My Tunbridge Wells, your Tunbridge Wells

Clare Lush-Mansell from My Tunbridge Wells is your expert guide to all the fantastic events happening in and around the town every month. Read on to discover her top picks for the next few weeks…

1. The Kent Rum Train

22nd June

Join the ‘Kent Rum Train’ for a unique rum tasting experience at the Spa Valley Railway in Tunbridge Wells. Partnering with Anno Distillers of Marden, Kent, this event offers passengers the chance to savour three distinct Anno rums, complemented by canapés, while enjoying a scenic journey through the High Weald countryside on our favourite steam train. Additional rums from guest distilleries will also be available for purchase. Tickets include the train ride, three rums, mixers, a glass, and canapé – advance booking is required. www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk

2. Hever’s Home Front

22nd & 23rd June

Step back in time to wartime Britain at Hever’s Home Front 2024, a 1940s event offering an immersive historical experience. Enjoy authentic cooking, view displays of military vehicles, and browse stalls selling vintage wares and refreshments. Enhance your visit by dressing in period costume and completing your look with a visit to a 1940s hair salon. Participate in a lively dance lesson on the lawn to truly get into the groove of the era. Going as a family? There is so much to do at Hever! Including a visit to The Tudor Towers Playground, cooling down in the Water Maze and marvelling at the miniature model houses. (Please note that some rooms in the Castle will be closed until 25 June.)
www.hevercastle.co.uk 

3. Soul Train – Vince Dunn and the Funky Express

29th June    

Get ready to groove all night long at Soul Train with Vince Dunn and The Funky Express! Taking place on The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, this live music event features an 8-piece band of some of the country’s top session musicians, delivering infectious beats from soul and funk to disco, Motown, and RnB. Dance the night away from 7pm to 10pm as they play iconic hits from the late 60s to today. Tickets are £7.50 online or £10 at the door without a restaurant reservation. Enjoy the event with a pop-up bar and spectator space, where foldaway chairs are welcome if space permits. Don’t miss this unforgettable dance party experience! www.thepantiles.com

4. The Summer Vintage Fair at Chiddingstone Castle

30th June 

The Summer Vintage Fair returns to Chiddingstone Castle for its ninth year on Sunday, 30th June, from 10:30am to 4:00pm. This event features a vast array of French and English homewares, decorative vintage items, textiles, furniture, fashion, jewellery, accessories, pre-loved items, and gardenalia, making it a true festival of all things vintage. Enjoy an entertainment programme that blends vintage and Home Front themes with singing and dancing throughout the day. Local food specialists will provide delicious refreshments. Browse the stalls, enjoy the entertainment, visit the castle and its collections, and picnic in the grounds for a full-day experience. Tickets are £7.50 per adult and £2.50 per child.  www.chiddingstonecastle.org.uk

5. Tunbridge Wells Foodies Festival

5th to 7th July

The UK’s biggest touring food and drink festival is coming to Tunbridge Wells for a massive celebration and we can’t wait to be part of it! The Tunbridge Wells Foodies Festival features live music from pop star Peter Andre, iconic disco trailblazers Sister Sledge, and Symphonic Ibiza, offering a unique fusion of Ibiza classics with a live orchestra, plus many more bands throughout the weekend. Enjoy an array of delicious food and drink, live cooking demos from top chefs and bakers, and new attractions for 2024, including a family-friendly silent disco, a fun cook school, and an impressive fire pit. See you there? www.foodiesfestival.com

6. Festival of Nature at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve

6th July

Join in the Festival of Nature at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on 6th July for a day filled with fun and discovery! Meet the dedicated volunteers, membership and conservation teams while enjoying locally produced cakes, hot food vans, and a mobile bar. There’ll be some awesome activities to get involved in, including pond dipping, natural crafts, planting, and wildlife camera trapping. Try angling, test your skills at the coconut shy, and enjoy a birds of prey display. Explore wildlife arts and crafts stalls, handmade jewellery and candles, and see the latest electric vehicles and bikes. Participate in guided tours, bird watching walks, and exciting activities with Ninja Warrior. Event parking is available off-site at Knole Academy, with disabled parking on-site at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve (usual charges apply). www.sevenoakswildlifetrust.org.uk

7. Mini Crowfest

13th July

Crowborough Town Council will be hosting ‘Mini CrowFest,’ on 13th July – a one-day version of the original CrowFest from 2022. Taking place from 1pm to 9pm at Goldsmiths Recreation Ground, this free event features live music on a large stage with local bands and a smaller stage for DJ performances and workshops. Enjoy your favourite summer fair activities, including market stalls, food and drink outlets, and entertainment. New additions include an art gallery showcasing works from The Beacon Academy and Crowborough Arts, a children’s area with garden games and inflatables and a mini-fairground. Visit the ECO Hub for eco-friendly activities and a ‘beat the goalie’ competition. With various food outlets and two bars—one run by Gun Brewery Taproom and the other by The Little Langton Bar, Mini CrowFest promises to be a fun-filled day for everyone. @CrowFest

8. PYO Fruit

On now…

Fruit picking is in full swing at many of our local farms, offering a fantastic and budget-friendly outdoor activity for families around Tunbridge Wells. This enjoyable outing not only gets kids excited about eating more strawberries and other fruits but also provides a wonderful opportunity to see where food comes from. Combine your visit with a bike ride or nearby walk if you are hoping to fill up the whole day.. Some favourite spots of ours include Maynards in Wadhurst, Lower Ladysden in Goudhurst, and Cherry Gardens Farm just outside Groombridge. 

9. Connect with nature at Bore Place 

Anytime…

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly walk somewhere special, then a visit to Bore Place near Chiddingstone is a must! This organic estate, home to The Commonwork Trust—a charity focused on connecting people with nature – offers a playground, free parking and a milking parlour experience where you can see organic cows being milked and learn about regenerative farming. Farm produce and ice cream are available from their Farm Gate, along with a new self-service vending machine offering milk with free syrups to create milkshakes. Explore several marked trails around the 500-acre estate, some accessible for all-terrain buggies, and enjoy the rich wildlife on this organically and regeneratively managed land. www.boreplace.org

10. Summer Fetes & Fairs

Various dates

Celebrate community at a local fete or fair in Tunbridge Wells this summer. Enjoy traditional fair fun, shopping, live performances, family games and a variety of food and drink, all while supporting local charities. These budget-friendly events offer an ideal way to spend time outdoors with proceeds benefiting good causes. Highlights include Claremont Primary School PTA’s fete on 29th June (12-3pm) and Southborough Lions Gala Day at Meadows School on 30th June (1-4.30pm).

www.mytunbridgewells.com

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