10X Maidstone – AshfordMaidstone - Ashford
This journey starts in Maidstone, stops outside Leeds Castle, goes through charming villages with natural beauty, and ends in Ashford with a Designer Outlet and various shops, restaurants and entertainment options.
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9 places to visitView journey Attractions
Maidstone, Earl Street (Stop V2)How to get here
The very first white lines on the road were painted on the London to Folkestone Road in Ashford, in 1914.
This is a journey that travels through some of the most delightful parts of Kent. Starting in Maidstone with its mixture of culture and retail therapy, the bus winds its way through stunning countryside, stopping right outside the iconic Leeds Castle, then the charming villages of Beartead, Hollingbourne, Harrietsham, Lenham and Charing, with a range of manageable short walks through areas of natural beauty at each. At Lenham, the bus is just minutes from the source of the Great Stour, the second longest river in Kent and some incredible views before the bus arrives in Ashford with its fabulous Designer Outlet as well as shops, restaurants and entertainment.
A Fab Day Out!
Maidstone Museum is a good starter for the day out with its great exhibitions and events. There’s also the Kentish Lady River Boat which provides an idyllic 1 hour cruise through medieval bridges and unspoiled countryside. Mote Park is also worth a wander round and is particularly stunning in autumnal glory. Onto the bus and Leeds Castle provides the ultimate stop-off, built in the 12th Century and with a whole range of experiences to be enjoyed, including adventure golf, a challenging maze, birds of prey and seasonal events.
It’s back on the bus, this time to Harrietsham and a brisk 20 minutes walk to the famous Pilgrim’s Way where beautiful countryside can be savoured and the Pilgrim’s Rest Statue. A quick pint at the Percival’s Rest before boarding the bus again and it’s off to Lenham and Glebe Gardens with its amazing views and short walk to The Chalk’s Cross, a 188ft tall cross carved into the hillside that is a tribute to those who died in the First and Second World Wars. The bus also stops at School Road which is the gateway to the Hothfield Heathlands Nature Reserve, complete with simply breathtaking landscape and the chance to explore any one of the 4 waymarked routes that take you through the heart of this wild and charming heathland, where there’s nature aplenty to converse with! Then it’s on the bus again, all the way to cosmopolitan Ashford and the Designer Outlet with its numerous chic designer brands. There’s also some fascinating history to be experienced, including in St. George’s Square, the last remaining example of a British Mark IV Female Tank. A trip round the Ashford Borough Museum is also worth partaking and provides tales of the 19th century smugglers in the town, as well as the role of Ashford in wartime. There are also artefacts and images from the prisoner of war camps in the borough and also railway memorabilia, recognising the town’s key strategic role as a major junction.