Kingston-upon-Thames has recently been crowned the happiest place in England. A haven of leafy suburbs and middle-class tranquillity, it is a paradisiacal refuge for those seeking a quieter life outside of central London.
It has long been considered a wonderful place to live. Originally the coronation site of Saxon kings, it boasts royal affiliations to this day, and is renowned for its friendliness, unparalleled retail experience, and beautiful parkland.
A favourite stomping ground for families, it has recently gained a following amongst young professionals too. Lured by its lively cultural scene, riverside pubs, and shopping opportunities, it offers them a wonderful alternative to more central destinations, whilst still lying within commuting distance of London.
For those looking to start a new life here, here are a few things that you might like to know.
The Social Scene
One of Kingston-upon-Thames prime attractions is its buzzing social scene, augmented by its old-world pubs, fine dining experiences, and theatres.
For those with a taste for excellence, Kingston’s High Street is the place to be. Running alongside the serpentine might of the Thames, it offers a plethora of exquisite eateries, from the Riverside Vegetaria (voted London’s best vegetarian restaurant) to Pho Hoi An, Cappadocia, and Busaba Eathai.
Once you’ve filled your belly, you might like to drink in some culture, and Kingston is a fantastic place to do it. Housing not only the 900-seat Rose Theatre, but also the brilliant Crack Comedy Club, you can enjoy a healthy dose of tragedy, or else indulge in belly laughs galore.
If something a little sportier is more to your taste, then you’ll still be spoilt for choice, with everything from golf to rowing to sailing to keep you entertained.
Kingston is famed not only for its fantastic social scene, but also for its magnificent shopping. For the retail-minded, the town centre is paradise personified. Its delightful streets are lined with towering stores, housing everything from exclusive boutiques to high street favourites. The Bentall Centre and The Rotunda mall complete the ensemble, offering endless hours of fun.
Come the Christmas season, the historic Market Place is also well worth a visit, and can offer unique and enchanting finds all year round.
Of course, one of the most important factors for young professionals moving to the area is its transport links. Luckily, Kingston doesn’t disappoint, offering fantastic road, rail, and bus links across the country, and to London in particular. With train journeys taking just 30 minutes to reach Waterloo, and good commuting access along the A3, it’s the perfect place for those who desire a quaint paradise to retire to at the end of a long, hard working day.
Could Kingston-upon-Thames be the perfect home for you?