What to do in Kingston upon Thames: 11 Activities

Nestled on the banks of the River Thames and less than 15 miles from central London, Kingston upon Thames is an excellent location for students looking for affordable accommodation with easy access to the city centre. Boasting a rich history, this bustling market town provides a range of activities and must-see attractions for all ages and tastes.

Discover our top choices for things to do in Kingston upon Thames below…

1. Choose from a selection of restaurants…

One of the best things about Kingston is its eclectic mix of restaurants all within walking distance of your student accommodation.

Are you a fan of trying something new? There is a local Lebanese restaurant, Maison Du Mezze that is sure to have your taste buds tingling. With a friendly service, delicious authentic foods and an artistic décor that transports you to Lebanon, we highly recommend you visit this hidden gem.

From its delicately arranged food platters, to the ingredients used for its lemonade, this Kingston upon Thames restaurant goes above and beyond to provide you with the best dining experience possible.

Or choose to visit the award-winning restaurant Roz Ana, which serves modern Indian cuisine and has a large drinks menu specialising in cocktails, and a selection of wines and spirits. This delightful restaurant in Kingston upon Thames goes above and beyond by ensuring there are dishes available for those who are vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.

Or if you’re more of a traditionalist, visit the British barbecue joint and whisky bar The Grey Horse (Smok’d), perfect for a Friday night treat after submitting an assignment.

There are a varied range of restaurants in Kingston upon Thames that are well-worth visiting.

2. Enjoy some watersports…

As one of the top Greater London destinations, Kingston upon Thames rests on the banks of the River Thames where you can get involved with a variety of watersporting activities. From trout fishing to short boat trips, whatever you fancy there is something in the area to suit your desires.

Particularly excellent for a group of students or families seeking an afternoon of fun by the local river. If you’re a serious competitor, you can join the Kingston Rowing Club or take some introductory lessons from their rowing experts.

If you have a love for all things watersports, Kingston is exactly the right place to be for accessing a range of activities.

3. Take a scenic walk…

What can be a better way of exploring the town you’re living in, than taking a scenic walk around Kingston upon Thames. A popular site rests at Canbury Gardens which covers 14½ acres of land and is the perfect opportunity to get in some exercise whilst exploring.

Framed by trees and beautiful grasslands, this park will become your new favourite place to visit especially during the spring and summer months. Bring lunch with you and settle down at one of the picnic tables available to enjoy the picturesque views and satisfy your appetite before continuing on your walk.

Located right next to the River Thames for merging your Kingston upon Thames walk with an entertaining day of fishing. Or choose to spend your time in the fields enjoying friendly games of tennis with the help of the Kingston Tennis Club or any other sports you’re interested in.

Adjoining the River Thames, the smaller Hogsmill River reaches a total of six miles in length and passes through the town of Kingston, making for an excellent walking opportunity with scenic views and the ability to explore the town at the same time.

4. Browse through the shops…

Who can resist a browse through the local shops? If you’re looking for something a little different then Kingston upon Thames’ local family owned business 7000 Jars of Beer is the place for you.

Located in the heart of Kingston, this shop-come-café is the perfect spot for sampling some home-crewed beers, wine and spirits, or purchasing a bottle or two for a special occasion.

You’re not likely to find any alcohol from a normal supermarket here, ensuring you’ll be tasting a wide-range of contemporary recipes, making this a real hidden gem located right on your doorstep! Take a seat inside and sample your purchases; you can even make it a party and bring some nibbles to enjoy with your drinks.

For the ultimate Kingston upon Thames shopping experience, spend an afternoon at Eden Walk, only a short walk away from Kingston University. Opened in 1968, this shopping centre will be the highlight of your weekend shop with over 11 million visitors each year, you can browse through some of the UK’s favourite retailers, as well as a selection of independent stores for all your shopping needs.

Choose from the clothing classic such as M&S, or ransack the makeup aisles at Boots, ensuring all your favourites are within easy reach of your Kingston upon Thames accommodation.

5. Visit a landmark…

If you’re stuck on what to do in Kingston, make sure you take a stroll towards the Out of Order landmark which was designed by artist David Mach. This London landmark are a selection of twelve telephone boxes which are toppled over on top of each other.

Mach is renowned for his large-scale sculptures and his quirky telephone boxes are a fine example of his craft and the British culture.

The perfect opportunity for students and parents to snap a selfie in front of the iconic Kingston landmark.

This sculpture adds to the history and quirkiness of the town intriguing visitors from all over the world. If you’re an art student or just an art enthusiast, this is definitely a landmark worth visiting.

6. Enjoy a night at the theatre…

If you’re a drama student, what could be better than having the local Rose Theatre in Kingston upon Thames town centre.

Founded by Sir Peter Hall, this theatre was inspired after the Elizabethan Rose Theatre based in London’s city centre. The company’s primary goal is to put the audience first and provide a space where they can enjoy true classic theatre, whilst inspiring a new generation of budding drama enthusiasts to broaden their palette and experience a range of different types of performances.

This Kingston upon Thames theatre has been the host for comic geniuses like Ed Byrne, experience literary masterpieces brought to life such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island or West End classics such as God of Carnage. What’s the best part? Affordable prices for students.

7. Get to know Kingston Upon Thames’ rich history…

Make sure you take the time to appreciate the local Kingston upon Thames history which it has in abundance. One of Kingston’s most popular sites is the 16th century ruins of Coombe  Conduit, and guided tours are available with the help from volunteers who provide fun facts.

One of three conduit heads which historically supplied Hampton Court Palace with water until 1876, it slowly became disused, though its original structure still remains intact for viewing.

Or if your historical appetite delves a little deeper, you may be satisfied to hear the ancient sarsen Coronation Stone block can also be found in Kingston, also a Grade I listed structure. Said to have once been the coronation site of seven Anglo-Saxon kings and currently sits in the centre of town behind a blue wrought-iron fence.

If you’re a fan of your monarchy history, this is a worthwhile excursion.

8. Appreciate the view from Kingston Bridge…

One of the best things about living in Kingston upon Thames is its beautiful scenery. First constructed by wood in 1219, Kingston Bridge has been renovated numerous times over the centuries and now stands as a strategic crossing point between the town and Hampton Court Park.

A walk along this iconic bridge is well-worth the visit and makes for a superb instagrammable snapshot with your friends or family whilst they’re visiting.

9. Experience an afternoon at the golf course…

If you’re looking or the chance to get involved with some local sports, why not try visiting Coombe Wood Golf Club? Founded in 1904, this parkland was originally developed into a 9-hole golf course which was later made to 18 holes in 1922.

You will find whatever the season, the green remains perfectly intact all year round. Whether you’re experienced or just a beginner, this course is sure to challenge you.

You can also enjoy some seasonal offers for enjoying lunch at their on-site bar after a round of golf has tired you out.

10. Browse through the markets…

Predating to the early 13th century, Kingston’s Ancient Market holds 28 permanent stalls which are open for business seven days a week.

Perfect for students looking to browse for some hidden gems, or picking up some food ingredients, this market will be your new haven for last-minute pickups.

What’s your poison? Do you have a weakness for the sugary delights of baked goods? Oliver’s Bakery will satisfy your urges with a selection of homemade called on offer.

Or would you prefer some savoury treats? Then Crepe Escape is a sure-fire way to discover some new favourites.

11. Hop in the car…

Whilst Kingston upon Thames has a good range of attractions, we also think its surrounding towns have a lot to offer in the way of things to do in London. Hop in the car or on a bus and venture towards the bustling neighbouring town of Richmond upon Thames where you can visit the highly recommended royal palace, Hampton Court Palace.

Currently owned by Queen Elizabeth II, this popular attraction is an excellent tourist hot spot for learning the extensive monarchy history behind its construction. Explore the Great Hall, Royal Chapel and Kitchens where the famous Henry VIII once walked.

You can book tours online at a subsidised rate and can get a sense for what life was truly like for the Tudors when this historic building was first built. Even its stunning landscaped gardens, horse and carriage and vaulted ceilings are a thing of beauty.

An afternoon spent at this wonderful tourist attraction is perfect for the whole family and something history students will delight in visiting.

Whether you’re looking to study at Kingston University or located in the city centre, we have put together an extensive range of student accommodation in Kingston upon Thames at affordable prices and within close proximity to a range of attractions. Book your viewing today!