A Student Guide To Kingston Upon Thames
Exterior of Town House from a distance, taken by drone. Town House, Kingston University, Kingston Upon Thames, United Kingdom. Architect: Grafton Architects, 2019.
Photo by: Ed Reeve/View Pictures/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A Student Guide To Kingston Upon Thames

Caitlin Hamill May 19, 2022

Kingston Upon Thames is a lively student town which is home to Kingston University. The town also has the perk of being a 30-minute train ride to central London. With so much to get up to, here is a list of everything to do in Kingston.


Kingston is home to The Rotunda Centre, which houses Odeon Cinema, escape rooms, a gym and TenPin bowling which hosts half-price games for students on Tuesdays. Richmond Park is also easily accessible from Kingston. Hop on the 65 from Eden Street and take a wander around the scenic park. Take a picnic, or admire the views into Central London from Sawyers Hill or King Henry’s Mound.


Nightclubs aren’t hard to come by in Kingston as the town is home to Pryzm and Bacchus Late Bar. Wednesday is student night at Pryzm, where entry can be as cheap as £1. Bacchus is open every night, where the club offers different themed nights such as 90s, DNB and techno nights. The University also boasts two student bars. One at Knights Park and one at Kingston Hill, where cheap doubles are easy to come by. 


Local record store Banquet records located on Eden Street hosts regular gigs at Pryzm. Recent artists to play the venue include: 5 Seconds of Summer, Rex Orange County, Blossoms and Bastille. Keep an eye on their events page to keep updated on gigs. 

Photo by Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns


The Bentall Centre is located in Kingston. The centre includes shops such as New Look, H&M, & Other Stories and Zara. It is also home to Bentalls Department Store which includes brands such as The Ordinary and Juicy Couture.


The town centre is home to the marketplace, where fresh fruit and vegetables are available, as well as street food. Indian, Ethiopian and Moroccan street food is all available here, as well as burgers and fresh baked goods. At Christmas, the marketplace transforms into a magical German Christmas market, that serves mulled wine, hot chocolate, Yorkshire pudding wraps, pick and mix and so much more. 


As well as the delicious street food available on the market, Kingston is full of amazing restaurants. From chains such as Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Five Guys, Wasabi and Pizza Express. The town also features many beautiful pubs and restaurants on the riverside with a fantastic view. There is also a Wetherspoons in Kingston and Surbiton for those cheap hungover meals.

Central London

Kingston is just a stone’s throw away from the sights in the capital. Trains to London Waterloo run frequent from Kingston and Surbiton stations. Trains take around 20-40 minutes depending which station you depart from. You are able to touch in and out with your contactless card, or buy an all-day travelcard on Trainline which includes Tube travel too – this can often work out cheaper.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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Caitlin is a freelance journalist who is currently studying journalism at Kingston University. She is an expert in entertainment news - especially music and film. Nominated for Most Promising Journalist in her first year, she has nothing but passion for writing.