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12 excellent places to spend your time if you’re a student in Kingston

18th August 2019

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Good old Kingston-Upon-Thames, in the deepest depths of South London, might sometimes feel like it’s not in the capital at all… which might just be what you’re looking for if the thought of tube trains and tourist crowds makes you want to hide.

What you do have in Kingston is riverside bars and restaurants, live local bands, and a couple of great shopping centres. Plus, the opportunity for trips to a pretty famous castle. Oh, and lots of other students (but no Oceana, anymore.)

There are also a load of delightful other places within easy reach - think Kew Gardens (pagodas), Richmond Park (deer), and Twickenham (if rugby is your bag.)

Here are a few Kingston locales of note…

1. Kingston Christmas Markets

Trust us - you do not need Winter Wonderland. Instead, get down the street and grab at gluhwein at the Kingston Christmas Market. We agree with Leah - it is v. pretty.

2. Live music at O’Neills

The student-friendly prices at this reliable Irish pub chain mean it’s easy to make it your go-to for a quick, cheap evening pint and dinner. The pub’s live music comes recommended from our resident local source, so who are we to argue? Great craic all round.

3. Kingston’s tumbling telephone boxes

A top photo opportunity, one local told us - and we’re inclined to agree. The art installation by Turner Prize-nominated David Mach has been around for almost two decades, despite opposition from local residents in the early 00s and the severe, on-going need for a lick paint. A truly British bit of local flavour.

4. Richmond Park

Yes, it’s not technically in Kingston - but Richmond is a 19-minute, £3.80 train ride away, and the chance to see deers this close is priceless.

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#deers #richmondpark #family

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When you’re done with park wandering, have a stroll along the river and stop off for roast, red wine and board games at one of the centre of Richmond’s many pubs. Sunday has never been spent better.

5. The Rotunda Centre

Embrace your younger teenage self and spend an afternoon bowling, winning at air hockey and then chomping on popcorn at the Odeon inside the Rotunda Centre.

6. This tunnel of light at the Bentalls Centre

We don’t know where it goes, but it sure is #aesthetic.

7. Kingston Rose Theatre

2019 billing has included Nish Kumar, To Kill A Mockingbird, Oliver Twist, and Sir Ian McKellan.

8. Hampton Court Palace

Once home of massive historic philanderer Henry VIII, Hampton Court Palace is now a delightful day out. Get the boat there from Kingston, and spend the afternoon having a picnic (if it’s summer) or exploring inside the palace (if it isn’t). Also possible: ice-skating.

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One of the guards at the palace called me princess & I had déjà vu

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9. Twickenham Stadium

Whether you love rugby or are just there for the “atmosphere” (drink responsibly, guys and girls), a day out at Twickenham is one of the must-does for this part of town. It’ll take you 13 minutes on the train from Kingston. Cheers!

10. Kew Gardens

An 18th Century pagoda in suburban south London? Yes - in fact, the Great Pagoda at Kew was one of the first viewing towers in London, and you can still go up it in the summer months. Absolute living history, on your doorstep (the rest of the gardens are very much worth a wander, too).

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The pagoda at Kew Gardens. Photo by @meletispix #travel #kewgardens #london #england

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11. PRYZM Kingston

Once the iconic Oceana Kingston (which you’re definitely too young to remember), we’re going to follow a hunch and say you’ll be spending at least some time at this former 1930s picture house.

12. Kingston Riverside

For a more sophisticated evening (sorry PRYZM), Kingston’s riverside restaurants and bars are your go-to. There’s the standard Bill’s, Browns and Cote Brasserie, plus late night eating establishment Woody’s and Bavarian (read: beer) restaurant Stein’s, amongst lots of others. Take your mum when she’s down for a visit.

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Morning ritual# #kingston#london#espresso

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Lead image credit: Luke Nicolaides [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Wikimedia 

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