History

Tunbridge Wells takes its name from a natural spring that welled up from the ground some 400 years ago. It earnt the Royal prefix when Queen Victoria made the town part of her regular holiday destinations.

Scenery

Quintessential English countryside stretches out across this part of Kent with a myriad of footpaths, parks, rich woodland and sandstone rock formations. With most of the area designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and dotted with ancient churches and oast houses there is plenty of opportunity to soak up the local rural scenery.

Leisure/the Arts

Tunbridge Wells boasts art galleries, theatres, a cinema, a lively arts centre and two golf courses, as well as a rugby club and Kent County Cricket Ground.

It is a shopper’s paradise, with a huge range of specialist shops, kitchen shops, chocolate shops, tea-rooms, antiques shops and bespoke jewellers. In the Royal Victoria Shopping Mall you will find all the chain stores whilst at the southern end of town set in the historical heart land of Tunbridge Wells, is the famous colonnaded walkway, the Pantiles. It offers a variety of art galleries, delightful independent shops and lovely cafes and restaurants. There is a farmers’ market every Saturday, alternating between the Town Hall and the Pantiles.

Travel

Although the area is surrounded by beautiful countryside, it is just a short distance from London and is situated on the A21. There are commuter trains to Charing Cross and Cannon Street from both Tunbridge Wells (an hour) and High Brooms, although many commuters drive to Tonbridge which offers a quicker journey time of around 45 minutes.

Schools

The town is also rich in good primary and secondary schools and the reputation of the local schools is another major factor in the town’s popularity. They include Skinners’ School, a boys’ grammar school (ages 11 to 18); Tunbridge Wells Boys’ Grammar School (ages 11 to 18); Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School (ages 11 to 18), all of which get excellent academic results and co-operate to offer a wide choice of subjects at A-level.

The two comprehensive schools Bennett Memorial (co-ed, ages 11 to 18), now an academy, and St Gregory’s both get above average results at GCSE. Skinners’ Kent Academy (co-ed, ages 11 to 18) is an academy sponsored by The Skinners’ School.

It is not hard to find a good primary school in the town; however, only two are judged to be “outstanding” by the Government’s education watchdog Ofsted: St James’ CofE in Sandrock Road and Claremont, which is in Banner Farm Road.

There is also a choice of private schools: Beechwood Sacred Heart (co-ed ages 2 to 19) has a girls’ boarding house; The Mead (ages 2 to 11) sends many of its pupils to Kent’s grammar schools; and Rose Hill School (ages3 to 13) is a more traditional prep school.

Finally, the private and renowned Tonbridge School and Sevenoaks School (both 11 to 18 with Sevenoaks being co-ed and Tonbridge all boys) are also in close proximity.

Spotlight on Southborough

estate agent Tunbridge Wells

Southborough is just a couple of miles outside the historic spa town of Tunbridge Wells. Southborough sits immediately to the north of Tunbridge Wells and just south of Tonbridge, with the A26 passing through it. Southborough’s location allows easy access to the A21 which leads to the M25.

Southborough Common, situated towards the Tonbridge end of the town, is a conservation area where cricket has been played for more than 200 years.

Here’s a link to the Southborough Cricket Club website: http://southboroughcc.hitssports.com/default.aspx

If you’re a runner or casual walker, the woodland area of the Southborough Common is an incredibly beautiful space.

Secondary, independent, prep and private schools can be found in both Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, while Southborough has its very own primary school.

Here’s the link to the Southborough C of E Primary School: http://www.southborough.kent.sch.uk/

Tunbridge Wells is just over a mile away with big retail names. The nearest mainline station to Southborough is at High Brooms, about a mile away, with fast and frequent train services to London Charing Cross. There are also mainline stations on the same line at Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The A21, which provides a direct link onto M25 and other motorways, is a few minutes’ drive away from Southborough.

Local pubs:

1. The Imperial: dates from the Victorian era and its unusual name derives from the Imperial crown, as pictured on the sign, worn by the monarch at the coronation ceremony. Interestingly, previous signs have shown a fine specimen of the imperial butterfly.

The pub is well known for its authentic Italian food. Everything on the menu is freshly prepared, lovingly homemade and designed to offer customers a true flavour of Italy, with a mouth-watering selection of dishes made to traditional recipes.

On the bar, you will find a range of Shepherd Neame cask ales, as well as an excellent wine list, and all the usual aperitifs, soft drinks, and coffees.

http://www.shepherdneame.co.uk/pubs/southborough/imperial

2. The Hand & Sceptre: Stylishly refurbished to make it the perfect place to find a cosy corner and take time out whilst enjoying some of our Chefs seasonal dishes. A great selection of wines, ales and lagers. Inside you will find roaring log fires, a unique dining room and comfy armchairs.

https://www.thehandandsceptre.co.uk/