Exploring Kent

Life in Maidstone

Beyond ESO’s campus and clinic in Maidstone, the surrounding areas provide a wealth of interest and entertainment for a fulfilling student life outside of study.


Maidstone also provides easy access to a variety of recreational facilities; Mote Park offers a huge green open space at the centre of town – along with the thirty-acre lake, its vast number of mature trees create a landscape of tranquil beauty.

There are also numerous centrally located health clubs and swimming pools, many offering discounts to students, plus a cinema complex and bowling alley conveniently located in the centre of town.


If shopping is your thing, then studying in Maidstone would be ideal for you! In the town, there are a number of shopping areas, which cater for a wide range of tastes. Both the High Street and Fremlin Walk are home to many clothes shops, coffee shops, hairdressers and department stores. The indoor shopping centre ‘The Mall’ houses many popular UK retail chains and the Royal Star Arcade contains a variety of designer shops and independent boutiques.

Eating and Drinking

Make the most of the food that Maidstone has to offer by dining ‘around the world’. With Indian, French, Italian, Thai, and Turkish restaurants, all represented in the town. If you need a coffee shop break and a snack, or perhaps a 3-course meal, there are many to choose from. Our students can find holiday and weekend in the town, so it is worth keeping a look out for opportunities, especially around Christmas time. For a lively and fun atmosphere, town pubs won’t let you down. Here, you can enjoy a selection of wines, spirits and beer in a cosy, rural countryside setting.


Thousands of partygoers visit Maidstone every weekend for its excellent nightlife. With a number of nightclubs and bars to choose from, Maidstone makes for a great student town if you are looking to immerse yourself in the nightlife scene. If you are looking for entertainment, The Lock Meadow Complex is a great venue, housing an 8-screen cinema, plus restaurants, bars and clubs. The Hazlitt Theatre offers live shows – its intimate ambience makes it a perfect venue to see comedians. From comedy to music and drama, the Hazlitt has your entertainment covered.

Sports and Fitness

If keeping fit is your thing, or you enjoy taking part in sports activities, there are plenty of local sports clubs and gyms that you can join (with many offering reduced rates for students). Additionally, our students like to make the most of our 17 acres of parkland on the campus. It is ideal for running, walking, ball games and more - particularly during the summer months. Within a 10-minute walk from Boxley House Campus, you can find riding stables. Alternatively, rowing or canoeing along the River Medway, or sailing from the nearby Upnor/ Rochester Harbour is also an option.

Transport Links

We have excellent transport links, both nationally and internationally. You can get to London by train from Maidstone East in just 50 minutes (the trains leave approximately twice hourly). Just half an hour’s drive away from the town lies High Speed rail links at Ebbsfleet and Ashford, providing fast train links to London and across Europe. We are also located near to the coast, Folkestone and the Channel Tunnel, where you can travel to France in 35 minutes. Additionally, Gatwick, London City and Stanstead airports are all situated within 1 and a half hour's drive from the town.


The town brings together the perfect combination of old-world charm and modern entertainment.

Maidstone is located in the Southeast of England in the county town of Kent, known as the ‘Garden of England’, roughly 35 miles from London. Students can get a taste of Kent’s historic character by being surrounded by buildings dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries. We would recommend visiting the stunning Archbishop’s Palace, which was built in the 14th century for the Archbishop of Canterbury. It hosts a traditional apothecary’s herb garden, which is worth visiting. Maidstone is set on the River Medway, which attracts many boating enthusiasts and is ideal for water-based activities.

Kent, The Garden Of England

Kent is located in the southeast of England, meaning it is one of the warmer and drier areas of the UK and a popular destination for tourists. Thousands of visitors each year come to explore the 120 miles of coastline; including Whitstable, Broadstairs, Dover and Deal; all easily accessible by car or train. There are also castles, vineyards and picturesque villages to explore.

Nearby Canterbury is famous for its cathedral and beautiful historic buildings. Art galleries and museums can also be found spread throughout Canterbury, with a variety of department stores and smaller outlets too. Just outside of Maidstone is Leeds Castle, which is known to be one of the worlds loveliest castles, which hosts music concerts regularly.

Also nearby, is the town of Rochester, which is home to England’s second oldest cathedral. Rochester holds festivals to celebrate its close links with Charles Dickens. Furthermore, Kent’s famous hop-picking heritage is celebrated each year at Faversham’s lively Hop Festival.

Find out more about what Maidstone has to offer: