Maidstone is a town I had heard a lot about, but never had the chance to visit until a few years ago. I've now grown to love the town where my Dad grew up, and now, I have a bunch of tips for you to check out if you want to experience an English town, not too far out of London.
An hour and a short train ride away from London, you will find the town of Maidstone in Kent. Regarded as the ‘Garden of England’, my father’s side of the family has lived in this area for generations. Whenever I get the chance to go back to see the family, I always enjoy getting to know the town where he grew up a little better. One of the most popular things to do for the locals, is to go ‘up the high street’ and go shopping in a couple of the malls that are there.
Another popular thing is to visit the Maidstone Museum, which I found really interesting. I especially loved the toys and costume exhibits. I didn’t get any photos from here since I didn’t have slower film needed for the dimly-lit exhibits.
Right near the Museum is the River Medway, which is a lovely spot for a walk, picnic or even a boat ride down.
Going to the local pub is another popular thing to do — or at least it is in my family. You really can’t walk a block in any direction without hitting a pub of some kind. I love how different they all are, anything from being built hundreds of centuries ago (so the rafters are all much lower as people weren’t as tall back then) to the ‘Wetherspoons’ pubs, a chain with a little less authentic feel but incredibly good value food and drinks.
On this most recent visit, I was lucky enough to be there on a day there was a ‘car boot fair’ in one of the local car parks. I picked up some knick knacks for good prices, and I also caught up with my friend Ben, who I met while in Canada, and who also just so happens to be from Maidstone of all places! It sure is a small world!