God knows why, but for the past year or so, I’ve had it stuck in my head that I really want to visit Royal Tunbridge Wells. Not for any particular reason. I didn’t know any famous attractions there. Just because it sounded nice, basically. Plus, London is great but I am itching to escape it from time to time (to time to time).
Tunbridge Wells is just 40 miles South East of London and is consistently voted on of the best commuter towns. The town grew and became popular after Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, started coming to the spot for the natural chalybeate spring water (hoping it would help her get pregnant).
King Edward VII gave the town the “royal” prefix because it was so dear to his mother Queen Victoria. It’s now one of the three towns with “Royal” in their title. (Another being Royal Lemington Spa, which I visited last summer.)
Sam and I stayed at a local B&B (The Danehurst) were we received one of the most generous and delicious breakfasts I’ve ever eaten. The food just kept on coming- it was unbelievable. I’d also recommend taking the guided walking tour that the tourist centre offers on Thursdays and Saturdays. Our guide was so knowledgeable and it definitely enhanced our visit. The architectural detail in the town is phenomenal! Besides wandering around the streets of this gorgeous town, we also ventured across town limits to explore the countryside a bit. The leaves were just showing signs of their full autumnal glory.
Clock tower on the Church of King Charles the Martyr.
The inside of the Church of King Charles the Martyr.
The white building at the bottom of this road is the Queen’s official jeweler. Needless to say, there were some impressive pieces inside. (Yes we definitely took a look in. Sam feel in love with a pair of antique cufflinks with dogs on them but since they cost several thousand pounds, I think he’ll be waiting a long time.)
The weather on our first day in Tunbridge Wells was dreary, cold and miserable but by the next day the sun was out and it was lovely and warm enough that we paused in our walks and took a little nap in this park. (And so I could stop and drink a diet coke).