Kingston Location Guide


Kingston Overview

Old town hall

Image courtesy of Colin Smith

Throughout the years Kingston was an ancient market where mighty and not so mighty kings of Saxony were crowned. Today, the borough is a favourite not only for its market and shopping opportunities. Here you can find two Royal Parks, a Palace, and shops which match those in Central London, an international university and a huge variety of restaurants and riverside pubs.

This is why Kingston is an amazing place for both families and students, because it offers everything to everyone.


Travel information

Kingston is served by a number of public transport options consisting of buses, trains and boats!

You will find many buses in the area, some of these include the bus route numbers 65, 671 and the X26. These buses can take you to locations such as Ealing Broadway, Kingston University and Heathrow Central.

There are also 11 train stations in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, some of these includes Kingston, Surbiton, New Malden and Tolworth which can easily take you to various places across London including Wimbledon, Clapham, Vauxhall and Waterloo.



Image courtesy of Colin Smith

Kingston was called Cyninges tun in AD 838, Chingestune in 1086, Kingeston in 1164, Kyngeston super Tamisiam in 1321 and Kingestowne upon Thames in 1589. The name means ‘the king’s manor or estate’ from the Old English words cyning and tun. It belonged to the king in Saxon times and was the earliest royal borough.

The first surviving record of Kingston is from AD 838 as the site of a meeting between King Egbert of Wessex and Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury. Kingston lay on the boundary between the ancient kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia, until in the early tenth century when King Athelstan united both to create the kingdom of England.

For much of the 1900s, Kingston was a major military aircraft manufacturing centre specialising in fighter aircraft – first with Sopwith Aviation, H G Hawker Engineering, later Hawker Aircraft, Hawker Siddeley and eventually British Aerospace. The renowned Sopwith Camel, Hawker Fury, Hurricane, Hunter and Harrier were all designed and built in the town and examples of all of these aircraft can be seen today at the nearby Brooklands Museum in Weybridge. Well known aviation personalities Sydney Camm, Harry Hawker and Tommy Sopwith were responsible for much of Kingston’s achievements in aviation. British Aerospace finally closed its Lower Ham Road factory in 1992; part of the site was subsequently redeveloped for housing but the riverside part houses a community centre and sports complex. The growth and development of Kingston Polytechnic and its transformation into Kingston University has made Kingston a university town.

Local attractions

Kingston has an array of things to do! From Going to art galleries to enjoying a walk down the River Thames, you will always find something to keep yourself occupied!

Riverside Walk

Riverside Walk Kingston

Image courtesy of Andrew Bowden

Kingston is one of the best places in London to do a riverside walk along the River Thames. Whilst you take in the wonderful views along the river you’ll also be able to stop by one of many great restaurants they have in Kingston!

For more information, click here

Out of Order by artist David Mach

out of order flickr

Image courtesy of Loco Steve

Something you don’t see a lot of on the streets of Britain are modern art installations. There’s one such installation on Old London Road. Twelve decommissioned quintessentially British pillar box red telephone boxes lean against one another, one standing upright with the rest tilted to various degrees. They snake in a curve until the final one is almost, but not quite, flat on the ground.

If you take a look behind the sculpture, you will also see a varied mix of unusual and interesting shops.

Stanley Picker Gallery

Stanley Picker Gallery

Image courtesy of Derek Harper

Stanley Picker Gallery which is based at Kingston University is one of the leading examples of a university gallery in the UK. Its public activities are dedicated to the research, commissioning and presentation of innovative new practice across the fields of art, design and architecture for general, academic and specialist audiences. So if this is the kind of thing you love, you should definitely check out this gallery!

For more information, click here

Ancient Market

Ancient Market Kingston

Image courtesy of Rod Allday

If you are looking for pop up cafes selling international foods, stalls that sell jewellery, gifts, vintage clothes, fresh fruit and vegetable and much, much more, than the Ancient Market in Kingston is the place to be!

For more information, click here

Accommodation in Kingston

If you are interested in booking a homestay in and around the Kingston upon Thames area (Zone 4+), click here to apply.


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