Living in Kingston upon Thames
Kingston University is located in the beautiful riverside town of Kingston upon Thames. An ancient market town, it is the ideal place to experience both quiet small-town life whilst having easy access to vibrant city living. A train to central London only takes twenty-five minutes. By living in Kingston, you have the benefit of experiencing all London has to offer, without the hectic lifestyle.
Lively student town
Home to a great number of students, there is always something to do in Kingston upon Thames. You will find a wide choice of cafés and restaurants, as well as entertainment options such as comedy, theatre and the cinema. Despite its liveliness, Kingston is consistently named one of the safest boroughs in London by the Metropolitan Police (2019).
Things to do in Kingston
Culture and history
Filled with cobbled streets and red telephone boxes, Kingston is a picturesque, traditional British town. Alongside the shops and restaurants of the town centre, you will find historical buildings giving you a glimpse into the United Kingdom’s long history. Kingston Museum has interesting exhibitions on local history, the Dorich House Museum holds many beautiful artworks, and the Rose Theatre is a famous venue. Kingston is also home to an ancient marketplace - found in the centre of town, this is open seven days a week selling fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, flowers and more. The town additionally also hosts a wide variety of festivals and events throughout the year.
Kingston upon Thames is named after the river that runs through the town. Taking a boat tour, a walk along the beautiful riverside, or going to one of its restaurants or cafés, is a great way to relax with friends. The annual Dragon Boat Race and the Regatta, which was first started in 1858, are both a great day out.
Parks and outdoors
Experience the beautiful British countryside in nearby Richmond Park (where you can see red deer), Bushy Park, or Hampton Court Palace. You could also go for a hike in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you want to travel further, you can explore the rest of the UK via public transport.
Exploring Kingston is made easy by the free Kingston University bus. As a student of Kingston University, you will have free access to different bus routes travelling all over Kingston. This allows you to get to and from any of the University’s four campuses, and from your accommodation to the city centre and train station.
One of the most famous geographical landmarks in the United Kingdom, the River Thames, flows through Central London – and can be clearly seen in any map of the capital. Following the Thames leads you straight to the town of Kingston upon Thames. The river is an important part of life in Kingston, and many areas of the city are built around it. You can even take a boat ride to nearby Richmond upon Thames to visit Richmond Park and Hampton Court Palace.
London has something for everyone – and by living in Kingston, you can easily reach central London by train. London was recently ranked as the best city for students by QS Best Student Cities 2024, ensuring a fantastic student experience. As well as being one of the world’s leading business capitals, London offers the very best of culture, history, art and fashion. Many major global companies have their headquarters in London, providing a link to fantastic employment opportunities upon graduation. You will also be close to some of the country’s top attractions, such as Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
Additionally, Kingston's proximity to London’s Gatwick, Heathrow and City airports make it ideally located for international travel.
“In Kingston, I’m only 25 minutes away from London so I’m connected with the city. Everything is accessible for me here so Kingston was a really good choice, even the airport is only 30 minutes away. I like this place, everything is so close by that I don’t have to go anywhere and search for things.”
International Year One in Business and Management
Progressed to BSc (Hons) Business Management
Free University bus
Students can take advantage of the Kingston University bus to explore Kingston upon Thames. This free bus service allows you to travel between the International Study Centre, all University campuses and the town centre. Watch our video to see the bus in action and discover the best places in Kingston.