I’ve listed down my favourite ten things to do in Kings Cross. This area has been undergoing a massive regeneration scheme for years now and there is so much to do and see. Quite a few activities are completely free which makes it well worth exploring. If you’re looking for Kings Cross attractions, free activities in London or places to explore in London, you’ll enjoy my list of things to do in Kings Cross.
Ten Things to do in Kings Cross
Admire Art at St Pancras International: If you head upstairs at the St Pancras International station, you will discover two important statues and a clock to take photographs of. The adorable statue of Sir John Betjeman, a poet and railway enthusiast who saved the station from being torn down in the 1960s. This 2.1m bronze sculpture is by Martin Jennings which shows Betjeman holding on to his hat as he looks up. Behind the Betjeman statue you will notice a gigantic Dent clock which is a re-construction by the original. Just under the clock you can admire The Meeting Place, a 9m tall bronze of two lovers kissing standing on a base with an intricate with a frieze by sculptor Paul Day.
Enjoy a Drink at Searcys St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar: While you’re admiring the statues you’ll be close to the iconic Searcys St Pancras Grand Champagne Bar which is actually the longest in Europe with seating for 110 people. Situated in the station on the upper level you benefit from panoramic views of the station and that amazing wrought iron and glass ceiling above which is quite spectacular. Snuggle up with your lover in a booth which is provocatively styled with art deco lamps and a little button which you can press when you need a top up of champagne! You can order rock oysters and wash those down with your vintage bubbly.
Enjoy Peace and Quiet at St Pancras Old Church and St Pancras Gardens: Get that village feeling and escape from the busy Kings Cross Streets. Visit St Pancras Old Church which is set in grounds with a grave yard and the mausoleum of the neo-classical architect Sir John Soane. There is also a monument which was put up in 1877 to remember the graves which were cleared to create a public park.
Frolic in the Fountains at Granary Square: Granary Square has been re-developed from Victorian warehouses into a public space with restaurants and Central Saint Martin’s Art College campus. When the weather is hot you can run through the fountains in Granary Square which is very popular for kids (and adults). The fountain is made up from 1080 jets which squirt and splash. With benches nearby you can whip off your shoes and socks and frolic to your hearts content!
Eat Fresh Food in a Skip: Okay, this isn’t as rough as it sounds. Behind Granary Square at the top of Lewis Cubitt Park you will find a very cute Global Generation Skip Garden with a lovely café. Here they grow herbs and veggies and have created mini gardens inside skips. I sampled the food at the café which is made using produce from the garden. There are alfresco seats and an upper deck above the café. Enjoy a healthy salad, homemade quiche and cakes in the sunshine.
Saunter Along Regents Canal: My favourite thing to do in London is walk along the Regents Canal. At Granary Square you will see steps down to the canal so do explore. In one direction you can walk to Paddington Basin and in the other to Limehouse Basin. There are some exciting stops along the way including Little Venice, Regents Park, London Zoo and Camden Market. You can read my feature called Regents Canal Walk London to find out more.
Go Wild at Camley Street Natural Park: Along the canal you will come across a natural haven in a disused coal yard. This Camley Street Natural Park is managed by the London Wildlife Trust. Here you will discover a woodland walk, fernery, pond and floating viewing platform. With beautiful trees and wild flowers, it’s an attraction for birds, bees, butterflies and bats. You will find the Wildwood Community Café situated on the site serving up tasty vegetarian dishes using ingredients from the park and cooked using natural biogas. Read my Camley Street Natural Park feature for more information.
Get a History Lesson at the London Canal Museum: If you’re fascinated about London’s canals, narrowboats, locks, horses and cargoes you can visit the Canal Museum. You will also find out about the city’s ice industry which was very important before we had refrigeration. Carlo Gatti, the Italian ice cream maker, who came to London to sell his famous ice cream is also a focus. Located at 12-13 New Wharf Road, London N1 9RT.
Read a Book at the British Library: The British Library is well worth a visit. Stop to admire the gigantic statue in the piazza of Isaac Newton by Eduardo Paolozzi. The library houses important pieces from the Magna Carta to Leonardo d Vinci’s Notebook. This is a great place to hang out and you can find plenty of plug sockets if you want to do some work on your laptop. Check out the free exhibitions and visit the gift shop.
Browse Around Historic Woburn Walk: If you want to grab a slice of Victorian London head for this wonderful pedestrian street. Here you will find some cute old style shops and eateries which have beautiful bow windows. Thomas Cubitt designed this street back in 1822 and it still maintains many original features. The poet William Butler Yeats lived at 18 Woburn Buildings between 1895 and 1919. It’s just so adorable and a great place to visit if you want to turn back time and experience the London of yesteryear.
More Things to do in Kings Cross
I listed ten main things to do in the area but if you do have more time you might also want to seek out the following: Visit the House of Illustration, a gallery dedicated to illustration founded by Sir Quentin Blake. Attend the Railway Children play at a real railway station at the Kings Cross Theatre. See a free exhibition at the Wellcome Collection which connects medicine with life. Catch up on culture at Kings Place, an independently funded arts and conference venue which showcases everything from spoken word to music and art. Do something creative at Drink, Shop and Do which is a café by day and a bar at night with cool activities like screen printing tote bags.
Things to do in Kings Cross Research
If you want to read up more about the area, you might find this Kings Cross official website helpful. Happy exploring!
Author: Homegirl London. Photographs: Homegirl London.