Days out: Exploring Maidstone 

Last month we spent the weekend with Sam’s brother, sister-in-law and niece. Whilst the boys went to their football game, Kerry, her daughter and I saw Finding Dory in Maidstone and loved it (see my review here). After seeing the movie, we had a little stroll around and I loved the mixture of the old vs new.

Maidstone Town Centre

I love how Maidstone mixes the very old with the very new. The River Medway runs right through the city centre. Historically, the river was a source and route for much of the town’s trade as the centre of the agricultural county of Kent, known as the Garden of England [source: Wikipedia]. The Archbishop’s Palace is an historic 14th-century and 16th-century building on the east bank of the River Medway and it’s simply stunning. Unfortunately we couldn’t check it out properly as their was a wedding being held there that day, but the outer and surrounding buildings are just as visually stunning.

 

Mote Park

Mote Park is a 440 acre park in Maidstone. It’s stunningly beautiful and is a multi-use park. This park has everything and is perfect for a day out in summer. It’s a popular place to visit and if you’ve been or plan to go, you’ll know why. The park is huge, absolutely enormous. In 2015 it placed third in the People’s Choice for their Favourite Green Flag Park. Parking is super cheap at £1 if you arrive after 10am or free before, compared to a host of other locations where parking costs are the main reason people stay away. It covers 450 acres, has tonnes of natural features including a 30 acre lake and it’s the perfect location for family day outs and it can get busy, not that much space gets used!

  • There’s an excellent model railway that’s run by the Maidstone Model Engineering Society. In the summer, it is open to the public every Sunday and on bank holidays between 2.30pm and 5pm. It costs just 30p per ride. The guys all dress up in uniform which is a delight for children.
  • Toilets are available on site as well as disabled toilets
  • A cafe is available serving hot and cold food, snacks and ice cream in the hotter months
  • There are 4 children’s play areas including a natural woodland play area for 8-15 years and a skate park
  • A ‘Red Bull’ Digger BMX Track
  • Outdoor training equipment for the fitness buff
  • You can use the segways for a different kind of experience.But check the operators website for when this is available.
  • There are football and rugby pitches, for information about booking pitches and prices check out their sports pitches and courts pages.
    Model boats based near the boat house on the lake is a favourite, leased to the Maidstone Cygnets Model Boat Club. Visit their website or contact the club secretary, Chris Diaper on 0163 250371.
  • If you’re a fan of Angling, Maidstone’s Victory Angling and Medway Preservation Society lets you fish at Mote Park with a permit. To buy a permit you need a copy of your rod licence.

Useful information:

Entry: Free 

Where
The main entrance to Mote Park is:

Mote Avenue
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 7SU

The park has other entrances on Willington Street in Bearsted and School Lane in Shepway.

Opening Times
Monday to Friday – 8am to dusk
Saturday and Sunday – 8am to dusk

Café Opening Times
Monday to Friday – 8.30am to 4pm
Saturday and Sunday – 8.30am to 5pm

Definitely check it out.

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