|Homes sold in the last 12 months||524||321||251||333|
|Average house prices||£217,862||£389,678||£663,492||£296,789|
You don't need a blue rinse or to write with purple ink to live in Royal Tunbridge Wells these days! A relaxed tourist hot spot and commuter favourite, this historic spa town lies just 30 miles south of London and sits amidst glorious Kent countryside.
Founded as far back as the 1600s, by Georgian times this prosperous town had become the playground of royals and aristocrats. King Edward VII bestowed the 'Royal' prefix in 1909.
Modern Tunbridge is an attractive place offering residents a superb quality of life, and it still derives nearly a third of its income from tourism.
Property in Tunbridge Wells includes many attractive modern housing developments, including numerous homes which are suitable for first-time buyers. If you're looking for somewhere with plenty of character, there are period homes too, In fact, this Kentish town has something for everyone.
It's true that house prices in Tunbridge Wells are relatively high compared with the national picture, and indeed to the rest of Kent. But that is more than made up for by having such a superb place to call home.
There are many reasons Tunbridge Wells' residents love living here, from the great parks to the Assembly Hall, Trinity arts centre and Forum a 250-seater live music venue. Restaurants are of are particularly high quality, and include the odd Michelin star.
The historic past is reflected in the town's architecture, from elegant Regency villas to large Victorian houses, to pretty clapboard cottages. And there are still plenty of green spaces, including a 200-acre Common. Days out can take in churches, gardens, stately home and more - all within an easy drive.
As for shopping, Tunbridge is a town that has taken retail therapy and converted it into an art form.
The superb Royal Victoria Palace centre, combined with the Calverley, Camden and Grosvenor Roads, offers several chains, while independent boutiques can be found further south around the High Street, Chapel Place and the Pantiles.
The excellent local schools include Skinners' Kent Academy, formerly Tunbridge Wells High, which has consistently ranked in the top 5% of secondaries nationally. Kent Council is one of just 15 in the UK to operate selective education through the eleven plus exam.
Tunbridge Wells lies at the hub of a series of roads. The A26 runs from Maidstone to Newhaven, the A264 runs from Five Oaks to Pembury and the A267 to Hailsham is also nearby. The A21 from London to Hastings passes to the east of the town.
There are two stations, Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms, and even off-peak there are four trains an hour to London Charing Cross.
So make a beeline for Kent, and find out why this delightful place has drawn visitors for the last 400 years - from Daniel Defoe to Queen Victoria and Samuel Pepys.
Source acknowledgement: House price data produced by Land Registry
This material was last updated on 02 March 2015. It covers the period from 03 January 1995 to 30 January 2015.
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