Sussex

Royal Tunbridge Wells

In 1606 Lord North, the 3rd Baron North, had been spending some days at the Abergavenny Estate and was returning home to London. Having somewhat overindulged the night before, he hopped off his horse and drank from a spring to nurse his poorly head. Feeling much better from drinking the fresh, iron-rich water, he shared word with his friends and family of its health-giving properties and thus the ‘Chalybeate Spring’ and Tunbridge Wells were born.

As news spread of this magical spring, more and more noblemen travelled from London to visit it themselves. With orange colouring and strong iron taste, the water became hugely popular and for many years was believed to cure everything from maladies to infertility to obesity. These days, the spring’s ability to cure all ills is a little more debatable; however, Royal Tunbridge Wells remains a thriving destination and attracts visitors from all over the world.

If you find yourself in Tunbridge Wells, a visit to the pedestrianised Pantiles is an absolute must. Once known as ‘the Walks’, the Pantiles is a Georgian colonnade that leads from the well itself into the town. Nowadays, it is home to a number of shops, galleries, eateries and bars, as well as a biweekly farmers’ market held outside. With beautiful buildings dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, the pretty facades are hugely photogenic and create a wonderful scene in which to sit with a cup of coffee. In the summer, you can also watch and listen as musicians take to the outdoor bandstand and play upbeat tunes.

In an area rich with both culture and countryside, there is plenty to see and do in Tunbridge Wells borough. Walking is a very popular pastime in the surrounding nature reserves, parks and lush woodland. Nature-lovers and sports enthusiasts alike will find ample to keep them occupied and the area is great for dogs and their owners too. If you would like to get more of an insight into the area’s heritage, visiting the Seven Wonders of the Weald is highly recommended.  Within a short drive of each other, you can visit gardens, castles, estates and more whilst enjoying spectacular countryside along the way.

Feeling inspired? Have a look at our luxury cottages in nearby Sussex  here.

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