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Kingston - Surrey Life Towns & Villages 2013

PUBLISHED: 12:52 15 October 2013 | UPDATED: 12:52 15 October 2013



Pete Gardner

Royal connections flow through Kingston’s history and these days it has a status as a shopping mecca

A dog’s life

One famous character attached to Kingston’s modern history is Nipper – the little terrier who posed for the painting His Master’s Voice and lives on in the HMV trademark. Buried in Kingston, you may even stumble across Nipper Alley as you wander around the town.

Inspired buildings

The Bentall Centre has a few claims to fame: an escalator in the building travels from the ground floor to the second in one stretch with only top and bottom support; the ceiling of the store reaches higher than the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral; and another point of interest is underneath John Lewis where an undercroft dating back to the 1300s and the remains of the original Kingston Bridge are found.

Toppling telephones

As many villages around the UK lose theirs, Kingston is positively spoiled with the old fashioned red telephone boxes. Admittedly, they congregate in the form of the town’s toppling telephone boxes sculpture on Old London Road. A must-see for any visitor, Out of Order was designed by David Mach in 1988 and has provided many a photo opportunity for tourists.



Kingston’s Rose Theatre was the first new theatre of the 21st century to be based on a 16th century design. At the helm of the exciting project was Sir Peter Hall - one of the most experienced theatre directors of our time. During his long and successful career, he has presided over the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

Eat at...

The Canbury Arms (020 8255 9129) on Canbury Park Road.

Drink at...

The Boaters Inn (020 8541 4672) is home to one of the longest running jazz residencies around, which began as a venture for music students from Kingston University in 1990.

Stay at...

The White Hart Hotel (020 8977 1786) by Bushy Park.

Getting there...

You drive at your own risk and a train journey, or the park-and-ride, can often be quicker.

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