Ice Rink

Ice Rink

Calverley Grounds

Tunbridge Wells is Christmas

When the Christmas season is upon us, so the magic begins…

With its fantastic selection of Christmas activities, events, boutiques, excellent choice of cafés, bars and restaurants, Tunbridge Wells is the premier destination for all things festive.

The countdown to the celebrations has begun, so read on as we show you where to go for a magical start to the seasonal festivities.

Ice skating in Tunbridge Wells

Set in the magnificent amphitheatre of Calverley Grounds in the centre of Royal Tunbridge Wells, and suffused with sparkling festive lights, the beautiful winter real ice rink is a firm favourite Christmas destination.

Skating at the Ice Rink in Tunbridge Wells by Jez Timms
Photo: Jez Timms

The ice rink is open daily from Friday 16 November to the Wednesday 2 January 2019 (closed Christmas Day).  You will need to book now as this is an extremely popular attraction, so hurry, grab your skates and take a twirl around the ice.

This is arguably one of the most fun nights out at Christmas in Royal Tunbridge Wells, everyone is welcome: families, couples, friends, kids, all abilities, office parties, Para-Olympians and Olympians too!

As Father Christmas has so many places to be, he and his friendly elves will be welcoming families visiting the picturesque Calverley Grounds in Royal Tunbridge Wells on selected dates from Saturday 1 to 24th December. Book now to see him in his beautiful log cabin.

Calverley Ground Ice Rink at night by David Hodgkinson
Photo: David Hodgkinson

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Christmas Lights

It wouldn't be Christmas without the Christmas lights. This year the lights will be switched on across town on Sunday 18 November when Father Christmas takes up residence in his Festive Grotto under cover of the Royal Victoria Place Shopping Centre.   Make sure you get there early to give Santa Claus your list!

Pantomime season is well and truly upon us….oh yes it is!

The annual popular pantomime provides sparkling festive entertainment, glittering sets, gorgeous costumes and magical special effects. Singing, dancing and plenty of audience participation provide fun and laughter for the whole family at the Assembly Hall Theatre.

Sleeping Beauty pantomime at Assembly Hall Theatre, Royal Tunbridge Wells 2018

The antics begin on Friday 7 December so book well in advance and wake up to the Christmas jollies with Sleeping Beauty starring famous actors Clare Sweeney and Derek Moran from Milkshake!, on until 2 January 2019.

In early December the Trinity Theatre is host to the Christmas Comedy Café, where the comedy has a festive feel good factor. There is a great comedic line up waiting to get you in the Christmas spirit during a laughter-filled evening on 6,7 and 8 December.

Their Christmas show is the timeless children’s story, The Wind in the Willows. This new musical production by Julian Fellowes includes brand new songs from Olivier award winner George Styles and Anthony Drewe.

On 20th December Trinity Theatre screens the definitive Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, recorded from the Royal Opera House. With a sprinkling of magic, dancing mice and snowflakes, the kingdom of sweets and a Sugar Plum Fairy, this enchanting ballet is the perfect Christmas treat. 

4 Country Christmas days out around Tunbridge Wells

Meet Santa at Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells

1. The Spa Valley Railway is a winning day out the whole family can enjoy.

For Christmas, take a trip through the Wealden countryside on one of the Spa Valley Railway Santa Specials

The jollity starts at Eridge Station. Before joining the train pop into the Waiting Room where two face painters will be waiting to decorate your cheeks with Christmas trees or snowmen!

Visitors meet Santa Claus and his elves on board the special Santa steam train. All children will have the opportunity to meet Father Christmas and receive a gift. Booking is essential, do note this sells out fast!  

Don’t forget to do ‘Spot the Snowmen’ out the windows as you chug through the valley.

2. At Penshurst Place, get creative and make some Christmas crafts.

Inspect the naughty and nice lists and see the toy prototypes before being led to the secret grotto where Father Christmas is waiting to meet his guests.

Tickets must be pre-booked online for 24 and 25 November, 1 and 2 December then open daily from 8th December – 22nd December 2018.

Why not also pop into the Christmas Gift Shop from 2 November to 24 December, 10.30am – 4.30pm? Discover a treasure of gifts and festive goodies, also open late until 7pm on Wednesdays from 14 November.

3. Let your little ones loose at the Bewl Water ‘Christmas Experience’.

This engaging event has a Magic Wishing Tree, a Magic Ice Rink, Father Christmas’ Grotto, and unlimited fairground rides. Running from 1st – 16th on weekends only, then 21st - 24th December and you will need to book on their website.

4. Christmas at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is an illuminated wonderland.

Tread a magical path between the iconic trees as they are lit up in a multitude of colours after dark! Sparkling lights flicker in time to festive tunes, enjoy hot chocolate or mulled wine with marshmallows and revel in the shimmering shadows and luminosities.

Book in advance for dates between 30 November – 30 December 2018.

3 of the Best Christmas Concerts in Tunbridge Wells

Christmas Candles

1. The 9 December sees ‘A Traditional English Christmas Concert’ at Goudhurst’s Church of St Mary with RTW Choral Society and the Wadhurst Brass Band performing live from 6.30pm. Tickets are available in advance or on the door.

2. On 16 December, visit our lovely country village of Lamberhurst and hear Carols by Candlelight in the delightfully atmospheric Church of St Mary’s at 7.30pm. The choir of Clare College will provide the Christmas carols in this year's Lamberhurst Music Festival programme - bringing beautiful classical music to the rural areas of Tunbridge Wells.

3. Handel’s Messiah, now a Christmas staple, will be performed live at the Parish Church of King Charles the Martyr on 8 December at 7pm with guest soloists. Details and tickets are available via their website.

With so much going on throughout the festive season, it is going to be a very special Christmas indeed.

For further information on things to see and do in the Tunbridge Wells area over the Christmas period, please browse the full What’s On at Christmas list and our Christmas Shopping and Markets page. Of course the Royal Tunbridge Wells Tourist Information Centre is available to advise you too.

Getting here and getting around

Being situated in the West of Kent we are only an hour from London or Hastings by train. Trains are roughly every half an hour to and from these locations. More details are to be found on the main Getting Here & Getting Around page. 

Free parking is available after 4pm from 17th – 22nd December and in Major Yorks Road Car Park from 2pm to 7pm on these dates.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a magical stay here from us, the Tunbridge Wells Tourism Team.

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Number of items: 65

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  1. Add Half Term Fun on The Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Half Term Fun on The Spa Valley Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    This half term come and experience the magic of the famous Spa Valley Railway and enjoy Afternoon Tea

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    16 Feb 2019 To 23 Feb 2019
  2. Add Half Term Fun on The Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Half Term Fun on The Spa Valley Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    This half term come and experience the magic of the famous Spa Valley Railway and enjoy a morning coffee

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    16 Feb 2019 To 23 Feb 2019
  3. Add Half Term Fun on The Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Half Term Fun on The Spa Valley Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    This half term come and experience the magic of the famous Spa Valley Railway and enjoy a Fish & Chip lunch or an afternoon Cream Tea.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    16 Feb 2019 To 23 Feb 2019
  4. Add Living with Nature Half Term Event at Hever Castle to your Itinerary

    Living with Nature Half Term Event at Hever Castle

    Hever, Edenbridge

    Take a walk on the wild side with the gardening team at Hever Castle this half term

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    16 Feb 2019 To 24 Feb 2019
  5. Add High School Musical on Stage at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    High School Musical on Stage at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Performed by the Trinity Youth Theatre, this Disney family favourite comes to life at the Trinity Theatre.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

    From:
    22 Feb 2019 To 23 Feb 2019
  6. Add Penshurst Choral Society presents Baroque Gems to your Itinerary

    Penshurst Choral Society presents Baroque Gems

    Barrow Lane, Langton Green

    Penshurst Choral Society proudly present a thrilling programme of Baroque Gems

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

    From:
    23 Feb 2019 To 23 Feb 2019
  7. Add Artisan Bread Making at Bore Place to your Itinerary

    Artisan Bread Making at Bore Place

    Chiddingstone, Edenbridge

    Aimed at home bread makers, this course will provide you with both practical experience and theoretical knowledge of the complete bread making process.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

    From:
    23 Feb 2019 To 23 Feb 2019
  8. Live Music Sunday 24th February

    Add Live Music Sunday 24th February to your Itinerary

    Live Music Sunday 24th February

    Tunbridge Wells

    The Tunbridge Wells Bar & Grill

    Live Music on the Terrace

    Sunday 24th February, 4-7pm
    Join us for Live Music on the Terrace with Sam Calver

    Recently signed to Island Records, singer songwriter Sam Calver has caught the attention of BBC Introducing, Clash Magazine, 1883 Magazine and more than...

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    24 Feb 2019 To 24 Feb 2019
  9. Add Lone Star Comedy Night at Vittle & Swig Tunbridge Wells to your Itinerary

    Lone Star Comedy Night at Vittle & Swig Tunbridge Wells

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Lone Star Comedy Club proudly presents a night to remember hosted by compare Greg Faulkner and headliner Steve Best

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    28 Feb 2019 To 28 Feb 2019
  10. Add Lone Star Comedy Night at Cranbrook Rugby to your Itinerary

    Lone Star Comedy Night at Cranbrook Rugby

    Angley Road, Cranbrook

    Lone Star Comedy Club proudly presents a night to remember hosted by compare Russell Hicks and featuring headliners Mark Simmons and Andrew Lawrence.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    1 Mar 2019 To 1 Mar 2019
  11. Add Pantiles Market to your Itinerary

    Pantiles Market

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The Pantiles Market is held on the first and third weekend of each month - combining hot food and seasonal local produce with a broad selection of artisan crafts, gifts, clothing and accessories.local produce, tasty treats, designer clothes and artisan crafts

    Type

    Markets

    Dates

    From:
    2 Mar 2019 To 3 Mar 2019
    From:
    16 Mar 2019 To 17 Mar 2019
  12. Add Rocket Man - A Tribute to Elton John at Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Rocket Man - A Tribute to Elton John at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Assembly Hall Theatre are proud to present The Rocket Man: a tribute to legend and superstar, Sir Elton John.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    2 Mar 2019 To 2 Mar 2019
  13. Add Bee Bonanza at The Hub to your Itinerary

    Bee Bonanza at The Hub

    Rochdale Road, Tunbridge Wells

    Pop into the Hub to learn more about our friendliest pollinators, with crafts and a mini trail.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    4 Mar 2019 To 4 Mar 2019
  14. Add Arrival - The Hits Of Abba at Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Arrival - The Hits Of Abba at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    On the 45th anniversary of their legendary Eurovision win, come and join in the celebration of the music of one of the biggest selling and most iconic bands of all time.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

    From:
    7 Mar 2019 To 7 Mar 2019
  15. Add New Tunbridge Wells Farmers' Market Launch Party to your Itinerary

    New Tunbridge Wells Farmers' Market Launch Party

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come to Market Square on Saturday 9th March and celebrate the relocation of the much loved Farmers Market.

    Type

    Markets

    Dates

    From:
    9 Mar 2019 To 9 Mar 2019
  16. Add Spring Diesel Gala at The Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Spring Diesel Gala at The Spa Valley Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    An enthusiasts' paradise.  This weekend will be featuring some of the working locomotives from the home fleet, and there may even be a visiting one too!

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

    From:
    9 Mar 2019 To 10 Mar 2019
  17. Add Spring Babies at The Hub to your Itinerary

    Spring Babies at The Hub

    Rochdale Road, Tunbridge Wells

    Free craft event themed around the new Spring life in the park

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    12 Mar 2019 To 12 Mar 2019
  18. Add Lone Star Comedy Night at The Vineyard Lamberhurst to your Itinerary

    Lone Star Comedy Night at The Vineyard Lamberhurst

    Lamberhurst

    Lone Star Comedy Club proudly presents a night to remember hosted by compare Wilson and featuring Ben Norris and Mark Simmons

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    15 Mar 2019 To 15 Mar 2019
  19. Add Lone Star Comedy Night at The Great House Hawkhurst to your Itinerary

    Lone Star Comedy Night at The Great House Hawkhurst

    Hawkhurst

    Lone Star Comedy Club proudly presents a night to remember hosted by compare Russell Hicks and featuring Ben Norris and Mark Simmons

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    15 Mar 2019 To 15 Mar 2019
  20. Add Astronomy Evening at Bore Place to your Itinerary

    Astronomy Evening at Bore Place

    Chiddingstone, Edenbridge

    Join the Edenbridge and District Astronomers for an evening looking at the night sky in the farmyard! Fingers crossed for a clear night so you can look through powerful telescopes to see the moon and see if you can find other deep sky objects.

    Type

    Demonstration

    Dates

    From:
    15 Mar 2019 To 15 Mar 2019

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