Travel UK

A Weekend in Royal Tunbridge Wells, England

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.

welcome to tunbridge wellschurch clock
Clock tower on the Church of King Charles the Martyr.

stained glass
The inside of the Church of King Charles the Martyr.

church ceiling
Plaster work on the ceiling of the church.

clock on churchcounty boundaries
The stone separating the traditional county lines between Kent and Sussex.

historic rowbeautiful homespretty doorroyal jeweler
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.)

creststreet in tunbridge wellsdress photo

Boots: DSW. Dress: Louche. Pearls: Majorca. Bag: Longchamp Le Pliage.

kent countrysidepride rock of kentviewon a rock park in the rain
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).

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  • It’s always nice to get out to the country for a bit and it looks like a lovely very, very English town! πŸ™‚ Random fact: Love seeing this town’s twin city on the first pictures – it’s very close to where I grew up in Germany! πŸ˜‰

  • We accidentally drove through this town once, when we got lost taking the “scenic route” home! Even though we only saw a glimpse of it, I thought it was a gorgeous town and I’d love to go back and explore!

    <3 dani
    http://blog.shopdisowned.com

    • I can imagine just how scenic it’d be from a car now too! You have to try to go back one day! I’d really recommend going while the market is on! It’s great (I have a whole post on it scheduled for tomorrow.) x

  • Amanda, your outfit is so cute! The colors are great for Autumn πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much! I was in a very Autumnal mood when I got dressed that day. (Plus the weather had been so dreary the day before!) x

  • I love the English countryside!! Each town seems to have it’s own unique charm!!

  • Ok I swear in an Agatha Christie book I recently read she talked about a character living there and now I need to find it.

    • Oohhh maybe! I think it’s one of those towns that’s been mentioned in English literature a lot. Let me know what you find out! x

  • There’s something appealing about any place that has ‘Royal’ in the title. Try Royal Leamington Spa next time, I lived there when I was at University πŸ™‚

    Lots of love,

    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

    • Thanks Angie! When we were living in Stratford-upon-Avon we took a day trip to Leamington Spa that i blogged about last summer. But I only got the chance to go once. It must have been a lovely place to live! I really enjoyed my time there! xx

  • Your outfit is very Fall-festive/autumnal! The buildings and homes in town are very nice. I love that white door. And the stained glass in the church is beautiful. I keep meaning to learn how stained glass is made! This is another spur in my side to do so πŸ™‚

    • Thank you! The town was so quaint and picturesque that I just wanted to pack my bags and move there immediately! It won’t be too far away on the train for you to explore now either! (And I should tell you – if you’re under 26 apply for a young person’s railcard. It costs Β£30 but you’ll make that money up in savings as long as you ride the train at least twice whilst you’re in England.) xx

  • That’s so sweet! I should pop down there, as I am in London as well! xx

    • Definitely! It was just what I needed! it had been far too long since I had gotten out of London. (I’m sure you know the feeling!) xx

  • We had family friends when I was a kid and they lived in Tunbridge Wells. It’s super pretty πŸ™‚

    • So pretty! Except someone’s building a super hotel and the construction for this damn hotel has ruined the spring! So after all this time it’s not flowing right now! Hopefully it can be fixed when the construction ends! x

  • Honestly, when I saw the post title, I had no idea what kind of place to expect. I never would have guess “town” from that very British name. And I love your boots!

    • Thanks! My boots are pretty much a staple in my fall/winter wardrobe. Meaning once I break them out for the year they only leave my feet when I’m sleeping. x

  • I love your look – I’m desperate for one of those Longchamp bags!

    • Thank you so much Chiara! I actually got it a few years ago in CDG airport in the duty free section so it was a tad cheaper than it would have been otherwise. Thanks for dropping by! πŸ™‚

  • amitygardens

    You look so cute!

  • Ashley Angle

    Such a cute town! Cute outfit too!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

  • I had no idea about the spring water, I wonder if it worked for the queen. I love all of the royal history. SO cool about the jewelry shop!!

    • I felt so out of place in the jewelry shop. (WIth it’s intimidating bouncer.) But there were pictures of the Queen all over the place and I just wanted to stare at them all! Sadly, I don’t think the spring water worked for Henrietta Maria. But it did for all her ladies in waiting- they all came back preggers! x

  • Awh that looks like such a lovely spot!

  • That looks like a great place to get away. And that jewelry shop must have been insane! πŸ˜€

    • It was a great weekend out. Super peaceful and just what I needed. The jewellery shop was insane. I was a bit intimidated by it, to be honest! x

  • Your hair almost looks purple in that next to last photo!

    • I didn’t notice till you pointed it out, but holy cow! I always go a shade darker in the fall/winter (which I did last week) but it is not nearly as dark in person as it looks in that photo! x

      • It looks awesome though! You have the complexion to pull it off.

        • Ah, well thank you very much! I’ve always wanted really vibrant hair (like teal) but I don’t think work would appreciate it! xx

  • Such a lovely town to vist!

  • Love your outfit!

  • such a lovely outing! and, of course, swooning over your dress. xx

  • 1. You always look exponentially happy in photos and I love it!
    2. I’m in love with your outfit…btw do you have any suggestions for cleaning your longchamp bag? Mine is bright teal and shows EVERY bit of dirt.
    3. I am all about B&Bs. All about them. Love the quaint atmosphere, love the food and the hosts are always amazing!
    That’s it! Great post!

    • Ah thank you so much! Mostly it’s because I feel so silly making serious “fashion blogger face”, if you know what I mean. So I clean my longchamp with baby wipes and then scrub out harder stains with an old toothbrush and some soap. I’ve heard people say that you can stick the le pliage in the washing machine, but I am super sceptical of that so have never personally tried it! (I almost got the light tan one but decided that black would hide disgusting things on my bag, which helps as well;) ) xx

      • I’ve read about putting it in the washing machine too, but I’m leery because of the leather handles. I’ve tried a toothbrush and soap, I’ve even tried a magic eraser. I guess I learned my lesson. No more light colored bags for me!

        • That’s why I haven’t run my through the wash either. Surely it would damage the handles?! Magic erasers usually get everything off, so that’s really unlucky! xx

  • I really need to stay at a B&B, I think they sound so charming and delicious breakfast, sign me up!

    • Sometimes they can be a bit strange- if you feel like you’re staying in someone’s home, for example. But when you find a great one it’s infinitely better than a hotel! xx

  • It looks lovely! I’ve never been to Royal Tunbridge Wells… isn’t it famous for porcelain? Or did I just make that up?

    • Hmm… I didn’t see any porcelain shops or anything indicating it as such, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not true! As far as I know, the town’s biggest claim to fame is the natural spring. xx

  • The weather on Saturday was the worst – constant panes of cold rain, but then on Sunday everything was warm, sunny – just lovely! We got really lucky! Such a nice part of the world to live in! x

  • That is such a cute little town. I’m hoping to get out of cities more and visit towns/villages in the near future.

    • To be honest, I think I am much more a small town/village girl at heart than a big city one, so for now I just have to get my fill of it on the weekends! x

  • I’ve never even heard of this town, but I do love getting out of London! Sometimes I miss living in the country so much that I beg Cory to commute so we can live somewhere in the countryside outside of this crazy city! πŸ™‚ He’s not too keen on that idea, though….

    By the way, I love your outfit! That dress is adorable!

    • Thank you so much! And I think that’d be the dream, to live in the country and then commute to London when needed! Maybe one day for both of us! xx

  • Some friends of mine are from there! It’s gorgeous, I had no idea – I’d only ever heard the name before! And what a lovely second day you had. That dress is perfect for autumn!

    • We were so lucky – the forecast was rain for the entire weekend when we set off. And then the sun miraculously came out. It’s like we were MEANT to enjoy at least one sunny day there! Did your friends grow up in Tunbridge Wells? I wonder what that was like! (And thank you! I love this dress. It has a horrendous rip on the back of the collar but I wear it anyways because I have a hair shield.) x

  • That is so cute! I mean I’m all for visiting off the beaten path towns like these – and how cool that you’ve wanted to go for so long and finally made it! It actually does look very beautiful and quaint! Also, did you dye your hair darker? Looks good πŸ™‚

    • It is beautiful! I loved it there so much and I’m glad it was on my list. I did dye it darker. I usually go slightly darker for the autumn, and I dye it myself. I dyed it my usual fall shade and went about my business. The next day I noticed that I had a huge patch that I had missed entirely on the back of my head, so I ran out to buy another box of dye to fix it. That’s where the extra intense colour comes from, I’d suspect: Box #2. Ha, at home hair errors! x

  • You are just too cute! I need me those boots STAT. This looks like such a great little getaway–I love off-the-beaten path trips like this!

    • Thanks Amy! Come fall I live in my boots until the sun returns in the next spring. I worn through/gotten resoled/bought again the same boots fairly continuously. xx

  • I definitely put that on my list to visit when I go back to London next year πŸ™‚ thanks for sharing!