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By Chris Paul on 26.3.2024

Tunbridge Wells: one of the top 10 UK holiday destinations

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With the pound faltering, and everyone watching how far they can make their money last, more and more people are turning away from the two weeks in the Costa Brava and choosing UK based holidays instead. Increasingly, those wanting a cheaper holiday are favouring local places, and therefore getting to know their immediate area better. In that vein, step forth Royal Tunbridge Wells, which has been voted one of the top ten UK holiday destinations for Brits.

In a survey conducted by Which? Holidays, the Kentish Georgian town proved a popular place for Brits wanting a short holiday, a figure that is reflected in the four million annual visitors that the town receives.

Juliet Steinmetz, Marketing & Tourism Officer for the town commented: “Tourism is worth £199 million per year to the economy of Tunbridge Wells borough and is one of the largest employment sectors in the borough.”

“Our Tourist Information Centre in the Pantiles is one of the busiest in Kent. Visitors come to enjoy the history of the town – in particular the Pantiles and the Chalybeate Spring, the beautiful countryside of the Weald and some of the country’s finest examples of gardens and stately homes open to the public in the surrounding area.”

Tunbridge Wells came to prominence in the Georgian era, but had been the favourite holidaying place for such famous names as Samuel Pepys, Queen Anne and the Princess (later Queen) Victoria. The discovery of what would be Chalybeate Spring in 1606 put the town on the map as the only Spa town in the South East of England, and it quickly became a fashionable holiday destination. In 1909 the “Royal” prefix was added by King Edward VII in recognition of the town, causing another rise in popularity. In the 21st Century, only 30 minutes from London, it has kept many of its quintessentially English features such its tearooms and local pubs but also has an array of international cafes and restaurants.

The town’s popularity as a good place to settle down has also been recognised, where it took the bronze award in Channel 4’s “Best Places to Live” 2006 after Horsham and Winchester.

Speaking directly about the survey’s results, Juliet Steinmetz said “To be included in the top ten holiday destinations as voted for by Which? readers is great news for Tunbridge Wells, and we hope it will encourage more people to come and see for themselves what the town and the surrounding area have to offer visitors.”


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