The city of Maidstone, Kent has an extremely colourful past and is to found between Dover and the country's capital London. Because it has such a vibrant history, there are plenty of Maidstone attractions, which have people flocking to the area to see.

Even today, although there have been many changes taking place in this town, you can still get a feel for what it was like when it first became established. Just take a walk around the old parts of Maidstone and in some cases, it is like stepping back in time.

Below we take a look at some of the more popular attractions that visitors to this very historic and beautiful town like to spend time at.

1. Archbishops Palace – This was formerly part of the Manor of Maidstone and the actual building you see today was mostly built in the late 14th Century under the direction of Archbishop Courtenay. Originally, it was used as a place where the Archbishops could rest during their travels between London and Canterbury.

Today however the building houses Kent Register Office and is only open to visitors during the summer when Heritage Open Days. However, groups may also visit the building at other times of the year but this needs to be arranged prior to the date when one is visiting the town. Attached to this building is The Apothecary's Garden and this can be viewed on a Wednesday afternoon between the months of May and August each year.

2. Leeds Castle – Is one of the most beautiful castles in the world and was originally built back in 857 AD by a Saxon Lord. Then it became home to a Norman family during the time of William the Conqueror. However, it was in 1278 that this building then became a Royal Palace for the then King of England Edward I.

During the time, that Edward I resided here he has a fortified mill and the Barbican built on to the property that was standing there. Then for the next three centuries, it was a Royal residence where the six medieval queens of England resided and why it earned its reputation of being a "ladies castle". Today however, the castle is cared for by Leeds Castle Foundation and this ensures that its visitors will enjoy everything that it has to offer for generations to come.

3. The Friars – This is the final Maidstone attractions we are going to be taking a look at and which is well worth a visit if you choose to go to Maidstone. This was England's first Carmelite Priory and was established on the site where it now stands in 1242. However, in 1930 the mansion was very severely damaged when it caught fire. It was when major restructural work was being undertaken to repair the building that the original fabric of it was found. Then in 1949, the Carmelites were able to purchase the building and have now spent time restoring it to its former medieval glory.

Whatever you do, I'm sure that you will enjoy your visit to Maidstone.

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