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 Abbamania at The Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Abbamania at The Assembly Hall Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    Abbamania, Europe’s leading ABBA tribute, are bringing their outstanding vocals and musical performance to the Assembly Hall Theatre, continuing to entertain audiences live on stage.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  2. 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

  3. Add Richard Durrant 'Stringhenge' Album Launch Tour at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Richard Durrant 'Stringhenge' Album Launch Tour at Trinity Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    In his latest offering 'STRINGHENGE' (double album releasing September 2018), Shoreham composer and guitar virtuoso Richard Durrant is once again living on the folk/classical cusp with the first of these two L.Ps featuring a collection of solo instrumentals.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

    Venue

    Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre, Royal Tunbridge Wells

  4. Add Macmillan coffee morning to your Itinerary

    Macmillan coffee morning

    Brenchley, Tonbridge

    Macmillan coffee morning, at Grays 28th September 2018, any cake makers out, there wishing to donate a cake or cup cakes for this good cause, cakes will be sold at Grays all day on the 28th, to raise money for Macmillan. Thank you.

    Type

    Sale

    Dates

  5. Add Piano Trio to your Itinerary

    Piano Trio

    3 Warwick place, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Piano trio at King Charles the Martyr on Saturday 20th October, 7:30pm

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  6. Add ELO Again at the Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    ELO Again at the Assembly Hall Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    A Night of ELO with ELO Again, giving you a dramatic experience of what the classic ELO were like in their heyday. A professional re-enactment of an ELO concert with great sound reproduction, light show and visual effects.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

    Venue

    Assembly Hall Theatre, Royal Tunbridge Wells

  7. Add Broadwood Charity Concert At Finchcocks Musical Museum to your Itinerary

    Broadwood Charity Concert At Finchcocks Musical Museum

    Goudhurst

    Finchcocks has once again opened its doors to the public for the first of their 2018 musical concerts this May.

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  8. Add A Baroque Bouquet at St Dunstan's Church to your Itinerary

    A Baroque Bouquet at St Dunstan's Church

    Cranbrook

    Baroque music concert including the works of Telemann, Handel, Couperin and CPE Bach

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  9. Add Coffee Morning & Horse Training Demonstration at Risebridge Farm to your Itinerary

    Coffee Morning & Horse Training Demonstration at Risebridge Farm

    Goudhurst

    Jason Webb, international horse trainer, opens his yard to the public each month to demonstrate his techniques for training starter and remedial horses.

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

  10. Add Luxury Retreat for Mums at Finchcocks to your Itinerary

    Luxury Retreat for Mums at Finchcocks

    Goudhurst

    10 of Zen have teamed with Finchcocks to create a two day retreat for 10-12 ladies looking to "switch off" and be refreshed.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  11. Add Guided Walks on the Pantiles as part of Heritage Open Days to your Itinerary

    Guided Walks on the Pantiles as part of Heritage Open Days

    The Pantiles, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Heritage Open Day Event

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  12. 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

  13. Add Terry Pratchett's Mort at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Terry Pratchett's Mort at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    This amateur perfomance by the Trinity Youth Theatre will delight audiences as it brings to life the much loved Terry Pratchett story of Mort, Death's new apprentice.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  14. Add The Hunting of the Snark Outdoor Theatre at Bedgebury National Pinetum to your Itinerary

    The Hunting of the Snark Outdoor Theatre at Bedgebury National Pinetum

    Goudhurst

    Based on characters from Lewis Carroll's famous poem "The Hunting of the Snark", outdoor theatre company Burn the Curtain, will take you on an unforgettable trail through the trees at Bedgebury National Pinetum this October half term.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  15. Add Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fair at King Charles The Martyr to your Itinerary

    Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fair at King Charles The Martyr

    Tunbridge Wells

    The original quality vintage fair in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, full of beautiful vintage fashion from the 1920 to 1980s, antique jewellery, hats, handbags, period home-ware, original records, menswear, and small furniture.

    Type

    Markets

    Dates

  16. Add Tunbridge Wells Jazz Club at the Masonic Hall to your Itinerary

    Tunbridge Wells Jazz Club at the Masonic Hall

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The New Orleans Z'Hulus -. international players based in Belgium

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  17. Add Wild Child Halloween Spooktacular at Salomons to your Itinerary

    Wild Child Halloween Spooktacular at Salomons

    Southborough, Tunbridge Wells

    Come and get your spook on this Halloween at the Wild Child Halloween Spooktacular. Bought to you by the organisers of the popular Woodlands Festival, you can expect banging beats and entertainment to tire out even the most ghoulish girls and beastly boys!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  18. Add 'Saints & Sinners' - The SpikeDrivers to your Itinerary

    'Saints & Sinners' - The SpikeDrivers

    Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells

    The SpikeDrivers, joined by Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke, will be performing an evening of blues, gospel and soul music with influences from Muddy Waters to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and more!

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  19. Add Gin Express on the Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Gin Express on the Spa Valley Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Partnering up with Anno Distillers, based in Marden, Kent, The Spa Valley Railway proudly presents their first Gin Express train which will travel between Tunbridge Wells West Station and Groombridge on Friday 31st August 2018.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  20. Add Legend to your Itinerary

    Legend

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Enjoy the authentic taste of Jamaican sunshine in a compelling two-hour treat, filled with the magic of Marley’s music, topped with a truly talented cast that have performed all over the world.

    Legend – The Music of Bob Marley, really does capture the charisma and culture of an icon, gone too…

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

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