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Dunorlan Park, Royal Tunbridge Wells

#2 of 53 in Things to do in Royal Tunbridge Wells
Nature / Park
Dunorlan Park is a park and grounds in Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK.Totalling approximately 78 acres (31 hectares) and containing a 6acre lake, the grounds were landscaped by Robert Marnock for Henry Reed, the merchant and philanthropist who owned the estate and the now-demolished house that once overlooked it.HistoryDunorlan is BuiltFirst record of the land is under the name of Burnthouse or Calverly Manor Farm which appears on a Tunbridge Wells map produced by John Bowra in 1738. After the death of the owner, a Mr Thomas Panuwell, in 1823, the farm was purchased by a land developer called John Ward, who intended to build a 1000acre Calverly Estate to rival the lower village of Tunbridge Wells which was centred around the spring in the Pantiles.However, in the 1850s the farmhouse and lands were purchased by Henry Reed who was the driving force behind the park as it stands today. Mr Reed demolished the house that stood on the grounds and built his own mansion, completed in 1862, which he named Dunorlan. In a sale brochure of 1871/2 the mansion was described as "a most elegant and substantial mansion, erected... entirely of Normandy stone, in the Italian style of architecture, finished throughout in the most perfect manner, and in every way adapted for the comfort and enjoyment of a nobleman or gentleman of fortune". However, Mr Reed was "not at all satisfied with the house" on its completion and during its construction "he was not at all satisfied with the plan. The architect, however, said that his reputation was at stake and he would not have anything altered". As his family grew, he decided to pull down part of the building and erect a new wing. The 1881 Census (the house at this point now belonging to the Collins family) shows the house to have operated with 11 servants, a testament to its size.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
392 reviews
  • Lovely area to go for a walk. Surrounded by geese and beautiful ducks, just lovely. Recommend for a picnic :) there is parking but not many spaces and very tight.  more »
  • Stumbled on this completely by accident; but what a fantastic spot! Beautiful views, gorgeous lake and well kept grass. A must for all families and friends  more »
  • Visited this park recently. Limited amount of car parking available. The park looked beautiful with the rhododendrons in bloom & the boating lake impressive. There is also a coffee shop and refreshmen...  more »
  • Beautiful and wide. The lake adds value, with its pedal boats, the ducks and the freshness it adds to your walk. Perfect to bring kids and pets, as they can enjoy the open space without you losing sight of them. Convenient for runs in the pathways. Also plenty of intimate little green spaces surrounded by nature, if celebrating with loved ones, or seeking a time of solitude. Toilets, café and information available.
  • Love this park. Plenty of space to relax, enjoy the scenery. Exercise. Walk the dog. Mess about on the lake or enjoy a meal in the reasonably priced cafe. Only down side is few parking places
  • Beautiful park for walking and picnics. Good cafe and little playground. You can also hire boats to explore the lake.
  • A very good place to start with to relax and enjoy your time alone or with the family. Good play ground for kids and a lovely place of sanctuary to see wild ducks and geese which you can feed and help on route to their destinations in warmer climate.
  • Dog walkers have taken over this once beautiful park. It's FULL of dog crap almost everywhere you step. Free car parking so dog owners bring their dogs (a continuous stream throughout the day). You can't find a quiet place in the park that dogs aren't in. Ban dogs or at least keep them on leads.

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