myriad of surgical procedures from throughout the centuries with the help of Hands on History for an eye-opening, and often squelchy, look at just how far modern medicine has come!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  14. Add Not-So-Spooky Storytelling at Penshurst Place & Gardens to your Itinerary

    Not-So-Spooky Storytelling at Penshurst Place & Gardens

    Penshurst

    Ideal for smaller scarers, this not-so-spooky storytelling is a fantastic interactive show led by Aardvark Productions who encourage all of their audience to come dressed for the occasion in their best horror costumes!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  15. Add The Greatest Showman - Open Air Cinema at The Spa Hotel to your Itinerary

    The Greatest Showman - Open Air Cinema at The Spa Hotel

    Tunbridge Wells

    Watch the film that has everyone talking, The Greatest Showman, on the Big Screen under the stars on 7th September 2018.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  16. Bore Place Holiday Club – A Small Mammals Day

    Add Bore Place Holiday Club – A Small Mammals Day to your Itinerary

    Bore Place Holiday Club – A Small Mammals Day

    Chiddingstone, Edenbridge

    Come to Bore Place and help check humane small mammal traps to see mice and voles close up and learn how to tell them apart before releasing them safely back into the wild.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  17. Bore Place Holiday Club - The Magic of Minibeasts

    Add Bore Place Holiday Club - The Magic of Minibeasts to your Itinerary

    Bore Place Holiday Club - The Magic of Minibeasts

    Chiddingstone, Edenbridge

    Head to Bore Place for a day checking the moth trap, chasing butterflies through the wildflower meadows, catching grasshoppers, turning over logs, and dipping nets into one of the many ponds.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  18. Add Road to Mongolia Charity Quiz Night in Langton Green to your Itinerary

    Road to Mongolia Charity Quiz Night in Langton Green

    Langton Green

    This summer the Slow Search Engine team will be driving all the way from Tunbridge Wells to Mongolia in a 1997 Nissan Micra! The fundraising challenge is to answer questions on the 24 countries we will be visiting - without using the internet!

    Type

    Competition / Game

    Dates

  19. Add Summer Celebration of Great Opera at Burrswood to your Itinerary

    Summer Celebration of Great Opera at Burrswood

    Tunbridge Wells

    Matchbox Opera returns to Burrswood to celebrate summer with a sparkling selection of familiar, and one or two perhaps less familiar arias and choruses from their fantastic repertoire.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  20. Add Crazy Jeans Soapbox at Dunorlan Park to your Itinerary

    Crazy Jeans Soapbox at Dunorlan Park

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come to Dunorlan Park on Saturday 16th June and get involved with the all-day fundraising extravaganza Crazy Jean's Soapbox Race.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

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