Two students looking at swans

Living in Kingston upon Thames

Discover Kingston

Kingston University is located in the beautiful riverside town of Kingston upon Thames. An ancient market town, it is the ideal place to experience quiet, small-town life whilst having easy access to vibrant city living. By living in Kingston, you have the benefit of experiencing all London has to offer, without the hectic lifestyle.

Why live in Kingston? 

  • One of London's safest boroughs — in 2023, it was ranked as the fifth safest out of 32 (HomeViews, 2023) so you can explore your new home with confidence.  
  • Cost of living - Despite everything there is to see and do, Kingston is not a very expensive place to live compared to central London. 
  • Free university bus - With the free university bus available around the clock, you can travel quickly and easily between the International Study Centre, all University campuses and the town centre.  
  • Ranked the top student city – London was voted the best student city in the world (QS Best Student Cities 2024)  

Top things to do in Kingston  

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. 

Explore local history and culture 

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. 

Visit beautiful parks  

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. 

Hit the shops 

There’s always something going on in Kingston. You'll find high-street stores, cafés, and restaurants in Kingston, alongside cinemas and theatres. You will also be able to take advantage of exclusive student discounts throughout your time here. 

River Thames 

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. 

Travelling around Kingston, London and the UK 

If you want to make the most of your time at university, Kingston has many ways for you to explore London and the rest of the UK. Served by both railway stations and international airports, you can explore the UK and Europe with ease. 

London living 

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. 

Getting around

There are many ways you can travel in and around Kingston, including: 

Exploring Kingston is made easy by the free Kingston University bus. As a student at 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. 

  • Kingston to Central London: 25 minutes 
  • Kingston to Brighton: 1 hour 30 minutes 
  • Kingston to Birmingham: approximately 2 hours 
  • Kingston to Heathrow Airport: 50 minutes by bus 
  • Kingston to Gatwick Airport: 50 minutes by train 
  • Kingston to London City Airport: 1 hour 15 minutes by train 

Exploring Kingston

Student smiling in library

“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 (by car). I like this place, everything is so close by that I don’t have to go anywhere and search for things.”

Kanishka, India

International Year One in Business and Management

Progressed to BSc (Hons) Business Management

Join us today

Our student enrolment advisors are available to answer your questions and help you with your application. We can’t wait to meet you.