It’s the most recognisable area in Tunbridge Wells, but aside from the abundance of wonderful eateries, where should you visit in The Pantiles?
The Upper Pantiles
Arguably the most recognised area of Tunbridge Wells, the Upper Pantiles has made various television appearances, including a Morrison’s Christmas advert starring Richard Hammond and the 1967 musical Half a
Sixpence starring Tommy Steele and Julia Foster. The area received its name because the walkway was paved with pantiles, some of which can still be spotted today.
The Corn Exchange
Now a shopping centre and where the tourist information is housed, this building originated as a theatre in the early 19th century, before being converted to a corn exchange where grain was bought and sold. A statue of the Goddess of the Harvest can be seen at the top of the building. Plans are currently underway to restore this building to its theatrical roots, by installing a three screen cinema inside.
The Chalybeate Spring
The discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606, marked the beginning of Tunbridge Wells, and it still forms a central part of The Pantiles and of Royal Tunbridge Wells today. The water is iron rich and was once thought to cure all number of ills. Visitors can still ‘take the waters’ between Easter and September to sample the spring – it’s even rumoured to cure hangovers!
The Fairfax Gallery
This art gallery, located on the Lower Pantiles is the place to go if you want to see hundreds of original works by established and emerging artists. Founded in 1995, the gallery holds a large selection of landscape, abstract and ﬁ gure paintings as well as displaying sculptures. Works are available to purchase, and regular exhibitions are held here too.
Located in the centre of The Pantiles, the historic bandstand regularly plays host to some of the most talented musicians this area has to offer. Throughout the summer months, Jazz on the Pantiles sees the ﬁ xture come alive with singers and instruments, and it’s not uncommon to see a wedding ceremony conducted here.