January Calendar

1st > First Journey

Stuart Kirk

If you’re feeling a bit flat after recent festivities, then why not visit Tenterden’s Steam Railway and enjoy a nostalgic journey through the beautiful winter landscape on January 1? After trains leave the picturesque town of Tenterden they travel across the marshes and Wealden Valley to the stations at Rolvenden, Wittersham Road, Northiam and Bodiam. At Rolvenden there is a viewing platform where passengers can see newly renovated locomotives, and before arriving at Bodiam, passengers can see the magnificent medieval castle. For timings and to book and for additional information about the railway visit www.kesr.org.uk

2nd > Paint Party
Start that ‘try something new’ resolution by booking a place at Secret Art Parties’ January event, which takes place at Jean’s Kitchen and Wine Bar in Tunbridge Wells. An evening of entertainment, you’ll enjoy drinks and nibbles, great company
and of course the chance to brush up on your
art skills and learn some new ones too. Tonight’s painting will be Sunflowers by Van Gough.
The event costs £30 per person and runs from 7.30pm to 10.30pm. www.secretartparties.co.uk

2nd > Collection Observation
The former home of author Rudyard Kipling, Bateman’s is a wealth of history, and you can immerse yourself in it in one of their guided house tours taking place from January 2. Visitors to the property will have the chance to see how the team conserve the collection and keep it in good order for future generations.
The tours run at set times throughout the day, and normal admission prices apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans

6th > Musical Memories
Two years on from David Bowie’s death, The Forum in Tunbridge Wells will remember him in style when their Bowie Night returns on January 6. To commemorate the music legend, throughout the evening the house band will be joined by a plethora of special guests who are sure to make this a night to remember.
The event begins at 7.30pm and tickets cost £10, with proceeds going to musical charity Rhythmix. www.twforum.co.uk

6th > Light Reading

National Trust Images/David Sellman

Each weekend in January, Bodiam Castle holds its Candlelit Stories event, where you can join their costumed narrators for medieval-inspired children’s stories in the candle-lit tower. Storytelling by the fire was a way of keeping sprits up during the dark cold winter months in the medieval times, so help to keep the tradition alive over the festive period. Normal entry fees apply. For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle

12th > Fair Finds
Whether you’re a bargain hunter, collector, vintage enthusiast or independent retailer, pay a visit to the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood for three days of retail therapy at the Big Brocante and Vintage Collector’s Fair, which takes place from January 12 to 14. Find silverware, decorative antiques, haberdashery, jewellery, glassware and much more as you browse the stalls, and pick up some unique finds.
The fair opens at 8am daily and costs £3 in advance. www.thebigbrocante.co.uk

13th > Place to Wed
From 10am to 3pm on Saturday January 13, couples will be able to discover just what makes Penshurst Place so unique, when the 14th century stately home hosts a wedding showcase event. Guests will be able to enjoy complimentary Prosecco and canapés as they explore the house and grounds, with those looking for an outdoor celebration able to visit the stunning private Inner Courtyard, never normally seen by the public.To book your place, call 01892 870 307 or email banqueting@penshurstplace.com

19th > 70s Sounds
T.Rextasy, the world’s only official live tribute band dedicated to Marc Bolan & T.Rex return to the Assembly Hall Theatre on January 19, transporting audiences back to relive the good old days of the 1970s. The band have now been performing around the world for over 20 years, and have been described as: ’beyond the boundaries of tribute’. See them set the stage alight as they perform hits such as Love to Boogie, Telegram Sam, Jeepster and 20th Century Boy. Tickets cost from £23.50 and the concert begins at 7.30pm. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

20th > Tassel Talents

Learn traditional techniques of decorative tassel making with expert Anna Crutchley at this crafty workshop in Knole’s Hayloft Learning Centre. Use a rich colour palette of high quality yarns to create your own beautiful tassel to take home. The session, which takes place from 10am to 4pm and costs £125 per person, includes all materials, lunch and refreshments.
Booking essential. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

21st > Venue Visions
On Sunday January 21, Hever Castle is hosting an elegant wedding showcase giving you the opportunity to experience the venue set up as it would be for your big day. Wander at your leisure around the spectacular facilities and experience first-hand the magic of a wedding at Hever Castle. Meet the team who will be on hand to discuss your requirements and to answer any questions you may have. Register your attendance in advance by emailing your details and a brief outline of your wedding day requirements to weddings@hevercastle.co.uk

21st > Love Local
Support Local’s pop-up events are a way of showcasing local talent, so visit One Warwick Park Hotel in Tunbridge Wells on January 21, and discover fantastic producers and creators right on your doorstep. Visitors can purchase beautiful, handmade items and learn more about the people behind local businesses, while these events also give traders the perfect opportunity to display their talents. The event runs from 10am to 4pm.

24th > The Wild Side
The ‘Best wildlife around Kent’ event
at Sevenoaks Nature Reserve is a fascinating evening of learning, with a presentation from popular wildlife speaker Simon Ginnaw. A keen naturalist, Simon grew up in Kent and has expert knowledge on the birds, flowers, trees and much more. The event runs from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, and refreshments will be provided. Book by emailing davidwnimmo@tiscali.co.uk or by calling 07910 506 996

25th > Tweet Talk

Bedgebury’s mix of broadleaf and conifer trees creates a unique habitat for resident and migrant birds, and on January 25, birding enthusiast and local bird ringer, Christine George, will give an illustrated talk about the birds that frequent the site, their habits and behaviours and the best times to see or hear them.
She will follow the talk with a winter walk in the hope of seeing the elusive hawfinches that overwinter in the Pinetum.
The event starts at 1.30pm and finishes at 4pm, and costs £12 per person including the walk, or £8 for the talk only. 01580 879 842

25th > Sparkling Wit
Star of BBC’s Live at the Apollo and Would I Lie to You, and Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Katherine Ryan is a writer/performer and stand-up comedian who is dominating the UK television and live comedy scenes, and this month she comes to the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. With her razor-sharp wit and hilarious take
on life, her Glitter Room show is not to be missed. Tickets from £18.50.

30th > Young Creatives
The Y/Z Exhibition, which is held at Trinity in Tunbridge Wells from January 30 to February 4, is a great opportunity for artists and designers aged 16 to 25 to exhibit and sell their work. Collections and pieces from a few local artists will be available to inspire the collection of art among younger members of the community, with the aim to encourage art and expression among a generation with so much talent and potential.

30th > Murder Mystery
A mind bending psychological thriller from the pen of Anthony Horowitz – creator of Foyle’s War, the BBC’s New Blood, Alex Rider, and the Sherlock Holmes novels House of Silk and Moriarty comes to the Assembly Hall Theatre from January 30 to February 3. When Mark Styler, a writer of glossy ‘true crime’ paperbacks, tries to get
an interview with Easterman, a notorious serial killer, he has no idea what he’s walking in to…and he soon discovers nothing is what it seems…
Tickets from £15. www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk