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When in...Tonbridge

When in...Tonbridge

Neptune Tonbridge was our seventh store to open and is based just a few minutes from the centre of this quaint market town. Whether you live locally or are visiting us from a little further afield, we've pulled together a number of suggestions for how you might like to spend the rest of the day. From the perfect spot for a pot of tea and slice of cake, to nearby strolls in the beautiful Kent countryside, there's something for everyone, for any time of year, and for any weather.

To do

Knole Park
Knole is roughly a twenty-minute drive from our Tonbridge store but is absolutely worth the jaunt. Not only can you take in another of our favourite Kent settlements – Sevenoaks – but you can explore over 1,000 acres of wildlife and perhaps most excitingly, you can enjoy watching its herd of wild deer grazing peacefully across the parkland. In spring and summer, it's perfect for picnics, and in cooler months, it's a lovely place to wrap up and wander along its pretty pathways.

Tonbridge Castle
Often described as being England's finest example of a traditional Motte and Bailey castle, this historic landmark is certainly worth visiting if you're new to the area.

Penshurst Place and Gardens
Another historic spot to have on your radar is nearby Penshurst Place. A 14th-century manor house, it used to belong to Henry VIII but has been occupied by the Sidney family for over 400 years. The house and gardens are a thing of beauty but if you're visiting with little ones, there are plenty of things to keep them occupied too, such as the adventure playground and woodland trail. You can choose to reach Penshurst by following the bicycle route, just five miles west of Tonbridge Castle.

To eat

The Bakehouse at 124
This artisan bakery is the perfect place to drop in for coffee and cake. Everything they serve is baked fresh on the day in small batches to reduce waste and they source their coffee from specialist roasters in London.

Quiche, salad, coffee and cake are the four things that Basil references in its logo, so it might come as no surprise that it's one of our favourite nearby places for lunch. Basil's philosophy is to create delicious, wholesome food that supports local farmers, growers, butchers and bakers. Tip: if it's on the specials board, try the roasted squash and chilli filo tart. It's delicious with any of its salads.

The Twenty-Six
Just down the road is this rather unusual 'test kitchen'. There are twenty six chairs, hence the name, which has a blank canvas menu so that the head chef, Scott Goss, can change the menu every day to try out his ever-evolving creations. It's fabulous for lunch, although we prefer it for an early evening supper.

To shop

Weathered and Worn
In the nearby village of Hadlow, there's a delightful little vintage boutique called Weathered and Worn. Run by mother and daughter – Madeleine and Hannah – they source their timeworn finds from all across England and overseas to Brocantes in France. Expect to find homewares and furniture and even a tiny tearoom in case you fancy a spot of tea while you browse.

ArtSpring gallery
This artist-run gallery space celebrates both local and regional contemporary artists. Paintings and watercolour works are just the start; the collections extend to photography, ceramics, jewellery and print-making.

The Pantiles
In not-too-far-away Royal Tunbridge Wells, there's the elegant colonnaded walkway called The Pantiles, which has become known for its beautiful setting, views, and choice of boutiques and eateries. It has a wonderful pick and mix approach of high street brands and independents ranging from clothing to homewares. It's impossible to recommend just one place to visit, so we suggest setting aside a good hour or two to have a leisurely mooch.

Neptune Tonbridge
And while you're in town, we'd love for you to come see us.Store details.