Situated around the banks of the River Medway, lies the ancient town of Maidstone. Thanks to its geographical location in the center of the agricultural county of Kent, the ancient town of Maidstone has been called the Garden of England. With its rich history and breath taking setting there are many opportunities for visitors to this town.
One popular stop in the city of Maidstone is the historic All Saints Church. Built in 1395 this historic church has been given the label of the 'Grandest Perpendicular Church in England'. The Medieval carvings are of special interest to visitors especially those located under the seats since one includes a caricature of the college cook. Near the south west door is a tribute to the 17th Century Laurence Washington, the coat of arms is credited for being where his descendent George Washington had the inspiration of the American Stars and Stripes.
While visiting the historical sites of Maidstone the Archbishop's Palace should be on your list. The Manor of Maid stone was given to the Archbishop in 1207 so he could have a place to rest when he was travelling between Canterbury and London. The main part of the Palace wasn't actually built until sometime in the fourteenth century. If you plan to enjoy the beauty of this large palace you need to either schedule to be married there, they do allow couples to hold their weddings at the site or visit Maidstone during their Heritage Days. These are the only time the Palace is open to the public. If you have a large group that would like to tour the palace during the rest of the year, the Visitor Information Center maybe able to accommodate you, if you make special arrangements well in advance of your arriving.
Who can resist a visit to a castle? Not many, that's why the Leeds Castle is another popular stop when in the Maidstone area. The original Leeds Castle was built in 857 and was utilized by the Norman Crevecoeur family. In 1278 Edward I used the castle as his Royal Palace. After Edward I first utilized the building it became known as a ladies' castle as three centuries of queens also utilized the castle as their royal palaces. Since 1975 the castle has become a tourist spot in the Maidstone region. Visitors can enjoy touring the castle and its grounds year round, although the castle does close early in the winter months.
Historic sites aren't the only thing Maidstone has to offer. For those that want to enjoy the reason why Maidstone is considered the Garden of England just visit the Maidstone Millennium River Park. Relatively new, having only been open since 2001, the park is situated along the bank of the River Medway. It includes 10km of paths and three foot bridges. The park has a unique character that is a mirror of the area and allows for visitors to enjoy a quiet setting even if it is located in the middle of town.
Maidstone is a beautiful historic city with many things for visitors to see.
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