Tonbridge: A town that has often stood in the shadow of its neighbouring Royal Tunbridge Wells. This bustling market town stands on the marshy river Medway and is home to many famous sites, including Tonbridge Castle and Gardens, The River Centre and the infamous Tonbridge School.
Tonbridge and its neighbouring West Malling are beautiful examples of old England in the modern day. The ancient regal castle towers over manor houses which sit in an olden landscape where villages are surrounded by woods and fields. Home to Olympic medallist Dame Kelly Holmes and birth-place of Jane Austen’s father, this historic town also prides itself with some intriguing links. But what else does Tonbridge have to offer?
The Tonbridge Centre
Tonbridge Adult Education Centre is located a stone’s throw away from Tonbridge High Street, a short walk from Tonbridge train station and not far from the bus station. The centre operates from two separate buildings on Avebury Avenue, in the centre of the town. The first building is an impressive Victorian structure, originally built in 1890 as a technical institute and school. The top of the building boasts some impressive lofty art rooms, offering the learners the natural light which is so important when learning visual topics and skills such as mixing colours in watercolour or acrylic, or getting the lighting right in photography.
The second building was purpose-built in conjunction with the University of Kent and was opened in 1984. The antithesis of 1980s architecture and is a quirky, distinctive addition to the High Street. In stark contrast to its partner, this redbrick building is modern, boxy and angular in its design. Learners are welcomed in to the friendly reception area, to mingle amongst fellow-learners between classes. There is an exhibition space where past and present learners can be inspired by the work of others and grab a coffee with friends. Despite occupying two buildings, Tonbridge Adult Education Centre is actually one of our smaller centres. Staff are keen to get to know learners, making learning with us a more personal and individualised experience.
“Staff are keen to get to know learners making learning with us a more personal and individualised experience.”
Together, these two buildings function as one to form Kent Adult Education’s offering in Tonbridge and Malling. Many rooms in the centre are occupied by external groups, making it a real community hub with a great atmosphere.
In recent years Tonbridge has become one of our most popular centres. Due to popular demand there has been a huge increase in language courses, at all levels, including French, Portuguese, German, Chinese Mandarin and Spanish. The centre specialises in craft courses and has a fine reputation for sugarcraft, floristry, jewellery making , and cookery courses.
Tonbridge has a huge art and crafts provision and prides itself on its stained glass and mosaics courses. Learners are taught the processes behind cutting out, designing and producing mosaics and stained glass, in course-dedicated workshops. Another popular course is silversmithing which takes place in studios equipped with specialist machinery. Tonbridge is also one of the few centres which work in partnership with external providers to run courses, for example our cookery courses, which are run in partnership with The Kitchen Cookery School – a local company that provides cookery lessons for adults and children.
Want to try something new? Discover Tonbridge and be more with Kent Adult Education.
Courses in Tonbridge