Tonbridge is a picturesque market town on the River Medway that boasts a castle, theatres, breathtaking gardens, woods and parks. One of many examples of its wealth of attractions can be found at Tonbridge Castle, described as the finest example of a Motte and Bailey Castle with a splendid 13th Century Gatehouse. Surrounded by 14 acres of beautiful grounds, visitors can learn about the history of the castle from 1066 with a recreation of medieval life and an opportunity to sit at the guard’s table. Visit the armoury as well as climb to the top of the tower for amazing views of Tonbridge. The Castle is also a beautiful setting for a range of events, including free Summer concerts.
The Tonbridge Racecourse Sportsground, known locally as Tinkers Island, also showcases a range of events. The central outdoor space has a children’s play area, skate park, a miniature railway track, sports courts and pitches, a mini crazy golf course, or simply take a picnic and relax.
If more adrenaline activities are your thing, then a visit to Clip ‘n Climb may be on the agenda, or try the All Terrain quad bike experiences in woodland. Water-based sports too, paddleboarding and kayaking with Epic Life, try a boat ride with Tonbridge River Trips or hire a rowing boat.
Penshurst Place and Gardens and the surrounding estate have stood in the historic village of Penshurst since the 14th Century, when the awe-inspiring medieval Baron’s Hall was completed in 1341 as a country retreat for the Lord Mayor of London. It was once also a hunting lodge for King Henry VIII. With and adventure play area, trails and toy museum, it has plenty for everyone to enjoy.
St Leonard’s Tower, an early and well-preserved example of a free-standing Norman keep, takes its name from the chapel which once stood nearby and is thought to be part of a castle, highlighting the history of this area.
Nature lovers are spoilt for choice too, with Haysden Country Park there is a range of habitats including river, grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland in its 160 acres, with a natural play area, waymarked and nature trails, and cycling paths. At Tudeley Woods, find a range of wildlife in this ancient woodland where you can take a guided walk.
For those with more theatrical interests, there are not one but two theatres. The E M Forster has a range of productions both national and international and the Oast Theatre is home to Tonbridge Theatre and Arts Club.
Tonbridge is a picturesque market town on the River Medway that boasts a castle, theatres, breathtaking gardens, woods and parks.
Kent is a go-to destination for vineyards, breweries and distilleries, like the Greensand Distillery. Here you can learn about the art of distilling and the different gin botanicals, as well as how they are combined. Visitors distil their own full bottle of gin on an individual copper pot still, selecting from a range of over 40 botanicals.
The Hush Heath Estate dates back to 1503, the manor is Tudor-framed and is currently the family home of the Balfour-Lynns. The Manor nestles into the hill, overlooking the vineyard and estate with magnificent views across the Weald of Kent. Set across 400 acres enveloped in ancient oak woodland is a veritable Eden, for tours and tastings it is a beautiful setting.
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Picture credits top to bottom: © Tonbridge Castle © Clip ‘n Climb © Hush Heath Estate.