Maidstone  is a town in Mid-Kent, in the South East of England.
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.
The nearest major airport is London Gatwick Airport, which is 42mi/67km away.
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.
Maidstone Park & Ride operates Mondays to Saturdays; there is no service on Sundays. See the Kent County Council Park & Ride website.
Maidstone has direct rail links to London, Bromley S, Ashford International (for Eurostar) and Tonbridge (via Paddock Wood).
Fare and timetable information is available from http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk, tel. 08457 484950.
Various bus companies provide local bus services in and around Maidstone.
Paper timetables can be obtained at the Visitor Information Centre at the Town Hall in the High St; the web link is http://www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk
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!
- Payless Taxis: +44 (0)1622 661234 (24 Hour)
- 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, .
- Badger Bushcraft, Egerton, Kent, . Badger Bushcraft provides a wide range of bespoke bushcraft, survival and primitive technology courses based in Kent. Bespoke courses are offered tailored to client requirements. Badger Bushcraft regularly work with adult groups ranging from beginners' sessions to masterclass courses for those looking to hone existing skills. School groups are also regularly provided for as the courses meet many of the requirements of the national curriculum. Unlike most other bushcraft schools, Badger Bushcraft offers bespoke courses personally designed to meet clients' requirements and exceed their expectations. By focusing on the specific skills clients would like to develop, Badger Bushcraft can tailor make a package to suit clients' needs and provide maximum value for money. Badger Bushcraft are able to cater for all group sizes ranging from one-to-one single day sessions, large corporate events or week long courses. Sessions are normally held on one of the Kent sites but they are also able to pack one of the Land Rovers and travel to sites outside of this area. With decades of experience, both in business and with bushcraft skills, Badger Bushcraft offer a second to none personal and professional service. They invest heavily in top quality kit, vehicles, sites and industry recognised training. Continued professional development is of paramount importance and something that is taken very seriously at Badger Bushcraft. Phil, the head instructor’s current qualifications and certificates include: - NCFE Level 3 Certificate In Bushcraft Leadership - NCFE Level 3 Primitive Technology (Creative Craft) - Diploma in Business Performance Coaching - Basic Expedition Leadership Award - Advanced Explorer First Aid Certificate - First Aid at Work Certificate - Fully Enhanced CRB - IOL Organisation Member - Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering.
- 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.
Other places of interest in the Maidstone area
- Leeds Castle, near Maidstone, tel: 01622 765400, e-mail: [email protected], . 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 protected], . 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.