Situated on the banks of the river Medway, Tonbridge has been a market town since the Earl of Gloucester was granted the right to hold a weekly market in 1259. A castle was built there in the 11th century by Richard Fitzgilbert, a nobleman in William the Conqueror's invading army, and rebuilt in the 13th century.
The town and its surrounding areas became famous for the production of finely inlaid wooden cabinets, boxes and other objects, which were called "Tunbridgeware".
Tonbridge was spelt "Tunbridge" until 1870, but the spelling of the name was changed in an effort to avoid confusion with nearby Tunbridge Wells, a larger, but considerably newer, town about five miles to the south.
Tonbridge station is the main train station in West Kent and is used by 3.8 million passengers a year. It is situated very near the centre of town. It is on the mainline to the Kent Coast serving Dover, Ramsgate and Margate as well as the mailine serving Tunbridge Wells and Hastings. Services also available to Gatwick Airport via Redhill and Maidstone via Paddock Wood. London is served by six off peak services an hour and takes between 30 and 45 minutes depending on whether the train is direct or a stopper service. Tickets cost about £10.
Fare and timetable information is available from South East Trains , tel. 08457 484950.
It is possible to reach Tonbridge by bus from such towns Brighton, Maidstone and even London (which would involve a few changes).
The centre of Tonbridge is fairly small, and can easily be travelled on foot. As with most other towns in England, the town is well serviced by buses and taxis.
Arriva is the bus company that operates in Tonbridge. Timetables and fares are available on their website . Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus.
The main taxi rank is at the train station, although you can order a taxi by telephone to pick you up from anywhere.
For Pre Booked Journeys try:
The town is also served by two Premier Travel Inns. Both about one mile from the town centre. One is attached to The Vauxhall Inn (at the A21/A26 junction to the south) and the other to The Hilden Manor (B245 towards Hildenborough to the north-west).
Other places of interest in the Tonbridge area
Outdoor action... Indoor fun... It’s for everyone!
Visit the World of Activities at The Hop Farm for maximum fun at Kent’s biggest and No 1 family attraction.
Our award-winning family park is packed full of new features, rides and undercover wonders to entertain and fuel imaginations – come and enjoy one of life’s biggest adventures.
· Glide around on our amazing Victorian Carousel – a beautifully restored masterpiece which will leave you reminiscing of olden times
· Explore the UK’s first Magic Factory – discover intriguing conundrums, trick photography and the mysterious Merlin’s trommel!
· We dare you to try the 35ft high Leap of Faith – one of the amazing activities in our new adrenaline pumping Extreme Zone!
· Can you hit the bull’s eye? Try our Archery activity – come and have some family fun and shoot some arrows!
· The Soft Play Areas have slides and swings – just perfect for the younger ones in a happy and safe environment!
· Go for a hole in one at the Crazy Golf – practise your swing and you might have a chance!
· Everyone will love the Giant Jumping Pillows – how many jumps can you do before you fall over? Fantastic and simple family fun!
· Nostalgic Dray Rides with the Shire horses – everyone’s favourite and a great way to see The Hop Farm estate!
· Step into the past and experience a bygone age in Yesterday’s Village – a life-size recreation of a bygone village with shops and 1000s of genuine artefacts!
· Get a taste of the jungle in The Lost World Maze – get ready for a mini adventure meeting life-like dinosaurs on the way!
· Our famous Driving School – youngsters drive their very own car or truck and learn driving skills on a fun-size track!
· Visit the beautiful Shire Horses and Animal Farm – get up close to these amazing horses and meet other animals too!
· The younger ones have their very own Mini Funfair - ride the rodeo, mini big wheel, mini roundabout and bungee trampolines. Fun after fun after fun!
· An Extreme Zone favourite, Bush Craft and Nature Walks – guided walks through the woods learning about nature, how to build a shelter, survival techniques and more!
· Another really popular one from the Extreme Zone is the Climbing Wall – can you make it right up to the top? Give it a go and find out!
· Discover our hop picking heritage in the interactive Hop Story Museum – the story unfolds in the superb roundels of our Oast houses!
· Enjoy mouth watering cream teas in the Tea Room – plus tasty snacks and much more in a tasteful and restful ambience!
· Meet international stars in Legends in Wax – lifelike models of iconic pop stars past and present, sporting legends and movie stars. And if you dare and for the brave only, venture down to the torture cellar!
· At the centre of the park is the huge Outdoor Play Area and Frame – imaginations will run wild with the slides, bridges, towers and much more!
· The Arts and Crafts Centre is for the creative youngsters – fantastic for budding artists and for creating cards, badges, etc!
· 3D has arrived in The Great Goblin Hunt – hunt for goblins in this crazy and amazing indoor world of 3D!
· Traditional and delicious home cooked food served in The Shires Inn Restaurant – all the family are welcome and great value prices too!
· Our very own Garden Nursery for all your flowers, plants and shrubs – we have a massive choice and it’s right by the car park
· Delightful Gift & Sweet Shop – try some of our delicious fudge or take home a memento of your visit
· And much, much more!
Other activities and Extreme Zone activities available (small charges apply). See our website for full details.
Bring your friends and family for the ultimate fun day out!
Try a great value camping short break and enjoy two days fun for the price of one!
The World of Activities - there’s something for everyone and the fun never stops!!