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The Tonbridge Destination is located in the region of South East England, covering most of the county Kent and parts of the counties Sussex and Surrey. The destination neighbors London to the north, the North Sea to the east, and the English Channel to the south. Several towns, such as Tonbridge, located in the heart of the destination, Canterbury, the capital city of Kent, Eastbourne, Worthing, Dover, and Crawley, to name a few, can be found scattered through the territory. Among them stands out the unitary authority Brighton and Hove, which is the capital of Sussex.[2] Green areas and several protected territories cover the landscape of the Tonbridge Destination. Three areas of what is said to be natural beauty stretch across the region. South Downs National Park also protrudes across the destination's borders from Sussex. Among the most notable natural beauties in the territory belong the White Cliffs of Dover, serving as an inspiration to several writers and poets.[13] The Tonbridge Destination also disposes of a considerable number of historical monuments, among them the two oldest English churches, the Canterbury Cathedral and the Rochester Cathedral, both located in the eastern part of the destination.[11]

What Crawley is known for

The Tonbridge Destination neighbors the largest city in the UK, London, to the north. Presumably, for these reasons, no significant or extensive settlement can be found within the destination's borders. Tonbridge, the city after which the destination is named, can be found in the central part of the area, in the county of Kent. The town is known for the Tonbridge School, a notable independent school that dates back to the 16th century and was intended to educate the sons of local farmers.[3] 

The County of Kent represents a major part of the Tonbridge Destination. The area is known for having some of the oldest cathedrals in the UK. Canterbury Cathedral, located in the town of Canterbury in the easternmost corner of the Tonbridge Destination, is the oldest diocese in England. The cathedral was originally constructed in 597 and underwent remodeling in the 11th and 12th centuries, being rebuilt in the Gothic style. Before the Reformation, Canterbury Cathedral functioned as the seat of an archbishop. In today's time, the church is open to the public and visitors. Its library holds approximately 30,000 publications from before the 20th century, mainly concerning church history, older theology, British history, travel, science and medicine, and the anti-slavery movement.[10] To the northwest of Canterbury, in close proximity to London, the town of Rochester can be found. The city is home to the Rochester Castle and a Cathedral, the second oldest bishopric in England, Bishop of Rochester.[11] 

Concerning the historical background of the Tonbridge Destination, one particular site, which is among a number of other castles scattered across the territory, is the Leeds Castle. Reportedly belonging to England's most picturesque places, the castle was built on islands in a lake formed by the River Len. Leeds Castle bears a long history, which started in 857 when the castle was built. The design of the present-day castle can mostly be dated back to the 19th century. Nowadays, Leeds castle is open to the public, offering various attractions, tours, events, and more.[12]

Besides historical and cultural sites, the Tonbridge Destination is composed of various natural attractions. Across the region, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), and one national park, constitute a considerable portion of the destination. The protected landscape also offers numerous outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, cycling, and horseriding, among others. The White Cliffs of Dover reportedly belong among the most popular natural sites in the Tonbridge Destination. The cliffs are known for reaching a height of 110 m, as well as the white color that characterizes them. Facing the Strait of Dover and France, the Cliffs of Dover are located on both sides of Dover town. The cliffs are currently protected as a "Special Area of Conservation." Over the years, the uniqueness of the White Cliffs of Dover has been said to have served as an inspiration to a number of writers, one of which was Shakespeare, who referred to the cliffs in the play King Lear.[13]


Located in the southernmost part of the UK, the Tonbridge Destination is joined with the region of South East England. The territory primarily consists of Kent county, with Sussex and Surrey also stretching across the destination's borders. The eastern borders of the Tonbridge Destination are represented by the North Sea, while to the south, the destination borders the English Channel. A boundary between the North Sea and the English Channel is marked by the Strait of Dover, which is the narrowest point of the English Channel. Thus, a significant feature of the area is its proximity to continental Europe, as the Strait of Dover is located southeast of the Tonbridge Destination's coast.[4] To the north, the destination roughly borders the city boundaries of the UK's capital, London. From the west, South Downs National Park protrudes into the territory. One island, the Isle of Sheppey, neighboring the Thames Estuary, contributes to the Tonbridge Destination's territory.[5] 

Concerning the natural features of the Tonbridge Destination, the area is covered by several protected areas. As previously mentioned, from the west, the South Downs National Park stretches across the borders into the Tonbridge Destination's territory. The national park consists of approximately 160 hectares of grassland, scrub, mixed woodland, and yew forest, offering kilometers of walking, hiking, and cycling trails. Concerning the various species inhabiting South Downs, one can find 11 different orchids, 39 species of butterfly, badgers, weasels, stoats, and roe or fallow deer.[6] Aside from the national park, three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) are located within the Tonbridge Destination's borders. Surrey Hills AONB to the north, Kent Downs AONB to the east, and High Weald AONB in the center, which takes up a sizable portion of the destination. On the Isle of Sheppey, Elmley National Nature Reserve can be found, originally a family-run farm with the objective of protecting and preserving the island's nature. [7]

In terms of local climate, Kent and the Tonbridge Destination is one of the warmest parts of Great Britain.[8] The warmest month in Tonbridge is August, with an average daily temperature of 22°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 7°C. February tends to be the driest month in Tonbridge, with an average of 41 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during November, with an average of 68 mm.[9]


One of the Tonbridge Destination's most dominant territories is the county of Kent, the area which has been inhabited since prehistoric times of the Palaeolithic era. Numerous artifacts found in the region are from the Neolithic period, Bronze Age, Celtic Iron Age, and Britto-Roman era. According to Julius Ceasar, while ruling over the Roman Empire, which at that time stretched to Britain as well, inhabitants of Kent were, in his words, "by far the most civilized inhabitants of Britain." Over the following years, Kent endured many fights and quarrels with oversea countries such as the Netherlands and France. Due to its position, most of the Second World War's Battle of England took place in the skies over Kent.[1]

Brighton and Hove, a unitary city, and adjacent villages are the largest settlements in South East England. The town bears the function of the capital city of East Sussex, one of the UK's counties, which is part of the Tonbridge Destination. The two cities, Brighton and Hove, were unified in 1997 when a Borough Council was established.[2] Regarding the namesake of the destination, Tonbridge, the first remarks about the town were made in the Domesday Book in 1087. In the 13th century, the city and castle were rebuilt and became an official residence of Edward II. Later, during medieval times, Tonbridge was considered a significant strategic settlement. To this day, a number of buildings in the historic city center can be dated back to the 15th century. During the Second World War, a prison keeping German and Italian soldiers was established in Tonbridge.[3]