The world reels from the onslaught of a pandemic, the nation is in lockdown, we’re socially distanced from friends and family, holidays cancelled, schools and businesses closed, restaurants and local attractions shut; life in the UK as we used to know it seems to have hit the pause button. The importance of the lockdown cannot be downplayed and although the end could be days, weeks or even months away, we remain positive that things will eventually return to normal in the near future.
With the hope of a return to normality in mind, we decided to create a list of things we intend to do and places we plan to visit in and around Maidstone as soon as the lockdown ends and all restrictions have been lifted.
First things first, we all agreed that the first team lunch we have after the lockdown will have to be at the Herbalist – a team favourite of ours! It’s a great place to go for lunch or dinner (or if you’re staying at Riverside, it’s only a three-minute walk away - so you might as well!) as they offer a variety of options no matter what the occasion! We recommend their delicious halloumi fries that are a perfect extra to any meal, the fantastic king prawn linguine (which is gluten free!) and you can’t go wrong with their Kentish apple and pear crumble. What’s more is if you’re staying with us, you get a 20% discount if you decide to visit The Herbalist, so it’s worth the visit!
If you’re into dinosaurs or anything Jurassic, then you’ll definitely love Dinotropolis. This recently opened family friendly adventure park has something for everyone. Visitors can expect to see the impressive life-sized, roaring animatronic dinosaurs, take part in the Dino Escape Challenge, enjoy the awesome dinosaur interactives or even grab a bite at the dinosaur-themed Fossil Café.
Located at the Bluewater Shopping Centre (the fifth largest shopping centre in the UK) near Dartford, Dinotropolis has a fantastic soft play area spread over three storeys that is touted as the best Dinosaur soft play area in Kent. Overall, it’s a great place to take the kids especially after they’ve been cooped up indoors for such a long time. Book your next visit or if you plan to become a frequent visitor, consider becoming a member.
The iconic award-winning Mote Park is a huge 450acre Parkland/Woodland garden in Maidstone, Kent. This multi-use public park which has been in existence since the 13th Century is rich with natural features – grassland, woodland, rivers and even a lake – and has a lot to offer. From dino golf, a climbing wall, water sports, the walled garden and even a waterfall! The great thing about Mote Park is that all the activities are open to both adults and children.
Outside of the year-round activities, there are also a number of organised events that take place throughout the year. This summer, Spirit of Rock’s Ramblin’ Man Fair the annual Race for Life to raise money for Cancer Research UK, Rock the Mote and the retro 80’s festival that is Let’s Rock Kent are scheduled to hold at Mote park. Sign-up for a Mote Park membership or go to Visit Maidstone to find out more.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that life is too short and can literally change overnight. Most skydives or parachute jumps are done to raise money for a good cause – there’s no better way to celebrate the freedom of the lockdown being lifted, face your fears and raise money for charity than by jumping from a high flying airplane. Worried about the cost? There are over 3000 charities who will cover the cost of your skydive in return for raising funds. You can go skydiving in Maidstone or check out what’s on offer at Skydive Headcorn.
A day out at the beach is one of the better things to do in life, with more than 50 beaches in Kent, there’s plenty to choose from. Some of Kent’s sandy beaches could easily be mistaken for tropical escapes and attract thousands of visitors every year especially during the summer. Botany Bay – with its spectacular chalk cliffs offering awesome views of the sea – and Joss Bay, which stretches for almost 200 miles, are two of our favourite sandy beaches to visit in Kent. These relatively quiet and somewhat secluded hidden gems are both located at Broadstairs.
If you’re a city dweller looking to escape the hustle and bustle for a weekend away, then a short holiday in Kent is an amazing option. The Garden of England isn’t just a gigantic playground for the whole family to explore and enjoy but a place of incredibly picturesque villages that are rich in culture, history and delicious food. With such a variety of places to see and experience, and only a couple of days to immerse yourself within a new place, picking the right place to visit can prove somewhat difficult. To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite places in Kent to visit for the weekend.
Not sure where to stay? We suggest booking a self-catering serviced apartment in Kent where you’ll be able to cook for yourself and entertain guests. Visit our site and take advantage of our numerous seasonal discounts and offers when you book directly with us.
If you’ve ever wondered what it will feel like to drive and operate real construction vehicles like diggers and dumpers, then Diggerland is the place to visit. Diggerland is an adventure theme park were adults and children can ride, drive and operate real life heavy duty construction machinery. With 20 different rides on offer there’s loads to choose from – JCBs, excavators, the Skyshuttle and even Go-Karts – you’re bound to find something you’ll like. Diggerland is a great place groups of all sizes and the park is also suitable for children between 4 and 14 years of age.
One of the most visited places in Kent, with history dating back over 1,000 years, Leeds Castle is situated about 5 miles away from Maidstone and houses a treasure trove of things to do and attractions to see.
Visitors can enjoy a tour of the castle and its state rooms, which sits on 500 acres of gardens and parkland or lose themselves in the impressive yew tree maze. With an abundance of wildlife to see throughout the estate, visitors can either take in the falconry displays at the Bird of Prey Centre or simply watch the various wildlife in their natural habitats.
For the young visitors, children can climb the turrets in the Squires’ Court Playground, try their hand at miniature golf in the Leeds Castle Adventure Golf, play in the Knights’ Stronghold Playground, play in the sandpits, take a ride on Elsie the Castle Train – the possibilities are endless. Don’t just take our word for it – see for yourselves – buy tickets here.
Maidstone has a lot of fantastic places to eat out, whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a romantic dinner, or a business meal – Maidstone will have the ideal place for you! However, out of all our favourite places to eat in Maidstone, Buenos Aires Steakhouse is our absolute favourite. Located, only a five-minute walk from our Riverside apartments, they have a fantastic menu, you can decide what kind of steak you want, how you want it cooked and what you want it to be served with. There are also pescatarian options, salads, and delicious pasta dishes to choose from if you don’t fancy a steak! They also offer wine tasting dinners and masterclass events – be sure to pre-book! In addition to all of this – guests of KH Homes get a 20% discount off the price of your meal!
So that’s our list, hope you found it useful. No one knows when the lockdown will end, but end it will, of that we are certain. When it does, remember to stay safe, play responsibly, maintain social distancing and most importantly be adventurous.