Tunbridge Wells is one of the most sought after places to live in the South East of England so no wonder it’s been so popular with everyone from kings and queens to busy commuters over the centuries
There are many reasons why people love making this particular corner of Kent their home. As well as the great green spaces and excellent access to the capital and the coast, there are also plenty of fabulous restaurants, gastro pubs and independent retailers all thriving in and around Tunbridge Wells.
Add to this mix a hugely impressive array of private, selective and state schools, glorious countryside, elegant architecture and a vibrant arts and culture scene and you pretty much have the recipe for the perfect place to live.
This was recently confirmed in the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Residents’ survey* for 2015 which found that 92% of people were happy living here. Overall satisfaction with the range of services and amenities here was 86% while 98% of residents said they felt safe in their local area, with 73% saying they would happily walk alone after dark.
The spa town, which dates back to the 18th century, was awarded its royal status in 1909 after King Edward VII recognised its popularity and also the numerous trips his family, most notably his mother, Queen Victoria, had made to it.
It was first put on the map in 1606 when Lord North, a courtier to James I drank from a nearby spring – now known as Chalybeate – and declared that his poor health had improved dramatically as a result.
It quickly became the place to be thanks mainly to the restorative powers of the spring waters but also due to the fashionable Pantiles walkways that had been built which offered an array of shops and coffee and ale houses as well as the perfect vantage point to see and be seen.
But it was Queen Victoria’s visits with her husband Prince Albert that really made it fashionable. She enjoyed making Tunbridge Wells part of her regular holiday ‘sojourns’ which led the 19th century poet and historian Lord Macaulay to deem it as ‘one of the richest and highly civilised parts of the kingdom.’ How right he was!
AT-A-GLANCE FACTS AND FIGURES FOR LIFE IN TUNBRIDGE WELLS
- According to RightMove the average price for a flat is £252,471, a terraced house is £375,612 and a semi is £413,602
- In the past year house prices in Tunbridge Wells were 12% up on the year before and 27% up on 2013 when they averaged at £335,130.
- 86% of residents go into the town to shop*
- 59% of residents go into the town for business
- 58% of residents go into the town to eat and drink
- You can get to London in 58 minutes by train
- The cost of an average South Eastern season ticket is £4,404.00
*Additional information from the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council Residents’ Survey 2015