Things to do in London Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Greater London
The London Borough of Kingston upon Thames is in the extreme southwest of Greater London, to the south of Richmond upon Thames.
Facts and Figures:
Kingston Borough has a population of 147,000 residents in an area of 37km. It is the 16th smallest borough by area. Rated by the Metropolitan Police as one of the safest boroughs in London, it is a popular area for London commuters to live.
The London Borough of Kingston upon Thames was formed in 1965, when it dropped the hyphens from its name to distinguish it from the old municipal borough.
Like the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames is a Royal Borough. It was granted a Royal Charter in 1965 by the Queen, although the original charter was given by King John in 1200.
Archaeological evidence shows that Kingston's history stretches back for thousands of years. Within this Royal Borough stands the Coronation Stone, where the Anglo Saxon kings from the 6th century onwards were crowned. The stone can be seen outside the Guildhall in Kingston. It has a coin from the reign of each of the monarchs set in the base.
The town of Kingston-Upon-Thames also has the oldest surviving bridge in London. The Clattern Bridge dates back to the 12th century.
New Malden has the largest South Korean population of any town in Europe.
Famous local sons of the Borough of Kingston include land and water speed record holder, Donald Campbell, footballer Stephen Reid and actor Jonny Lee Miller.
The main borough town is also called Kingston upon Thames. It was once a historic market town and is steeped in royal history. The 13th century market place is at the heart of the town and there has been a church on the site of All Saint's Church for over 1000 years. The Bentall's Centre is a well-known local department store, spread over four floors.
Other major towns include Surbiton, Tolwith, New Maldon and Chessington.
One of the most famous businesses in Kingston upon Thames was the Sopwith Aviation Company. It built the renowned Sopwith Camel, which famously battled in the skies over Europe during World War I.
Richmond Park is in the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames, and is the largest park in London. It is a popular area for walking and sports activities by the borough's local residents and visitors.
The Chessington World of Adventures is one of London's best family theme parks and attracts around 8000 visitors per day in the summer. It began life as a zoo but now has plenty of modest roller coaster rides as well as some exotic species including lions, tigers, penguins and gorillas which can be enjoyed £on safari£.
The modern sculpture of leaning telephone boxes by David Mach is a notable attraction in Eden Street, Kingston.
The Borough of Kingston has no underground stations within its boundary, but it has around 64 bus routes and ten mainline railway stations. Incidentally, when the London and Southampton Railway laid its line in 1838 and bypassed the town of Kingston upon Thames, a station was built outside the town and was called Kingston-upon-Railway!
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