In theknow

Royal Victoria Grove was planted in honour of Queen Victoria's visit to Tunbridge Wells

Clare Lush-Mansell, founder of local lifestyle and parenting blog My Tunbridge Wells, talks to theknow about a few of her favourite things to see and do in town

How did you find yourself living in Tunbridge Wells?
We moved to Southborough eight years ago, and lived just off Grove Park in central Tunbridge Wells for three years before that. We chose Southborough as we were able to get more for our money back then, plus it’s still within walking distance to the centre of town and close to the A21, so easy to reach family in Sevenoaks and Goudhurst, and the beautiful common and woodland, which is so close to our house.

Where do you go for a coffee when you’re out shopping?
I change my mind about this constantly, but at the moment I’ve been really enjoying going to The Earl Grey in Southborough, Kingdom in Penshurst, and The Black Dog Café on Camden Road. For shopping, I like Paperchase (love a bit of stationery!), Oliver Bonas and Fenwick – and I do often stock up on toiletries from Lush too!

What’s the nightlife like?
I think there’s a great selection of restaurants and bars around Tunbridge Wells, and like to try out different ones when I do get the opportunity to go out with friends. Some of my favourites include The Ivy (of course!), Sucheera for something spicy, and Vittle & Swig on Camden Road. Both the bar and bistro at Hotel du Vin are also fantastic, and I like Fuggles for a few casual drinks with friends.

How about the great outdoors?
We LOVE going out for a Sunday stroll – with two young boys, they need to be exercised every day! The places we go to most often include Birchden Wood, Broadwater Warren, The Hollies (Ashdown Forest) and Haysden in Tonbridge. Dunorlan Park is good for a short stroll as well, and sometimes we like staying local by going for a walk around Southborough Common and Birch Wood. Plus, the views from the Common outside St Peter’s Church are lovely!

Where do you take people when they come to visit to show off the town?
We often have family coming to stay from Ireland, and a visit to Tunbridge Wells always needs to include a trip to The Pantiles, and a coffee alfresco if weather permits! Another good place to take them is Dunorlan Park, or Calverley Grounds is really pretty, especially when the flowers are in bloom. We normally take visitors to either Penshurst Place or Hever Castle as well – both of which I think are magnificent in their own ways – combined with a pub lunch at somewhere like The Hare, The George & Dragon in Speldhurst, or The Beacon!

Clare Lush-Mansell provides parents and grandparents in and around Tunbridge Wells, West Kent and East Sussex with inspiration for baby, toddler and children’s activities and events at her lifestyle and parenting blog, My Tunbridge Wells. To find out more, visit

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