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13, Maidstone to Leeds Castle and Hollingbourne

The Garden of England unveiled on a journey of hops, fields, castle and charming churches


From £2 for a single journey

Travel Type:


No. of Attractions:

6 places to visit

View journey Attractions
Journey Duration:

43 minutes

Route Frequency:

5 journeys daily, Mondays to Fridays only

Starting point:

Maidstone Royal Star Arcade (Stop M1)

How to get here

Journey fact:

In the 19th century, Hollingbourne was home to a thriving hop-growing industry, contributing significantly to the local economy. However, during this time, Hollingbourne became notorious for its involvement in the smuggling trade. Secret tunnels were rumoured to exist beneath the village, providing smugglers with covert routes to transport contraband goods, such as brandy and tobacco, through the countryside, evading authorities and fuelling the village's clandestine reputation.

Journey Overview

This is a journey that cuts through the heart of the Garden of England, of classic Kentish countryside, combining vibrant culture in Maidstone with classic, world renowned heritage at Leeds Castle and the charming historic allure of Hollingbourne.

As the bus departs from Maidstone Town Centre, the urban landscape gradually gives way to a patchwork of greenery and rural tranquillity, close to the delightful Hayle Park Nature Reserve and through the village of Loose before arriving at Boughton Monchelsea, which is encircled by tree-lined greens and pretty fields. The bus winds its way onwards to Chart Sutton, with the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats in the slight distance on the right. It then loops its way northwards, past the lovely Parish Church of Saint Mary in Langley on the left and then sweeping forwards to Otham, the route straddling the picturesque National Trust land at Stonecare, where the views are delightful.

Eastwards the bus goes through Upper Street and Burgess Hall Drive and into Leeds, by the George Inn. The landscape here is Kent at it’s best, fields with crops, an oasthouse close by and quaint pubs, against a backdrop of Leeds Castle in the feint distance, with the bus stopping outside the gates of the premises.  Onwards, the journey ventures down Eyhome Street before nestling at Hollingbourne All Saints Church, as its final destination – a sleepy, wonderful retreat at the end of a picturesque and always fascinating journey, stopping at great places.

Throughout the journey, customers are treated to a sensory symphony of sights and sounds, each passing moment painting a vivid portrait of rural England’s timeless allure. From quaint villages to bucolic landscapes, the scenery from Maidstone to Hollingbourne is a feast for the senses, a journey through the heart of the countryside that lingers long in the memory.

A Fab Day Out!

Before boarding the bus, there’s plenty to see and do in Maidstone. A visit to Maidstone Museum is a great start – it’s housed in a stunning Elizabethan manor. Discover artifacts spanning centuries, including ancient Egyptian relics and local archaeological finds.

For a breath of fresh air, wander through Mote Park, a vast green space with lakes, woodland trails, and leisure activities like boating and mini-golf.

Shopaholics will delight in Maidstone’s diverse retail offerings, from high-street brands at Fremlin Walk to unique boutiques in the historic town centre. Foodies can indulge in culinary delights at an array of cafes, pubs, and restaurants, showcasing local produce and international flavours.

History buffs can delve into the town’s past at sites like All Saints Church and the Archbishop’s Palace, while art enthusiasts can admire contemporary works at the Hazlitt Arts Centre. Wrap up your day with a riverside stroll along the Medway, soaking in the tranquil ambiance of this charming riverside town. Maidstone offers something for everyone, blending heritage, nature, and modern amenities into a delightful package.

Onto the bus and Otham is worth stopping off. It’s a quaint village and offers a peaceful retreat amidst picturesque countryside. Explore the iconic White Horse Inn, a historic pub serving up traditional fare and local brews. Wander along tranquil lanes flanked by charming cottages adorned with colourful gardens. Discover the beauty of nature at nearby Otham Woods, a haven for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Back on the bus and to Leeds Castle, one of the ‘must visit’ attractions in the south of England. It is often referred to as the “loveliest castle in the world” and stands as a majestic icon amidst the serene landscape of Kent. With roots dating back to the 12th century, the castle boasts a rich history, from royal residence to tranquil retreat. Explore its opulent interiors adorned with fine furnishings, intricate tapestries, and priceless artworks. Wander through immaculate gardens, where lush greenery surrounds sparkling lakes, and vibrant flowers bloom in every season. Take a boat ride on the moat, marvelling at the castle’s reflection shimmering on the water. Leeds Castle is a timeless gem, captivating visitors with its beauty, history, and enchanting ambiance.

The last leg of the journey is to be enjoyed as Hollinbourne beckons. Explore Hollingbourne Manor, a stunning Jacobean mansion surrounded by picturesque gardens and woodlands, perfect for leisurely strolls. Visit the 12th-century Hollingbourne Church, known for its architectural splendour and peaceful atmosphere. Delve into local history at the Eyhorne Street Heritage Centre, showcasing artifacts and exhibits from the village’s past. Enjoy traditional pub fare and local ales at the village inn, soaking in the warm hospitality and cozy ambiance. Hollingbourne invites visitors to unwind and explore its timeless charm amidst idyllic surroundings.


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How to get here...

Visit the megabus website and view megabus services that will transport you to this exceptional scenic journey.

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Visit the National Rail Enquiries website to discover train routes that will lead you to this magnificent scenic adventure.

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Plan your route to this Great Scenic Journey

Take your scenic journey to the next level by embarking on this delightful walk, carefully curated by the expert team at Go Jauntly, the leading walking app provider.

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