Photographer's Note

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 overground train.

Kingston's main open space is the River Thames, with its lively frontage of bars and restaurants. Downstream there is a walk through Canbury Park to 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.

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 of Kingston - due to open in 2007 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, the magistrates' court, the county court, and a local museum and public library. Adjacent to the County Hall Building is the new crown court building. The main offices of Surrey County Council are also in County Hall Kingston, even though Kingston is not administered by Surrey. Plans to move these offices to Woking have been scrapped.

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, and is called Out of Order. You can see it here

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Additional Photos by Christianna Karouta (Starscream) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 20 N: 161] (891)
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