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 is music, comedy, 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 April Fools' Easter Storytelling at Penshurst Place & Gardens to your Itinerary

    April Fools' Easter Storytelling at Penshurst Place & Gardens

    Penshurst

    Sessions at 1pm, 1.45pm and 2.30pm
    It's not just us people who get tricked on April Fools' Day! Younger children will delight in Storytelling by Aardvark Productions, as they perform a tale about the very silly Easter Rabbit and the funny trick he fell for!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    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 End of Season

    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 End of Season

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  4. 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 End of Season

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  5. 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 End of Season

    Type

    Guided Walk

    Dates

  6. Add Friday Fun at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery to your Itinerary

    Friday Fun at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery

    Mount Pleasant, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Monthly free drop-in art, craft and storytelling sessions for 2-5 year olds with an accompanying adult.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  7. Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra with Stephen Hough at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Add Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra with Stephen Hough at Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra with Stephen Hough at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The March RTWSO concert will include Mozart, Beethoven and Sibelius.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  8. Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra with Martin James Bartlett at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Add Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra with Martin James Bartlett at Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra with Martin James Bartlett at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    RTWSO are proud to present an all-Russian programme including Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No.3, performed by Martin James Bartlett, Tchaikovsky's Fantasy Overture Romeo and Juliet and Shostakovich's Symphony No.5.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

  9. Add Holiday Happenings: Down on the Farm at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery to your Itinerary

    Holiday Happenings: Down on the Farm at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery

    Mount Pleasant, Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Farm skills were an important part of the lives of those children helped by the Fegans charity a hundred years ago. This week, we will celebrate life on the farm with a series of arts and crafts straight from the barnyard.

    This event is drop-in so no need to book.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  10. Add The Easter Break at Penshurst Place & Gardens to your Itinerary

    The Easter Break at Penshurst Place & Gardens

    Penshurst

    Trail 10.30am – 6pm
    Children's Crafts 12noon – 4pm
    The Easter Rabbit's best springtime friend is hiding in the garden but he won't tell us who it is! Find our giant Easter eggs and discover the clues to help us reveal their identity! Afterwards, hop along to The Old Coach House for some...

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  11. Add Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fair at King Charles Church Hall to your Itinerary

    Tunbridge Wells Vintage Fair at King Charles Church Hall

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Quality vintage fair full of true vintage fashion, accessories, jewellery, home-ware, small furniture and records. Northern Soul DJ all day. Just £1 entry.

    Type

    Markets

    Dates

  12. Add Taize Workshop with Delia Rosenboom at Burrswood Health and Wellbeing to your Itinerary

    Taize Workshop with Delia Rosenboom at Burrswood Health and Wellbeing

    Tunbridge Wells

    This cappella singing workshop will be a nourishing opportunity to learn and sing beautiful, uplifting sacred songs, by ear (no need to read music!) amid the magical presence of candle-light. All ages and abilities welcome.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  13. Add Writing and Wellbeing Workshop at Burrswood Health and Wellbeing to your Itinerary

    Writing and Wellbeing Workshop at Burrswood Health and Wellbeing

    Tunbridge Wells

    Spend a day with Charlie Bell exploring how writing can aid wellness and wellbeing.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

  14. Add Penshurst Brocante at Penshurst Village Hall to your Itinerary

    Penshurst Brocante at Penshurst Village Hall

    Tunbridge Wells

    Bringing beautiful Vintage and Artisan products to The Village Hall Penshurst in the style, atmosphere and flavour of a French Brocante. With music from Miss Vintage and refreshments available throughout the day.

    Type

    Sale

    Dates

  15. Add Cantiaci Vocal Ensemble: 'Music of Love' at St Peter's Upper Church to your Itinerary

    Cantiaci Vocal Ensemble: 'Music of Love' at St Peter's Upper Church

    Pembury

    Scheduled to coincide with Valentine's week, we are basing the theme of our next concert on 'Love' and will be performing a mixture of traditional folk songs, madrigals, and part songs, as well as a couple of much-loved sacred pieces.

    Doors will open at 7pm (the concert will start at 7.30pm) and...

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

  16. Only Fools and 3 courses at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel

    Add Only Fools and 3 courses at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel to your Itinerary

    Only Fools and 3 courses at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel

    Pembury

    Join us for the dinner event of the year which combines fine food and comedy action, served up ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES style.

    Marlene & Boycie are hosting a Gala Dinner, but will things go to plan with Del, Rodney and Uncle Albert (when I was in the war) on the guest list?

    Will Raquel put in an...

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  17. Add Only Fools & 3-Courses The Sequel at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel to your Itinerary

    Only Fools & 3-Courses The Sequel at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel

    Pembury

    DCI Roy Slater will be putting in an appearance and we all know what Del Boy thinks of him. Cassandra and Rodney take a trip down memory lane (Rodneys as a Gladiator?!) All your favourite characters will be on hand to make sure you have an evening to remember. All this and a 3 Course meal and...

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  18. Add Quiz night in aid of The Bridge Trust Charity at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel to your Itinerary

    Quiz night in aid of The Bridge Trust Charity at Mercure Tunbridge Wells Hotel

    Pembury

    Join us along with the excellent 'The Bridge Trust' for a night of quizzing to raise funds for the great work this homeless charity does. Find some friends, family or brainy people you know and put together a team of 4 - 8 people. Places are £15 per person with £10 going to Charity.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

  19. Add Antony Horowitz's Mindgame at Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Antony Horowitz's Mindgame at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    A mind bending psychological thriller from the pen of Antony Horowitz - creator of Foyles's War, the BBC's New Blood, Alex Rider, the Sherlock Holmes novels House of Silk and Moriarty...and the James Bond novel Trigger Mortis.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

  20. Add Tom Allen: Absolutely at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Tom Allen: Absolutely at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The sharply dressed, well-spoken, disparagingly camp son of working class Bromley, Tom Allen embarks on his debut solo tour this autumn.

    As seen on Mock The Week , 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Live at the Apollo, The Great British Bake Off’s Extra Slice, The John Bishop Show, Channel 4’s...

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

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