LawLaw Courts

Medway ’court’ temporary at the Orida hotel

The Family Court at Medway is currently not in use and won’t be for some time. So, many of the cases listed there are being held at the Orida hotel in Maidstone.

The hotel is off a dual carriageway near a retail outlet and is doing an acceptable job of impersonating a court. However, like many a makeshift court it is difficult to get to.

Getting there from central London.

The nearest train station to the Orida is Maidstone East – that’s the one with a small statue of a dinosaur outside it, to differentiate it from Maidstone West. 

From central London trains for Maidstone East depart from:

a.Victoria station 

b. Charing Cross. 

The latter service stops at Waterloo East and London Bridge. Journey time is 1 hour 4 minutes from both stations. Trains are relatively frequent; two an hour from Victoria, one from Charing Cross. In order to get to a 9am conference, a train before 8am is advised, preferably before 7.30am. Return tickets, early in the morning, cost around £31.

So far so good. But be aware.

In the mornings there are rarely any cabs at the taxi rank outside  Maidstone East. There is no mini cab service close by and the closest taxi rank where there might be one or two taxis is a good 10-15 minute walk away (through the shopping centre). There is, apparently, a bus service which takes you close to the Orida but the bus runs once an hour!

During busy periods uber is not much help either. Drivers will be spread across town  doing school runs and the like. 

The best option is to book a taxi in advance to be waiting for you a few minutes after your train pulls in. There are numbers of three local taxi services on a board on the wall near platform 1. I’ve used Apollo cars and found them very reliable. You call them and book the cab and they send a link for you to prepay for the trip.

Taxi should cost around £8 or £9.

If all else fails, the walk (not a straight route) to the hotel will take you around 30 minutes.

Court Details

The Orida is doubling as both the Family Court and a general Civil Court.


Orida Hotel

Bearsted Rd


ME14 5AA


Once you get to the Orida it’s an odd experience the first time. You enter a normal hotel lobby with businessmen sipping power breakfast coffees at the tables and families in bathrobes and flip flops emerging with damp hair from the swimming pool and spa. Since, as a Family Law practitioner, you’re likely representing a parent at risk of losing their child, it’s can be quite unnerving. 

However, the court area is better. It’s spacious with several large conference rooms. The toilets are clean and the courtrooms are reasonably comfortable.

At lunchtime you can get a quick sandwich from the bar in the lobby. But if you have time and colleagues you haven’t seen in a while, treat yourselves to a sit down lunch. The food is good and the setting relaxed and comfortable. 
i’m told that if you tell them you are there for court, you get 10% off the food!