Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

Rainy Days in Tunbridge Wells

On the days when the sun isn’t shining don’t sit around wondtering what to do, head indoors to let off some energy at the Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre which has a wide variety of indoor activities. The recently refurbished swimming pool is a great place for some fun and healthy activity. What could be more pleasurable than splashing about in the pool, while a serious swim will tone every muscle from top to toe.

If you don’t want to get wet there’s indoor tennis, squash and badminton courts that’ll burn off plenty of energy, and who knows you may even discover that you have a potential future Wimbledon champion in your midst!

Don’t forget the brand-new soft play centre, open daily from 10am, that gives an affordable, safe environment for children (up to 8 years old) to play and explore.

The Indoor play centre and café is open in Cranbrook – try out Gulliver’s Play Café. Find them on Facebook @gulliversplaycafe.

Then there’s the Assembly Hall Theatre’s real ice rink – Skate – which opens on 13 November until Sunday 3 January. To celebrate its tenth birthday the rink is offering a special birthday present of a free ticket for young skaters who also turned 10 in 2020. This year the bar and café alongside the rink will be in a semi-open marquee to promote air flow, and there will be increased outdoor seating.

Open through autumn and winter is the Fenton’s Curling Rink which has proven popular with adults and children of the 11+ age group. This is the only curling rink in England that’s used by the Olympic GB team. www​.fen​ton​srink​.co​.uk

If you are still full of energy and looking for an exhilarating new challenge on a rainy day, head over to the Chimera Indoor Climbing Centre to try your hand at indoor rock climbing. There are courses for all ages and abilities and there’s no need to provide any special equipment, just come as you are and climb.

For something a bit more cultured head to the Trinity Theatre & Arts Centre in the historic church designed by Decimus Burton. A gallery provides fine and decorative art displays, set the kids a challenge to find their favourite piece and tell you why they like it.

Stay a while in the baroque velvet café sampling delicious home-made cakes, soups and organic drinks. Plan the rest of your stay in the warmth of this comfortable attraction. You could even take in a show!

From contemporary fine art to a range of luxury jewellery made from the caps of champagne corks, Tunbridge Wells has numerous art galleries to suit all tastes and budgets. All have free admission and continually change their exhibitions. So, whether you have five minutes or the whole day, pop into one of the many galleries and see the wonderful things on offer. 

If you want to explore, dodge the rain drops and take a drive to tour the Wealden Churches. These unique historical buildings reflect the times that they were built in and all have their own tales to tell. 

From the little church of St Martin of Tours in Ashurst, one of the oldest and one of the most simple churches in the area to one of the largest, which became known as the Cathedral of the Weald’ – St Dunstan’s in Cranbrook. 

To ensure you don’t miss such gems as All Saints in Tudeley with its stunning stained glass windows designed by Marc Chagall, or the spectacular windows at St Mary The Virgin in Speldhurst, designed by Burne-Jones and William Morris download the trail leaflet.

If that all seems too much like hard work, tour the delightful Wealden towns and villages searching for that quintessentially English and ultimate indulgence afternoon tea. Choose from the classic cream tea with scones and clotted cream to quirky afternoon teas with a glass of champagne. 

For a carefree tour follow the scenic driving tour around the Weald of Kent, through a rich landscape of orchards, rolling countryside and vineyards, taking in the most picturesque villages along the way.

The villages are way more than pretty places to visit. Each one has its own character and community, with tea-rooms, shops, and pubs waiting to welcome the visitor.

Don’t let the rain chase you away. Stay a bit longer, the clouds will roll away and the sunshine will return.