Royal Tunbridge Wells is always a wonderful place to visit. Here are ten things you can experience in this delightful Spa Town at Christmastime.
 Even bigger real outdoor ice rink this year with a separate area for parents and toddler sessions in the daytime and Bavarian Curling in the evening: a traditional German ice game somewhere between curling and bowls!
The rink is open from 15 November 2019 to 5 January 2020 in Calverley Grounds which is just across the road from the mainline train station serving trains from Hastings and London.
 Visit Father Christmas in his authentic log cabin at Calverley Grounds. Families can book to have a 10-minute private meeting with Father Christmas. A professional photograph is included with each booking along with an age-appropriate gift. Children can also write a letter to Father Christmas with a merry elf which they can then hand to Father Christmas during their visit.
 Christmas Lights and Illuminations. This Christmas the town will have beautifully illuminated streets. For the first time, these will include winter scenes projected onto some of the town’s most iconic buildings including one which will look just like falling snow close to the entrance to Royal Victoria Place shopping centre.
 Royal Victoria Place shopping Centre is home to all your favourites stores, excellent family facilities and a vast range of places to eat and relax. A festive entertainment programme is planned for every Sunday in December when parking is just £2 all day. Santa will be arriving at his magical Arctic themed Grotto on Thursday 14 November from 4.30 pm along with Chase and Marshall from the popular TV series PAW Patrol. Santa will be in his beautifully decorated grotto every day until 24 December.
 The festive-themed Farmers Market takes place each Saturday throughout December between 9 am and 3 pm in Market Square where shoppers can buy speciality produce.
 Late Night Shopping in Royal Victoria Place until 8 pm Monday from 16 December to Monday 23 December with free parking between 4 pm and 8 pm. (except Sunday 22 December when the centre closes at 4.30 pm).
 The historic High Street and Pantiles. With its restaurants and unique shops, the historic pantiles is always a magical place to visit, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s a great place to refresh your mind among the beautifully lit trees, historic buildings and a Georgian colonnade once famous for attracting royal visitors.
 Santa Specials at the Spa Valley Railway. Just five minutes from the Pantiles is the Spa Valley Railway with running steam trains throughout the Christmas period. Here, children will be able to meet Santa and get a present on board the Santa Specials. This service runs between Eridge and Tunbridge Wells West on selected days from the end of November up to Christmas Eve. You can also book Murder Mystery experiences and Christmas dining opportunities onboard the High Weald Belle.
 Christmas Pantomime. Peter Pan and his friends will be flying into the Assembly Hall Theatre for a family show filled with fairy-dust and fun. During the show, you’ll set sail for Neverland, take on Captain Hook so, prepare yourself for some out-of-this-world flying effects, galleons of laughter and the hungriest of crocodiles. Opens from 7 December to 5 January.
 Theatre Productions at Trinity Theatre has a fantastic programme of events including a new production of the ‘Snow Queen’ which sees Kai lured away from his village by the icy embrace of The Snow Queen. Original music, puppetry and more than a sprinkling of snow will bring this classic tale to life for families between 12 December and 5 January. Or why not book to see a performance of Dicken’s famous ghost story A Christmas Carol on 28 November. Music lovers can listen to a musical trio and soloists while enjoying Christmas lunch on 1 and 8 December. Ballet fans can watch a live production of Coppélia by The Royal Ballet on 15 December at 6.30 pm, and The Nutcracker will be shown on 17 December at 7.15 pm.
Getting to Royal Tunbridge Wells
This popular spa town benefits from excellent transport links including trains arriving regularly from London Charing Cross and Hastings. www.southeasternrailway.co.uk
Tunbridge Wells Ice rink sits across the road from the train station. The ice rink is in Calverley Park, Mount Pleasant Avenue, Royal Tunbridge Wells, TN1 1QQ.
To book ice skating or Father Christmas in Calverley Grounds visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk/ice-skating-in-calverley-grounds or www.fatherchristmasinkent.co.uk
For further information about Royal Tunbridge Wells including where to stay visit and car parks see www.visittunbridgewells.com