Kings Cross is an area of London that shows just how quickly a neighbourhood can be redeveloped and changed. Londoners will tell you that it wasn’t long ago when you wouldn’t stop in Kings Cross, it wasn’t that safe and there was nothing to do there anyway! However these days Kings Cross is becoming more and more of a mecca of Restaurants, Hotels, High Rise Office Buildings and constantly improving Transport Links to the rest of the UK and Europe.
I think that Kings Cross and Euston are still very much used as a passage way into and out of London thanks to the 3 main stations that lie within half a mile of each other. If you’re coming into one of these stations from elsewhere in the UK or London, it’s likely you’ll get on the tube and go somewhere else in London, whether that’s to Central London, East London or even West London.
However you can spend a good day in the Kings Cross and Euston neighbourhoods and I’m going to show you how based on a lovely day I had out recently!
If you’re coming into London from elsewhere in the UK, Kings Cross is a great area to check out once you get off the train or before you go home. I’d recommend having a look at train tickets on The Train Line for the best prices.
I like to start the day with Brunch and so does London in general. There are a number of really good brunch places in Kings Cross – Granger and Co, Caravan, Dishoom, German Gymnasium, Drake and Morgan, Spirtland and Vinoteca. All of these are very close to the station and close to each other so if you see a queue at one place, why not head to another place to see if there’s a queue there or not.
I love brunch and I have complied a list of awesome brunch spots all over London so after this, if you need some future brunch inspiration have a look at:
I started my day by going for brunch at Granger and Co with my friend, we had to queue as we went on a Saturday but we got seated pretty quickly, the food there is really good and queuing for brunch is pretty standard in London now anyway so we didn’t mind.
Thanks to the recent redevelopment of Kings Cross this area is now a place where you can actually hang out and chill. Steps down to Regents Canal have been turned into seating, last summer they were a rainbow colour but when I went they were green with fake grass as you can see. Lots of people were sitting here enjoying the sun, having some early afternoon drinks and socialising.
Granary Square is filled with seating in the square and under the trees. It’s really popular with families as the fountains have now turned into a children’s paddling pool when its warm which is really nice, but the area is big enough to avoid this if you want to.
From here I would recommend having a slow walk to and along Regents Canal. There are some really cool and quirky canal boats along here usually. I would definitely recommend starting at Word on the Water which is a floating bookshop on a canal boat. At the time I passed a girl who I assume is the owners daughter, was using the boat as a stage and singing, it was really cute and I read that they have many different people using the stage to do talks and open mic events so you never know what you might see.
Walk West a long Regents Canal Towpath until you get to St Pancras lock. If you’re not from the UK or used to canals then I’m sure you’ll find this really interesting and it would be worth waiting to see the lock open!
On the left will be the old Gas Holders and again, this is a perfect example of the redevelopment of Kings Cross as in place of the old gas holders are flats, in the shape of the old holders!
From here you could continue along the towpath and after 15 minutes or so you will end up in Camden Town and Camden Market. Continuing even further will take you to Regents Park and Little Venice. I have a walking guide blog post about Regents Park and Primrose Hill here if you wish to read it!
You could keep walking and turn back when you are ready, or do as I did, which was to turn right after the Gasholder Park, turn right again along Handyside Street and continue walking until Lewis Cubitt Square and Park, then walk up the side of Lewis Cubitt Park to the Skip Garden which you will see right in front of you.
I had not even heard about Skip Garden until I told a friend at work I was out to explore Kings Cross at the weekend and she recommended it to me, so I’m seeing the Skip Garden as a hidden, local gem that I’ll hopefully be the first person to tell you about too!
Kings Cross Skip Garden is a sustainable, urban garden with a twist. Everything is built using recycled materials, mostly from the construction site nearby. It’s full of flowers, herbs and vegetables with green houses you can walk in to. There’s a beehive and even an insect hotel. There’s lots of seating on various different levels and places within the garden, plus it has a great cafe serving coffee, drinks, healthy lunch options and some cakes too.
The Skip Garden is a total oasis amid the towering, modern offices and flats that surround it and it’s the pefect place to have a tea, a coffee, a cold drink and/or a freshly made snack.
After this head back down towards Granary Square and if you are visiting on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday I would recommend heading to Canopy Market. I went in June and the market was outside as you can see in my photos, however for the rest of the year it’s home is inside West Handyside Canopy. The market is full of street food stalls, unique arts and crafts stalls and usually there will be some live music happening. To check out the timings and for more detail, have a look here.
From here I would suggest heading to the extremely impressive building- St Pancras Renaissance Hotel. This building is my favourite building in London (along with the Natural History Museum) and I think it’s definitely worth coming off Euston Road to the front of the hotel to see it in all its glory!
Next door is the British Library so if you feel like being a bit intellectual or the weather is particularly bad I would recommend going inside.
Continue straight up Euston Road towards Euston Station but turn left down Dukes Road (along side Costa Coffee) and in front of you you’ll start seeing a bit of Old London which is in fact Woburn Walk, a Victorian Pedestrian Street designed in 1822 as the first purpose built, pedestrian shopping street! Much of the shop fronts and buildings have been preserved and kept their original designs and characteristics so its a really unique thing to see in the Euston area of London.
From here, I would recommend crossing the street to Tavistock Square Gardens. It’s a really chilled, quiet, little park. I can imagine that during the week it is full of office people taking a break from their desks, especially in the summer. What I found interesting too is that in the middle of the park is a statue of Gandhi, it was placed here to commemorate the 125th anniversary of his birth and there were a few candles and flowers around it so I assume it’s an important shrine to some people too.
From here, I headed towards Euston Train Station and then back to Kings Cross as it was a beautifully sunny Saturday afternoon and I had heard great things about the roof top bar at Big Chill in Kings Cross. I spent a few hours here, it’s been decorated really nicely and it is the perfect place to be in the summer. They have a dj, they sell food and bar snacks, plus lots of different cocktails and beers.
If this sounds good to you and the weather is good I would definitely recommend you head back to Kings Cross Station and to Big Chill too. If you want to finish your day in a Traditional Pub instead then I would recommend Somer Town Coffee House, which is more of a pub than a coffee house.
Alternatively you could head back to one of the restaurants I mentioned above [for brunch] as they all serve lunch, dinner and drinks later on in the day.
This should give you a great idea of what there is to do in Kings Cross and Euston and how to spend the perfect day here. Afterwards I’m sure you’ll be keen to head back to Kings Cross as as I said, it is constantly changing and developing at the moment and the images on the hoarding of whats to come look really great! Kings Cross is only going to get better and better in my opinion.
If you want some more inspiration on things to do in Kings Cross and Euston, check out Sam from Yoko Meshi’s post:
For more of my London Posts and Guides see:
This post is in collaboration with Hotels.com but all thoughts and opinions are my own.