Go to the south of England for the weather, the countryside, and the people! Maidstone is one of the hidden gems in southern England, lying 52 kilometers (32 miles) southeast of London, it resides in the country of Kent. If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway from your hectic city life, want to treat your loved ones to a beautiful relaxing holiday, then Maidstone is one of those hidden, almost tourist-free, places to go! You can explore the ruins of our pasts, reconnect with the wildlife or do something even more exciting, Maidstone will have something for you!
Read on to find out about the top 10 things to do in Maidstone, UK.
1. Leeds Castle
Lying 8 kilometers (5 miles) southwest of Maidstone, Leeds Castle is considered one of the prettiest castles in England. Built in 1119, it was the private household of six of England’s medieval queens, including Henry VIII’s first wife. Not only is it rich in history but it also hosts a number of events that will make your visit extra special and exciting!
Their most noteworthy is the Open-Air Theatre where they do a range of different performances, from Shakespearian plays to opera to a traveling circus! This activity is on the more expensive side with a standard adult ticket setting you back approximately 30 USD and a child ticket 20 USD. You must purchase your tickets at least one day in advance to experience the beautiful and exciting atmosphere at Leeds Castle!
Address: Leeds Castle, ME17 1PL Maidstone
Website: Leeds Castle
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This quaint but beautiful place was built during the late 1400s and has been a world heritage site since 1952. Many have praised Stoneacre for the peaceful atmosphere and it has been described many times as a small slice of paradise. You can easily imagine spending a summer afternoon strolling the gorgeous gardens and having lunch in the library tea room at a very reasonable price of 10 USD for adults and 5 USD for the under 16s.
Address: Stoneacre Lane, Otham, ME15 8RS Maidstone
Opening Hours: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
3. Tyland Barn
The best time to visit this hidden gem is during the warm summer months when the animals are out and the flowers are in bloom at Tyland Barn. This 17th-century barn is home to various species such as bees, tadpoles, and nesting birds. A great place for children to come and play, the barn is also equipped with a wonderful cafe when you can sit and have afternoon tea while enjoying the wildlife and scenery.
Address: Tyland Barn, Sandling, ME14 3BD Maidstone, Kent
Website: Tyland Barn
Opening Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
4. Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery
The perfect place to go if you’re interested in local history and a great educational visit for the children! With free entry and easy access, you can easily spend an afternoon at this fascinating place that has an international collection of fine art, natural and human history. Not only does it show local history, but also gives new and aspiring artists a chance to showcase their work, from more traditional paintings to photography and even themed costume displays, guaranteeing something new and exciting every time you visit!
Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery
Address: St Faith’s St., ME14 1LH Maidstone
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m.
5. Mote Park
One of the best places to relax as it features huge open spaces, with beautiful greens and a big lake that lets you hire boats! First a private country estate, Mote Park was converted into a public park at the end of the 18th century and has been enjoyed by the people of Maidstone since. A great place to bring the children to burn off their energy, host a romantic picnic or to play some games like football or cricket! With a wonderful cafe to grab some lunch, Mote Park is a wonderful place to spend your sunny afternoons. Although you have to pay for parking, it is completely free to the public.
Address: Mote Avenue, ME15 7RN Maidstone
Website: Mote Park
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to midnight, Saturday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to midnight
6. Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats
If you want a memorable experience that will stick with you forever, Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats is the perfect place to go in Maidstone. Many of called it a ‘truly overwhelming’ experience as you can interact with the goats and help feed them! The goats at Buttercups Sanctuary are very friendly and will love a cuddle from anyone! Buttercups Sanctuary takes care of around 150 rescue goats and they do accept donations to keep the place running. You can even adopt one of these adorable creatures and can be its legal guardian.
Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats
Address: Wierton Rd, ME17 4JW Boughton Monchelsea, Kent
Website: Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats
Opening Hours: April to November, daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
7. Kent Owl Academy
Another niche experience that everyone must try at least once, is the Kent Owl Academy! Whether you’re an enthusiast of these beautiful birds or wish to conquer your fear, Kent Owl Academy is the best place! Prices range from 35 USD to 60 USD, depending on the event and if you’re participating or just observing the owls.
Kent Owl Academy
Address: Lock Lane, Sandling, ME14 3AU Maidstone
Website: Kent Owl Academy
Opening Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
8. Teston Bridge Country Park
With 13 hectares (32 acres) of beautiful countryside, horses grazing the fields, Teston Bridge is the center point of Teston Country Park. Built in the 13th century, parts of it have been rebuilt through the centuries, even as late as the 20th. With footpaths along the river, it is a great place for a morning or afternoon stroll, whether for your kids or just for yourself! If you bring your pets, be careful that they don’t get too close to the horses.
Teston Bridge Country Park
Address: Teston Ln, ME18 5BX Maidstone
Website: Teston Bridge Country Park
Opening Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
9. Kent Life
Taking up about 11 hectares (28 acres) of English countryside, this place is one of the best tourist attractions for young families! While showcasing traditional Kent Life, there is an indoor and outdoor play area for the kids and you can also cuddle with the guinea pigs and rabbits while you have fun. Not only can your kids have fun, but you can learn more about early 20th century Kent Life as you explore their vintage village, the cottages coming from the Second World War and the Sandling Farmhouse dating back to the 16th century! Kent Life is so popular that they regularly host weddings and birthday parties!
Address: Lock Lane, Sandling, ME14 3AU Maidstone
Website: Kent Life
Opening Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
10. River Medway Canoes
One of the most expensive activities on this list is the River Medway Canoes. This attraction will allow you to see beautiful and old parts of Maidstone and the surrounding area! You don’t have to be experienced in order to enjoy these guided tours as you will have an instructor which will help you along the way. Each tour lasts approximately 3 to 4 hours. If you’re feeling confident though, you can hire the canoes out for personal use and have your own tour along the River Medway!
River Medway Canoes
Address: Waterside Mews, Wasteringbury, ME18 5AB Maidstone
Website: River Medway Canoes
Opening Hours: Daily, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., 9 p.m. to midnight
Fall in love!
Maidstone will always stand out in your memories, the place where you canoed down the river, handled owls or cuddled with goats, it will always be a memorable experience! Whether you’re 5 or 25 years old, there is something special about this beautiful countryside town that will make you fall back in love with nature and history!
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