* <sleep name="Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel" alt="" address="Hollingbourne, Maidstone, ME17 1RE " directions="" phone="(+44)0844/8159045" url="http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/hotel-8353-mercure-maidstone-great-danes-hotel/index.shtml" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="email@example.com" >This 4 star Maidstone hotel is set within 26 acres of private grounds and has complimentary guest parking. Mercure Maidstone hotel is just off junction 8 of the M20 and close to the channel ports and Eurotunnel. 126 contemporary guest rooms all offer internet access and satellite TV.</sleep>
Straddling the river Medway, Maidstone  is the economic, administrative and agricultural centre of Kent.
For many years the major employment in the town was provided by the agricultural markets, insurance brokers and the toffee factory to the south of the river. Nowadays, however, many residents use Maidstone as a base to commute into London, or are employed within the retail, administrative or service sectors within the town.
Maidstone sits south of M20, which (with the A20) connects with London, Ashford & Folkestone. The A26 runs west to Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells & Brighton, and the A229 heads north to Chatham, and south to Hastings.
Town Centre Car parking - recommended that you park in The Chequers Centre car park (east end of Town Centre, enter from Padsole Lane or King St opp the Bowling Alley).
Town Centre Coach parking at A249 Sittingbourne Rd.
Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus.
If there is a large group of you, then it may be easier and cheaper to get a taxi from one of the local taxi companies, as Maidstone's bus service is not the cheapest!
Streamline Maidstone: +44 01622 750000 iPhone App or Textbooker available 
Cavalier Taxis: +44 (0)1622 754000 (24 Hour)
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St Faith's Street, ME14 1LH,  Open M-Sa 10AM-5:15PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Free. A municipal museum with a wide ranging collection in 20 or so rooms. The local history collection on the ground floor gives an introduction to the recent history of the town. 3 rooms house a small art gallery.
Maidstone Carriage Museum - The Tyrwhitt Drake Collection, Mill Street, ME15 6YE. Open summer only (was closed in Mid-May).
All Saints Church, Mill Street, ME15 6YE,  Fine church rebuilt in the 14th century. Open M-Th 10AM-4PM, Sa 10:30AM-12:30PM May to September. The Archbishop's Palace next door is worth a look from the outside - it is now the registry office.
Museum of Kent Life, Cobtree, Lock Lane, Sandling, ME14 3AU, .
The Hazlitt Theatre, Earl Street, ME14 1PL, 01622 758611, .
Kent Flower Show - In July, one of the largest agricultural festivals in Britain 
Kent county Show - in july each year there is a large county show at the kent showground in detling. 
The Mall, ☎ 01622 691130, . The Mall is a large shopping centere in Maidstone Containing a variety of shops
The Oak on the Green, +44 (0)1622 737976, A restaurant/pub situated next to a large cricket green in a small village just outside of Maidstone called Bearsted. The staff is friendly and helpful. At times, like most successful venues, it can be a tad busy and as such, service can be a little slow. The food is primarily Mexican based. The fajitas are fantastic, and come in either steak, chicken or mixed. It is belived that vegetarian options are available. Other recommendations are Stuffed Jelepeno Peppers and Fajitas (normally shared by two people). start at £12.00, beer about £3.00.
Lockmedow, Maidstone, . Lockmedow is an entertaintment centere in maidstone town centere. It contains bars, restaurants nightclubs and a cinema.
Other places of interest in the Maidstone area
Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, tel: 01622 765400, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, . Described by Lord Cornway as "the loveliest castle in the world". Admission £12.50 for adults (£10.00 - gardens only), £9.00 for children (£6.50 - gardens only).
The Hop Farm Country Park, Paddock Wood, tel: 01622 872068, e-mail: email@example.com, . 10AM–5PM, Daily except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Once a working hop farm, it now offers a wide variety of attractions and events. Admission £7.50 for adults, £6.50 for children.