Mote Park is Maidstone's largest park, an impressive 450 acres which previously formed part of a country estate until it was converted at the end of the 18th century into landscaped parkland. The park's name derives from 'moot' or 'mote' in Old English, meaning ‘a place of assembly’.
The park itself has had an interesting royal background, belonging at one time to King Edward IV's consort, Elizabeth Woodville. Whilst the house dates back to the reign of King George III who is said to have gathered troops there as England faced the threat of Napoleon.
In 1929 Walter Samuel (the 2nd Viscount of Bearsted) sold the majority of the estate to Maidstone Borough Council and converted Mote House to an orphanage.
The park lies within walking distance of Maidstone town centre and has a host of sports facilities to take advantage of. You can also stretch your legs with a lakeside walk thanks to Mote Park’s 30-acre lake, where you will find a variety of water fowl, as well as opportunities for sailing and angling.
Maidstone is a town that can be traced back through written history to the 10th century. The Domesday Book of 1086 refers to it as the manor of Meddestane, which comprised of arable land, meadow, woodland and a church; five mills and two eel fisheries.
Today Maidstone is the county town of Kent. It has a rich heritage yet is also a popular destination for entertainment and shopping. In fact, the town currently has over one million square feet of retail floor space with a multiplex cinema and many restaurants.
Countryside and coastline
Kent has one of England’s longest and most varied coastlines. You can observe abundant and changing coastal wildlife throughout the year, and enjoy an impressive number of Blue Flag beaches with their high water quality, and record of safety, service and environmental management.
As well as breathing in sea air, you can wander Kent’s famous towns and villages, or enjoy bracing walks, such as those around Harrietsham, giving you wonderful views from the heights of the North Downs.
The Hollingbourne trail introduces you to locations linked through to folk stories to Catherine Howard, Francis Drake and John Cade. Then there’s the chance to stretch your legs along the river walks of the Medway Valley, or discover Leeds Castle, which is just a few miles from Mote House. It's surrounded by 500 acres of picturesque parkland and gardens, making it a favourite destination for a day trip.
London: 40 miles or 1 hour by train
Folkestone: 36 miles
Dover: 41 miles
Royal Tunbridge Wells: 17 miles
Rochester: 11 miles
From nearby Ashford International you can be in Lille via Eurostar in under 60 minutes.