What a year it has been for Maidstone River Park.
The opening of the Medway Towpath saw the biggest investment in the park since it was created. It also extended the park beyond its boundary at Allington Lock, through to the picturesque Aylesford village.
Now residents and visitors can enjoy 12km of riverside access, linking numerous attractions including Kent Life, Lockmeadow, Whatman Park and Teston Country Park.
Much of that 12km route now has an all-weather surface, helping to create an all year round attraction. Cyclists, joggers and walkers are, in increasing number, discovering Maidstone’s greatest natural asset.
The town centre section of the park has undergone significant refurbishment. The Fairmeadow towpath, between the High Level Bridge and St Peters Bridge, has been relaid through funding from the Maidstone Bridge gyratory scheme.
There is wider, more inviting entrance from Maidstone Bridge – leading down to the Kentish Lady riverboat and Archbishops Palace gardens.
Landscaping works by the Environment Agency and Maidstone Borough Council – in front of the Archbishops Palace, St Peters Wharf and Scotney Gardens – have made a massive difference in creating a more attractive riverside through the town centre stretch.
This year has also seen great visitor numbers at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, the refurbishment of the Lockmeadow Centre and a new cafe at Teston Country Park.
Here’s to the next 12 months.