Living in Tonbridge

What is life like in Tonbridge?

Tonbridge is a quiet market town in Kent, located just a few miles from the M25 and with excellent rail links to central London.

It has understandably become a hugely popular spot with commuters, while excellent schools and easy access to the countryside also make it a hit with families. A good swimming pool and leisure centre, a busy high street and an 11th-century castle are further highlights of the town.

The south end of Tonbridge is popular with commuters due to its proximity to the station and supply of quality Edwardian and Victorian homes, while more modern properties are widely available in the town centre.

People looking for a high standard of living and a peaceful home in a prime location in the south-east should consider buying or renting a property in Tonbridge.

Check out available properties to rent or buy in Tonbridge.

History

Tonbridge has a long and proud history and was featured in the Domesday Book of 1087, when it was referred to as Tonebridge. The town was actually called Tunbridge until 1870, when it was decided to rename it Tonbridge to avoid confusion with nearby Tunbridge Wells.

The castle in Tonbridge was built in the 11th century by Richard Fitz Gilbert and still stands today at the heart of the town.

In March 1980, Tonbridge shot to fame as it was the scene of a riot following the result of the parliamentary election. During World War II, a prisoner of war camp was built in the area to house German pilots who had been shot down. 

Entertainment, sport and days out

The Oast Theatre is situated on the outskirts of Tonbridge and puts on a range of shows that are well attended by local people. There are also two sports facilities - the Angel Centre and Tonbridge Sports Centre - that can be utilised by fitness fantatics.

Those who prefer to watch rather than play can head to Longmead Stadium, home of Tonbridge Angels FC, to enjoy live football.

Looking slightly further afield, Tonbridge residents can easily enjoy days out in London, the High Weald AONB or the beautiful Kent coast.

Eating, drinking & shopping

The majority of Tonbridge’s shopping facilities can be found in its mile-long high street, where a wide variety of stores - both national companies and independent businesses - are based. This vibrant scene is a reflection of the town’s increasing prosperity.

Shoppers can also make the trip to major retail centres such as Bluewater, which is about 20 miles north of Tonbridge.

There is also a good selection of bars, restaurants and pubs in the town centre, with some of the most popular eateries including Havet, Graze and Gurkha Planet.

Schools & healthcare

The high-performing local schools are one of the major attractions to families looking to buy or rent a property in Tonbridge. Institutions such as The Judd School, Weald of Kent Grammar School and Tonbridge Grammar School are incredibly popular, while the fee-paying Tonbridge School is another excellent option.

Nearby Tunbridge Wells boasts a large hospital where people can benefit from medical care and attention. 

Getting around

Tonbridge is one of Kent’s best connected towns, lying just a few minutes from the M25 and M26 motorways. It also offers a direct rail link to central London, with journeys Charing Cross taking just over 40 minutes.

Other major roads include the A21 to London or Hastings and the A26, which connects Brighton and Maidstone.