Market value

Infinity Haydon Kirby

Every other week something magical happens in Tunbridge Wells’ historic promenade area. It transforms itself from being a pleasant place to sit, sip a drink or browse around the specialist shops into a vibrant, bustling market hub where you can buy all sorts of artisan products and treat your tastebuds to plenty of gourmet goodies.

Held every first and third weekend of the month, the market sees an array of specialist sellers, including McCarthy’s Bakery, Crown Antiques and Gilwing Farm, descend upon The Pantiles to offer everything from gooey cheese and fragrant spices to local beers and quirky finds for the home.

Tara Fuller is the Events Co-ordinator at The Pantiles Bandstand Event Company, who have been in charge of running the successful markets since October 2015.

“We are lucky to have such dedicated market traders who stick with us come rain or shine and keep booking more and more dates,” she explains.

“I think it’s great that you can come to The Pantiles each market weekend and know that the regular traders will be there so you can get all of your supplies. From April onwards you can expect to see around 25-30 stalls on each market day.”

This year there will also be a number of other specialist markets in addition to the foodie and home ones.

“We have some great things planned this year,” confirms Tara. “Our first event is the Wedding Fair on April 23 and 24. We also have the Food Festival booked in for May and September and are planning some other great events such as a Literary Festival and a Vintage Fair later in the year.”

What does she think the markets bring to The Pantiles and Tunbridge Wells in general?

“I think they add a real sense of community spirit to the town. It’s great to be able to support local traders and know that whatever produce you are purchasing is fresh and grown nearby. It is really important that we keep supporting this.”

Tara also likes the fact shoppers can talk to the traders and understand what they are buying and where it has come from.

“The Pantiles Market is quite well known so we do get people from further afield coming along to support the local traders,” she explains.

“It’s also a great way for people to be able to start their own business and they start to feel involved in the trading community.”

So what are the plans for the future? “We just want to keep building the markets up and increase the number of traders we have where possible,” continues Tara. “I think the specialised markets are really important as well as it’s great to showcase a particular element and have a theme to the market. Hopefully we can put a lot more of these events on in the future.”


This weekend March 19 and 20. For more information visit

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