The historic town of Maidstone is located in Kent, approximately 32 miles from the centre of London. Archaeological evidence dates the earliest settlements in the area to before the Stone Age, but Maidstone officially began life as a Saxon Village.
During the 13th century Maidstone was an important market town, attracting visitors from the rest of Kent and London. The River Medway provided the ideal way to transport farmed goods to London and thus played a pivotal role in the town’s growth in the centuries that followed. By the 16th and 17th centuries Maidstone’s output had matured into heavier manufacturing, which continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Today, the economy of Maidstone is largely reliant on public and professional services. In particular, the town contains a high concentration of legal, finance, insurance and medical companies, in addition to a growing number of high-tech firms located in several business parks around the town. To the north-west of Maidstone, Aylesford is home to Europe’s largest paper recycling factory.
Maidstone is ranked among the south east of England’s top shopping destinations and is renowned for its excellent nightlife; a recent regeneration project transformed the high street into an attractive, largely pedestrianised area. Thanks to its abundance of parks and countryside location, the town is a popular choice for those who want a rural lifestyle with good connections to London. There are also numerous cultural attractions in Maidstone including Leeds Castle, All Saints Church and Maidstone Museum.
The town is served by three railway stations: Maidstone East, Maidstone West and Maidstone Barracks. Direct high speed rail services provide access from Maidstone East to London Victoria within 50 minutes.