A Guide to Maidstone

The centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England

If it’s green spaces you’re after, there’s Mote Park – one of the biggest parks in the south east – Cobtree Country Park, and Whatman Park are all within easy access of the town centre. All are great places for picnics, walks and children’s play areas, with Whatman Park boasting an open air stage and a busy summer events calendar. The North Downs and Pilgrims Way sweep through the town connecting major cities and villages throughout the south of the UK. Their rolling hills are a fantastic place for keen hikers and dog walkers to take in the picturesque countryside of Maidstone.

There are around 23 primary schools and 15 secondary schools in the local area around Maidstone, serving a varied community of all ages. Three rail stations are short walks from Maidstone town centre, tempting you to explore the Garden of England further. For commuters, a short 35 minutes is all it takes in order to get into Central London via the high speed line. By night, the streets come alive and vibrant as party-makers explore the multitude of restaurants, bars and nightclubs that are available. The Maidstone Fringe Festival and the Maidstone Arts Festival are firm favourites amongst residents and other local towns, both free fabulous events offering music, dance and street food.

Originally known as a strong agricultural location in the County of Kent, it has developed to suit modern tastes while retaining old-world appeal. By day, the local Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery hosts a rich gallery displaying the works of national and local artists, and features special events such as local brewery exhibitions. Maidstone is also home to Leeds Castle, the loveliest castle in the world which has been home to six of England’s medieval queens; a palace for Henry VIII and a Norman stronghold to name a few. Two local parishes are also located close by, as well as the idyllic Boxley church. A 25 minute journey to Tonbridge presents a historic 900 year-old castle to explore.

In the heart of Maidstone lies a diverse and vibrant selection of shops suited to every taste. Retailers of all sizes are dispersed throughout the city centre, spanning over a High Street walk, and two shopping centres. The recent addition to Maidstone town centre is the modern development, Fremlin Walk, which hosts a variety of high street and department stores. Notable stores range from House of Fraser, Marks & Spencer to smaller outlets like Slinders Florist. A large 800-space car park is available close to the extensive High Street, making it easier for shoppers to experience the wealth of stores Maidstone has to offer. Residents are only a short journey from the well-known Bluewater Shopping Centre which offers a wealth of high street and designer stores; a range of eatery’s and entertainment opportunities; the McArthur Glen Ashford Outlet Centre also offers designer brands at affordable prices.

The Hazlitt Theatre situated in the town centre hosts stunning shows and performances from a variety of groups all year round. Eating out in Maidstone features family favourites such as Zizzi, Pizza Express and Weatherspoons, and plenty of choice is available from smaller local restaurants such as the favoured Fredericks and Mu Mu. Also situated in the town centre is a number of entertainment centers including Odeon Cinema, Hollywood Bowl and Gravity Trampoline park – brilliant for both adults and children alike. A short journey to Leeds Village fields a spectacle of picturesque views and access to one of the loveliest castles in the world. There are plenty of hidden rural gems to unearth in the areas all around Maidstone

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