Maidstone is another Kentish town full of heritage, history and was once owned by the then Archbishop of Canterbury. It has a past of salt production, flour milling and stone quarrying, as this market town’s history goes back as far as Mesolithic times. It’s been home to many a battle, including the Peasant’s Revolt and the English Civil War, and relics of those days can still be seen today.
It is situated in the heart of the Garden of England, with a gorgeous landscape, hop gardens indicative of the county, and no more is that highlighted than with the splendour of Leeds Castle. This island castle has many attractions including boat trips, an adventure playground and mini golf.
Kent Life is another family attraction and has that lots to do and see, including a farmyard, summer top tent of shows, donkey and train rides, a hop garden and lots more. Mote Park spans over 180 hectares, and its nature elements include a lake, a river and woodland. The Mote Park Outdoor Adventure centre offers a range of activities including a tree top sky trail and mini golf, or for water lovers, there is also the Mote Park Water Sports Centre, which has powerboating and kayaking available and lots more.
Museums and galleries in the town displays its rich cultural and artistic heritage. The Maidstone Museum showcase a diverse collection on ancient Egypt, fine and decorative art and natural history, so it is not hard to see why it is referred to as a mini V&A. Though modern exhibitions feature too, with the latest being May the Toys Be With You: a collection of Star Wars toys, posters and props. There is also the Carriage Museum with more than 60 vehicles that are on display, ranging from grand carriages such as Queen Victoria’s State Landau and antique sedan chairs. It is described as one of the finest collections of its kind in Europe.
It has been home to many a battle, including the Peasant’s Revolt and the English Civil War and relics of those days can still be seen today.
Theatrical shows at the Hazlitt, CluedUpp outdoor game adventure and the Kent Event Centre which is home to a range of events, meaning that you will never be short of things to do. Mote Park is also home to a variety of festivals and events.
Maidstone’s success was in part due to its position as a central market town to the agricultural industry of Kent, and its place by the River Medway, which transported many of the goods in and out of the town. The river is still key today with lots of water-based activities, with boat hire, canoe safaris and trips that are available.
Add to that its distilleries, vineyards, ruins, galleries, escape rooms, the Kent Owl Academy, markets and shopping malls, this is a town just brimming with activities and attractions.
See Kent, Know Kent
Picture credits top to bottom: © Leeds Castle © Mote Park Outdoor Adventure © Kent Owl Academy Ltd.