3 top day trips outside of London


Whether you’re new to London or you’ve come to call it home, there’s always something to do in the city in your free time. But if you fancy a change of scenery, then why not head further afield and explore some of its neighbouring counties?

London is surrounded by beautiful places waiting to be discovered – all of which are within a short drive or train ride from the capital. So, escape the hustle and bustle of city life and start exploring this summer…

1. Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead


Home to the historic market town of Windsor – most recently famous as the place where Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle got married and where the royal wedding was celebrated, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is a beautiful and historic destination for a unique day out.

Walk the ‘Long Walk’ – a beautiful 2.65 mile tree-lined avenue, where you’ll be taken to the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen’s second home; Windsor Castle. And if you time it right, you can catch a glimpse of the guards marching through the streets of Windsor for the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

If you fancy a flutter on the horses, be sure to visit the world-famous Ascot Racecourse. Although most commonly known as the home of Royal Ascot in June, you’ll find races and events taking place all year round.

And of course, when it’s time to refuel, you won’t be disappointed with the range of restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs to enjoy – including some renowned Michelin-starred restaurants!

2. Buckinghamshire


If you’ve not visited Buckinghamshire before, then you might be surprised at how familiar it looks. That’s because it’s home to the famous Pinewood Studios – one of Britain’s largest TV and film studios, and has been the backdrop for many films including Bond, Harry Potter and Bridget Jones’ Diary. You can visit the studios and even sign up for free tickets to be in the audience of live shows filmed there!

You can also visit the village of Missenden – the home of the world-famous author Roald Dahl. Walk through the countryside and take in the sights that inspired some of the late author’s greatest stories.

And how does a cellar stocked with over 10,000 bottles of wine sound? Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself and sample some fine wines in the cellars of the magnificent Waddesdon Manor.

The Grade I listed house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French chateau by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild between 1874 and 1885. The building opened to the public in 1959 and now displays the Rothschild Collections of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. It’s the perfect place to soak up some culture, admire the beautiful manor grounds and take some time out.

3. Kent


Kent; also known as the ‘Garden of England’ for its abundance of orchards and hop gardens, and often referred to as the ‘Gateway to England’ because of its close proximity to mainland Europe.

But we like to know it as a great day out. Why? Because there’s so much to see and do. Located right on the south-east coast of England, and packed with some of the best beaches in Europe and the most Blue Flag beaches in the UK, it’s the perfect place to escape to on a sunny day!

For those not so sunny days, you can shop till you drop at Ashford Designer Outlet where you’ll find top designer brands under one roof. Or head to Bluewater – the largest shopping destination in the south east of England outside of London, where there’s over 330 shops, 40 cafes, bars and restaurants plus a 13-screen cinema to keep you occupied.

And if it’s history and culture you’re after, Kent is a treasure trove of historic attractions so you won’t be disappointed. From beautiful castles steeped in history such as Hever Castle, Leeds Castle and Dover Castle and historic dockyards, to the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral they’re all waiting to be explored.

If you’re visiting London and its surrounding counties, why not stay with us at One Penrhyn Road? Summer accommodation available until 2nd September with rooms available from just £215 per week. Contact us for more information on summer bookings. 

Christmas in Kingston


The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping and the John Lewis television advert has officially been released – which can only mean one thing; Christmas is coming. And for those of you living in or visiting Kingston over the coming weeks, there are lots of things going on to get you in the festive spirit.

Kingston Christmas Market
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to a Christmas Market. And the good news is, you haven’t got to travel across Europe to find one. From 16th November – 31st December, the streets of Kingston will be transformed into an Alpine Village packed with traditional wooden cabins spreading throughout Ancient Market Place in the town centre. Warm up with a cup of mulled wine from the bar, dig into some classic street food, enjoy the live entertainment and soak up the festive atmosphere. And if you’re looking to give something more than just socks this year, there are lots of handmade gifts and stocking fillers to be discovered.

Alice in Winterland
For many, going to see a show or pantomime in December is all part of the parcel of Christmas time. If that’s you, then you’re in luck. The Rose Theatre in Kingston have taken Lewis Caroll’s timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland and adapted it for an amazing new festive stage production, Alice in Winterland. Follow Alice through a world of ice and imagination on her quest to save Winterland. The production will be live on stage from 7th December until 7th January, so there’s plenty of time for you to go on a magical adventure.

Christmas shopping
Not sure what to buy your family and friends this year? Looking for some inspiration? If you’ve got shopping to do, head to Kingston and you’re sure to find the perfect gift – no matter who you’re buying for. As the third biggest shopping destination in London, Kingston has everything from arcades packed with independent and specialist boutiques, to shopping malls with big brands such as Apple, Zara and Hollister. And not forgetting high street heroes such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Boots. Kingston has Christmas wrapped up!

Festive food
There’s no better excuse to get together with your friends, feast upon food and enjoy a drink or two, than Christmas. And in Kingston, you won’t be short of somewhere to wine and dine. Whether it’s cocktails or mulled wine, fine dining or pub grub, there’s a place to suit every taste and mood. So, before you and your friends all head home for the holidays, plan an afternoon or evening out to catch up and enjoy some festive fun together.

Looking for student accommodation in London? Rooms available for Semester 2, January 2018. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Student sport in Kingston


Sport is often a big part of student life – whether it’s rugby, netball, swimming or simply going to the gym. But one of the most popular sports in the UK is football.

So, how many of you are big football fans? Do you enjoy watching a match on the big screen down the local pub with your friends? Maybe you prefer watching from the comfort of your own home or in the communal areas at One Penrhyn Road? Or, perhaps you’re someone who braves the chills of winter to experience the game first hand and support your local team from the side lines! Regardless of where you watch the match, it’s always great to be part of the action and atmosphere of a good game of football.

And as a student living in Kingston, there are so many opportunities for you to get involved with the popular sport yourself. You can join the local university team or the local Sunday league, have a knock around in the park with your friends or head down to the local pub to watch a game. You can even watch a match live in London. Why not head over to see Wimbledon AFC v Lincoln City play in the FA cup this weekend (Saturday 4th November)?

Now you know how to get involved in the sport, one of the toughest decisions you might have is deciding who you’re going to support for the season. Here at one Penrhyn Road, we know who we’re supporting…

This year Host have teamed up with Kingston Uni Football Club (KUFC) and we’re proud to be sponsors of the team’s kit. I think you’ll agree with us that they look great! We look forward to seeing them in action and following the team through the football season. We’d like to wish KUFC the best of luck from all of us at Host!

KUFC Mens Football Kit

May Day madness from around the world


This time of year isn’t easy for students and is often dreaded by many. Spending your days endlessly studying to meet deadlines and remembering everything you need to know for your exams. But in the end, those hours you put into revision will pay off as you graduate and enter the world of work. And while you might find yourself working some longer hours now and again in employment, the typical working day will be eight hours a day.

But did you know that our ancestors in London were also thinking a lot about eight hour days too? So much so that almost 1027 years ago to the day, 300,000 of them were demonstrating in Hyde Park in support of a change in legislation for an eight-hour working day – as opposed to the 10 to 16 hour days they were experiencing. And that demonstration was just the beginning of what we now know as May Day.

So, not only do we have our ancestors to thank for the eight hour working day, but also for the extra day off and the long weekend ahead for May Day. How will you be celebrating the long weekend? Well, if you’ve not got any plans and want a break from your revision, why not take some inspiration from others? Here are some fun facts about how people around the globe celebrate May Day:

In Germany, the night before May Day, men cover trees with streamers outside the house of a girl he likes. Whilst the women place flowers or rice in the form of a heart at the house of their beloved one.

It is tradition in Greece to pick flowers and use them to create a May Day wreath to hang on your door.

In France, Lily of the Valley or Dog Rose flowers are given as a symbol of springtime.

Towns across Finland see statues crowned with student caps.

In Bulgaria, rituals are followed to protect people from lizards and snakes, as their May holiday is associated with these ravenous reptiles.

Students in St Andrews in Scotland run into the sea at sunrise to celebrate spring. This often involves very little clothes…!

If you head to Durham in the northeast of England, you’ll come across another student tradition to celebrate Spring. Students gather on Prebends Bridge to see sunrise, and they celebrate with a BBQ breakfast, folk music, dancing and singing.

The Italian’s celebrate Spring with a seasonal feast.

And what about here in London? Well, the traditional way to celebrate May Day include Morris dancing, the crowning of a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole. But, if you don’t fancy doing that, then here are some top events going on in and around the city this weekend.

If you’re in need of a place to live while you study in London, contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas at One Penrhyn Road.

5 things to do within 5 miles of One Penrhyn Road.


Whether you’re a lover of performing arts or enjoy the fresh air of the countryside, there’s something for everyone in and around Kingston. Take your pick – who knows, you might even be inspired to try something new!

1. Sports fans
Whether you’re a regular player or a keen supporter, if you love rugby, travel less than five miles down the road from us and you’ll find yourself at Twickenham Stadium – the home of England Rugby. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on tickets to a big match, the excitement and electric atmosphere of a match day is a must. Or take a stadium tour to see the most exciting and exclusive areas of the stadium and learn about the stadium’s history – student discounts available too!

2. Royal explorers
Located less than two miles away, make the most of a sunny day and head to Hampton Court Palace. Here you can step back in time and explore the grounds and wander the corridors of the historic palace that was once owned by King Henry VIII. Pack your picnic to enjoy in one of the many Palace gardens and don’t forget your student ID card to take advantage of student discounts upon entry.

3. Theatre fanatics
If music, drama and performing arts is more your thing, the Rose Theatre will be right up your street. From intimate to epic, with a whole host of productions being performed at the theatre throughout the year, you’re sure to find one that takes your fancy. If you’re under 26 year olds, you can also get your hands on tickets for just £5 Monday – Thursday, and if that wasn’t enough, the theatre is only a 2 minute walk away from us so you really don’t have far to go to enjoy a night out at the theatre!

4. Animal lovers
For those of you who have a soft spot for animals, a trip to Chessington Zoo is well worth a visit. Jump in the car and within 20 minutes you’ll find yourself face to face with everything from tigers and gorillas to zebras and meerkats, and you’ll also meet the Zoo’s very own Lion King, Kamal. When you’re done on land, go underwater at the SEA LIFE centre and catch a glimpse of the sharks and the stingrays. Take a trip on Saturday 4th March and entry will cost you just £10 – after that it’ll cost you £15.

5. Adrenaline junkies
Are you a bit of a daredevil? Do you enjoy being active? If yes, then you’ll love White Spider Climbing. It’s one of the UK’s largest climbing centres and there are lots of climbing routes and boulder problems to choose from, and with over 2,000m² of great climbing, you won’t be short of options.  The centre is located just three miles away and prices start from just £9 per session – so, what are you waiting for? It’s time to climb!

The best part about all of the above attractions and activities? After a busy and fun day out, you haven’t got far to travel to get home to our student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road! So, if you like the sound of One Penrhyn Road and you’re looking for a place to live this September, please contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in London


Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it is also known as, is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. The first day of the New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, and ends 15 days later on the full moon. Each New Year is represented by one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

This year is the year of the Rooster, and the first day of the Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 28th January. And if you’re looking to join in the celebrations, there are lots of festivities going on in London to welcome in the New Year.

Head down to Trafalgar Square on Sunday 29th January where an opening ceremony with special guests will take place to kick off the celebrations. Then follow a colourful parade through the city, and stage performances including acrobats, dragon and flying lion dances, martial arts and much more. Don’t forget to visit a stall-filled Chinatown for even more fun and activities with food stalls and dancing. Then make your back to Trafalgar Square to end the evening where they’ll be fireworks and a spectacular show.

Check out visitlondon.com for more information about the celebrations. If you’re a student living at Host, pop down to reception and find out if there are any events taking place in the hall to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Here at One Penrhyn Road all our luxurious studios have a purpose built study area as standard and our students are able to take advantage of our clean and airy communal study areas. To find out how you can join our thriving student community in 2017 please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 for more information and to make a booking.

Enjoy fireworks in Kingston this November


The clocks have gone back, the nights are darker and the days are shorter. Winter has arrived in the UK. But it’s not all bad. The start of November is associated with Guy Fawkes and fireworks.

It was on 5th November 1605, that Guy Fawkes was arrested and his plot to blow-up the House of Lords was foiled. And since then, this date has been commemorated every year by lighting bonfires and setting off fireworks. And this year is no different.

If you’re hoping to see an extravagant firework display in the local area, then look no further. Kingston upon Thames Round Table & Rotary Club are holding a firework display this Friday, 4th November.

The event is taking place at Kingsmeadow Stadium, with doors opening from 6.30pm. They’ll be live music and funfair rides to keep you entertained before the firework display starts at 8pm. The firework display has even been designed to flow with the music!

The best part? Kingsmeadow Stadium is located just over a mile away from One Penrhyn Road, so you won’t have far to go to enjoy the display. Find out more here.

Here at One Penrhyn Road all our luxurious studios have a purpose built study area as standard and our students are able to take advantage of our clean and airy communal study areas. To find out how you can join our thriving student community please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 for more information and to make a booking.

Fright Night at Thorpe Park this Halloween


Fright Night at Thorpe Park is back! And this time, it’s bigger and better than ever before. This October sees the return of Fright Night live action horror maze classics including The Big Top, Saw Alive and The Cabin in The Woods. Plus, new for 2016, walk The Island’s deserted railroad at Platform 15 or venture into the black hills wood in The Blair Witch maze if you dare.

If that wasn’t enough to give you the creeps, then why not take a ride on one of the park’s thrilling rollercoasters? From the UK’s first winged rollercoaster, SWARM, to Europe’s fastest and tallest rollercoaster, Stealth, experience them all this Halloween in the dark.

With Thorpe Park less than 40 minutes away from One Penrhyn Road, it’s definitely a worthwhile trip if you’re looking for some scary fun this Halloween. Thorpe Park’s Fright Nights are on from 3pm during 21st – 31st October and tickets are available from £29.99. Find out more here.

Our London student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out of your student life. If you would like to find out more about living with us, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119. 

Kingston Freshers’ Week 2016


You done it; you got the results, you’ve moved in and now it’s time for the fun (and hard work) to begin! And as a fresher in Kingston, there’s plenty for you to see, do and enjoy. Along with enrolment and other activities your university has scheduled for welcome week, here are two events you won’t want to miss…

Freshers’ Ball: Thursday 22nd September
Every year there’s a Freshers’ ball for students in Kingston and it’s one of the biggest nights of the week – so make sure you add this one to your calendar. This year’s ball is at Przym nightclub in the centre of Kingston, and there’s a circus theme too!

With special guest DJs, a magician, circus entertainment, face painting, a photo booth and much more – it’s sure to be a night to remember. Oh, and don’t forget to dig out your fancy dress costume to really get in the party spirit.

Freshers’ Fayre: Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd September
The biggest Freshers’ fayre in the South East returns to Kingston this September and it’s definitely one not to be missed. Taking place over 2 days the Kingston Hill Campus will be taken over by local restaurants, shops, nightclubs, and companies who will all be handing out freebies for you to get your hand on!

You’ll also be able to find out more about university life and what options are available to you as a student in Kingston – including the societies and sports clubs you can join, how to become a course or student representative, opportunities to volunteer and student jobs, plus much more.

And if all of that wasn’t enough to tempt you to visit then how about some free pizza? The fayre is being sponsored by Domino’s, which means free pizza for everyone!

One Penrhyn Road is a great location to get the very best out your student life. If you would like to find out more about our student accommodation, please call us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119.

Kingston Carnival returns this weekend


With September here, last month’s Olympic games in Rio feel like a distant memory. But what if you could re-live the wonderful colours and excitement of Rio all over again?

This Sunday (4th September), sees the return of Kingston Carnival to the streets of South West London. And this, year, there’s a special Brazilian-theme and green ideology inspired by the Rio Olympics.

Now in its 14th year, Kingston Carnival brings together local communities and celebrates diversity. Along with dancing, live music, stalls and food available between 12pm – 7pm, there’s also the main street parade taking place at 12pm from Guild Hall.

So, head down to Kingston this weekend where you can join in with the fun and celebrations – what’s more, it’s free to attend!