Positioned exactly halfway along the major road connection between the Channel Tunnel and London, the town of Maidstone lies right in the heart of 'The Garden of England' - Kent.
Because the county gets above average annual sunlight levels, even enjoying a somewhat continental climate during the summer months, the countryside around Maidstone is some of the most verdant in England - apples, grapes and even olives are farmed nearby.
There are a number of visitor attractions of note in and around Maidstone: one of the south east's finest local museums, the award-winning Museum of Kent Life; what has been described as one of Britain's most beautiful castles - Leeds Castle - surrounded by a lake and acres of parkland; the 14th century splendour of the recently refurbished Archbishops' Palace on the banks of the river.
Maidstone can boast quite a few oases of green, such as Mote Park in the town centre, where visitors can enjoy a game of cricket, a spot of sailing or fishing, even a ride on the miniature railway.
If something more energetic is your thing, then perhaps the miles of scenic footpath along the Medway in either direction out of town will be of interest. Those of an athletic persuasion may also like to check out the Maidstone Leisure Centre, with its large pool and water-slides alongside a vast array of sporting facilities.
One of Maidstone's most profitable sectors is office-based commerce, in fact the town is Kent's largest financial centre, housing companies offering business, consultancy and professional services. As well as these industries, there are also several important hi-tech firms on the outskirts and a number of paper and packaging companies.