Kingston upon Thames

Located where leafy Surrey meets bustling London, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames offers the perfect combination of modern living in historic surroundings. It has quick and easy links to the city, just 30 minutes away by train, and you'll have a choice of travel routes in and out of London. Plus, with its proximity to London's Gatwick, Heathrow and City airports, Kingston is ideally placed for international travel.

Once you graduate, you'll find Kingston's location is great for employment prospects too. Many companies have headquarters in London or south-east England, which is a real advantage for work placement opportunities and for taking the next step in your career.

Whether it's exploring the beautiful parks and riverside walks, shopping in the historic market place or catching a show at the Rose Theatre, Kingston has something for everyone.

Directions to Kingston


Trains run regularly from London Waterloo to Kingston station, located in the heart of the town centre (midweek four trains per hour, journey times 28–33 minutes).

Slightly further away, but only a short walk or bus ride away, Surbiton station (midweek 10 trains per hour, journey times 15–32 minutes) also links to London Waterloo and other destinations in the South East. For further information, visit the National Rail Enquiries website.


Kingston is well served by bus routes. There are two bus stations, Cromwell Road, next to Kingston train station, and Fairfield, for routes through London and the surrounding areas. For further information, visit the Transport for London website.

The University also runs a free intersite bus service for students, staff and visitors. The environmentally friendly hybrid buses stop at the four main campuses, halls of residence, Kingston and Surbiton train stations and both bus stations.

Main timetable - September to June (PDF)


There is a network of cycle routes throughout the borough, many through the royal parks and local green spaces.

View information on cycle routes around the University.

Kingston University encourages cycling to its sites and provides parking facilities at all campuses. Find out how the University is supporting sustainable travel.


Kingston is easily accessible from some of the major road routes into London, including the M25, M3 and A3. There are a number of car parking facilities available throughout the town centre. Visit the Kingston Council website for further information.


Heathrow and Gatwick airports international airports are the closest to Kingston, with coaches, buses and trains linking the airports with the town.

Parks and recreation

Kingston boasts a wealth of beautiful green spaces just waiting to be discovered. From picturesque parks in the heart of the town to the vast expanses of Bushy and Richmond parks, you are never far from the great outdoors. Historic Hampton Court Palace is close by and if you love rowing, sailing or just ambling along a river path, the stunning River Thames runs alongside the town centre.

With Kingston's great transport links, it's easy to explore further afield too. If it's a day trip to the seaside resorts of the south coast or a longer city break in Europe you're after, there are plenty of opportunities to discover somewhere new.

Parks and recreation
Entertainment and culture

Entertainment and culture

Whether it's enjoying a lazy lunch in one of the riverside restaurants, browsing the eclectic shops and market, or planning a night out with friends, Kingston has plenty to offer. The town is centred around the busy shopping streets, with restaurants and bars stretching along the river. A 15-screen cinema, bowling alley and sports centre are all just a few minutes' walk away.

Kingston has a vibrant arts scene too. As well as independent music venues, the University's Stanley Picker Gallery and Dorich House Museum host a range of exhibitions and events. Performances at the highly acclaimed Rose Theatre, Kingston regularly include work by Kingston University students.


If you love sport, you'll love Kingston. As well as the University's own sports facilities at Tolworth Court, Kingston is surrounded by great venues to watch the professionals or take part yourself. RFU Twickenham, Wimbledon and Sandown racecourse are all nearby and football club AFC Wimbledon is based in the borough.

The capital's sports clubs and events are a short train ride away and Kingston University works in partnership with Premier League team Fulham FC, who train locally.

Restaurants and nightlife

Restaurants and nightlife

Kingston has cafes, restaurants, pubs and bars to suit every taste and budget. You'll recognise lots of well-known names and there are plenty of independent places to grab a bite to eat. You'll find the riverside and open squares busy with outside seating during the summer and plenty of cosy firesides during the colder months.

And if you want to dance the night away, there are clubs and music venues in the town, or you can make the short hop into the bright lights of the city.


A renowned retail paradise, there are more than 500 shops in Kingston town centre, ranging from large department stores like John Lewis and the Bentall Centre to smaller independent retailers. The main pedestrianised shopping streets converge at the ancient market place, where a daily food market sells fresh produce and, in winter, a festive market fills the square and surrounding streets. If you're looking for something special you won't find anywhere else, our Kingston School of Arts students hold sales of their work, either on campus or in the Bentall Centre.

Many Kingston retailers use a local currency, the Kingston pound. Banknotes, designed by two Kingston School of Art students, feature iconic local landmarks, and using the currency helps to support the local economy.



And if you fancy a change of scene, London, one of the most dynamic and diverse cities in the world, is only 30 minutes away. Offering a vast array of entertainment – from West End theatres and live concerts, to shopping, cafes, restaurants and lively nightlife – this historic city also provides numerous employment and educational opportunities. Superb public transport links make the city's attractions easy to explore, with something new to discover on every visit.

Kingston upon Thames location

Icon Title
The Rose Theatre The Rose Theatre
Guildhall Guildhall
John Galsworthy Building John Galsworthy Building
Campus Penrhyn Road campus
Train station Train station
Bus station Bus station
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