Kingston has a rich history and heritage, dating all the way back to the 800s. The royal link is in the name; 'Kings Tun' is where Seven Saxon Kings are thought to have been crowned. The Coronation Stone still stands in the grounds of Guildhall. Another royal destination is the nearby Hampton Court Palace and gardens, once the home of King Henry VIII.
Kingston's Ancient Market Place is believed to have existed since 1170, with the Market House right in the centre (the one with the gilded statue of Queen Anne), built in 1838. The Kingston Museum is also dedicated to the area's ancient origins and Kingly connections.
Dorich House and Museum, established in 1936, houses the works of globally renowned Estonian sculptor Dora Gordine. Kingston University rescued the house in 1993 and it's now a beautifully restored exhibit, gallery, event venue and popular filming location.
Arts lovers love Kingston, with excellent galleries, theatres and music venues. The Stanley Picker Gallery is located at the Kingston University Knights Park campus, the home of Art, Design and Architecture. The gallery is devoted to innovative works, displaying compelling contemporary exhibitions, projects, events and fellowships. It also provides fantastic opportunities for students to showcase their work.
You can enjoy more artistry at galleries and exhibitions in the Kingston city centre: The Castle Gallery for modern art, Fusion Arts, a charitable company featuring local artists, or the Whitewall gallery for pieces from around the world.
Kingston has two famous theatres, graced by world-class thespians (Dame Judy Dench and Timothy West) and emerging talents alike. The Rose Theatre is known for well-loved classics, from A Christmas Carol to Romeo and Juliet and the Importance of Being Earnest to the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Things take a funny turn once a month, with a visit from The Comedy Store – one of the most celebrated comedy clubs on the planet. The Arthur Cotterall Theatre (ACT) is based at Kingston College. It is the centre stage for students and independent theatre groups, as well as a leading venue for dance events and talks.