This page is intended as a helpful guide to the town and facilities for our away fans, or newcomers to the area making their first visit to Longmead Stadium. If you spot any inaccuracies, let me know! Submissions for this page are very much welcome, please remember this is an early draft copy but there will be maps and other info as well providing I get assistance with this! Thanks to Tom Allen who has constructed this excellent page to get us off to a very good start.
We are looking for contributions from other supporters to improve this page. Please contact us through the Forum if you would like to help out.
If you run a pub in Tonbridge and would like to advertise on this page, contact us at this address for sponsorship rates.
TOM ALLEN'S PUB & GRUB GUIDE
Pubs on the way to the Ground
If you come by train, the ground is about 1.5 miles from Tonbridge station and would take about 30 minutes to walk.
There are plenty of refuelling stops as you will see!
If you don't want to walk all the way, the first six pubs are in the High Street and not more than 400 yards from the station. You can catch a bus to the ground (every 20 minutes Saturdays) from the High Street as mentioned later. See the map (to be added).
If you come by car, take a look at the map (to be added) for your approach route and check out the pubs as marked. Some have car parks and there are a number of public car parks (eg outside Sainsbury's and off Castle Street) but these are all very busy on Saturdays.
Tasting notes are purely subjective and will be revised as visits take place!
Many of the smaller pubs don't do food on Saturdays but there are numerous alternatives - a separate eating list is at the bottom.
How to get started.
From Tonbridge Station, turn left and go down towards the shops and you enter the High Street.
The list - 1 - the first half mile
Station House - 100 yards – on your left at the mini – roundabout music oriented pub, pool table, young crowd. Car Park round the back.
Humphrey Bean (Wetherspoons)> - 300 yards - typical Wetherspoons pub that once was the main Post Office. Large interior. Food usually available. Sells Theakstons, Shepherd Neame Spitfire, Courage Best and one or two guest ales. Fairly cheap of course. Very strict under 18's policy; best ask at the bar if you have young people with you. TAFC supporters often seen. Busy Saturday lunchtimes, not so bad early evenings, packed after 8pm any evening. No car park.
Castle> - opposite Humphrey Bean - Courage. Recently refurbished all pinewood appearance. Seems a bit dead nowadays but will have to be investigated. No car park but you can head up the side street to a public car park about 100 yards.
Cross over the river by the big bridge and you come to:
Chequers - 400 yards - 16th Century or something. Should be a really attractive venue with old beams and stuff but somehow lacks in atmosphere. Food at lunchtimes, not sure about evenings. Needs a visit. Spot the hangman's noose hanging from the sign outside. Small car park at the side.
Man of Kent in East Street - 450 yards, turn right immediately before the Rose and Crown and walk about 50 yards and it's on the left hand side. Another very old pub that your writer has not sampled in years. Room for a couple of cars round the back? If you go into the Man of Kent don't forget afterwards to go back the way you came to the High Street!
Rose and Crown Hotel - 500 yards other side of the road from the Chequers. Not really a pub but if you want a quiet drink the bar on the left hand side of the rather grand entrance is OK. No car park for day trippers as it were.
Ivy House - 600 yards or so - once more another ancient inn with low ceilings and wonky beams. Haven't been in there for years so a visit certainly called for. Public car park nearby.
There then follows a publess 200 yards. On your left are the august buildings of Tonbridge School. Go straight ahead at the traffic lights.
The list - 2 - the second mile
George and Dragon - 800 yards - free house - typical town pub, pool table etc. Usually a few football people in there. Car park at the side.
Another publess 200 yards to the Royal Oak - 1000 yards - over the road and a little way up. A bit bleak if you ask me. Nothing much to recommend it. Car park at the side.
Greyhound - 1100 yards - Small, friendly locals pub, Greene King ales. Excellent beer garden at rear, Sky TV and pool table. No car park.
Pinnacles -1400 yards - big pub on the roundabout. Usually OK, big screen TV for the pre-match sports. Car park behind.
Then left at the roundabout and down the hill 300 yards or so and you arrive at the...
TAFC Longmead Lounge - Small but friendly. Fuller’s London Pride (thanks to Stuart for correcting my brain failure) on handpump. Usually Ok before the game but does get rather full on local derbies. Packed at half time (get one of your crowd to the bar 3 or 4 minutes before the half time whistle and the same again afterwards). Massive car park outside.
The list - 3 - The Station (Around The Corner)
Foresters Arms - out of the station and turn RIGHT this Shepherd Neame pub is about 5 minutes walk past the big church. Fairly welcoming and the ale is usually good. Afterwards go back to the station for the bus.
Punch and Judy - out of the station and turn right. Cross by the crossing into Priory Road and take second right. The P&J is a hundred yards or so down the street. Tiny pub packed into terraced houses. Haven't been there in decades - needs a visit.
The New Drum (in Lavender Hill) – perhaps a tad too far to walk and parking is impossible. Lavender Hill is off the Pembury Road past the Primrose as you come down the hill towards the town. This small free house pub used to be a good place but I haven’t been there for a couple of years.
The Primrose - too far to walk and up a steep hill from the town but, if you are coming by car from the A26 Pembury direction ignore the signs directing you all over the place and head towards the town centre down the Pembury Road. The Primrose is on your left just over the brow of the hill. Haven't been there for years, needs a visit.
Hooden Horse - just a bit further down the hill on the other side. Not been in there for ages.
At the bottom of the hill you are at the Police Station, turn right on the roundabout and you are in the High Street approaching the station.
BUSES - don't drink and drive!
Buses to the ground from the High Street take about ten minutes for the ride.
The main local bus company is Arriva - their website http://www.arriva.co.uk/ has timetables.
On Saturdays the 219 runs every 20 minutes towards Willow Lea leaving the station in theory at 01, 21 and 41 minutes past every hour. Stops right outside the station then in the High Street just past McDonalds and opposite the Rose and Crown.
Watch out for the Pinnacles pub where the bus turns down the hill and stops. If you are not drinking in the Pinnacles, get off at the NEXT stop at the bottom of the hill in Darenth Avenue. You are then 3 minutes walk from Longmead Stadium.
Other buses (not frequent) run to the Pinnacles, so if you see a 208 (East Peckham or Beltring), 216 (Willow Lea) or a 222 (Borough Green) jump on then get off the Pinnacles.
Buses back to town on Saturdays from outside the Baptist Church in Darenth Avenue at 1652, 1712, 1732, 1752 and 1811.
To get to evening games there are buses from town at 1833, 1856 (bus 214) and 1928 (Bus 214).
There are no buses back in the evenings at times to suit the end of the game. Call a cab or re-trace your steps via a watering-hole or two. Make sure you remember the time of your last train!
Don't rely on grabbing something after the game - many places in the town are closed in the evening altogether and those that do open are often closed by 10pm. God, it's boring in England innit!
The High Street has all the usual stuff - McDonalds, Burger King, KFC if you really insist but note they will often close as early as 10pm. Plus a number of sit down diners but most are closed in the evenings.
There was a chippy right outside the station but as of Sunday 10th August it seems to have shut up shop.! That means the nearest one to the station is the one in Avebury Avenue. On the way to the ground there is another one just beyond the George and Dragon. If you turn into Avebury Avenue just before McDonalds and walk about 100 yards you will find another chippy (closes 10pm or earlier), a Chinese takeaway, an Indian and a caff next to one another.
The High Street also has numerous other eating establishments most of which are an unknown quantity - any comments?
Third Edition, 14 August 2003
With many thanks to TOM ALLEN.
Worthy contributions from Dave Carroll and Stuart Jenner.
Any comments or thoughts? E-mail this address or join the forum to help extend this page.