Spa town fizzes: new homes for young Londoners in commutable Royal Tunbridge Wells

Fashionable and elegant spa towns, popular for centuries for their reputedly health-giving waters, tend to have healthy property markets, too.

Royal Tunbridge Wells on the edge of London’s commuter belt has a reputation for being an outpost of traditional British values with architecture to match.

Yet it has been quietly changing in recent years with the arrival of a younger, affluent set relocating from the capital.

This is injecting a little more fizz into the local scene, with boutiques and restaurants opening alongside the long-established cultural amenities, department stores and high street shops.

Royal Wells Park is a rare town centre scheme of scale — 11 acres — that has brought 243 homes on the site of a former hospital.

What could have been an inward-looking gated enclave has, at the insistence of planners, opened itself up to the town and community.

The project includes the UK’s first free school funded by a property developer, a care home and an office pavilion, now headquarters for a 300-employee law firm.

A mix of houses and apartment blocks in Georgian and Regency styles has been built in landscaped grounds with a children’s play area.

More than 120 trees were retained and another 212 have been planted.

Prices start at £320,000 for flats. Help to Buy is available. Houses cost from £600,000. Call 01892 532011.

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