London is a city of many boroughs, and whilst guests of hotels in Central London will be tempted to explore Westminster and the City of London districts, the other 32 boroughs of the city promise more than you might first think.
Kingston Upon Thames, a southwestern town bordering Richmond was technically a part of the country of Surrey until 2021, when it was absorbed into the Greater London area. The town has a lot of history to it as well, meaning that it has acquired a great deal of historic landmarks and cultural centres over the years. This blog will explore some of the reasons why guests of 5 star hotels in London’s West End should consider visiting this historic, kingmaking Saxon town.
A Little More About Kingston
Dating back to at least 838 AD, Kingston took its name from the site of a meeting between Saxon leaders Egbert of Wessex and Ceolnoth, the Archbishop of Canterbury, it being on the border of two Saxon kingdoms until the 10th century. Around that time, at least two Saxon kings were recorded to have been crowned in Kingston and this played a part in the development of the market town over the years. Nowadays, Kingston is a thriving University town that boasts a range of historic landmarks connected to its Saxon era, alongside more modern attractions.
The Coronation Stone
Located in the grounds of the Kingston Guildhall, the Coronation Stone – or sarsen stone is a fenced off rock that is thought to be connected to the coronation ceremonies of the Saxon kings crowned in the area. This stone is visible from Kingston’s High Street and offers insight into the rich history of the area.
Kingston benefits from being located right beside the western end of the London leg of the Thames. Walks along the riverside are great ways to spend an afternoon, with plenty of cafes, pubs and eateries to rival even that of the Montcalm restaurant, the Thames stretch of Kingston also acts as part of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race which takes place every Spring. In 2023, it took place on the 26th of March and the 2024 dates can be expected to happen around the same time.
Hampton Court Park And Palace
Just across Kingston Bridge is Hampton Court Palace, the grounds around it once being the private gardens of Cardinal Wolsey, who bequeathed it to King Henry the VIII in the 1530s when the advisor fell out of his favour. The grounds, which are about 219 acres large, include formal landscaped gardens, statues and beautiful woodlands where semi-wild deer roam. A great day out at any time of year, Hampton Court’s Palace is not to be missed either.
Reaching Kingston From Central London
Guests of hotels near Chiswell Street London can easily reach Kingston Upon Thames via Southwestern Railway services from Waterloo Station and Clapham Junction to Berrylands. These journeys usually take around 25 minutes, making it an easy commute for visitors staying in the city centre.