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Audley Mote House

At the centre of Audley Mote House retirement village is a stunning Grade II* listed Georgian mansion that has been beautifully restored and converted into exquisite apartments, The Romney Restaurant, the bistro, lounge/library, swimming pool and health & wellbeing club.

Set within the grounds surrounding the centrepiece building lies the rest of the retirement village, made up of approximately 100 apartments and cottages. Nestled among Mote Park, these include the Walled Garden, Gate House Lodge and the beautifully restored The Brewhouse.

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Mote Park and Mote House History

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 name itself derives from 'moot' or 'mote' in Old English, meaning ‘a place of assembly’.

Mote House, the mansion at the heart of the park was built originally for the Earl of Romney between 1793 and 1801 by architect Daniel Alexander. By the Second World War it was commandeered by the British Armed Forces who used the kitchen garden as a headquarters and training facility.

Before becoming a luxury retirement village, Mote House was subsequently used as offices for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before becoming a Cheshire Homes care home for the disabled. 

Nowadays, Mote Park includes the Mote House together with a miniature railway, pitch and putt golf course and a boating 30-acre lake. It is within walking distance of Maidstone town centre.

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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 enjoying the 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.

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Maidstone

Maidstone is a town that can be traced back through 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.

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Kent Life

Kent Life is an English open-air museum located at Sandling, next to Allington Locks, on the east bank of the River Medway. It covers 28 acres of countryside including the Allington Castle estate.

Kent Life is one of the few remaining places in Britain where hops are grown, harvested, dried and packed in its magnificent Oast house, by hand, using only time honoured, traditional techniques. 

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Leeds Castle - “Castle of Queens, Queen of Castles”

Leeds Castle is listed in the Domesday Book and has been a Norman stronghold, a royal residence and a royal palace. Its surroundings are breathtaking as the castle is set on two islands surrounded by a spectacular lake.

Over the centuries, the castle has been home to six medieval queens – Eleanor, Isabella, Philippa of Hainhault (wife of Edward III), Joan of Navarre, Catherine de Valois and Catherine of Aragon. The impressive Leeds Castle is nowadays often referred to as the “Castle of Queens, Queen of Castles”.

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Canterbury

Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kent. Its cathedral has been the primary ecclesiastical centre of England since the early 7th century CE. The city includes the town of Canterbury, the surrounding countryside, and an area extending to the Thames estuary. 

Another interesting place to visit in Canterbury is the Old Weavers House. Its name comes from the influx of Flemish and Huguenot weavers who settled in the area after fleeing from religious persecution during the 16th and 17th centuries. Queen Elizabeth I granted the Flemish weavers the right to establish their businesses in Canterbury, and they are known to have used this and other similar buildings nearby.

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Nearby places to visit

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 and Paris in 2h30mins.

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'Pick your own' at Chilton Manor Farm

We all know that getting out and about in the fresh air is good for both mental and physical health, so why not combine it with stocking up on tasty fresh produce too? Chilton Manor Farm in Sittingbourne is a great destination local to Mote House and offers a huge range of 'pick your own' produce, from strawberries and blackberries in spring to apples, pears and pumpkins in autumn.