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River Medway, Maidstone

Maidstone is the county town in Mid-Kent, in the South East of England on the River Medway.


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.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

The nearest major airport is London Gatwick Airport (LGW IATA), which is 42mi/67km away.

By car[edit]

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[edit]

Recommended that you park in The Chequers Centre car park (east end of Town Centre, enter from Padsole Lane or King St).

Town Centre Coach parking[edit]

At A249 Sittingbourne Rd.

By bus[edit]

Local buses are operated by Arriva Kent and Surrey, Nu-Venture and ASD Coaches

Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus.

Maidstone Park & Ride operates Mondays to Sundays. See the Kent County Council Park & Ride website.

By train[edit]

Maidstone East railway station

Trains run every 30 min from London Victoria, taking a hour to Maidstone East and continuing to Bromley South and Ashford International (another 30 min). (Eurostar no longer stops at Ashford or Ebbsfleet, so from the Continent you have to ride to Victoria then come out again.)

1 Maidstone East is central in town. It has a ticket office and machines, a waiting room, toilets and shops. There is step-free access to all platforms.

Trains run hourly from Strood, taking 25 min via New Hythe to Maidstone Barracks and Maidstone West, and continuing to Paddock Wood (for Tonbridge, Ashford International, Folkestone and Dover).

2 Maidstone Barracks is just an unstaffed platform halt, with ticket machines but no other facilities. Access to both platforms is via steps.

3 Maidstone West has a ticket office open M-Sa for the morning rush into London, and the waiting room and toilets are only accessible then. There is step free access to platform 2 for trains towards Paddock Wood. Reaching platform 1 step-free involves staff assistance to use the level crossing, only available in rush hour.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

Various bus companies provide local bus services in and around Maidstone.

  • Arriva provide most services
  • Nu-venture provide more countryside services
  • Stagecoach provides services to Ashford

Paper timetables can be obtained at the Visitor Information Centre at the Town Hall in the High St. or online.

Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus.

By taxi[edit]

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[dead link]: +44 1622 750000 iPhone App or Textbooker available
  • Cavalier Taxis: +44 1622 754000 (24 Hour)

By Coach[edit]


Maidstone Museum

1 Leeds Castle, Maidstone, ME17 1PL, +44 1622 765400, . Near Maidstone. 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). Leeds Castle (Q746876) on Wikidata Leeds Castle on Wikipedia

2 Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery, St Faith's Street, ME14 1LH. M-Sa 10AM-5:15PM, Su 11AM-4PM. 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. Free. Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery (Q6735528) on Wikidata Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery on Wikipedia

Maidstone Carriage Museum (The Tyrwhitt Drake Collection), Mill Street, ME15 6YE. Open summer only (closed in Mid-May).

All Saints Church, Mill Street, ME15 6YE. May to Sep: M-Th 10AM-4PM, Sa 10:30AM-12:30PM. Fine church rebuilt in the 14th century. The Archbishop's Palace next door is worth a look from the outside - it is now the registry office.

3 Museum of Kent Life, Cobtree, Lock Lane, Sandling, ME14 3AU. Kent Life (Q6391821) on Wikidata Kent Life on Wikipedia

4 Aylesford Priory. Founded in 1242. Aylesford Priory (Q4831392) on Wikidata Aylesford Priory on Wikipedia

5 Stoneacre, Otham, ME15 8RS (4 miles east of Maidstone), +44 1622 863247, . Stoneacre (Q7619096) on Wikidata Stoneacre, Kent on Wikipedia


  • Football: Maidstone United play soccer in National League South, the sixth tier. They're a phoenix club formed after the original club went bust in 1992. In 2024 they shocked Ipswich, a first tier side, by knocking them out in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Their home ground Gallagher Stadium (capacity 4200) is 200 yards north of Maidstone East railway station.
  • 1 The Hazlitt Theatre, Earl Street, ME14 1PL, +44 1622 758611. Hazlitt Theatre (Q5688358) on Wikidata Hazlitt Theatre on Wikipedia
  • Kent Flower Show [formerly dead link] - In July, one of the largest agricultural festivals in Britain
  • 2 Kent County Show, Detling Hill, ME14 3JE. in July, the large county show at the Kent Showground in Detling.


The Mall Maidstone

1 The Mall (Chequers centre), King Street, Maidstone, Kent, ME15 6AT, +44 1622 691130, . M-Sa 9AM-5:30PM, Su 10:30AM-4:30PM. The Mall is a large shopping centre in Maidstone containing a variety of shops.


1 The Oak on the Green, Bearsted Green, Bearsted, ME14 4EJ, +44 1622 737976. A restaurant and pub next to a large cricket green in a small village just outside of Maidstone called Bearsted. The staff are friendly and helpful. At times, like most successful venues, it can be a tad busy and service can be a little slow. The food is primarily Mexican-based. The fajitas are fantastic, and come in either steak, chicken or mixed. Vegetarian options are available. Other recommendations are stuffed jalapeño peppers and fajitas (normally shared by two people). Prices start at £12, beer about £3.

2 Lockmeadow, Barker Road, Maidstone, Kent, ME16 8SF, +44 1622 764410, . Daily 6AM-midnight. Lockmeadow is an entertainment centre in Maidstone town centre. It contains bars, restaurants nightclubs and a cinema.


The Flower Pot - geograph 1584377

1 Market House, 30 Earl St, ME14 1PS, +44 1622 751 286. noon-11PM, F Sa until 2AM. Shepherd Neame beers and music on Friday and Sunday Nights The Market House Public House (Q26516986) on Wikidata

2 Pippin, 78 London Rd, ME16 0DR, +44 1622 750 747. Large Green King Pub

3 The Stag (Sun), 11 Middle Row, Maidstone ME14 1TG (At the end of Pudding Lane), +44 1622 296 420. Grade II listed pub that plays music The Sun Public House (Q26376644) on Wikidata


1 Travelodge Hotel - Maidstone Central, St Peter's St,, +44 871 984 6034.

2 The Black Horse Inn, Pilgrims Way, Thurnham, +44 1622 737185.

3 Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club, Ashford Rd, +44 1622 734334.

4 Thurnham Keep, Castle Hill, Thurnham ME14 3LE, +44 1622 734149. Plush little B&B in Edwardian villa built from the ruins of Thurnham Castle. Open Mar-Oct, no children under 10 or dogs. B&B double £150.

Go next[edit]

Leeds Castle

Other places of interest in the Maidstone area

Routes through Maidstone
London junction (for ) ←  NW  SE  AshfordChannel Tunnel/Dover
Royal Tunbridge WellsTonbridge  SW  NE  END

This city travel guide to Maidstone is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.