The Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club is situated in Calverley Grounds, central Tunbridge Wells. It has three lawns and a smallish clubhouse.
The club was founded in 1965 in a village about 10 miles from its current home and has moved a few times, before settling in its current location in 1995 in a public park.
However, we aren't the first croquet club in Tunbridge Wells, with a combined tennis and croquet club formed in 1899 (which still exists as a tennis club) with croquet probably being played there till at least 1930.
(Nerd note: the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council doesn't have Royal in its title, because Royal Tunbridge Wells, where the club now is, is technically only a part of the area the Council covers. The club has had Royal in the title since its beginning, but should only have been entitled to this after its last move. You need to get permission fron the Crown to use this title...).
Please note that, as we play in a public park and are next to a basketball/football court that it can get noisier than we'd like with balls hitting the fencing etc. We'd like to apologies to the players for this.
How to get here
The closest postcode to the club is TN1 2LY, but this isn't necessarily quite as helpful as you might think as the club hasn't got it's own postcode (and can't get one), so click here for the location information on the Royal Tunbridge Wells Croquet Club website.
Parking: There are several car parks close to the club which all charge. Full details of these are available on the club's website - the closest car park is in Crescent Road, 5 minutes walk away, and costs £6.30 per day (card payment only). From this car park cross the road at the entrance, go through the large stone arch almost opposite (just to the right), take the path to the right after 50 metres, before you get to the basketball court turn left and you'll see the Croquet Club about 50 metres straight ahead.
We're hoping that some free parking may be available to players and officials - details will be made available to them directly.
By public transport
The nearest train station is Tunbridge Wells which is about a 5 minutes walk away - four trains an hour from London and two from Hastings. From the station exit on Platform 2, cross the road, walk up the short road opposite (slightly to the left), through the entrance into the park (Calverley Grounds) and then on up the hill on the path to the left. At the top (at the end of the basketball court) turn right and you'll see the Croquet Club about 50 metres straight ahead.
Rail travel from the Brighton/Shoreham areas takes about 2-2.5 hours (via Hastings or London!), since the line through Tunbridge Wells is on a North-West/South-East alignment and so doesn't connect well with the South Coast trains through Brighton. Cost is about £27 return from Southwick.
There is a bus service (the 29) from the centre of Brighton which takes nearly 2 hours, passing through the town of Lewes. The timetable is here.
Given these public transport options we think it's likely that almost all participants who need to play at Tunbridge Wells will travel by car.
Our main entrance is via set of steepish steps, but we do have level access via an alternative entrance, which is normally locked, and then a ramp to clubhouse level. There is then a threshold about 10 cm high to get into the clubhouse. Please ask for help if you need it.
Our website is: http://www.tunbridgewellscroquet.org.uk
Phone: 07931 429211.
Internet Wifi Access: Is available (possibly limited bandwidth though) and there's very good mobile phone reception, so you can use that for data too...
Catering: The club will be providing buffet lunches for competitors and officials (£8 for one course and £10 for two courses) as well as unlimited tea, coffee, biscuits and cake throughout the day for £3.
For spectators we will providing tea or coffee and home-made cakes for £3.
A cafe in our park (3 minutes away) provides sandwiches and limited hot and cold food. (The chips are alleged to be very good!) As we're in the centre of a town the compensation for a lack of parking facilities is that there is a full range of catering and shopping opportunities a mere 5 minutes walk away. So if you're not playing and don't want to spectate there's plenty to do - you can even be a tourist on foot (see the historic church of King Charles the Martyr and even the health-giving Chalybeate spring)!