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Kent is renowned as the Garden of England and we want you to make it your own. Select the icons to refine the content and find information to suit your needs more quickly.

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Maidstone

Kent's county town, Maidstone, lies at the heart of the Garden of England. Here orchards and hop gardens surround romantic villages and must-see heritage sights.

This lush landscape is home to captivating Leeds Castle, whose romantic towers and crenulations are reflected in a glittering lake. There's been a castle here since Norman days; today a stroll round its opulent rooms reveals stories of six English Queens, an Anglo-American heiress and one-time resident Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII's first wife The glorious 500 acre parkland supplies a hedge maze, falconry demonstrations and the adrenaline-fuelled treetop walkways of Go Ape. You can even sleep soundly amid all this grandeur. The estate's cottages, stables and gamekeeper's house have been transformed into luxury holiday homes and B&B rooms; country-house Chilston Park Hotel is also nearby.

In Maidstone itself, the stables of the 14th century Archbishops’ Palace house one of the town's hidden gems; the elaborate sleighs, sedan chairs and horse-drawn vehicles of the Tyrwhitt-Drake Museum of Carriages. Outside, hop on the Kentish Lady or Allington Belle for a scenic River Medway cruise through the Maidstone Millennium River Park to Kent Life where oast houses, historic homes, farm animals and tractor rides provide a lively insight into Kent's rural past. Why not couple it with a 4-star overnight stay at the nearby Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel?

The Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery showcases a 2700 year old  Egyptian mummy,  outstanding oil paintings, fine items from the Japanese Edo period,  and the story behind the discovery of Maidstone's millennia-old iguanodon; the town's world-famous dinosaur find.

Indulge in big-brand retail therapy at Fremlin Walk shopping centre, take in a show at the Hazlitt Arts Centre, then select where to sleep. At Tudor Park Marriott Hotel and Country Club, you can drop off in style after an 18-hole game of golf.

Maidstone is the springboard for superb countryside. Hike the chalky ridge of the Kent Downs AONB as it sweeps south to Dover, get green-fingered inspiration at the National Trust property Stoneacre, or sip tea or sup a pint in the picture-postcard villages of Lenham, Marden, Headcorn and Yalding.

Discover more at www.visitmaidstone.com