The historic heart of Royal Tunbridge Wells is celebrating Christmas in style this year with a month-long series of activities, organised by the Association of Pantiles Traders. ‘A Dickens Christmas’, real reindeer and Christmas Markets are all part of the yuletide fun taking place on The Pantiles.
On Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd December, the Georgian colonnades of The Pantiles will take on a Victorian feel as the days of Charles Dickens are re-created by performers in full costume, with scenes from the popular Dickens novels taking place outside throughout the weekend. Special effects will even guarantee a magical snowy backdrop. The performances will take place from 11.30am – 4.45pm on both days and will be produced by theatre and opera director Francesca Gilpin, owner of The CakeShed in The Pantiles, with the scenes directed by the Artistic Director of HeadFirst Productions.
Francesca Gilpin said: “‘The Dickens Christmas’ promises to be an exciting weekend where you’ll see your favourite characters from A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist and Great Expectations come to life while you stroll along the snow-covered Pantiles.”
Bringing the children some Christmas magic this year, our real reindeer, Tinsel and Star, will be flying in to say hello. Come and meet them from 11am – 2pm on Sundays 8th, 15th and 22nd December. This is the perfect Christmas photo-opportunity, not to be missed!
The popular Christmas markets will return on Saturday 7th/Sunday 8th and Saturday 21st/Sunday 22nd December. Enjoy Christmas shopping at stalls selling a wide variety of goodies including jewellery, leather goods, vintage clothing and antiques, plus food and drink stalls selling mulled wine and delicious locally sourced seasonal produce. The perfect opportunity to buy unique presents and stock up your Christmas larder.
In addition, The Pantiles has launched ‘Late Night Shopping’ every Thursday until 8.00pm from 28th November through to Christmas. Shoppers will enjoy discounts, special offers and freebies on these late shopping evenings.
Chair of the Association of Pantiles Traders, Richard Simm said: “Christmas is a magical time on The Pantiles. This year we’re planning some great activities to celebrate the history of The Pantiles as well as Christmas. Visitors can enjoy the festive season with our range of interesting independent shops, bars and restaurants.”
Julian Lees-Griffiths, well-known local restaurateur whose growing hotel/restaurant group includes The Tunbridge Wells Hotel, added: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year and we are really looking forward to celebrating in style on The Pantiles and in the hotel.”
Visitors to The Pantiles will be able to enjoy the new ‘Santa Train’ which will shuttle shoppers between the top and bottom of town every 20 minutes. This free festive train launches on November 29th.