Kingston Area Guide
Kingston Upon Thames dates back to the 800's and was originally an old market town with Royal connections and a rich history in culture. The name derives from Kinges Tun, which means Royal Farm/Estate. The Royal links to the town date back over a thousand years and it is believed that seven Saxon Kings were crowned there. References to this are in evidence all over the area’s ancient monuments and buildings.
With the River Thames stretching along the western side of the borough and the glorious greenery of Richmond Park to the north, Kingston is highly desirable to families and retirees seeking a spacious property without the high prices of neighbouring Twickenham, Wimbledon and Richmond. Furthermore, Kingston boasts an impressive array of shopping complexes, which easily outshine the more limited retail offerings of its neighbours. Schools are also a huge draw for families with young children seeking to settle here, with a great selection of Ofsted ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ schools, and a reasonably high student population can also be found as a result of Kingston University.
Rail links to central London are excellent, meaning that you can make the daily commute in just 25 minutes to the centre of the capital, it is not surprising that Kingston appeals those working in the City.
What To Do?:
Highlights in the area include the Kingston Museum, with its exhibitions on local history, the intriguing Dorich House Museum, and the Rose Theatre, an Elizabethan-style venue in the style of the famous Rose Theatre in Central London where some of Shakespeare’s early plays were performed. It is now the largest theatre in South West London, and hugely popular among theatre-loving locals. Meanwhile, for film fans, the Rotunda Centre is home to a large Odeon Cinema.
If it's retail therapy you are after, then The Bentall Centre is located on Clarence Street and is a true shopper’s haven. It features the centres flagship store Bentalls. This store alone features a wealth of food choices and all the biggest name brands for men, women and kids. The Centre has over eighty shops as well as offering services like the Full Health Club. Alternatively head over to Old London Road and the fallen over red phone boxes welcome you inside, go beyond them to discover an abundance of quirky and independent shops. With over a hundred dealers offering antiques and vintage items, you would be wise to leave no stone unturned in this area, as you could just unearth a hidden gem!
Kingston is located twelve miles from central London and there is an overground service from Kingston, Norbiton and Hampton Wick stations are roughly a twenty-five minute journey to Waterloo and by far the quickest way to get there. The town is served by forty bus routes including eight night buses. The A3 road is the main link to central London or if you prefer, down to the south coast at Portsmouth, and if you’re travelling to Kingston by car you can be reassured by the fact that there is plenty of parking available.
There is an excellent selection of schools, with around 84% of secondary school pupils attending an Ofsted ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ school as of recent ofsted reporting. Among the best primary schools in the borough are St Luke’s CofE Primary School, Ellingham Primary School and Coombe Hill Junior School, while leading state secondary schools in Kingston include The Holy Cross School and Holyfield School and Sixth Form Centre. The independent Tiffin Girls Secondary School on Richmond Road and Kingston Grammar School are also highly sought-after.
It is also worth noting that the borough is home to Kingston University, which has around 21,000 students and is particularly renowned for its Nursing, Fashion & Textiles and Design & Crafts courses.