Ice Rink

Ice Rink

Calverley Grounds

Tunbridge Wells is Christmas

When the Christmas season is upon us, so the fairy-tale begins…

Tunbridge Wells serves up a fantastic selection of Christmas activities, events, gift boutiques, butchers, excellent choices of cafés, bars and restaurants offering you a premier destination for all things festive.

Join us in the countdown to Christmas via a few celebrations and trips along the way.  Read on as we show you where to go for a sensational start to the seasonal festivities.

Father Christmas Arrives in Kent

Father Christmas in Tunbridge Wells, Calverley Grounds - Darryl Curcher
Photo: Darryl Curcher

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.

Book now to see him on selected dates from 23 November to 24 December in his beautiful log cabin and witness the magical moment your little one meets Santa!

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 in the South East of England.

In 2019, there will be not one but two ice rinks! A tiny tots rink will be open all day for the pleasure of 2-4 year olds.

Skate at the Christmas Ice Rink with your Toddlers in Royal Tunbridge Wells by Samuel Taylor
Photo: Samuel Taylor

The ice rink is open daily from Friday 15 November to the Sunday 5 January 2020 (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 including wheelchair users, office parties, Para-Olympians and Olympians too!  There is an exciting new opportunity to try Bavarian Curling which is a great option for groups.

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Christmas Lights

It wouldn't be Christmas without Christmas lights. This year the lights will be switched on across town on Thursday 14 November. Make an evening of it and browse the local shops which are taking part in the Rotary Club Charity Christmas Shop Window Competition!

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 bewitching special effects. Singing, dancing and plenty of audience participation provide fun and laughter for the whole family at the Assembly Hall Theatre.

The antics begin on Saturday 7 December so book well in advance and wake up to the Christmas jollies with Peter Pan starring famous actors Lloyd Warbey (Disney’s Art Attack), Holly Atterton (Nick Junior’s Go Go Go) and Paul Bradley (Holby City) until 5 January 2020.

In late November the Trinity Theatre is host to the Christmas Comedy Club, where the jokes have 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 30 November, 5, 6,and 7 December.

Santa’s Christmas Countdown is an interactive stage show for 2 – 7 year olds with singing and giggles galore on 24 November.

The old favourite Christmas ghost story, A Christmas Carol, will be performed for traditionalists on 28 November.

Trinity’s Christmas show 2019 is the timeless children’s story, The Snow Queen. This new musical production by Theresa Hawkins from the New Vic is directed by new Trinity Artistic Director Kezia Cole. Book tickets early for a performance between 13 December and 5 January.

On 17 December Trinity Theatre screens the definitive Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, recorded from the Royal Opera House. With a sprinkling of fairydust, 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. For a day out that the whole family can enjoy take a trip through the rustic, wintry 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.

Even more entertainment awaits you at Tunbridge Wells West station including Santa’s Sleigh and a miniature railway!

Booking is essential, this sells out fast!  

2. At Penshurst Place, get creative and make your Christmas wreath, 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.

Check back soon for more information to come. Tickets must be pre-booked online.

Why not also pop into the Christmas Gift Shop from early November to Christmas Eve? Discover a treasure trove of gifts and festive goodies, also open for late night shopping on some evenings.

3. Fancy Christmas by the water? Let your little ones loose at the Bewl Water ‘Christmas Experience’.

This engaging event has a Father Christmas Grotto, Christmas parties, walks and other entertainment not to be missed. Running throughout December, check back soon for details.

4. Christmas at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest is a wonderland of Christmas illuminations.

By night, tread a fantasy path beneath the iconic trees as they are lit up in a multitude of colours in the dark. Fairy lights flicker in time to festive tunes, enjoy hot chocolate or mulled wine with marshmallows and be hypnotised by the shimmering shadows and sparkles.

Book in advance for dates between 22 November – 30 December 2019.

By day, walk in the gently undulating utopia of evergreen firs and pines.

3 of the best Christmas Concerts in Tunbridge Wells

Christmas Candles

  1. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio will be performed live at the Parish Church of King Charles the Martyr on 7 December at 7pm by 4 world class soloists.
  2. On 15 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 Royal Holloway 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. The RTW Choral Society's eagerly awaited Christmas Carol Concert, an advent staple, is held in early December in one of the borough’s more intimate venues.  Bookmark this page for updates.

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. 

Parking on Sundays from 6 October is £2 all day in the 6 main town centre car parks: Meadow Road, Linden Park, Major York’s Road, Great Hall Arcade, Crescent Road and Royal Victoria Place.

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

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  1. Add Ice Skating in Calverley Grounds to your Itinerary

    Ice Skating in Calverley Grounds

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    SKATE Tunbridge Wells returns for the 2019 Christmas season.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    15 Nov 2019 To 5 Jan 2020
  2. Add Parent & Toddler Sessions at the Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds to your Itinerary

    Parent & Toddler Sessions at the Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Parent and Toddler Sessions throughout the SKATE Season at the Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds.

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    15 Nov 2019 To 5 Jan 2020
  3. Add Christmas Show - The Snow Queen at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Christmas Show - The Snow Queen at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come to Trinity Theatre's Christmas Show - The Snow Queen - for a truly magical Christmas treat for all the family.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

    From:
    13 Dec 2019 To 13 Dec 2019
    From:
    14 Dec 2019 To 14 Dec 2019
    From:
    20 Dec 2019 To 23 Dec 2019
    From:
    24 Dec 2019 To 24 Dec 2019
    From:
    26 Dec 2019 To 26 Dec 2019
    From:
    27 Dec 2019 To 30 Dec 2019
    From:
    31 Dec 2019 To 31 Dec 2019
    From:
    2 Jan 2020 To 5 Jan 2020

    Venue

    Trinity Theatre and Arts Centre, Royal Tunbridge Wells

  4. Add Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society Torchlight Procession, Bonfire and Fireworks to your Itinerary

    Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society Torchlight Procession, Bonfire and Fireworks

    Hawkhurst

    This is a real traditional bonfire event complete with wooden torches, beacon lighting and bonfire societies dressed up in traditional costume. It really is a sight to raise the goosebumps and hairs on the back of your neck!

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

    From:
    23 Nov 2019 To 23 Nov 2019
  5. Add Christmas Crackers Workshop for Adults at Penshurst Place to your Itinerary

    Christmas Crackers Workshop for Adults at Penshurst Place

    Tunbridge Wells

    This Christmas Cracker Workshop is fantastic for anyone looking to make their Christmas dinner truly personal. Guided by Rachel from The Crafty Hen, who has worked with the likes of Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley and Joules, you can fill your crackers with special family jokes, funny dares or even your…

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

    From:
    3 Dec 2019 To 3 Dec 2019
  6. Add Othello at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Othello at Trinity Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Theatre Company Pantaloons have reimagined Shakespeare's timeless classic "Othello" against the backdrop of the Jazz Age.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    21 Nov 2019 To 21 Nov 2019
  7. Add Bach's Christmas Oratorio at Church of King Charles the Martyr to your Itinerary

    Bach's Christmas Oratorio at Church of King Charles the Martyr

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Bach's Christmas Oratorio will be performed by four world class soloists at Tunbridge Wells' historic Church of King Charles the Martyr

    Type

    Concert

    Dates

    From:
    7 Dec 2019 To 7 Dec 2019
  8. 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:
    7 Dec 2019 To 8 Dec 2019
    From:
    14 Dec 2019 To 15 Dec 2019
    From:
    21 Dec 2019 To 22 Dec 2019
  9. 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:
    16 Nov 2019 To 17 Nov 2019
    From:
    30 Nov 2019 To 1 Dec 2019
  10. Add Santa Specials on The Spa Valley Railway to your Itinerary

    Santa Specials on The Spa Valley Railway

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Start your Christmas with a Santa Special experience on the Spa Valley Railway, running on various dates throughout the Christmas Season

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    23 Nov 2019 To 24 Nov 2019
    From:
    30 Nov 2019 To 1 Dec 2019
    From:
    7 Dec 2019 To 8 Dec 2019
    From:
    14 Dec 2019 To 15 Dec 2019
    From:
    20 Dec 2019 To 24 Dec 2019
  11. Add Christmas Comedy Club at Trinity Theatre to your Itinerary

    Christmas Comedy Club at Trinity Theatre

    Tunbridge Wells

    Head down to Trinity Theatre for a night of festive fun & laughter this Christmas.

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    30 Nov 2019 To 30 Nov 2019
    From:
    5 Dec 2019 To 7 Dec 2019
  12. Add Bavarian Curling at the Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds to your Itinerary

    Bavarian Curling at the Ice Rink in Calverley Grounds

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    The ancient art of Bavarian Curling or Eisstockschiessen is fast, fun and festive!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    15 Nov 2019 To 5 Jan 2020
  13. Add Christmas Tree Decorations Workshop for Adults at Penshurst Place to your Itinerary

    Christmas Tree Decorations Workshop for Adults at Penshurst Place

    Tunbridge Wells

    Enjoy a Christmas Tree Decorations Workshop led by Rachel from The Crafty Hen, who has worked with the likes of Cath Kidston, Laura Ashley and Joules.

    Type

    Workshop

    Dates

    From:
    2 Dec 2019 To 2 Dec 2019
  14. Add Peter Pan at the Assembly Hall Theatre for Christmas 2019 to your Itinerary

    Peter Pan at the Assembly Hall Theatre for Christmas 2019

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    We are delighted to announce that our pantomime for 2019/20 is one of the best-loved Christmas pantomimes, Peter Pan. This spectacular family show will open on Saturday 7 December and run until Sunday 5 January. 

    Type

    Performance

    Dates

    From:
    7 Dec 2019 To 7 Dec 2019
    From:
    8 Dec 2019 To 5 Jan 2020

    Venue

    Assembly Hall Theatre, Royal Tunbridge Wells

  15. Add Made In Dagenham at Assembly Hall Theatre to your Itinerary

    Made In Dagenham at Assembly Hall Theatre

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come and enjoy this marvellous adaptation of the inspiring true story Made in Dagenham.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

    From:
    26 Nov 2019 To 30 Nov 2019
  16. Add Father Christmas Saves the Day! at Penshurst Place to your Itinerary

    Father Christmas Saves the Day! at Penshurst Place

    Tunbridge Wells

    'Father Christmas Saves The Day' is an interactive, panto-style storytelling performance that's sure to get all the family joining in and having fun.

    Type

    Theatre/Drama

    Dates

    From:
    7 Dec 2019 To 22 Dec 2019
  17. Add Christmas At Bedgebury Pinetum to your Itinerary

    Christmas At Bedgebury Pinetum

    Goudhurst

    The magical, after-dark, illuminated Christmas trail Spectacular new illuminations will feature at Bedgebury's popular Christmas light trail.

    New trail for 2019: Vortex Tunnel illuminated by tens of thousands of LED light globes; Flotilla of illuminated origami boats dancing on the shimmering…

    Type

    Show / Display

    Dates

    From:
    22 Nov 2019 To 30 Dec 2019
  18. Add Father Christmas at the Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink, Calverley Grounds to your Itinerary

    Father Christmas at the Tunbridge Wells Ice Rink, Calverley Grounds

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Come along to the amazing open-air ice rink in Calverley Grounds, and you can visit our wonderful Father Christmas in his cosy, warm log cabin set in the trees & snow!

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    1 Dec 2019 To 16 Dec 2019
    From:
    18 Dec 2019 To 23 Dec 2019
    From:
    24 Dec 2019 To 24 Dec 2019
  19. Christmas Market at Sissinghurst Castle Gardens

    Cranbrook, Tunbridge Wells

    Come to the beautiful Festive Market in the stunning grounds of Sissinghurst Castle Gardens this Christmas Season.

    Type

    Sale

    Dates

    From:
    23 Nov 2019 To 24 Nov 2019
  20. Add New Years Eve 2019 at The Mount Edgcumbe to your Itinerary

    New Years Eve 2019 at The Mount Edgcumbe

    Royal Tunbridge Wells

    Watch this space for details of New Year's Eve Celebrations at The Mount Edgcumbe...

    Type

    Participatory Event

    Dates

    From:
    31 Dec 2019 To 1 Jan 2020

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