This town at the center of Kent is known for its historic castle, cultural museums and nature paths with many wildlife-spotting opportunities close to London.
Maidstone lies on the outskirts of London in the heart of Kent county. Many of the town’s attraction are based around its two rivers, the Medway and the Len, which cut through the town’s center. With scenic nature trails, the county capital serves as a relaxing retreat from the busy city streets of neighboring London.
Visit Leeds Castle, one of the most famous sites in the county. It sits on an island in a lake a few miles southeast of Maidstone. Enter the castle via a drawbridge to enjoy the site’s many activities including bird shows, children’s playgrounds and a grotto filled with light and sculpted mythical beasts.
See more of the country surrounding Maidstone on the Len Valley Nature Walk. Spot wildlife such as deer and badgers. The hiking trail runs for 12 miles (19 kilometers) through typical English countryside along the River Len. On the way back to town, amble through Mote Park’s 450 acres (180 hectares) of public grounds to take in riverside views.
Explore the many attractions in the center of Maidstone. Visit the free Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery that are housed in an old Elizabethan manor house. See centuries-old local artifacts and decorative Japanese arts among their collections.
Go shopping in The Mall Maidstone, an indoor mall with more than 75 stores, or stay outdoors and browse the shops along the Fremlin Walk. Watch a show at the Hazlitt Theatre, which hosts regular comedy and music performances.
Catch a bus or drive northwest of the city towards Aylesford to reach The Friars, a religious house founded in the 13th century. Stoneacre, just over 10-minutes’ drive south of Maidstone, is another interesting building. Inside this half-timbered medieval farmhouse you can see collections of furniture and crafts. Outside, enjoy the gardens and orchard.
Maidstone is located 37 miles (51 kilometers) southeast of London. Come by train, bus or car to enjoy the historic town’s cultural attractions and picturesque surrounding countryside.