Love Where You Live

This month SO Magazine chats to Alex Green, the newly appointed Business Improvement District (BID) Director, about all the places he likes to support locally. Here Alex reveals where he likes to stroll, shop and socialise….


Where do you live?

I live in Tunbridge Wells and feel lucky enough to have the best of both worlds – we are a short 15-minute walk from the centre of town but also have a back garden that overlooks the countryside.


How long have you lived here and what made you decide to move to Tunbridge Wells?

I was brought up and went to school here. After finishing my degree at the University of Manchester I decided to return to the lovely town that I grew up in and have worked locally ever since.


What’s your favourite shop locally?

I genuinely couldn’t answer this! Not only as some of the 600+ levy payers I support (as BID Director) would expect me to say them, but also because there are so many that I couldn’t pick just one.


Where’s the best place to go for a Sunday stroll?

My 3-year old loves steam trains and so we often take off for a 20-minute walk that runs from my back garden along the Spa Valley line tracks through the forest up to High Rocks. A nice bonus to this walk is that you can stop for a cool beer in the venue’s pleasant garden before coming back.


And where do you think is the best place to get a cup of coffee?

The Old Auction House just off The Pantiles is great for coffee and, also for an accompanying cake or lunch! I conduct lots of my meetings over a coffee so I try and vary my locations. They range from Juliet’s to the Fine Grind and Gail’s to The Lodge, The Cake Shed, Eggs Eleven, Basil, Gusta and Caffe Nero… the list is endless!


Where do you take people when they come to visit?

If shopping is on the agenda we will visit Royal Victoria Place, Monson and Camden Roads and then wander down to The Pantiles via Mount Pleasant, the High Street and Chapel Place. A walk around Calverley or Dunorlan Park is often part of our plan and we may even go on the pedalos!


What’s the night life like where you live?

I’m lucky enough to have the historic and lovely Pantiles only a ten-minute walk away, where thanks to its 17 bars, cafés and restaurants you are quite literally spoilt for choice! Then, within another ten-minute walk, you’ve got The Forum, Trinity and the Assembly Hall to watch pretty much anything that might take your fancy!


Where’s your favourite place to eat locally?

In Tunbridge Wells there are so many to choose from but Il Vesuvio, Coco Retro, Soprano, or Air Time Thai would be my favourites. I’d also pick out Thackerays for a special treat.


To enjoy some nice views where do you head to?

The Beacon has some of the best views around but it will find a match when the clocktower at Trinity Theatre opens up to the public.


If you’re looking to relax and unwind, where’s your favourite place to go?

Chimera Climbing near High Brooms station is a great place to zen out and focus on something so simple but rewarding. It’s also great to get a gym workout whilst doing something fun and sociable.


Where’s the best place to meet friends and socialise?

If you head up to St John’s Road, then an escape room at Cluecracker or game of Shuffle Board at the Shuffle House is always a good laugh before starting an evening with drinks at St John’s Yard or heading down to Sankey’s.


What do you do when you spend a weekend or day off in the local area?

I didn’t know parents got those?!


Why do you love where you live?

Tunbridge Wells has a unique energy about it with so much to do and so much passion running through its residents, businesses and activities. What excites me most is the potential it has for even more.

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