Kingston upon Thames: Wikis

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Coordinates: 51°24′37″N 0°17′58″W / 51.4103°N 0.2995°W / 51.4103; -0.2995

Kingston upon Thames
Kingston Market Square.jpg
Old Town Hall on Market Place
Kingston upon Thames is located in Greater London
Kingston upon Thames

 Kingston upon Thames shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ182693
    - Charing Cross 10 mi (16 km)  NE
London borough Kingston
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town KINGSTON UPON THAMES
Postcode district KT1, KT2
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Kingston and Surbiton
Richmond Park
London Assembly South West
List of places: UK • England • London

Kingston upon Thames is the principal settlement of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames in south-west London.

It was the ancient market town where Saxon kings were crowned and is now a suburb situated 10 miles (16.1 km) south west of Charing Cross. It is one of the major metropolitan centres identified in the London Plan.[1]

Contents

History

Kingston in 1846

Kingston was built at the first crossing point of the Thames upstream from London Bridge and a bridge still exists at the same site. Kingston was occupied by the Romans, and later it was either a royal residence or a royal demesne. There is a record of a council held there in 838, at which Egbert of Wessex, King of Wessex, and his son Ethelwulf of Wessex were present; and in this record it is styled Kyningestun famosa illa locus. In Old English, tun, ton or don meant farmstead - so the name Kingston may have been thought to mean farmstead of the kings. Seven Saxon kings are traditionally said to have been crowned at Kingston, while seated on a large stone - The Coronation Stone - that stands outside the Guildhall. There is a local rumour that these Saxon coronations gave Kingston its name, but the records of the 838 council disprove this.[2]

Kingston upon Thames appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Chingestone and Chingetun(e). It was held by William the Conqueror. Its domesday assets were: a church, five mills, three fisheries worth 10s, 27 ploughs, 40 acres (160,000 m2) of meadow, woodland worth six hogs. It rendered £30.[3]

The first of the charters given to the town of Kingston was granted by King John in 1200 but the oldest one to survive is from 1208 and this document is housed in the town's archives. Other charters were issued by later kings, including Edward IV's charter that gave the town the status of a borough in 1481. Some interesting relics have been discovered to support this history, and statues of some of the Saxon kings and of King John were preserved in a chapel. In 1730 the chapel containing the royal effigies collapsed, burying the sexton, who was digging a grave, the sexton's daughter and another person. The daughter survived this accident and was her father's successor as sexton. Another chapel, The Lovekyn Chapel, still exists. It was founded in 1309 by a former mayor of London, Edward Lovekyn. It is the only private chantry chapel to survive the Reformation.

Kingston sent members to early Parliaments, until a petition by the inhabitants prayed to be relieved from the burden.

Information board about the parish of Kingston upon Thames.

Kingston was one of the ancient boroughs to be reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, becoming the Municipal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. It retained this status until the London Government Act 1963 came into force in 1965, merging Kingston upon Thames with the Municipal Borough of Surbiton and the Municipal Borough of Malden and Coombe to form the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames. At the request of the Council, Queen Elizabeth II granted Kingston another Royal Charter in 1965 entitling it to continue using the title "Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames" for the enlarged Borough. Before becoming part of Greater London in 1965, Kingston was in the county of Surrey, and some confusion continues because the county hall and offices of Surrey County Council are still in Kingston. For river users, Kingston is still on the "Surrey" bank.

For much of the 20th century, Kingston was a major military aircraft manufacturing centre - first with Sopwith, then Hawker Aviation and eventually British Aerospace.

The growth and development of Kingston Polytechnic and its transformation into Kingston University has made Kingston a university town.

Kingston today

Central Kingston is a busy predominantly retail centre, with a small number of commercial offices and civic buildings. It has a great many car parks, connected by a notoriously difficult one-way system. It is one of the main centres of the south west London bus network, and it is connected to Twickenham, Richmond, Wimbledon, and London Waterloo by National Rail trains.

Kingston Bridge with John Lewis in the background.

Shopping is well catered for and is generally towards the upper end of expectations, with a good mixture of familiar High Street chains and more select boutiques. The shopping centre includes a shopping mall, "The Bentall Centre", containing the Bentalls department store and large branches of chain stores found in many British high streets. There is a large branch of the John Lewis department store group, with a Waitrose supermarket, located in the basement. The Rotunda, located in the former Bentalls furniture depository building (a local landmark), includes a bowling alley, fitness centre, a 14-screen Odeon multiplex cinema and some restaurants. Recent developments along the riverside south of Kingston Bridge have added bars, restaurants and a theatre, the Rose Theatre which opened in 2008 with Sir Peter Hall as the director. The ancient market is still held daily in the Market Place.

Kingston's civic buildings include the Guildhall which houses Kingston Council and the magistrates' court, There is also the county court, a local museum and public library. A short distance away is the new crown court building, adjacent to the County Hall Building which houses the main offices of Surrey County Council. Until local government re-organisation in 1965 when Kingston became one of the 33 boroughs of Greater London, it was the County Town of Surrey. Guildford now has this title as Kingston is no longer administered by Surrey. Plans to move these offices to Woking have been scrapped.

Kingston's main open space is the River Thames, with its lively frontage of bars and restaurants. Downstream there is a walk through Canbury Gardens towards Teddington Lock. Upstream there is a promenade crossing the Hogsmill river and reaching almost to Surbiton. Across Kingston Bridge is a tree lined river bank fronting the expanse of Hampton Court Park.

One of the more unusual sights in Kingston is several disused red telephone boxes that have been tipped up to lean against one another in an arrangement resembling dominoes. This sculpture by David Mach was commissioned in 1988 as part of the landscaping for the new Relief Road, and is called Out of Order.

The sculpture "Out of Order"
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Sport

Kingston is the home of two non-league association football clubs, Kingstonian F.C. and AFC Wimbledon, both of which play at the Kingsmeadow Stadium.

Kingston Athletic Club and Polytechnic Harriers - as of 2009, competing in the National Two division of the British Athetics League - are based at the neighbouring Kingsmeadow athetics stadium.

Kingston Rugby Club is based on the outskirts of the town and Kingston Rowing Club is based on the River Thames. Kingston Regatta takes place on the river at the town in July.

Sport in Kingston is promoted and encouraged by Sport Kingston, an organisation funded by the Royal Borough of Kingston.

Eating and drinking

Kingston has many pubs and restaurants, though several public houses in centre have closed in recent years to become restaurants or bars. The more traditional pubs tend to be in the northern part of the town (Canbury) and include the Park Tavern, Wych Elm and Willoughby Arms. Further south are found the Druid's Head, the Spring Grove, and several small local pubs around Fairfield. The Druid's Head is notable as one of the first taverns to make the famous dessert syllabub in the 18th century. There are several Chinese, Indian, Thai and Italian restaurants.

Politics and religion

Kingston straddles two Parliamentary constituencies: the area north of the railway line is part of Richmond Park represented by Susan Kramer; the area south of the railway line (which includes the ancient town centre) is part of Kingston and Surbiton represented by Edward Davey. Both Members of Parliament are members of the Liberal Democrat party.

Ecclesiastically, Kingston lies in the Church of England Diocese of Southwark and Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark. The suffragan or Area Bishop of Kingston is the Rt Rev. Dr Richard Ian Cheetham.

Kingston is also the home of the Kingston Synagogue and Kingston Liberal Synagogue.

Kingston also has a Quaker meeting house and a Mosque

Kingston Green Fair

Kingston University main building, Penrhyn Road campus

Kingston Green Fair was held annually from 1987 to 2008 in Canbury Gardens, next to the river, on the Spring Bank Holiday. The word "Green" in the title refers to the ethos of the fair as promoting sustainable development. For instance no meat or other products derived from dead animals were allowed to be sold, and no electricity was permitted on the site unless generated by wind, sun, or bicycle power.[4]

Education

For education in Kingston upon Thames see the main Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames article.

There are several schools in Kingston including, Hollyfield School, Kingston Grammar School, Canbury School, Marymount International School (MMI), Tiffin School (boys), Tiffin Girls' School. Kingston is also home to Kingston University and Kingston College.

Transport

The town is served by two railway stations on a line into Waterloo Station via New Malden and Wimbledon or via Richmond upon Thames (the long way round). The local stations are: Kingston and Norbiton. Two additional railway stations located on the main line in nearby Surbiton which has a more frequent service and Berrylands.

The A3 road runs from central London towards Kingston before by-passing the town to the east. The "Kingston bypass road" was one of the first arterial roads to be built in Britain. It was originally proposed in 1912 to relieve the pressure of traffic in the town centre, but World War I delayed the start of work until 1924. It was opened by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin on 28 October 1927. Kingston is also served by the A240, the A307 (Portsmouth Road), A308 and A310.

Riverboats run regularly between Kingston and Hampton Court as well as Richmond all during the summer season. There are also direct services to Putney and Westminster from Hampton Court.

Arts

The most notable dramatic arts venue is the Rose Theatre. All Saints Church is host to classical choral and music concerts mostly on Saturdays and houses a Frobenius organ. There are a number of choral societies including the Kingston Orpheus Choir and the Kingston Choral Society. A number annual of festivals are organised by the Council and Kingston Arts Council including Kingston Readers' Festival, Think-in-Kingston and the Festival of the Voice. Kingston University runs the Stanley Picker Gallery and Kingston Museum has a changing gallery on the first floor.

Media

Kingston has been covered in literature, film and television. It is where the comic Victorian novel Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome begins; cannons aimed against the Martians in H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds are positioned on Kingston Hill; in The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence the youngest Brangwen dreams of a job in Kingston upon Thames in a long, lyrical passage; Mr. Knightly in Emma by Jane Austen regularly visits Kingston, although the narrative never follows him there. Kingston is referenced (and used as a filming location) in episodes of Monty Python. More recently, a scene from Mujhse Dosti Karoge, a Bollywood film, was filmed by the toppled telephone boxes. This had Hrithik Roshan as the leading actor. A scene in the television programme The Good Life sees Richard Briers get on a 71 bus in 'The Avenue' towards Kingston town centre, albeit this route never served that east side of Surbiton. Nipper, the famous "His Master's Voice" dog, is buried (1895) in the town under Lloyds Bank. His owners lived nearby in Fife Road. Also, the 2008 series of 'Primeval', shown on ITV1 in January, featured almost an entire episode filmed inside the Bentall Centre and John Lewis department stores. Kingston featured in Primeval again in May 2009 with several scenes shot in and around the Market Square.

Notable people

Eadweard Muybridge (photographer) was born in the town in 1830
See also alumini of local schools, colleges and the university

Notable people born in the town include James Squire, transported convict and brewer in Australia (1754), John Cleland (1709) and John Galsworthy (1867), both authors, Eadweard Muybridge, photographer (1830), Donald Campbell, car and motorboat racer (1921), John Cooper, auto engineer (1923), Derek Bourgeois, composer (1941), Dave Swarbrick, folk fiddle player (1941), Nigel Barley, anthropologist (1947), Steven Wilson, musician (1967), Tom Rowlands of the Chemical Brothers (1971), Jonny Lee Miller (1972), Lisa Faulkner (1973) and Kelly Reilly (1977), all actors, Steven Reid, footballer (1981), Dean Lewington, footballer (1984), Rat Scabies (Christopher Millar) (1957), of The Damned.

International links

Although not officially 'twinned', The Royal Borough of Kingston has a partner city of Oldenburg in Germany and Gwanak-gu, an administrative subdivision of Seoul, in South Korea. Some road signs announce that Kingston is linked with Delft in the Netherlands but this official link has ended.[5]

References

Sources consulted
Endnotes

External links

Section 8: London Outer Orbital Path Section 9:
Ewell Kingston upon Thames Hatton Cross

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to London/South article)

From Wikitravel

South London is the outer southern part of London.

Understand

Many outer areas of South London were once part of the counties of Surrey and Kent. Surrey and Kent are sometimes used as part of the official postal addresses for these areas.

Boroughs

South London consists of the following boroughs:

  • Bexley [1] — the borough includes:
  • Bexleyheath
  • Erith
  • Sidcup
  • Bromley [2] — the borough includes:
  • Bromley
  • Beckenham
  • Orpington
  • Croydon [3] — the borough includes:
  • Croydon
  • Coulsdon
  • Purley
  • Kingston upon Thames [4] — the borough includes:
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • New Malden
  • Surbiton
  • Merton [5] — the borough includes:
  • Morden
  • Mitcham
  • Sutton [6] — the borough includes:
  • Sutton
  • Carshalton
  • Wallington

Bromley

Bromley is a borough of London, situated in the south east of Greater London. Much of the borough was historically in the county of Kent, as is reflected by the presence of Kent County Cricket Club's second XI in Beckenham, and the fact that the postal county of Kent is sometimes still used for traditional reasons for much of the borough (though postal counties are no longer required in UK postal addresses). The London Borough of Bromley was created in 1965 by the London Government Act 1963.

The borough is the largest in London by area and occupies 59 square miles (153 km²), of which the majority is green belt land. Most of the settlement is in the north and west of the borough, with an outlier at Biggin Hill in the far south. The borough shares borders with Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley to the north, Southwark and Lambeth to the north west, Croydon to the west; and the counties of Surrey to the south and Kent to the south and east. Westerham Heights, the highest point in London is located on the southern boundary.

Croydon

Known to some as the "Dallas of the South" due to the density of shiny glass and steel high rise office blocks. Croydon has a cross-section of British history: Among its famous residents were author Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, journalist Emile Zola and punk rocker Captain Sensible of The Damned.

Croydon has a tram network, which runs from Beckenham through Croydon to Wimbledon. Despite this relatively new system however the area can often feel somewhat run down and lacking in investment. Although a new major re-generation plan has been announced, called Croydon Vision 2020, which includes the new shopping centre and Croydon Gateway site (which includes a arena, park, offices and bars).

Get in

By car

Kingston - see National Park and Ride Directory [7]

By train

South West Trains [8] operates a regular service from London Waterloo station to Kingston.

There are more regular train services to Surbiton, which is around 10 minutes away from Kingston by bus. Travelling via Surbiton can also be quicker when coming from towns to the southwest of London such as Guildford, Portsmouth or Southampton.

Bromley

By car

The M25 sits on the southern edge of the borough. Junction 4 (Bromley/Orpington) quickly connects with the A21, though for Chislehurst and areas it may be quicker to use Junction 3. The A21 is the main London to Hastings and it runs through the borough before heading south to Sevenoaks and Tonbridge.

By train

The borough has 27 railway stations which cover much of the area and are served by three Central London stations; London Victoria, London Blackfriars and London Bridge (and, by extension, Cannon Street, Waterloo East and Charing Cross). The main transport hub in the borough is Bromley South, with regular fast trains to London Victoria and a network of buses that stop outside the station and go to all parts of the borough. Orpington is the major station for the east of the borough.

By air

Biggin Hill Airport is a former RAF airfield from which the Battle of Britain was coordinated and serves private jets. While the runway is usable by aircraft up to Boeing 737/Airbus A320 size, it is prohibited for airline operators to sell tickets for flights in and out of the airport, thus there are no scheduled or holiday charter flights from the airport. However, there is still a surprisingly large number of business flights.

Croydon

Croydon is not linked to the tube network at the moment, but by 2010 the East London Line will be extended to West Croydon station as part of the London Overground scheme by Transport for London. Croydon is relatively close in proximity to Central London even though the borough it is in (Croydon) is the southern most in Greater London.

By tram
A tramlink tram bound for Croydon
A tramlink tram bound for Croydon

Tramlink, opened in 2000, is the first modern tram system to operate in London. Trams at the moment have destinations at Beckenham, Wimbledon, Elmers End and New Addington with all lines traveling through Croydon, on the Croydon Loop. It can also be used to reach the Underground in Wimbledon. Tramlink also has planned extensions to the M25 motorway (Park & Ride system), Sutton, Bromley, Lewisham with a planned extension to Crystal Palace

By train

East Croydon station, is the second busiest station in London, and the main station for Croydon. Most services that head to the South Coast stop here. Fast trains run into Victoria or London Bridge stations in about 15-20 minutes. Services are provided by Southern and First Capital Connect. West Croydon station is a interchange station for train, tram and bus. Services generally terminate at Sutton but some continue to Guildford, Dorking and Epsom Downs.

By bus

Croydon is well served by the London bus network, with a major bus station at West Croydon and a new one opening on the eastern side of Croydon next to the Croydon clocktower and Park Place shopping centre soon. Bus services in the centre of Croydon include, but are not limited to:

  • London bus routes 50, 60, 75, 109, 119 (Purley Way (Croydon Airport) - Bromley), 157, 197, 250, 264, 289, 312 (South Croydon Bus Garage - Peckham, via Central Croydon, Addiscombe), 407, 410, 450, 455, 466 (not too reliable), 468, and X26 (West/East Croydon - Sutton - Kingston - Heathrow Central (Express)).

Get around

Bromley

Transport for London (TFL) manages bus services in Bromley and these are operated by Selkent and Metrobus.

Croydon

Croydon is mostly pedestrian friendly, North End the main shopping parade was closed for traffic over 10 years ago and most places can be easily reached on foot.

By taxi

There is a large taxi stand, served by black cabs outside the main entrance to East Croydon Station.

By bus

Buses leave at West Croydon station, with most buses leaving Croydon stopping at the bus station next to West Croydon station. The other bus station is opposite East Croydon station on George street, although not all buses going past it stop.

  • The Coronation Stone. Whilst not full of sights, an item of some interest is the coronation stone, on which seven English kings from Edward the Elder to Aethelred the Unready were crowned. The stone is located outside the Guildhall, and is close to the market.  edit
  • The Thames. Kingston borough has recently put a lot of effort into redeveloping the riverfront, and it is an extrememly pleasant way to spend a summer day. It can get very busy, and to avoid the crowds you can cross over Kingston bridge and walk along the quieter Richmond side.  edit
  • Out of Order. For a good photo opportunity seek out the phone boxes, a sculpture by artist David Mach featuring a number of disused red telephone box leaning against each other like dominoes.  edit
  • Chislehurst Caves, Old Hill, Chislehurst, +44 20 8467 3264 (), [9]. W-Su 10AM-4PM, seven days during school holidays. The caves are not in fact caves but a twenty-mile long network of passageways, carved from the chalk deep under Chislehurst over a period of 8,000 years. Used as a massive air-raid shelter during World War II, the Caves are now a local tourist attraction. £5, concessions £3, under 5's free.  edit
  • Crofton Roman Villa, Crofton Roman Villa, Crofton Rd, Orpington, +44 (0)20 8460 1442 (), [10]. Apr-Oct, Bank Holidays, W F 10AM-1PM and 2PM-5PM, Su 2PM-5PM. The only villa open to the public in Greater London. It was inhabited from about AD 140-400 and was the centre of a large farming estate. Today you can see the remains of 10 rooms protected inside a public viewing building. Remains include tiled (tessellated) floors and the under-floor heating system (hypocaust). £1, children £0.70.  edit
  • Down House, Luxted Rd, Downe, +44 1689 859119, [11]. Feb-mid-Dec W-Su 11AM-4PM, additional hours in spring and summer. It was at Down House that Charles Darwin worked on his scientific theories, and wrote On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, the book which both scandalised and revolutionised the Victorian world when it was published in 1859. Built in the early 18th century, the house remains much as it was when Darwin lived here. The rooms on the ground floor have been furnished to reflect the domestic life of the family and the first floor offers an interactive exhibition on his life, his research and his discoveries. English Heritage has restored the gardens to their appearance in Darwin's time. £8.80, children £4.40, English Heritage members free.  edit

Croydon

Because it was heavily bombed in WW2, Croydon features a patchwork of old and new architecture.

  • The Whitgift Almshouses. Form a fine Tudor courtyard.  edit
  • The Town Hall. Very impressive with a huge clock tower.  edit
  • Clock Tower Museum. Exhibitions on the gifted black composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) who lived most of his life in Croydon. His works include The Song of Hiawatha, a great favourite (before World War II) at the Royal Albert Hall conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent.  edit
  • Woodside Green. Visit for a villagy experience and go to the Joiner's Arms or Beehive pubs for a pleasant drink or meal.  edit
The control tower of Croydon Airport in 1939, with the Imperial Airways de Havilland DH 91 Albatross Fortuna alongside
The control tower of Croydon Airport in 1939, with the Imperial Airways de Havilland DH 91 Albatross Fortuna alongside
  • Croydon Airport. London's former main airport, now disused and is now a tourist attraction.  edit
  • Museum of Croydon. A museum highlighting Croydon in the past and present includes the Riesco Gallery  edit
  • Shirley Windmill. Restored and the only surviving windmill in Shirley.  edit
  • Addington Palace. 18th century mansion in Addington.  edit
  • Croydon Clocktower. Arts venue, opened by Queen Elizabeth II.  edit
  • Nestle Tower. The famous UK headquarters of Nestle, one of the tallest towers in England.  edit
  • Fairfield Halls. Arts centre,which opened in 1962, frequently used for BBC recordings.  edit
  • Croydon Palace. Summer residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury for over 500 years.  edit
  • Croydon Cemetery. Most famous for the gravestone of Derek Bentley, wrongly hanged in 1953.  edit
  • Mitcham Common. Partly in the borough, shared with Sutton and Merton.  edit
  • Penge Police Station, [12]. Oldest working police station in London. Built in 1905.  edit
  • Royal Waterman's Alms Houses, Penge, [13].  edit
  • Churchill Theatre. Offers a range of theatrical performances, including touring productions, performances by (very good) local amateur groups, and pantomime during the Christmas and New Year period (usually starring somebody who used to be in Neighbours).  edit
  • David Lean Cinema. Cinema built in memory of David Lean.  edit
  • BRIT School. Performing Arts and Technology school owned by the BRIT Trust (known for the BRIT Awards).  edit
  • Croydon Grants. Entertainment venue, includes cinema and desirable nightclub Tiger Tiger.  edit
  • Selhurst Park. Home of Crystal Palace Football Club.  edit
  • Warehouse Theatre. Large and well-known theatre for (mostly) young performers  edit
  • Bike along the riverside. Follow the Thames path to Richmond upon Thames, Kew (home of the botanical gardens) and beyond into Barnes and Putney. In the opposite direction you will find Hampton Court, which has open air picnic concerts during the summer months.  edit
  • Non-league football. Football enthusiasts can catch two "non-league" clubs (i.e., clubs outside of England's four fully professional leagues). Both teams play at Kingsmeadow, also known as The Cherry Red Records Fans' Stadium due to a commercial sponsorship deal.  edit
    • AFC Wimbledon, +44 20 8547 3528, tickets +44 20 8546 9582, [14]. Founded in 2002 by former fans of Wimbledon F.C. when that club received approval to move from London to Milton Keynes, where the club is now known as Milton Keynes Dons. After three promotions, AFC Wimbledon will play the 2009–10 season in Conference National, the fifth level of English football and one promotion from The Football League.  edit
    • Kingstonian F.C., [15]. Formed in 1885, will play 2009–10 in the Ryman Premier Division, two promotions away from AFC Wimbledon.  edit

Buy

Bromley

Each of the towns and villages in the borough has its own distinct high street but Bromley High St remains the main shopping centre and runs the length of the town. The northern section is mainly comprised of a cinema, specialist shops and restaurants. As the high street gets to the Market Square, there are a number of pubs. The central section of the High Street, between Market Square and Elmfield Rd, is pedestrianised.

  • Bromley Charter Market, (In a car park behind Bromley North Station). Th.  edit
  • Farmer's market. At weekends.  edit
  • Glades shopping mall, (Runs parallel to the east side of the High Street). The bulk of the better-known stores are in this area.  edit
  • The Mall, (The southern section of the High Street, which runs down to Bromley South Station). Does not get many shoppers.  edit

Croydon

Croydon is one of the top 20 retail destinations in the United Kingdom, it has two large and a smaller shopping centers. All the major chain stores can be found in Croydon, along with most department stores (including the only Allders left in the UK and a John Lewis planned).

  • Beano's. Second-hand CD and LP store with kitsch, cool styling which claims to be the largest in Europe.  edit
  • Centrale Shopping Centre, North End (Close to West Croydon station), [16]. M-W, F Sa 9:30AM-7PM, Th 9:30AM-9:00PM, Su 11AM-5PM. Shopping centre opened in 2004, situated on 4 floors. Shops include House of Fraser, Debenhams, Next, Zara, H&M, French Connection and Aldo. The Food Gallery is on the top floor of centre and includes a wide variety of restaurants.  edit
  • North End. The shopping road in Croydon  edit
  • Park Place, [17]. Planned shopping centre.  edit
  • Purley Way, (To the south west of Central Croydon, but still in the borough). Large retail area including large stores such as one of the four IKEA's in London, a B&Q warehouse, the first Homebase, TJ Maxx, Vue, Megabowl, Mothercare World, Argos Extra, Sainsbury's, City Limits and more. There are various retail parks there aswell, Valley Park, Purley Way retail park, Croydon Colonades, Waddon Goods Park, Croydon Fiveways.  edit
  • Supermarkets. Include, in Croydon, Sainsbury's (Whitgift Centre), Tesco's (on Brighton Road 5 mins walk from town cntr), Lidl (West Croydon), Marks & Spencer (Whitgift Centre), and a Waitrose (East Croydon).  edit
  • Surrey Street Market. Market which has a Royal Charter dating back to 1276 linking it to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  edit
  • Whitgift Centre, North End (Close to West Croydon bus station), [18]. M-W, F Sa 9AM-7PM, Th 9AM-9PM, Su 11AM-5PM, Bank holidays 10AM-6PM. Main shopping centre, situated on 3 floors and used to be biggest shopping centre in Europe. Shops include Marks & Spencer, Bhs, Allders, Boots, Woolworths (now defunct), WHSmith, Sainsbury's Central, Mothercare and Books Etc. Various restaurants and cafes throughout the centre.  edit

Kingston

Kingston has the most extensive range of shops in the southeast of England outside central London, and is very popular, especially at weekends. Virtually all major chains have branches, as well as several independent shops and boutiques.

  • Bentall centre, Clarence St, [19]. Biggest shopping mall. Four-storey mall, which is anchored by a multi-level department store, Bentalls, which sells high-end fashion, home ware and specialty food products. John Lewis is the other main department store in town and is noted for quality. It has a branch of Waitrose supermarket in the basement.  edit
  • Fife Road, (Between the Bentall Centre and the railway station). Several clothing boutiques.  edit
  • Kingston Marketplace. The marketplace was historically at the heart of Kingston's prosperity, benefiting from a Royal Charter forbidding any other markets within seven miles. Today it mostly sells fruit and vegetables, although there are some other stalls. There are also occasional visiting markets from France and Germany that sell regional produce and takeaway food and drink.  edit
  • Borders bookstore. Built on the site of the old Empire department store. Its beautiful listed wooden staircase was maintained through recent renovations.  edit
  • The Crown, 46 Plaistow Ln, Sundridge Park, +44 20 8466 1313, [20]. Recently opened, this is a stylish yet affordable gastropub minutes from Bromley High St.  edit

Croydon

Visitors are often surprised by the variety, quality and affordability of Croydon's restaurants. Whilst the pedestrianised centre is overflowing with bland chains and fried chicken, The High St and South End Rd (south of the flyover) has an excellent selection of independent places, which is (sadly) becoming a victim of its own success, and itself is beginning to be taken over by the chains.

Budget

  • Cafe Giardino, Centrale Centre and Whitgift Centre. Italian.  edit
  • Cafe Santa Fe, 201 High St, +44 20 8688 6717.  edit
  • Chicken Cottage, 263 London Road, +44 20 8689 1666. Fast-food chicken and ribs.  edit
  • Fatty Arbuckles, Valley Park. +44 20 8680 4717. American Diner.  edit
  • Noodle Time, 56-58 George Street, +44 20 8681 6598. Noodle Bar.  edit
  • Yo! Sushi, 21 North End, +44 20 8760 0479. Sushi bar.  edit

Mid-range

  • Addington Village Inn, 36 Addington Village Rd, +44 1689842057. Various.  edit
  • Aphrodite Greek Taverna, 19 Westow Street, +44 20 8653 9895. Greek.  edit
  • Beefeater, 419 Streatham High Rd, +44 20 8764 1671. English family pub chain.  edit
  • Chat House Tandoori, 14-16 Brighton Rd, +44 20 8680 5719.  edit
  • Chiquitos Restaurant & Bar, Unit 3 Valley Park, +44 20 8686 8341. Mexican.  edit
  • Nandos, 26 High St, Hesterman Way, +44 20 8681 3505, 8688 9545. Peri Peri Chicken.  edit
  • Ocean Fish Restaurant, 56 Lower Addiscombe Road, +44 20 8406 3634. Seafood.  edit
  • Old Orleans, City Limits Colonades Leisure Park, +44 20 8225 1900. American.  edit
  • Polka Bistro, 20a Lower Addiscombe Road, +44 20 8686 2633. Polish.  edit
  • Tiger Tiger, 16 High Street, +44 20 8662 4949. English.  edit

Splurge

  • Auberge, Units 2153-2156, Whitgift Centre, +44 20 8680 8337. French.  edit
  • La Brasa, 108a High St, +44 20 8760 9610. Argentinian. Winner of numerous 'Best local restaurant 200x' awards and is a real gem - small and unpretentious and serving flavoursome steaks, chicken and other delights. They buy good quality meat which actually has some taste, and it shows.  edit
  • Croydon Steak House, 31 South End, +44 20 8688 8422.  edit
  • Frankie & Benny's, Valley Leisure Park, +44 20 8760 5021. Authentic Italian and American.  edit
  • Lola Rojo, 78 Northcote Road. Tu-Sa 10AM-10:30PM, Su 10AM-4PM. Chef Antonio Belles' comfy, neighborhood restaurant and deli serves contemporary Spanish tapas.  edit
  • Paradise Island, 67 South End, +44 20 8688 9848. Seafood.  edit
  • Ahmed, 2 The Broadway, +44 20 8946 6214. Indian.  edit
  • Alforno Restaurant, 2a Kings Rd, +44 20 8540 5710. Italian.  edit
  • Aphrodite, 195-197 Merton Rd, +44 20 8417 0606.  edit
  • Broadway Tandoori, 250 The Broadway, +44 20 8542 7697. Indian.  edit
  • Cafe Rouge, 26 High St, +44 20 8944 5131. French.  edit
  • Chutneys, 31a Hartfield Road, +44 20 8540 9788. Indian.  edit
  • Coal, Piazza, 31-37 The Broadway, +44 20 8947 8225, [21]. Bar and grill serving international food. Seating outside.  edit
  • Confucious, 271-273 The Broadway, +44 20 8542 5272. Chinese.  edit
  • Dolce Vita, 44 The Broadway, +44 20 8543 7643. Italian.  edit
  • Est Est Est, 38 High Street, +44 20 8947 7700. Italian.  edit
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen, 88 The Broadway, +44 20 8540 3300, [22]. Great Burger Restaurant.  edit
  • Jo Shmos, 33 High St, +44 20 8879 3845.  edit
  • Lambourne Bar and Grill, 263 The Broadway, +44 20 8545 8661, [23]. Part of the Antoinette Hotel. Sky sports, happy hour. Medium.  edit
  • Lighthouse, 75-77 Ridgway, +44 20 8944 6338.  edit
  • Makiyaki, 149 Merton Rd, +44 20 8540 3113. Good Japanese food.  edit
  • Mai Thai, 75 The Broadway, +44 20 8542 8834.  edit
  • Nandos, 1-1a Russell Rd, +44 20 8545 0909, [24]. Peri-Peri Chicken.  edit
  • La Nonna, 213-217 The Broadway (+44 20 8542 3060). Italian.  edit
  • Paprika, 1 Kingston Rd, +44 20 8540 9229. Indian Food  edit
  • Reds Bar & Grill, 86 The Broadway, +44 20 8540 8308, [25]. International Food.  edit
  • Thai Tho Restaurant, 20 High St, +44 20 8946 1542. Thai.  edit
  • Tapanco, 20 Hartfield Rd, +44 20 8947 4737, [26]. Mexican, Italian and American.  edit
  • The Common Room, 18 High St, +44 20 8944 1909. Italian.  edit
  • The Stage Door, 90-92 The Broadway, +44 20 8543 8128, [27].  edit
  • Wimbledon Palace, 88 The Broadway, +44 20 8540 4505. Chinese.  edit

Kingston

The area of Kingston of New Malden has a sizeable Korean population and there are a large number of restaurants along the High St. Korean barbecue, such as galbi or samgyeopsal is available in numerous places. Another option is bibimbap, a mixture of various vegetables, rice and chilli paste.

Drink

There are a large variety of pubs and bars from cheaper chain pubs such as Wetherspoons to the trendy riverside bars. The main club is Oceana which is always very popular and attracts a great number of people from surrounding areas.

Bromley

Borough-wide, Bromley's town centre drinking establishments are generally the sort of generic chain fayre you would find anywhere. However, away from the centres, there are good pubs, many in the traditional vein.

  • The Anglesey Arms, 90 Palace Rd, Sundridge Park. Traditional feel, friendly staff and good ale, albeit a bit on the pricey side. Shepherd Naeme pub.  edit
  • The Prince Frederick, 31 Nichol Ln, Sundridge Park. Allegedly the only pub named after George II's son, Poor Fred, Prince of Wales. It has managed to retain its traditional feel by maintaining seperate saloon and lounge bars. A good choice of ales and lagers but no food. Greene King pub.  edit
  • The Red Lion, 10 North Rd, Sundridge Park. Some christen this the best pub in Bromley. A friendly atmosphere, good quality ales and decent, affordable pub food make this an excllent choice. Greene King pub.  edit
  • Sundridge Park. A small neighbourhood just to the north of Bromley, has retained some well-liked, traditional pubs.  edit
  • Bar Red Square, 63-67 High St, +44 20 8688 1020. Wine Bar.  edit

Sleep

Croydon

There is a wide range of accommodation for visitors to the London Borough of Croydon. The Tourist Information Centre promotes establishments which are members of the National Quality Assurance Standards Scheme. Each establishment is inspected annually by trained assessors from the AA, RAC or English Tourism Council (ETC). Members of the Quality Assurance Scheme are graded according to quality, facilities and level of service. The grading is denoted by stars (H) or diamonds (¨). Any establishment which has no grading is not part of the Scheme, therefore quality cannot be assured. The AA, RAC and English Tourism Council (ETC) have joint grading schemes for hotels, guest accommodation and self catering. Hotels are graded from one to five stars. These indicate the quality, facilities and level of service. The more stars the higher the quality, level of service and range of facilities offered. Guest Accommodation=== Guest accommodation includes guest houses, bed & breakfasts and some hotels. They are graded from one to five diamonds. All establishments must meet minimum standards for facilities and services. More diamonds are awarded for higher standards of quality and customer care.

  • Aerodrome Hotel, Purley Way (Next to Croydon Airport), +44 20 8680 1999. Luxury hotel, recently re-fited to become a luxury hotel.  edit
  • Express by Holiday Inn, 1 Priddys Yard (Central Croydon), +44 20 8253 1200. Built in 2003, new and modern.  edit
  • Jury's Inn, Wellesley Rd (Central Croydon), +44 20 8448 6000 (). Modern hotel.  edit
  • Premier Inn, The Colonnades Leisure Park (West Croydon), +44 870 990 6554. Hotel which offer warm and cosy rooms. From £40.  edit
  • Premier Inn, 104 Coombe Rd (South Croydon), +44 8701 977 069. Hotel which offer warm and cosy rooms. From £40.  edit
  • Travelodge, Norfolk House, Wellesley Rd (Central Croydon, next to Jury's Inn), +44 871 984 6318. Cheap and modest. From £40.  edit
  • Croydon has the highest rate of knife crime in any London Borough, so places to avoid are areas Thornton Heath, West Croydon and Norwood.
  • The Purley way is a difficult place to get about by foot, some areas can be reached by tram but the park is designed for cars.
  • Avoid flashing valuable possessions in the town centre, it may attract unwanted attention.
  • Croydon town centre becomes very popular on Thursdays with TigerTiger open to under 21s, and its weekends with a multitude of popular bars in the town centre. Always pre-book your taxi for safety on a night out because the local London Black cabs are very expensive.
  • City Limits Entertainment Venue. Includes bowling, restaurants, nightclubs all in the same building. Inside the Colonades Leisure Park, Purley Way.
  • Croydon Grants Entertainment Venue. Includes a large 11-screen Vue Cinema, Reflex 80's Bar and Disco, Nandos and Tiger Tiger restaurant and nightclub.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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