This pretty and ancient market town is leafy, commuter territory and neighbour to Surrey's answer to Disneyland, Chessington World of Adventures. Lying on a very pretty stretch of the River Thames, Kingston has become an important shopping mecca for London's bargain-hunters who view it as a more sophisticated alternative to the bustle of Oxford Street. Attracting leisure-shoppers has become a very important aspect of the local economy with small and retail businesses making up a significant portion of the borough's wealth-generation.
The Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames is in south-west London and has the smallest population of any of London's boroughs with around 160,000 residents. Around a fifth of residents are from a black and minority ethnic background, and the borough is home to one of the largest Korean communities outside Korea. Kingston is relatively wealthy and ranks as the third least deprived area in London despite certain pockets of deprivation remaining.