Tonbridge is a medieval market town in the heart of the West Kent countryside, best known for being home to one of England’s finest 13th-century Motte and Bailey Castles, as well as its links with Jane Austen. The beautiful town sits on the River Medway which hosts the annual Dragon Boat Race and where visitors can take scenic river walks, and have a coffee whilst enjoying a fabulous view or be adventurous and take a boat trip. Tonbridge has a lively town centre, known for hosting many events and home to a myriad independent shops and eateries. Add an award-winning farmers market, pop-ups such as at Tonbridge Old Fire Station, and a growing art scene, Tonbridge is the perfect place for a visit!
Tonbridge has good links to the rest of the county, and is easily accessible by train. Tonbridge Station is only a few short stops away from Staplehurst, Marden and Headcorn, where you can explore the picturesque Kentish Weald offering peaceful walks and idyllic cycle routes combining woodland, agriculture, wildlife and history. Bus services connect Tonbridge with Tunbridge Wells and also allow you to soak in some rural Kentish life, by visiting the historic market towns of West Malling and Tenterden.
Travel by Bike…
If getting outdoors and being active is your type of thing, take to the saddle and enjoy a tranquil and picturesque cycle around the town and maybe even venture on the ancient Tudor Cycle Trail. Enjoy an almost entirely traffic-free ride from the stunning Tonbridge Castle to Penshurst Place, where you will discover charming woodlands and countryside on your travels. Penshurst is the reward at the end of this cycling trail, a fortified manor house rich with Medieval charm. Explore the beautiful gardens, or pay a visit to neighbouring Penshurst village for a taste of real historic Kent.
Or by Foot…
There’s nothing better than getting up close and personal with nature, as well as exploring a town as beautiful as Tonbridge. While exploring the beautiful town of Tonbridge, why not venture on a walking route and uncover some hidden gems of the beautiful town. With 3 historic and stunning walking routes to choose from (the Medway Valley Walk, Jane Austen and Tonbridge Walk and the Tonbridge WW1 Walking trails), to explore Tonbridge for all beauty, get your walking boots on and start exploring!
The Medway Valley Walk takes you along the banks of the River Medway, while enjoying the variety of landscapes from the bustling market towns of Tonbridge and Rochester, to picturesque villages and orchards in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Jane Austen and Tonbridge Walk ventures through the heart of the town where you will get a taste of the life and family connections of one of England’s best-loved authors. The Tonbridge WW1 Walking Trails comprise of three short routes within Tonbridge, following level pathways. Immerse yourself within melancholic WW1 memories and landmarks, and pay tribute to the fallen.
Exploring the Town…
When exploring the medieval, stunning town of Tonbridge be sure to visit a few of the area’s best spots: Penshurst Place and Gardens, Haysden Country Park, Tonbridge Farmers Market and the great Tonbridge Castle!
Penshurst Place and Garden is home to a striking manor house with a beautifully landscaped garden as well as a gorgeous quaint tea room.
Tonbridge Castle, the striking building you can’t miss seeing in Tonbridge! Venture around the stunning grounds where history comes alive, as you take an audio tour, experience interactive displays and life-size figures. Experience a vivid recreation of the sight, sounds and excitement of 13th Century castle life!
Haysden Country Park covers an area of about 65 hectares (160 acres) to the west of Tonbridge. It includes a range of habitats such as river, grassland, freshwater lakes, marshland and woodland. The site is designated as a Local Nature Reserve and in part a Site of Nature Conservation Interest. It has also been a Green Flag Award winning park since 2006 and is a Natural England accredited park.
As well as these amazing places to visit while exploring Tonbridge, take a look on the map to see if you can find any of the hidden gems such as the Tonbridge Racecourse Sportsground where you can enjoy playing crazy golf, see a miniature railway or even admire the oldest house in Tonbridge, Port Reeve’s House!