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Family walk at Tudeley Woods

Family walk at Tudeley Woods

David Hodgkinson

February Half Term

Take the frazzle out of freedom at half term by planning a family holiday in the Garden of England.

Mellow sloping countryside hillocks and exciting child-friendly activities in Tunbridge Wells will provide your family with the best days out in Kent.

The Tunbridge Wells region in the Weald of Kent has plenty of things to do indoors and out that won’t break the bank.

10 Free Fun Ideas for the Fresh Air

There is ample space to cycle, picnic, walk, run, throw a ball, play hide & seek…the list goes on.

We guarantee all these ideas are in stunning locations to get away from it all and relax the mind whilst improving your physical health too.

Think ruddy cheeks and a lungful of fresh air!

  1. The Commons - 104 hectares of free wide open green spaces right in the town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Keep quiet and you may spot some wildlife.
  1. The Rocks - Great big, ancient, unusual rock formations, free to clamber over and explore - ideal for active imaginations: a moonscape, an epic canyon, hiding from trolls, finding fairies, there's no limits to the adventures.  Quite a sight to behold near a town centre!
  1. Calverley Grounds - pretty landscaping, paths, gardens, café, small adventure playground and a lovely little knoll to roll down!
  1. Local woodlands and nature reserves - Wander the woodlands and turn a walk into an exciting adventure. While the trees are without their leaves it is the perfect opportunity to see the woodland birds as they flit amongst the foliage.  Challenge the children to discover how many different sounds they can hear or how many different birds they can spot on the way. Look out for Robins, Blue Tits, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Wrens one of the smallest of birds with the loudest of voices!
  1. Dunorlan Park – A park with so many accolades and its own tree trail! Children identify the Scots Pine, the Weeping Willow, the Japanese Maple tree, the Oak tree, and the Copper Beech. There are 18 trees on the trail – can you find them all? Walk (or scoot) around the lake and a have a bite to eat in the café.
  1. The world famous National Trust Estates have paths to walk round which are free, naturally you can adapt the walk to suit the length of your legs!  There are 5 National Trust properties within a 40 minute drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells.
  1. Another option for little legs is the parent and toddler walks outlined on the Kent and High Weald Partnership web site.
  1. Pepenbury Woodland is in a beautiful location, just a 5 minute drive from the town centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells and can be admired at any time of year.  Free to wander through although a donation to the charity is gratefully received.
  1. The Hop Farm in Paddock Wood is a large and lively activity park only 20 minutes drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells which is free to enter and offers a holiday entertainment programme. With at least fourteen activities, some chargeable and some free, enjoy watching the kids discharge their energy. Crucially for this time of year, there is hot food and hot drinks to purchase as well!
  1. Grosvenor Park has one of the best play areas in town.  With the adventure playground, for the younger children and a zip-wire for the more adventurous there's enough to keep children occupied for hours.  For older children there is a basketball court and 5-a-side court. They can also enjoy the skate and bike park. 

As well as being the town’s oldest park with lake and grottoes, Grosvenor Park adjoins the Hilbert Woods Nature Reserve. This is a haven for wildlife in the heart of town and a gem of a place to learn about nature and wildlife.

Warming food and drink is on hand in the café to keep you going.  Don’t forget to take your binoculars with you.

Freebie Fun Indoors

'Holiday Happenings' are on at the Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery - drop in arts and crafts sessions get the children in the creative zone.  Free and family-friendly, the Museum has an award winning education programme so they know what the kids like!

Encourage the children to let their imaginations run wild and learn about living down on the farm 100 years ago. Why not start the journey with a visit to the Art Gallery for inspiration?

Sessions run from 10.30am - 12.30pm & 2pm - 4pm and are on a 'drop in' basis, so there's no need to book, simply come on over!

Adventure Outdoors

The large country park experience can be enjoyed at Bewl Water or Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest who make a small charge for parking, although it is for the whole day.

A mere 20 minute drive from Royal Tunbridge Wells, both have excellent woodland play parks and holiday activities for children, not to mention cafés with lakeside views for warming up.

For budding train drivers, let off steam at the Spa Valley Railway.  Kids can meet the heroes from PJ Masks and there are special steam and heritage diesel trains run during half term.  Take an exciting ride back through the valley and bring big smiles to little faces! Buggies, prams, bicycles and dogs are all welcome, and carried free of charge.

Penshurst Place offers dramatic adventure based on the history of the grand house and estate, including the Enchanted Garden Trail and the Woodland trail.

The house appeared in the acclaimed dramatic TV series, Wolf Hall. Come and see what the drama is about!

Groombridge Place is bound to please too. Delve deep into exciting nature based activities, woods and walks.  Now the UK's tallest and longest treetop walkway is open there too.

Rainy Day Activities

Have you got the next celebrity chef in the family? Get the youngsters into the kitchen with The Rosemary Shrager Cookery School. Family, Junior and Teenage cookery, chocolate and baking workshops appropriate for their age are on during half term week. Afterwards enjoy lunch or tea in the Pantiles.

Sports centres in Paddock Wood, Cranbrook and Royal Tunbridge Wells provide first class facilities in an enjoyable atmosphere.

With the swimming pool, diving pool, gym, indoor badminton, squash and tennis courts the choice is yours at Tunbridge Wells. The soft play sessions offer an affordable and safe place for your children to play, explore and make friends in the warm and dry.

Many more ideas are lodged on the Rainy Day page too.

The Theatre

Could your child be the next Daniel Radcliffe? Or produce the next blockbuster? For older children, Trinity Theatre offers such fantastic workshops as ‘Make A Short Film’ and 'Acting for Screen'. 

Alternatively you can all take a seat, indoors, and relax being entertained at Trinity Theatre. The Stage in their review of Oliver!  recognised this as 'high-achieving, slick and well directed'.

At Hawkhurst Kino Digital Cinema (a delightful boutique and cosy winner), on Saturday and Sunday mornings the first film of the day is a cheap seats session for the family.

Children pay only £7.25 per ticket and the accompanying adult’s ticket is free (T&Cs apply).

Make the most of your holidays

We’re not short of ideas so for many more, either contact the Tourist Information Centre or search our What’s On listings to find just the thing for you and yours.

Browse through the Family Friendly or Activities pages at any time of year for more inspiration and for your next visit.

For places to warm up and refuel check our Food & Drink section.

Make sure your stay is as comfortable and cosy as can be by browsing our accommodation pages and special offers.

We look forward to welcoming you to the beautiful region of Tunbridge Wells.

External links

Kent High Weald Partnership

National Trust

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