Area Guide: Borough of Kingston Upon Thames

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, frequently known as Kingston, is a major metropolitan centre 10 miles south west of London.

The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is one of the earliest Royal Boroughs and is comprised of a bustling collection of towns. With the many good state and independent schools, the bustling shopping centres and mix of outdoor spaces including the River Thames, it has a diverse appeal.

Did You Know?

Kingston Bridge is a Grade II listed structure, receiving the accolade in 1951 and up until 1870 it was a toll bridge.

Did You Know?

The Hawker Hurricane, a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force during WWII, was designed at a site in Kingston town centre and built in the aviation factory near Ham, now known as the Hawker Centre.

The Communities

Kingston upon Thames

An ancient market town Kingston upon Thames is best known for its busy retail centre, which has a good mix of familiar High Street brands and many select boutiques, a daily market held in Market Place (which has been in existence for over 800 years) and the famous The Bentalls Centre shopping complex as well as a large John Lewis department store. It is also home to Surrey County Hall and has been since 1893. Entertainment in the area is excellent with an eclectic choice of cinemas, theatres, sports centres, restaurants and bars.

The River Thames is a defining feature of the borough. Passing through Kingston with its lively frontage of bars and restaurants, it bounds Ham to the west and north by the local nature reserve called Ham Lands. Downstream there is a walk through Canbury Gardens towards Teddington Lock and the Ham Riverlands. Across Kingston Bridge is a tree-lined riverbank fronting the expanse of Hampton Court Park – a walled Royal Park designated a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in 2014.

The open spaces of Richmond Park, Wimbledon Common, Bushy Park and Ham Common are also a great asset to the area and there are plenty of places to relax on the River Thames, as it winds its way down through the borough into Surrey.

New Malden

A popular location in the area for residents due to its excellent transport links to central London. New Malden is bounded to the north by the affluent Coombe Hill and to the south and east by Raynes Park, Worcester Park and Tolworth. New Malden also includes Motspur Park, which is home to the training ground of Fulham Football Club and also the King’s College London sports ground which is the training ground of AFC Wimbledon.

Did You Know?

At 207 Hook Road, Chessington a Blue plaque commemorating the author Enid Blyton can be found. She lived at the address between 1920 and 1924.

House Prices

In North Kingston, there are 2 developments extremely popular with families due to the generous choice of excellent Primary and Secondary schools in the area. The Tudor development with distinct Tudor style exterior was built in the 1930s. Traditionally 3 bedroom homes, a large number have been converted with loft and ground floor extensions to provide further accommodation. They range from £685k for an unextended 3 bedroom house to £875k for a larger 4/5 bedroom house with extended ground floor.

The Royal Park Gate development was built in the 1990s next to the Thames Riverside, on the historic British Aerospace factory site. It has a mix of modern 2/3 bedroom houses, 4 bedroom townhouses, and some detached houses most with off street parking and/or garages. Prices range from £575k – c£1.1m.

Flanked between the meandering river and leafy Richmond Park, and ideally located to enjoy both, Ham has a variety of properties to suit all budgets. In the heart of Ham, the Wates Estate was built in the 1960s consisting of a mix of spacious maisonettes and houses set within landscaped green areas and pedestrian paths.  2 bedroom maisonettes typically cost £375k- £425k, with 4 bedroom town houses around £625k-£700k.

Properties around picturesque Ham Common and Ponds are unique, mainly Victorian houses costing substantially more, £750k-£950k for a 2/3 bed cottage. The distinctive Victorian family houses in Petersham have 4/5 bedrooms, whilst the main street in Petersham Village is lined with exclusive 17th and 18th century mansions which are very rarely on the market, such as listed Rutland Lodge, Montrose House and Petersham House, all set in generous grounds with mature trees behind fine ironwork railings and gates.

Did You Know?

The name Ham derives from the Old English word Hamme meaning place in the bend of a river.

Did You Know?

The Coronation Stone in Kingston is believed to be the site where seven Anglo Saxon kings were crowned.

Did You Know?

Rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio, author Nick Hornby and rock legend Eric Clapton are all alumni of Kingston University.

Did You Know?

Nipper the dog, famous for appearing in HMV advertisements, lived and was buried in Kingston. Nipper Alley, next to The Kings Tun pub, is named after him.

Did You Know?

The first parking meters were made in New Malden at Venners Ltd.

Places Of Interest / Leisure

Kingston River Walk

A glorious way to take in the River Thames which runs adjacent to the town centre and under Kingston Bridge. The Thames Path is easy level walking and signed throughout, making it a relaxing way to enjoy the wildlife and scenery, sailing clubs, marinas, locks, parks and promenades along the way.

Chessington World of Adventures Resort

Theme park, zoo SEA LIFE centre and hotel complex located about 12 miles south west of Central London in Chessington. The resort is themed on a range of 10 world cultures and has over 40 rides and attractions for all ages.

Canbury Gardens

This public space in the Canbury district of Kingston upon Thames along the Lower Ham Road, covers 14½ acres between the road and the towpath along the River Thames. Downstream from Kingston Railway Bridge, Canbury Gardens is a popular destination for families and outdoor lovers with a playground, tennis courts, community pavilion and café. The gardens have been registered as a Green Flag award winning park.

Rose Theatre

Situated in the heart of Kingston town centre, the Rose Theatre opened its doors in January 2008 and offers a unique theatrical centre to the entire region. It has its roots in Kingston, but serves more than a million people who live and work in the region.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is one of two remaining Tudor Palaces, set within wonderful gardens overlooking the River Thames. Annual events at Hampton Court Palace also include the RHS Garden Festival, the summer Food Festival and an ice rink which is set up in the grounds from late November through to early January. You can read more about the Palace and surrounding area in more detail in our blog about Hampton Court.

Ham House and Gardens

Claimed by the National Trust to be ‘the most complete survival of 17th century fashion and power in Europe’, Ham House sits majestically on the banks of the River Thames.  A stunning Grade I listed house with Grade II listed formal gardens it is internationally recognised for its collection of paintings, textiles and furniture.  Guided tours are run in selected rooms in the house during the winter months, with tickets on a first come first served basis.


Transport Links

Transport links in Kingston make it easily accessible and incredibly popular with commuters. Fast trains from Kingston station to London Waterloo take 30 minutes, whilst London Victoria can be reached in 40 minutes via Clapham Junction. Much of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is classed as being in Zones 4, 5 and 6 of the London rail and tube network. Kingston has an excellent bus network, with a regular service providing more than 30 routes. Numbers 65 (to Ealing), 85 (to Putney) and 281 (to Hounslow) take passengers north of the river, while the 406 (to Epsom) and 515 (to Guildford) travel into Surrey.

Located just eight miles from the M25, Kingston has excellent road connections with its main thoroughfare being the A3 which provides good access into central London and Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Making use of the River Thames, river buses provide an excellent travel alternative and locals regularly use these to commute up and down the river. In the summer a peak service runs between Kingston and several London stations, including London Bridge and Canary Wharf.

Local Schools

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