There are several reasons why Maidstone deserves to be the county town of Kent. It’s Kent’s largest town, it’s really historic, it’s got a fantastic town centre with the River Medway running through it, it’s got all year-round events going on, beautiful countryside around it, and all just 30 miles out of London. All these things are on the checklist for choosing the location for a new home. They all add up to a great environment for work and leisure, for commuters and for staying local, for professionals and for families.
On the map
Maidstone has the M20 skirting the northern edge of the town and there’s a direct link to the M2. If you follow the M20 westbound, you join the M25, and the M26 adds a convenient short link around the top of Sevenoaks. In the other direction the M20 delivers you straight to the south coast at Folkstone, while the M2 gives way to the A2 for Canterbury and Dover. The A229 heads due south through ‘the garden of Kent’, the A249 heads northeast between Chatham and Sittingbourne, to Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, and a cross-country network of smaller roads take you to the surrounding villages and hamlets. There are two train stations, Maidstone East and Maidstone West, and the average journey time from Maidstone East into London Victoria is around an hour. Maidstone West is on the Medway Valley Line, with routes into London Charing Cross. The M25 will get you to Heathrow Airport, 60 miles away, in about two hours. The bus station is very central to the town, with services operated by Arriva.
In the town
You’re in for a treat. Maidstone is a great place for shopping and local services. This historic town centre is a pleasure to explore and there are no end of independent shops, bars, cafés, and restaurants. There are purpose-built shopping centres – Fremlin Walk and The Mall, there’s a colourful market, and the artisan atmosphere of the St Peter’s Wharf shopping area. For recreation and leisure, Mote Park is the largest of the town’s lovely parks. It covers 450 acres of parkland and a 30-acre lake. This used to be the home of Kent County Cricket Club, and it’s still much loved for sports activities. Back in the town centre, the Medway provides a lovely riverside environment for family walks in Whatman Park. The Lockmeadow Centre houses a multiplex cinema, restaurants, and is the venue for the market. At the same time as being a great commuter base, Maidstone has a strong economy of its own and the out-of-town business parks are home to some thriving high-tech companies. There are 15 secondary schools to follow on from the wide range of primary schools, so your children’s education is well-catered for too.
Out of town
Kent’s nickname of The Garden of Kent speaks for itself. Maidstone is on the edge of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its not far from the High Weald which spreads out below Royal Tunbridge Wells, and the countryside in between is a treat of picturesque villages, oast houses, orchards, country houses and country pubs.