🇬🇧 Royal Tunbridge Wells is a town in Kent, England, 30 miles south-east of central London, close to the border with East Sussex on the northern edge of the High Weald, whose sandstone geology is exemplified by the rock formation High Rocks. The town was a spa in the Restoration and a fashionable resort in the mid-1700s under Beau Nash when the Pantiles, and its chalybeate spring, attracted visitors who wished to take the waters. Though its popularity as a spa town waned with the advent of sea bathing, the town still derives much of its income from tourism. Nearby villages have been subsumed into the built-up area of the town, so that now it incorporates High Brooms to the north, Hawkenbury to the south, and Rusthall to the west.
Economy As of 2002 there were around 50,000 people employed in the borough of Tunbridge Wells. The largest sector of the local economy consists of hotels, restaurants, and retail (the centrally located Royal Victoria Place shopping centre, opened in 1992, covers 29,414 square metres (316,610 sq ft), which accounts for around 30% of all jobs; the finance and business sector makes up just under a quarter of jobs, as does the public administration, education and health sector. Royal Tunbridge Wells is arguably the most important retail centre between London and Hastings.
The largest single employer in the town was AXA PPP healthcare, employing around 1,700 in four offices (PPP House, Union House, Phillips House and International House).