Seven Wonders of the Weald
Enjoy seven wondrous attractions in the South East with one very special pass. Covering Kent and Sussex, the attractions included on the pass are situated in the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding natural Beauty). The pass is available from our office on the High Street in Cranbrook or online at www.sevenwonders.org.uk
Priced at £30 per person the pass gives you access to wonderful attractions throughout the Weald, and includes some special extras at participating sites.
So what exactly are the Seven Wonders?
1) Royal Tunbridge Wells
Royal Tunbridge is a delightful town which marks the beginning of the Seven Wonders trail. The Pantiles is one of the oldest parts of this charming town. Georgian aristocracy frequented this area, enjoying the rumoured health benefits of the Chalybeate Spring and enjoying the sights and attractions that the town had to offer.
One of Royal Tunbridge Wells’ best loved cultural hubs is the Assembly Hall and Theatre. Providing entertainment to audiences for over 75 years this popular venue holds up to 1000 people. The town is also home to the fascinating Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery which offers a wealth of local, social and natural history exhibits to visitors.
Tourist Information Centre Unit 2,
The Corn Exchange
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN2 5TE
2) Scotney Castle
Scotney Castle is a majestic building with a distinctive round tower overlooking a serene moat and delightful surrounding gardens. Its formal gardens, woods and park span across approximately 770 acres.
This National Trust attraction is open all year round offering plenty of things for families to see and do. Explore the castle and its stately rooms, enjoy a picnic in the woods or indulge in tea and cake in the tea rooms, and keep your eyes peeled for Scotney’s infamous resident cat “Puss Puss”.
3) Biddenden Vineyards
Biddenden Vineyards is a well established UK producer of award winning wines. Since 1969 the vineyard has been producing wines, ciders and juices from locally grown produce. Today they grow ten varieties of vine in a south facing plot of 22 acres, in the height of summer the vines create a beautiful green carpet over the landscape. People visiting Biddenden Vineyards can enjoy walking between the vines, visiting the winery and sampling some of the wines and ciders in the shop. The Biddenden shop also sells a variety of locally produced preserves, honey and some superb beers made from local hops! Biddenden Vineyards Gribble Bridge Lane Biddenden Kent TN27 8DF
4) Chiddingstone Castle
Chiddingstone Castle isn't your average stately attraction. Denys Bower restored the 1550’s castle in 1955. The property was in a state of disrepair and the enthusiastic antiquarian made Chiddingstone the home for his vast collection of exotic antiques and curios.
The castle has a fantastic display of Bower’s Egyptian, Buddhist, and Jacobean artefacts inside. Outside the picturesque grounds and lake are set within 35 acres. It has an award winning orangery, beautiful rose garden and serene woodland.
Hill Hoath Road
5) Spa Valley Railway
Start your journey through the wonderful High Weald Countryside with Spa Valley Railway in the delightful country junction station Eridge,which you can get to by mainline trains operated by Southern Railway. There is a 'Destination At Every Station' with the train stopping at: Groombridge, where you can find Groombridge Place Gardens & Enchanted Forest; High Rocks, a unique station from which you can visit the High Rocks themselves with breathtaking sandstone rocks linked by eleven bridges; Tunbridge Wells - you will arrive a few minutes walk from The Pantiles, still full of elegance and charm.
Eridge Station Sat Nav TN3 9LE
High Rocks Station is in the grounds of High Rock Inn Sat Nav TN3 9JJ
Tunbridge Wells West Station (see Spa Valley website for details on parking)
6) Hole Park Gardens, Rolvenden
Hole Park Gardens in Rolvenden can be enjoyed by visitors throughout the seasons, with one of the best bluebell displays in the country in spring. The 16 acres of beautifully laid out gardens and adjoining 10 acres of woodlands also boast outstanding rhododendrons, azaleas and wisterias, followed by colourful herbaceous borders in summer before the acers and exotic border take centre stage in the autumn.
The formal gardens, defined by extensive yew hedges, walled gardens, pools and statues offer plenty of benches on which to relax and swings for the children to play on. After enjoying the gardens and woodland, visitors can relax in the coach house and enjoy a light lunch or delicious afternoon tea with homemade cakes.
Hole Park is open every day between 11am-6pm from early March until the second week of June, and then opens on Wednesdays and Thursdays through the summer with additional Sundays in October.
Knole offers something for everyone and tourists have visited its showrooms for some four hundred years. It sits within Kent’s last medieval deer park and was originally built as an archbishop’s palace before passing to the Sackville family, who still live here today. Explore the grand courtyards and tranquil Orangery or wander the winding paths in the parkland, still populated by wild deer. A Gatehouse Tower boasts panoramic views from the rooftop and art lovers will find Reynolds, Gainsborough and Van Dyck to admire. There are also 17th century tapestries and furniture on display. Knole is currently in the midst of a huge conservation project and visitors can watch conservators caring for its treasures from Wednesday to Saturday weekly.