The county town of the Garden of England county, Kent, Maidstone is a pleasant riverside settlement that has been an official town for more than 450 years, and has been inhabited area since the Neolithic period.
During the English Civil War, the Royalists suffered an overwhelming defeat in the Battle of Maidstone, after which the town developed into an important paper-making, textiles and brewing centre.
The Archbishop's Palace
Dating back to the 14th century, the Archbishop's Palace was originally gifted to the successful English poet Thomas Wyatt by King Henry VIII. The palace is now a popular wedding venue and is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Grade I listed building.
The Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery
Opened more than 150 years ago, the Maidstone Museum & Art Gallery is housed in a splendid Elizabethan building and contains hundreds of thousands of artefacts from the Anglo-Saxon period to the Victorian era. The venue also has thousands of artefacts related to local archaeological history, and well over 400,000 natural history artefacts.
Nearby: Leeds Castle
Overlooking 500 acres of beautiful parkland, Leeds Castle has stood for approximately 900 years and was once the home of Catherine of Aragon, King Henry VIII's first wife. Unlike many English castles, it survived the English Civil War, although it was remodelled in the early-19th century, under the supervision of the wealthy Wykeham Martin family.
For affordable, friendly accommodation in stylish surroundings, choose the Premier Inn Maidstone - Sandling or the Premier Inn Maidstone - Allington, or consider the chic, value-for-money Townhouse Hotel. If you're looking for a luxury break, you could book a stay at the Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club, one of the most exquisite Maidstone hotels.
Where to eat
Treat yourself to some mouthwatering French cuisine at the Frederic Café Bistro, indulge in some delicious Turkish food at Gem of Kent, or try some divine vegetarian or seafood dishes at the Fish on the Green in Bearsted. Other acclaimed restaurants in Maidstone include the Italian-themed Vesuvius restaurant and Greek-themed Artemis.
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