A vibrant town full of life and culture, Maidstone is perfect for those who want a bit of everything – whatever type of lifestyle you lead. If you're moving to Maidstone in the near future, then here's what you can expect from your new town...
Originally the agricultural capital of Kent, Maidstone is often defined by its links to industry and services, with retail providing the majority of the town’s employment opportunities.
Therefore, if you’re moving to Maidstone to be closer to shops and amenities then you certainly won’t be disappointed – in fact, with over one million square feet of retail floor space (which has gained the town a spot in the top 50 places to shop in the entire UK) you might find it hard to resist the amount of temptation on your doorstep!
Week Street is the main pedestrianised shopping street, which leads straight on to Fremlin Walk – a modern, open air shopping centre where you’ll find all of your typical high street fashion and home stores as well as cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and fast food outlets.
Walk a bit further on and you’ll find yourself at The Mall Chequers, an indoor shopping centre which houses further high street stores.
If you’re after something a bit more unique then take a wander down Bank Street or Gabriel’s Hill, where you’ll find a plethora of independent jewellers, gift shops, boutiques and eateries.
Much like many other ancient towns in the county, Maidstone is steeped in rich history, and this is echoed in the number of museums, galleries and theatres there are to visit. From the quaint Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery, which is housed within a charming Elizabethan Manor house, to the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages (home to Europe’s finest collection of horse-drawn vehicles) and the Lashenden Air Warfare Museum, which showcases a host of wartime memorabilia, there’s plenty for the culture-hungry to explore – and that’s before you’ve even considered what might be on offer at the local Hazlitt Theatre.
If you’re moving to Maidstone with your family and don’t want to fall into the trap of trawling the shops every weekend then you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of great family-oriented places to visit just outside of the main town.
Take a trip to Leeds Castle, which has excellent play and picnic facilities as well as lots of other fun family activities to partake in, or perhaps the more adventurous might like to brave Go Ape (which is not for the faint hearted), and then there’s also Thurnham Castle and the White Horse Country Park. If you’re on a tight budget but still want to entertain then why not pack a picnic and head down to either Brenchley Gardens, Mote Park or the Iden Croft Herb Gardens? All are located within the main town, and provide a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life without having to travel too far.
Moving to Maidstone with young children – or moving because you want to start a family – will also inevitably throw up the question of schooling. But with 23 primary schools and 15 secondary on offer in the area as well as two special schools and two independently-funded Academies (many of which have won awards for their level of education), you can rest assured in the knowledge that education is one of the town’s top priorities.
When it comes to hobbies, fitness fanatics are also well catered for in this town – whether it be golf or fishing at Mote Park, horse riding at one of the several riding schools and equestrian centres, tennis or bowling at Clare Park or simply a swim, run or game of badminton at the local leisure centre, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.
One of the many advantages of moving to Maidstone, however – and possibly the main reason for your own move - is its excellent commuter links. Only a 35-mile journey to Central London by train, or a 20 minute drive to Ashford on the nearby M20, this is an ideal place to settle if you want the City job without the full City lifestyle.
If you’re moving here with that in mind, then you’ll probably also be pleased to know that the nightlife in Maidstone can easily rival that on offer in any other local town or city – with some of the best nightclubs and bars in the Kent area, you won’t have to travel far from your doorstep to have a good night out.
Club-wise, the main attractions are Beluga, Babylon and Strawberry Moons, but new nightspots open frequently here, providing you with plenty of variety. If clubbing isn’t your thing then there are a whole host of trendy bars and restaurants to enjoy on Earl Street, an Odeon multiplex located at the Lockmeadow Entertainment Complex, AMF Bowling on King Street and several comedy clubs at the Hazlitt Art Centre.
With so much on offer, Maidstone is an ideal place to move to at any time of the year.
If you want more detailed information on life in Maidstone, visit www.visitmaidstone.com