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Dunorlan Park

Dunorlan is a special place where everyone can enjoy a richly varied Victorian garden, meadows and wildlife, as well as the amenities of a modern park. Dunorlan Park is spacious and elegant with wild grassy slopes and magnificent views across the lake to the Weald.

History of the park

Dunorlan was once the private grounds of a large and very grand mansion built by the Yorkshire-born millionaire, Henry Reed, who made his fortune in Tasmania.

The garden was laid out in the 1850s and 1860s by the renowned Victorian gardener, Robert Marnock. The mansion no longer exists, but the garden is one of the best preserved examples of Marnock’s work.

In 2003/4 the park underwent a major restoration costing £2.8 million, following a Heritage Lottery Fund award of £2.1 million.

Control of Dogs

As of 1st May 2022 a new Public Space Protection Order covering the Control of Dogs came into force in Dunorlan Park. A person in charge of a dog must keep the dog on a lead at all times in the formal area of the park, shown red in the map below. This includes both car parks, path around the lake, playground, café, terrace, cascade garden, avenue. Failure to comply with the order may result is a fine being issued.

Dogs are allowed to exercise off lead in the meadow areas, Events field and Victoria Cross Grove area, however, owners are reminded they must keep dogs under control in the off lead areas.

View Public Space Protection Orders

View a map of the dog-on lead and off-lead areas

Dunorlan Park lake view

Boat hire

Usually open at weekends from the beginning of April until October and every day during school holidays, you can take a pedal boat, rowing boat or canoe out on the lake for half-an-hour or more.

Dunorlan Park boats

Location 10 on map.

Dunorlan Park cafe


Serving great value tea, coffee, snacks and sandwiches.

Open 9am-5pm, seven days a week.

Really good value family café. Good food, lovely jacket potatoes. Staff are very friendly Ice creams are brilliant.

Dunorlan café on TripAdvisor

fishing at Dunorlan lake


Available between June and March from dawn to dusk, Dunorlan lake holds a reasonable stock of most species of freshwater lake fish. An Environment Agency licence is always required.

Fishing rules

Dunorlan Parkrun


Parkrun hold a free weekly 5km timed run every Saturday at 9am. There is no charge to join in, but please register with Parkrun before your first run.

The course is run on a mixture of tarmac paths, trail paths and grass around the park. Some sections of the course may accumulate mud, leaves and puddles after rain.

Please remember that the park will also be used by people not taking part, please give way to other park users.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Parkrun

Dunorlan Park planting

Friends of Dunorlan Park

An active 'Friends' group who support and contribute to many of the fun and fantastic events which take place in the park each year.

If you are interested in finding out more and joining the friends, please visit the Friends of Dunorlan Park website.

Dunorlan dragon

Play area

Dunorlan Park has a wonderful natural adventure play area, with lots to play on, including the 'Dunorlan Dragon' and with wonderful views of the park and lake.

Location 11 on map.

Dunorlan event field

Events and walks

The park hosts a number of events, including walks and talks arranged by the enthusiastic Friends of Dunorlan Park, the annual fireworks display and those organised on the Events field at the top of the park.

Location 12 on map.

Dipping pond

Pond dipping

Dunorlan Park has a stream running through it in a roughly west to east direction with a series of pools at various points along its length as well as the large lake.

Two dipping platforms have been specially constructed in the smaller pond in the park, fed by the chalybeate spring.

Pond dipping page

Location 11 on map.

Victoria Cross Grove memorial sculpture

Victoria Cross Grove

The grove of oak trees commemorates ten recipients of the Victoria Cross who had connections to the borough of Tunbridge Wells.

Victoria Cross Grove information

Location 9 on map.

Trees in Dunorlan Park

Donate a tree or shrub

Planting of a memorial tree or shrub is a lovely way to commemorate a loved one or to mark a special family or community event.

Due to a high number of tree donations for Dunorlan Park in recent years, the tree donation scheme is currently closed in Dunorlan Park. The heritage layout of the park needs to be maintained and at present there are no suitable places for new trees.

The tree donation scheme is still open for Grosvenor & Hilbert Park, St John’s Recreation Ground, Calverley Grounds, The Grove and Hawkenbury Recreation Ground.

The Parks team will be pleased to advise you which trees and shrubs can be planted and to help you make a choice. The exact location of your donation will be agreed with you and your wishes will be taken into account whenever possible.

Donations can be made by individuals, local groups or organisations and a special message can be included in the Register of Donations.

Apply to donate a tree or shrub.

Chalybeate spring

Chalybeate spring

Tunbridge Wells has long been famous for its health-giving chalybeate springs. Dunorlan’s chalybeate spring is known to have been in use since at least 1832, before Robert Marnock designed the garden.

Location 1 on map.

Dunorlan Park Grecian temple

Grecian temple

The interior of the Grecian temple was originally finely painted with an intricate design. Some of the original paintwork can still be seen.

Location 3 on map.

Dunorlan terrace

The Terrace

The original Dunorlan House was located above the terrace. Victorian visitors enjoyed views to the countryside beyond the grounds of the house. As no clear boundaries could be seen, the estate would have seemed more extensive than it actually was.

Location 2 on map.

Fountain in Dunorlan Park

Avenue and fountain

The avenue has been planted with 48 cedars to recreate the original link between the fountain and temple.

The splendid fountain adorned with dolphins, water nymphs and classical figures is made from Pulhamite and terracotta.

Locations 5 and 6 on map.

Dunorlan water garden

Cascade and water garden

The cascade has changed little since it was built in the 19th century. It operates between the main lake and the water garden adjacent to the fountain.

Many of the trees and shrubs Marnock planted in Dunorlan were exciting new introductions to Britain. Some of Marnock’s original planting can still be seen in this area.

Location 7 and 8 on map.

Dunorlan car park

Car parking

There is parking at the Pembury Road (A264) and Hall’s Hole Road entrances with spaces for blue badge holders in each.

Dunorlan Park toilet


Toilets, including disabled facilities, are available near to the Terrace (location 2 on map).

Image showing the Monday Volunteers working in Dunorlan Park.

Monday volunteers

Volunteering in Dunorlan Park gives you an opportunity to get involved in looking after the beloved park, helping to maintain its natural and landscaped beauty for current and future generations to enjoy.

Find out more on our Monday volunteers page.

Fireworks in Dunorlan Park

Fireworks in Dunorlan Park

Every November Dunorlan Park plays host to the Royal Tunbridge Wells Round Table Fireworks celebration. Round Table members have voluntarily operated the fireworks event for over 60 years with over 10,000 attending each year. It's Royal Tunbridge Wells' biggest single event by far. The event is always on the first Saturday of November and tickets are available at All profits are donated to local charities and good causes. The Round Table are always looking for new members. Photo credit: Sarah Mott

Opening times

Dunorlan Park is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.

Map of the park

Dunorlan Park attractions map

Open map in new tab

Dunorlan Park is naturally hilly. However, there is a relatively level path around the lake that can be easily reached from Hall’s Hole Road car park. The red paths are steep and may not be suitable for some visitors. Steps are also highlighted in red.

Cutlery icon Café

Parking icon Car parking

Toilets icon Toilets

Disabled toilets icon Disabled toilets

Bus stop icon Bus stop

Cycling icon Bicycle parking

Pedestrian icon Pedestrian entrance

Information icon Information point

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