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.