Redeveloped, reimagined and reinvigorated. It’s time you rediscovered this area of London.
If you used to know King’s Cross – maybe even avoided it – you are in for a jaw-dropping shock. The 67-acre site demands to be explored now it has poshed-up warehouses converted into shops, restaurants and an art college. More than 1,900 homes have been built, but there’s a spacious feel to this new region on the Camden/Islington border, N1C.
At Battle Bridge Place, between King’s Cross and St Pancras stations admire Jacque Rival’s IFO (Identified Flying Object), aka the swing in the giant birdcage (pictured above). Then walk north up King’s Boulevard to find a Viewing Platform, near the Railway Children musical, to help get your bearings.
Visit the newly open House of Illustration, off Granary Square. Show tickets are around £7 or browse the amazing card and book selection in the shop. www.houseofillustration.org.uk
SPEND THE DAY
The Visitor Centre on Stable Street between the new heart of the area, Granary Square, and Lewis Cubitt Square has a scale model of the 20 new streets and 10 new public spaces created at King’s Cross – as well as free maps. Next spring join a free guided tour run on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, book at www.kingscross.co.uk. Then enjoy brunch at the popular Grain Store in Granary Square.
TAKE A SEAT
Watch the world and office workers go by at calming Pancras Square which has elegant water steps, lawns and a 60-year-old oak tree. Another good spot to sit is at Granary Square watching the water spouts change (8am-11.30pm).
Find where the Skip Garden is now – because it moves – then eat at their café with its hearty seasonal menu. Or book a swim at the pretty, but unheated, King’s Cross Pond Club.
The huge new Waitrose in the old Midland Goods Shed has a cooking school. Or try tree ID at Camley Street Natural Park.
The memorial stone for Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who wrote A vindication of the Rights of Women and eccentric Sir John Soanes’ family tomb which inspired the design of the phone box. Both are at St Pancras Old Church – said to be the oldest site of worship in London – just 10 minutes walk from the Eurostar. Try the new book In Search of Mary by Bee Rowlatt (Alma Books, £12.99). www.maryonthegreen.org
This pre-development aerial image of the site helps us to understand the full scope of work being undertaken at King’s Cross.
King’s Cross is one of the largest and most exciting developments in Europe. After 150 years of industrial use, the area to the north of the King’s Cross and St Pancras stations is being transformed into a vibrant new city quarter.
TAKE A TOUR |
These tours will help you discover King’s Cross – past, present and future. There are free guided tours conducted by the knowledgable team at the King’s Cross Visitor Centre, or do-it-yourself walk arounds which you can do with an app or with a map. Book your guided tour at tours.kingscross.co.uk
Age UK Islington are arranging a free tour with coffee and cake in March. Call Polly on 020 7281 6018 to book your place.