The City Adventurers headed to London Charring Cross for the 9.30am train to Tunbridge Wells. It was a pleasant journey of about an hour into Kent.
The Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre
We dropped off our overnight bags just around the corner and headed to The Tunbridge Wells Assembly Hall Theatre for a tour of the building. The Assembly Hall Theatre is a 1,000-seat, multi-purpose venue providing a mix of entertainment. When we visited it was staging a murder mystery, but it also plays host to stand-up comedy, concerts, plays, musicals etc as well as being part of the Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival. In addition to being shown the front of house areas, we were privileged enough to be given a back stage tour.
The Amelia Scott
After experiencing the hidden areas of the theatre, we headed to The Amelia Scott for another guided tour. Affectionately known as The Amelia, this is a community hub and a centre for high quality cultural experiences. The building is named after Amelia Scott. She was a social reformer and campaigner for women’s suffrage who lived and worked in Tunbridge Wells.
We were granted a tour while final preparations were being made for the opening at the May Bank Holiday. At the time the building housed two libraries, the local museum and an event space, but it is due to include a tourist information point and access to the council.
Like the Assembly Hall, The Amelia Scott will also take part in the Tunbridge Wells Literary Festival. This takes place between Friday 29 April and Monday 2 May 2022. This planned programme of events aims to bring together some of the nation’s favourite writers, some of the best in children’s literature and showcase new writers.
Following our tour, we took a brisk walk down the (very long) hill and arrived at The Pantiles. After indulging in a scrumptious lunch at The Tunbridge Wells Hotel we went to explore The Pantiles. Formerly known as The Walks and the Royal Parade, it leads from the well that gave the town its name. A beautiful area, The Pantiles retains much of its original Georgian charm and architecture.
We called in to the Geography Wine Bar at the top of the Pantiles area for a glass of wine and an especially good gin and tonic. After such a wonderful lunch, we were still quite full. However, as we were heading to the theatre that evening, we thought we’d better eat a little something. Luckily Geography offers a range of cheese and meat platters to share.
Our evening ended with us returning to The Assembly Hall Theatre to see Agatha Christie’s A Murder is Announced. A wonderful show.
Technically we could have headed back home after the show, but instead we headed to our overnight accommodation. Even with a nightcap in the hotel bar, we were in bed before we could have made it home.
Royal Tunbridge Wells is a great place for a day trip. There is plenty to see and The Pantiles offers a unique range of shops, rather than a usual shopping mall. In addition, The Pantiles hosts an annual Food Festival, (14th to 15th May 2022) with over 40 different food and drink stalls plus live cooking demonstrations. This is followed by a Gin and Jazz Festival, (28th and 29th May 2022) that promises over 40 producers of gins, alongside food stalls and jazz on the bandstand.
The Amelia Scott includes a small free museum as well as the library and event space. There are also plans are in place for activities and events throughout the year.
It is easy to get a train to Tunbridge Wells and only takes an hour from central London. So why not pay Royal Tunbridge Wells a visit?