Kingston upon Thames

Kingston Town Centre

History

Kingston is also known as Kingston-upon-Thames, it is located to the southwest of Greater London in England. To be precise, it is 16.7 km towards the southwest of Charing Cross. Kingston is also the administrative centre of the Royal Borough of Kingston and it’s a huge metropolitan centre.

The town is seated 10-metres above the sea level and here in the marketplace once the Saxon kings wore their crowns. Kingston upon Thames grew into a town in the 12th century and it was robbed and burnt quite a few times, there were so many floods but this town emerged despite setbacks.

Locality

Central Kingston is a very busy retail centre and there are a few civic buildings and commercial offices. There is a shopping mall in the shopping centre known as the ‘Bentall Centre’. Inside there are department stores and chain store branches in the British high streets.

Even today the ancient market is present in the Market Place which includes sumptuous foods, fish, jewelry, flowers and local food.

The civic buildings include a public library, local museum, Crown Court, a Guildhall and a small country court. The County Hall building is a little far away where there are the offices of Surry County Council.

The open space of Kingston is the River Thames which houses many restaurants and bars. Downstream you can take a walk through the Canbury Gardens which is towards Teddington Lock. Again upstream you can reach a promenade that crosses the Hogsmill river and it reaches to Surbiton. Across the Kingston Bridge, there is a tree that is lined on the river banks that faces towards Hampton Court Park. The central zone of the town uses KT1 as postal code but few areas to the north of the railway station use KT2.

Rail and Road

Rail

The local rail station is the Kingston railway station located in the south-west of London, the postal code KT1 1UJ. It takes 34 minutes on average to travel from Kingston to London but the super-fast trains reach in about 28 minutes.

Kingston town has two routes of South Western Railway and it’s promoted from London as Shepperton to Strawberry Hill, the second route is entirely a loop.

Road

There is the A3 road running from central London to Kingston and there is the Kingston Byepass Road. Some of the roads that serve Kingston are A240, A307, A308 and A310. There are so many well-connected car parks in Kingston. There are plenty of buses running between Kingston and London, its easy booking one.

Boats

There are riverboats that run between Kingston and Hampton Court and Richmond on a regular basis during the summer months.

Community

County Hall [PDF], home of Surrey County Council is a palatial structure dating back to 1893. You can often see film trailers set up in the car park at the fron t of the building as the building has been featured in many TV programmes.

Stop and take a selfie beside the stunning ‘Out of order’ phone boxes sculpture by artist David Mach

In Kingston there are plenty of Victorian houses and those mainly have two to six bedrooms. North Kingston is the most popular area to reside. You can also see semi-detached Victorian cottages that have side doors, the staircase runs from the middle of the house. There are houses and Victorian villas in the Knight’s Park and in the Grove Crescent. Since last 15 years, there have been many river side flats and the noteworthy ones are Royal Quarter, Kingston Riverside, and Charter Quay and off market Place. Some of the most expensive homes are located in Coombe and West Coombe Lane; houses are mainly built on large plots. If you have the budget, there are so many high-priced buildings housing apartments and studios coming up in Coombe. If you are looking for renting options, there are flats with river view within your budget. Some of the famous faces who resided/residing in Kingston are musician Richard Butler, writer Thomas hardy and Enid Blyton, actress Barbara Mitchell and Katherine Parkinson.

Schools and education

There are a number of good schools and colleges for completing education at Kingston.

Now for colleges:

Lifestyle

Shopping in Kingston is a heavenly experience. The town has more than 500 shops, a lively market place and 2 shopping malls and this is why this town is the third biggest shopping spot in London.

When you get off the train, you can find a few impressive fashion stores on the Fife Road.

The four floor Bentall Centre is the largest mall in Kingston having more than 75 shops.

The Eden Walk is the open air shopping mall where you will find many independent shops and boutiques.

Town centre is mainly pedestrianised linking several smaller shopper areas. Clarence Street, pedestrianised and full of great shops

Go to the Old London Road for some vintage, antique and retro collection. Why not treat yourself to a new hairdo from John Mullan at Stone Hair, which is situated here. I can highly recommend the coffee! You won’t be disappointed.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay for a night you might consider Travelodge Kingston, on the Old Kingston Road. Other great places to visit on this street are: Neil’s Wheels, That Vintage Shop, Old London Road Tattoosand Kingston Antiques Centre.

The Ancient Market Place sells everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, artisanal breads and an array of foods from all over the world. My personal favourite is Phoreal for delicious Vietnamese dishes. Scrummy!

Eating out

Now looking for places to eat? Kingston has many cafes, bars, pubs and restaurants for every budget. Here you can get an awesome welcoming breakfast, ready eats for post work time or dining before the theatre. You are surely going to find something that tickles your taste buds. Head to the Apple market where you would find too many cafes, bistros and eateries where you can enjoy a slice of pizza. This area is awesome for brunch and lunch. If you desire to have food sitting by there riverside, there is the promenade where you would find restaurants, brasseries and bars overlooking the Thames. You would also find decent restaurants near the station.

You have quite a few engagements while you are in Kingston and it’s a place where you can have fun with your family. You have a café to unwind and rejuvenate. Turks launches have 45 boat trips everyday from April to October right on the Thames. Go for a lunch at Rotunda that has 7 restaurants under the same roof and right there is the Odeon cinema that has 15 screens. For kids, there is Jellybugs where there are softplay facilities for kids below 7 years.

Art and culture spreads all over Kingston and it houses the Rose Theatre where shows and events are hosted round the year. There are exhibitions hosted on a regular basis at Kingston Museum and History Centre.

Night time is fun time here with vibrant club scenes featuring clubs for students, go to Albion pub for some drink, decent hangouts, mega venues etc. You can head to Pryzm and this is the largest club here. You can go to Hippodrome for some great dance and Viper Rooms is best for parties. For live performances daily, it’s good to be at Banquet Records.

Enjoy a movie at Kingston Odeon where you can watch the latest movies in Real 3D and IMAX. This popular 15 screen complex is the perfect place to spend an evening. Screen 15 recliners and dine at your seat.

The Rotunda Centre where you can enjoy a movie or dining.

Hotels can be booked via Trip Advisor. Personally I’d recommend the White Hart Hotel, which is conveniently located and features excellent rooms.

Kingston Chamber of Commerce

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