Once a place where Saxon kings were crowned, there is still something regal about Kingston’s ancient market place , the focal point of the town centre. Today, market stalls from Monday to Saturday offer fresh produce and fish, as well as an enticing selection of takeaway food including savoury pretzels and Moroccan tagines.
Overlooking the marketplace is the Grade II-listed market house, where you’ll find tourist information and a gallery space as well as a community centre, which plays host to everything from Zumba classes to vintage fairs. Moving outwards from this centre, the pedestrianised shopping area and mall – the UK’s seventh largest shopping centre – offer plenty more retail opportunities.
Despite its suburban setting, Kingston plays host to a lively nightlife, with pubs offering live music including The Grey Horse and Ram Jam Club on Richmond Road. Meanwhile, the Rose Theatre– its building based on the Elizabethan playhouse of the same name – opened in 2008 and has been gaining a reputation for its stylish performances ever since.
Among the culinary highlights are the Riverside Vegetaria, a veggie restaurant in a delightful spot overlooking the Thames, and the family-friendly Canbury Arms, serving up an excellent gastropub menu.
For those looking to commune with nature, green space is abundant with Hampton Court Park, Kew Gardens and Richmond Park – the largest of London’s Royal Parks and home to over 600 deer – close at hand.
KFH Insider knowledge
‘With a reputation for good state and grammar schools, plus plenty of lovely open spaces and riverside walks, Kingston holds great allure for those looking for family homes. As a whole, the area often tends to be more competitively priced than the neighbouring areas of Putney and Wimbledon and everyone from first-time buyers and families to investors are attracted by Kingston’s charms. Those looking to invest are also brought in by the possibility of renting out their property to students at Kingston University, which can claim to be one of the most popular places to study in the Capital.’ Lisa de Wit, Sales manager, Kingston (020 8939 8191; email@example.com)
Photography: Adrian Briscoe
Source: KFH ‘Completely London’ magazine (www.kfh.co.uk)