Maidstone town guide
Maidstone is the busy county town of Kent - an excellent centre for excursions.
It was the centre of the hop growing country and many Oast houses can still be seen in the surrounding villages. In days gone by, whole families would pour out of the East End of London in charabancs to spend their summer hop picking.
The fourteenth century Bishops Palace was built as a residence for the Archbishops of Canterbury for them to rest on their long journey from London to Canterbury. In those days it would take days not hours to complete the journey. Opposite the palace is the old Tythe barn (probably the old palace stables) now an interesting carriage museum.
To the north Chatham is not far away and is worth visiting for the Royal Docks, now fascinating museum. To the southwest is Royal Tunbridge Wells, famous for the Pantiles.
From Maidstone you can visit the Kent coast in a rental car, go to Brands Hatch to see the motor racing or take in a Roman Villa, a Castle or drive up onto the South Downs.