Located in south west London, boarding Surrey - so you have the best of both worlds! Both town, country and city life! I came to Kingston upon Thames back in February for a open day at the university (where I'm going in September! I'm so excited already!) I loved the area so much it's made me want to go to Kingston even more! (but that's not the main reason why i'm going to the university! - it's the course and uni!) However, it is quite far out and it's about twenty five minutes by tube to get to central London, but it's still worth the trip though! The tube lines you can catch are: Waterloo line (which is the the most common one) or you can catch tube lines from Wimbledon or Richard Upon Thames (however these two routes are the longer ones, so I would opt the Waterloo line as it's a lot quicker to get into London) Kingston is very close to other London areas such as Wimbledon, Richmond upon Thames, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Sutton, Merton and Croydon. (which are areas wither located in south west or south london) famous residents of Kingston upon thames include: Johnny Lee Miler, the chemical brothers, Kelly Reilly, Steven Reed and Jacqueline Wilson. Kingston has a huge shopping centre and there's something for everyone and have two huge supermarkets (sainsbury's and ASDA) Also it has a lot of job vaccines, so it's good for the students who are studying at the kingston university. Education is very good - they have all ranges of education from primary schools to universities. primary schools include: christ church, fern hill, grand avenue, burlington, ST luke's, ST mary's, lovelace and grandhill. secondary schools include: coombe girl's school, chessington community college, the holy cross and triffin school. (however not all schools are mixed gender, there are some schools that are only for females or males) further education : kingston college and hill croft college and there is also the kingston university. The area is a nice area to live in, and it's more of a family friendly area and it has hardly any rough areas (unlike some parts of london) It has a lot of parks, shops, activities such as cinema and bowling. there is one disadvantage though, it is difficult to get into the place and when I went it took nearly two hours to get into Kingston, due to the area and how bad the traffic was, so you can fall into big traffic queues quite easily! However, living can be another disadvantage that is quite expensive to live in too. As I'm about to move here in September my first impressions of the place were positive, love the area it was fresh, friendly area, the people seemed really nice and I can't wait till September!
Kingston upon Thames is located to the south west of central London and is well connected by both bus and train (and by boat too actually!). I think of Kingston as a bit of a shopping mecca rather than a cultural destination. There is a large John Lewis as well as a Bentalls department store. There is not a lot you can't buy between these two gargantuan emporiums. The Bentall Centre, which is a large covered mall over several floors has a good range of high street shops, such as the Body Shop, Boots, Gap, HMV as well as the obligatory food court. All clean spacious and safe. However, if you're not an escalator fan, expect to queue for lifts as moving from floor to floor isn't hugely pushchair friendly. Should you decide to venture out, there is a good open air market which sells the usual veg, biscuits, batteries, you know the sort of thing. Occasionally, and I suppose only in summer, they have a French Farmers Market, which was unbelievably tempting when I visited: cheeses, cured sausages, preserves etc. Cafes and bars are plentiful as are restaurants. Wagamamas, Pizza Express, Nandos are all favourites. Especially Nandos. There is a cinema and a nightclub - it's my impression that the nightlife is pretty good, which isn't surprising when you consider that Kingston University must supply a fair bit of clientele. If the overwhelming sense of consumerism threatens to envelop you, nip over the bridge to Bushy Park where lots of green, open space provides a welcome change from the Saturday masses. Only a 10 - 15 minute walk to the nearest gate into the park. Although there is a museum, I've never been to it despite living in the area for 5 years - it's not heavily advertised about town. On the down side, Kingston lacks some of the old town charm that other cities sometimes offer, except around the marketplace. All in all, a great place to shop and eat but not a destination of hug e interest outside of these areas.
I was introduced to Kingston (eh?! how can you be introduced to a town?!) when I changed jobs. Although it was an hour and a half away by train from my home in Peckham, I would have to stay there 9 hours a day for 5 days every week. Kingston is well known for it's heritage - it's seen many a king being put on the throne before everything went over to Westminister. It's also the birthplace of Debbie McGee - Paul Danie's wife (eh?). Kingston is a lovely town. I really began to appreciate it when I went exploring during my lunch breaks from work. Firstly it has one of the best cycle routes I've ever seen. I've always been put off cycling as I hate cycling on busy roads, but it seems that the council has really gone beyond the call of duty to install decent paths all over the town. Secondly, it has a fantastic shopping centre. It has the likes of Virgin Megastore, HMV, Waterstones, Bentalls, John Lewis and all other big stores - all within the centre of the town. If you fancy a bite out - Kingston has a very wide selection of cafés and restaurants ranging from TGI Friday's all the way down to a row of small café's offering different styles of food (Lebonese, Chinese, French, Italian, etc. etc.). The property prices around Kingston are quite reasonable, but they're currently going like hot cakes. My fiancé and I have decided to rent a lovely two bedroom ground-floor flat (10 minutes from the centre) until we can get a mortgage quickly enough to buy a place :) Add to all of this the excellent bus services, and two train stations (Kingston and Norbiton), and you've got a great town that's clean, quiet and you're never stuck for something to do.