The quiet market town of Tonbridge is located on the River Medway 4 miles north of Tunbridge Wells. This ancient town has its roots as far back as 1087 when it listed in the Doomsday Book as Tonebridge. The ancient home is too many interesting sites for tourists to enjoy.
One of the first places many visitors will head to is Tonbridge Castle. Built in the 11th century by Richard Fitz Gilbert de Clare, who was responsible for governing England during all of William I's many absences, Tonbridge Castle is now a place for visitors to learn about Tonbridge life. Today the inter-active displays and life size models gives visitors a taste of how life was lived over 700 years ago. Visitors can enjoy picnic sites, and guided tours. There are facilities for the hearing and visually impaired.
For those that want a full feel to Tonbridge should enjoy the walking tour of the town. The Tonbridge walking tour will take you around the town to see some of the main sites of the town. You can start at the castle grounds and move around the town to see the variety of ancient architecture. There is the old Fire Station, which was built in the 18th century, the Town Swimming Bath and the Town Dyke which encompasses the town. Originally the Town Dyke was supposed to have a wall built upon it, but the wall had never been built. From the Dyke visitors then tour on to the Ivy House and Portreeve's House and finish up at the Gables, or town house, where you can see the Dyke.
For those that are interested in nature Tonbridge is home to beautiful garden areas for visitors to enjoy. The Great Comp Garden in North Tonbridge features a beautiful respite for visitors to the Tonbridge area. The seven acres of plants surround a beautiful 17th century house. The variety of plants makes for an enjoyable visit to the gardens.
Another garden that many visitors can enjoy is the Groombridge Palace Gardens. This 700 year old garden is an award winning stop. This garden is not only beautiful but is also famous. Here visitors can stroll the hill sides and contemporary gardens. The most famous garden located here is the drunken garden. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the famous Sherlock Holmes, enjoyed visiting here. He even used the Groombridge Place as the setting for his novel "The Valley of Fear", although he renamed the house to Birlstone Manor in the book. Groombridge Palace is also home to a secret garden, which is in a tiny corner next to the moat. It is the place where Philip Packer passed on while reading a book.
Also located in the North Tonbridge area, Hever to be exact is Hever Castle. This famous castle is the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. Dating back to the 1200's it is now opened to visitors. You can tour the castles and cottages, wander the water maze and enjoying one of the many rose gardens.
Visitors to the Tonbridge will find many architectural and historical things to enjoy.
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