Christmas in Tunbridge Wells
Places to stay:
Tunbridge Wells is a beautiful place to spend time at Christmas, whether you live here, arrive for a days shopping or come to stay over the festive period. There are numerous options for places to stay, all of which offer different delights:
The Spa Hotel has a super location on Mount Ephraim which is ideal for walking on the Common or down to the boutique shops on the High Street and the Christmas markets on The Pantiles. The hotel has a pool and gym which sets it apart from it's competition. The contemporary Zagatos bar and brasserie is award-winning. The Spa Hotel have a New Years Eve Gala Dinner and are offering Casino Royale party nights in the run up to Christmas on the 6th, 13th and 20th December. The Manager at the Spa Hotel told us;
… “Christmas at The Spa is a magical time, whether you are popping in for a festive lunch or afternoon tea, having your company Christmas do here, spending Christmas Day with us, or seeing in the New Year at our Gala Dinner. You are assured of a warm welcome, delicious food and drink with five star service to match, all within a beautiful building decorated specially for the season”.
Thanks to the Spa Hotel for the wonderful photo of their festive decorations.
The Royal Wells Hotel which is recently under new management is also on Mount Ephraim so convenient for walking to either the shopping in Royal Victoria Place or down to the High Street. The large conservatory is a stunning feature from the outside of the building and the interior does not disappoint either. Christmas dinner is 6 courses for £69.95pp. The hotel was a favoured place to stay of Queen Victoria hence the ‘Royal’ prefix to the name so if it was good enough for her…..
Hotel Du Vin is based conveniently in town in a handsome Decimus Burton house whcih sits adjoining Calverley Park where the Christmas Ice Skating takes place. It is convenient for the Hoopers department store on Mount Pleasant or RVP where all your Christmas shopping could be done under one roof. Stay for New Years Eve and enjoy fireworks and music. The cosy bar with dark paint, chesterfield sofas, huge armchairs and a fire is one of our favourite places to hang out with friends at Christmas.
One Warwick Park is situated right beside the historic Pantiles and Charles the Martyr church. It offers a contemporary and stylish interior with Coco Blush providing beauty treatments if required. Dine with Santa on the 16th December!
Alternative accommodation can be found on AirBnB with stays in apartments, family homes or even an entire separate annex on offer. The whole package, cleanliness, comfort and attention to detail can be equally as good as a hotel but with the added touches of home.
Shopping in Tunbridge Wells:
Tunbridge Wells has such a variety of shops that it will be easy to find something for every member of the family. Shopping is fairly wide-spread taking visitors from the familiar brand names within Royal Victoria Place (RVP) (e.g. M&S, Boots, White Stuff, Fenwicks, Gap), downhill past the exclusive brands on Mount Pleasant (e.g. Russell & Bromley, Hoopers department store, Jigsaw) and the luxury boutiques of the High Street (Bod & Ted, Whistles, Mint Velvet, Artique, Castle Fine Art) through the independent stores in Chapel Place (Gray & Co menswear, Le Petit Jardin homewares, Anna Poulsen local fashion designer, Silver Sheep Gallery) . You will now be ready for a drink so should stop at Chapel Place Gin Bar before strolling down to the exclusive offerings on the Pantiles (Oak & Interiors, Pantiles Pop-Up Gallery, Trevor Mottram cook shop, Fairfax Gallery).
- There is a Christmas Market on the Pantiles taking place every Saturday and Sunday in December. Stallholders provide a range of interesting, unusual, often hand-crafted items that you can’t buy on the high street and you get to meet the maker. There are sensational locally-sourced foods and drinks to taste and take home. Walking around the Pantiles always has a lovely atmosphere but is particularly special at Christmas.
- Ice skating in Calverley Park is a must. The rink is set among log-cabin stalls offering drinks and snacks as well as a few interesting items to purchase if you are the person holding the shopping bags and not skating. The rink is open until the 1st Jan with daily skate sessions. Helpful penguin supports are available for young and beginner skaters to cling onto. Christmas wreath making takes place in the Polar Bar from 5 to 12th December to add to the festive fun.
- In RVP, you can have a photo taken with the GIANT teddy bear which is cute, huge and tiny tots will be wide-eyed! You can visit Santa in his grotto every day until Christmas Eve. The shopping centre is open till 8pm from the 17th to 22nd December and parking will be FREE from 4pm.
- The Trinity Theatre hosts a Comedy Cafe on December 6,7 & 8th with dinner for £37.50 and a candlelit Christmas wtih Richard Durrant featuring live music on December 19th.
- The Assembly Hall launches the Sleeping Beauty panto on Friday 7 December, running through to 2 Jan. It stars Claire Sweeney, Derek Moran and Quinn Patrick. 'Oh no it doesn’t'…..oh yes, it does!