Things to Do in Kings Cross, London

London
February 9, 2024

When it comes to vibrancy, dining spots, bars, London's King's Cross is a unique neighbourhood that has something for everyone. Whether you're a history buff or a foodie, an art lover or a shopaholic, this neighbourhood has it all. In this article, we'll explore the myriad things to do in Kings Cross, taking you on a journey through its famous streets and show you what makes this area of the UK so special.

We'll highlight the must-visit spots, including Gasholder Park, Platform 9 ¾, and Granary Square with its fun-filled fountains and Queer Britain museum. We'll also explore culinary experiences that await you after arriving at King's Cross station, as well as the museums and galleries that showcase the area's rich history and contemporary art scene. Moreover, we'll guide you through the shopping experiences available at Coal Drops Yard and Canopy Market.

Lastly, you'll get great insights into the entertainment options available in King's Cross for those looking to dance the night away or relax in one of its green spaces. Join us as we uncover of the most dynamic cultural hubs in London!

Contents

  1. What makes King's Cross London unique?
  2. How accessible is London's King's Cross for Tourists?
  3. How accessible is London's King's Cross for Tourists?
  4. Must-visit spots in Kings Cross
  5. A culinary journey through King's Cross
  6. Pique your curiosity with London's museums and galleries
  7. A shopper's paradise in King's Cross London
  8. Relaxing green spaces in King's Cross

What makes King's Cross London unique?

Celebrated for its unique blend of history, culture, and vibrant urban energy, King's cross has become one of the most cherished destinations in the UK. This area's charm lies in its transformation from a humble rural hamlet known as Battle Bridge to a bustling, culturally rich district.

Kings Cross London


The opening of King’s Cross train station in 1852 was a pivotal moment, attracting people from across Britain and leading to the development of thriving businesses and entertainment venues.

Over time, this area of London gained a reputation as a hub of excitement and culture, featuring a lively mix of art galleries, theatres, shops, and restaurants catering to a diverse range of tastes. The upshot? There are a heap of exciting, exhilarating, and memorable things to do in kings cross!

How accessible is London's King's Cross for Tourists?

Map of tube stations with circle around kings cross
Kings Cross London

Image taken from: https://www.mapway.com/kings-cross-st-pancras-tube-directions/

Given that Kings Cross Station is one of the biggest transport hubs, not just in London, but the whole of the UK, navigating the area is breeze. St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, The Big Chill, and the famous clock tower, are all very near to Kings Cross. Whether via the tube lines or on foot, you can head to and arrive at any number of Additionally, the area provides great access to North London, South London, and the vibrant scene of Camden Town.

With its connections to St Pancras International Station and Euston Station, navigating to and from King's Cross is convenient for travellers. What's more, in under a few hours, you can get to St Pancras via Eurostar.

We also have a guide on where to store your luggage in Kings Cross, as well as the best self storage options in the area, so you can be free to explore knowing your possessions are safe and secure.

Must-visit spots in Kings Cross

When exploring King's Cross, one of the best things (and closest things) that visitors should check out is St. Pancras International Station, where the iconic clock tower stands tall. The area boasts a vibrant culinary scene, offering a variety of cuisines from around the world such as Middle Eastern delights and German Gymnasium's hearty dishes.

The Sir Henry Welcome collection at the nearby British Library is a must-see for history enthusiasts, while art lovers can explore contemporary pieces at the Gagosian Gallery. All I'm all,

Gasholder Park - A modern-day wonder

Gasholder Park offers a unique blend of historical heritage and modern landscape design. The park is framed by the iconic guide frame of Gasholder No. 8, a Grade II Victorian structure originally constructed in the 1850s to hold coal gas. This historic framework has been innovatively repurposed, creating a distinctive space for relaxation and enjoyment in the heart of the city.

The park's design features a circular lawn and a polished steel pavilion, offering a peaceful retreat alongside the bustling urban environment. At night, thePark transforms with a unique lighting experience, highlighting the stainless steel canopy that sits inside the cylindrical metal frame.

This juxtaposition of the historic and the contemporary makes Gasholder Park a notable destination, blending the area's industrial past with a modern, green space for public enjoyment. Positioned alongside Regent's Canal, the park is not just a picturesque spot but also a symbol of the ongoing redevelopment of King's Cross, demonstrating how industrial structures can be beautifully integrated into urban landscape

Prepare to be charmed by Word on the Water

Welcome to London's magical and quirky floating bookshop, Word on the Water, a delightful find moored on Regent’s Canal Towpath near King's Cross. This enchanting book barge, housed on an old canal boat, surprises visitors with its spacious interior brimming with novels, poetry, and art.

But it's not just about books; this unique venue is a cultural hotspot hosting a variety of events throughout the year.

Kings Cross London


From engaging talks and poetry slams to live music and art exhibitions, Word on the Water is a true treat for bookworms, offering a rich tapestry of experiences for all who step aboard. Securing its permanent spot on the famous Canal in 2015, it has grown to become a beloved destination for both locals and tourists. In our view, for those who want a little quiet charm, it's one of the best things to do in London.

Platform 9 ¾ - A Harry Potter fan's delight

Trolley with luggage against brick wall
Harry Potter Kings Cross London


Calling all Harry Potter Fans! Pack your wands and spell books, and step into the magical world of Harry Potter at Platform 9 ¾, nestled (unsurprisingly!) in King’s Cross station. This famous spot offers an enchanting experience for fans, allowing them to capture memorable photos and fully immerse themselves in the wizarding universe.

With the recent addition of new restaurants, bars, and an inviting outdoor area, it's a delightful destination for the entire family to enjoy the best of Harry Potter's world.

Connect to the past with the Hardy Tree

Nestled in the Great Northern Hotel area, The Hardy Tree held a significant place in history, connecting visitors to the renowned author, Thomas Hardy. Sadly, the tree recently toppled over, but visiting the location is still an enriching experience.

The ancient Ash tree intertwined with the area's rich Victorian architecture and the famous clock tower, making it a compelling site for exploration and discovery. With its link to the past and its ties to literary heritage. The Hardy tree might be no more, but its spirit lives on!

York Road Tube Station

Step into the enigmatic world of the York Road tube station in Kings Cross, an abandoned marvel of early 20th-century London. Opened in 1906 as part of the Great Northern, Piccadilly and Brompton Railway, this station is a hidden gem with its distinct Leslie Green-designed red-tiled façade. Unique for its direct lift access to the platforms, unlike other stations with a mezzanine level, York Road offers a glimpse into a bygone era.

Though it ceased operations in 1932 due to low usage, the station's remnants, like the original tiling and signal cabin, can still be viewed from passing trains. The surface buildings, once derelict, have been refurbished, preserving a piece of London's rich transport history. The London Transport Museum's "Hidden London" tours offer a virtual journey through this intriguing, forgotten station.

To learn more about this historical marvel, check out our guide to London's most famous abandoned tube station.

A culinary journey through King's Cross

Many would agree that one of the best things to do in Kings Cross London is find the perfect place to tantalize your tastebuds! And you're not short of options.

Whether you want to grab a bite from a food truck, a dish from the Middle East, indulge in a gormet restaurant, or visit world-class cocktail bars, Kings Cross offers a diverse array of food, culture, and outdoor experiences.

Close to St Pancras station and Sir Henry Wellcome's famous train platform, the area is a haven for street food, recent restaurants, popping in a bar, or a spot of afternoon tea. From Little Creatures at the German Gymnasium to the historic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, King's Cross provides a delightful blend of gastronomic experiences, making it a prime destination for foodies and casual tourists alike.

(A quick note, Two Floors, the unique, basement cocktail bar (with, of course, two floors) will be reopening in 2024. A welcome end to its hiatus for lovers of the bar.)

From street food to fine dining

Kings Cross London

Nestled in the heart of Kings Cross, the famous coal drops yard beckons with its delectable street food (like from the growing community of Kerb Kings), and vibrant outdoor area, attracting food enthusiasts, bar lovers, and music aficionados alike.

The area's recent renaissance has brought forth new restaurants, offering a perfect blend of culinary delights and open spaces for everyone to enjoy. With the famous Canal nearby and the best pubs and bars around, it's the ideal place for afternoon tea, making it a haven for fine dining experiences.

Sampling the local brews at Beer + Burger

If you're mosing around London and in the mood to eat dirty fries, an alcoholic drink, and a top-tier burger, the Great Northern Hotel, Beer + Burger is for you. A stone's throw from Kings Cross, it's the perfect place to find the best craft beer, an indulgent meal, and a delightful outdoor area.

Undoubtedly one of the most popular bars in London, it's a perfect spot for beer experts and food lovers. Located near the Standard Hotel and the canal, this establishment also provides an array of pubs and recent restaurants, making it an ideal place for enjoying afternoon tea and the area’s culinary delights.

If you're a bear and burger fan, we've little doubt popping into this establishment is one of the best things you can do!

Two Tribes Brewery

In close proximity to King's Cross and St Pancras station, and offering a wonderfully offbeat setting, the Two tribes brewery and taproom is a truly unique experience; one that combines excellent brews with an electric atmosphere, complete with strong music ties. This area, known as Tileyard Studios, is a collection of creative, music, and media offices, which adds an edgy vibe to the brewery.

Far from an ordinary barn, Two Tribes is renowned for its live music and DJs that provide an immersive soundtrack in an industrial, metallic setting reminiscent of a spaceship's interior. Yes, you read that right!

The brewery, featuring 15 taps with a rotating selection of beers, is a haven for beer enthusiasts. The space also includes a courtyard with a mobile pizza oven, enhancing the overall experience with tasty food options.

Roti King

A beloved Malaysian restaurant in Euston, Roti King offers a delightful dining experience for those looking to eat authentic Malaysian dishes like roti canai. This soft, flaky flatbread, served with a bowl of delicious curry, is a highlight of their menu. Roti King's cozy and unpretentious setting is perfect for a no-frills meal with friends.

Along with their signature roti canai, the restaurant also serves other Malaysian favourites like char kway teow, nasi goreng, and a robust laksa, all priced around £9. As a popular spot, be prepared for potential queues at peak hours, but the wait is definitely worth it for the tasty food and warm atmosphere

Delectable dining at Searcy Street

Champaigne
Kings Cross London


For those exploring King's Cross and seeking a touch of elegance, Searcys st at St Pancras International is a must-visit. Nestled right in the heart of he St Pancras Station, it boasts Europe's longest Champagne bar, and is a great place to relax and absorb the grandeur of the station.

Beyond nursing a delicious drink, the Brasserie serves a delightful à la carte menu, making it perfect for travellers, business lunches, or leisurely dining.

Whether you're planning an intimate date or a large event, Searcys provides a stunning setting with private dining options, catering up to 400 guests for standing receptions and 180 for seated dinners. The iconic location of St. Pancras adds a touch of sophistication to your experience, blending historic charm with contemporary luxury.

Pique your curiosity with London's museums and galleries

Kings Cross London


Kings Cross and the surrounding area are a veritable feast for the intellectual among. Either immerse yourself in rich history of canals at the Canal Museum, unlock your inner magician at The Magic Circle, or head over to the UK's preeminent source of knowledge, The British Library. Whatever your fancy, this is just a taste of what Kings Cross London can offer!

Uncover history at the British Library

Explore the vast wealth of human knowledge and culture housed at the British Library. its boasts a whopping 14 floors, packed with an array of historical treasures and literary marvels carefully preserved within its walls.

Grab your spectacles (if you need them) and lose yourself in an extensive collection of books, manuscripts, and significant historical documents, enriching your understanding of global history and literature.

Kings Cross London


This world-renowned institution stands as a testament to the preservation and celebration of human achievement, offering a truly enlightening experience. Keep your eye open for temporary exhibitions

Soak in artistic wonder at the Gagosian Gallery for Contemporary Art

The Gagosian Gallery is a gem for contemporary art enthusiasts, is a must-visit in the King's Cross area. Owned by the renowned Larry Gagosian, this London outpost is one of 11 globally, including galleries in New York, Beverly Hills, and Rome.

Despite its modest size, the Gagosian's large, airy space has hosted exhibitions featuring prominent artists like Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Jackson Pollock, and Roy Lichtenstein. Recently refurbished, it offers an ever-changing program of contemporary art, making each visit a unique experience.

Tucked away from the usual gallery circuit in King's Cross, it has become a popular destination for art buffs, students, and those seeking an offbeat cultural experience. The gallery's layout, consisting of one main room and two smaller ones, is visitor-friendly, offering an intimate setting to appreciate art by major figures and upcoming talents alike.

A shopper's paradise in King's Cross London

Kings Cross London


Where would a list of the best things to do in kings cross be without shopping? Indulge in a distinctive retail experience at the Coal Drops Yard, where eclectic and independent retailers await. Explore the fusion of architecture, fashion, and lifestyle in this vibrant, innovative shopping scene. So, if going for a shop is what stokes your embers, Kings Cross an St Pancras have you covered.

Retail therapy at Coal Drops Yard

Coal Drops Yard
Coal Drops yard Kings Cross London

Originally a coal yard built in 1850, Coal Drops Yard has become a mecca fashion, gastronomy, and lifestyle offerings. In this privately owned public space, you'll find a vibrant, trendy shopping atmosphere and discover stylish, independent boutiques.

Grab your purse or wallet, and explore a unique, experiential retail destination that seamlessly combines heritage and modernity. With a whole host of It's a shopping experience like no other, set against the backdrop of St Pancras. Whether you're a fashion enthusiast or a foodie, you'll find something to love at this iconic destination.

Read our more detailed guide to discover the many pleasure that await you in Coal Drops Yard.

Bargains galore at Canopy Market

Few places can match the vibrant, bustling atmosphere of Canopy Market, where a diverse array of goods awaits your discovery. From artisanal products to delectable food and captivating crafts, the sensory delights of this open-air market are bound to enchant you.

Experience the fusion of local flavour, creativity, and community spirit as you wander through this dynamic marketplace. Let this historic Market treat you to a treasure trove of unique finds and the essence of the local atmosphere.

Entertainment and nightlife in King's Cross

Kings Cross London


Next up in our list of the best things to do in kings cross is, of course, Immerse yourself in the vibrant music and club scene at Scala King’s Cross, pulsating with music and club nights. If you like to visit a bar and be pleasantly surprised by original, underground music, Kings Cross is the place to be.

Catch a show at Scala King’s Cross

Scala King’s Cross is a great spot for those who love electrifying musical performances and club nights. The vibrant, captivating vibrations and event space offer a truly immersive experience. Engage with diverse music, entertainment, and event space, discovering the perfect fusion of live event experiences at Scala.

Take a bold step into a world of pulsating energy diverse entertainment offerings to indulge in the perfect blend of music and nightlife. Oh, and there's also a decent bar so you can enjoy some tipple while you vibe.

Dance the night away at Two Tribes Campfire

And we return to the inimitable Two Tribes, where you can discover the vibrant, convivial ambience of their Campfire venue. A great place to immerse yourself in the dynamic, open-air music and event space. Get ready to indulge in the fusion of live performance and craft beer while engaging with the warm, communal atmosphere.

This outdoor gathering spot offers the perfect blend of entertainment, making it an ideal venue to dance the night away. Experience the vibrant energy of Two Tribes Campfire, creating lasting memories in the heart of King's Cross.

Relaxing green spaces in King's Cross

When it comes to the green spaces of London, Kings Cross is one of the best places to go. Immerse yourself in the tranquil natural surroundings of Camley Street Natural Park, embracing the serene oasis along Regent’s Canal. Here you can discover the perfect blend of urban charm and natural beauty, indulging in the peaceful, scenic environment and experiencing the harmonious coexistence of nature, wildlife, and open space.

Camley Street Natural Park offers a serene escape within the bustling city, allowing visitors to connect with nature and unwind amidst its peaceful surroundings.

While away the hours at Bagley Park

The park's name is a nod to the renowned 90s King's Cross nightclub, Bagleys, yet its roots delve much deeper into history. Originally built in the Victorian era, this structure served as a viaduct, supporting an elevated railway track.

During those times, trains would offload coal into the storage areas beneath. These robust brick arches, once utilitarian, have been transformed into the chic boutiques and eateries of Coal Drops Yard.

Photo of park
Kings Cross London


Extending from the Somers Town Bridge, the park passes by the Fish and Coal Building, which now serves as the headquarters for Tom Dixon and the location of the Coal Office restaurant.

It then gently descends towards Granary Square, creating a seamless blend of historical architecture and contemporary urban design. All in all, Bagley Park is a real wonder of a green space.

Relax at Camley Street Natural Park

Nestled in the heart of Kings Cross, Camley Street Natural Park offers a tranquil escape with diverse habitats including a pond, meadow, and woodland. Visitors can relish bird-watching, picnicking, and nature walks amidst urban charm and natural beauty.

The park's daily free admission also extends to educational programs and volunteer opportunities, making it an ideal retreat for nature enthusiasts and curious minds alike.

Soak in the scenery at Granary Square fountains

A list of the best things to do in Kings Cross wouldn't be complete without a nod to Granary Square. Located in the London Borough of Camden, offers a delightful blend of historic charm and contemporary allure. For those who grew up in the London area, they probably have a memory of running through the iconic fountains and getting soaking wet!

Comparable in size to Trafalgar Square, it forms a significant part of the King's Cross Central development. Known as a privately owned public space, it sits adjacent to the new Central Saint Martins complex, adding to its cultural vibrancy. A key visitor attraction within the square is Queer Britain, the UK's first dedicated museum of LGBT history and culture.

Granary Square Fountains
Kings Cross London


The central feature of Granary square is its fountain, comprising 1,080 individual jets. Each jet can be independently controlled and is equipped with multi-colour illumination, contributing to the mesmerising water choreography that defines the space. In a unique interactive experience, visitors can play a mobile version of the game Snake using the fountain's jets, a feature introduced in March 2015.

Beyond its physical features, Granary Square is a hub of activity and events. If you're in the mood to shop, It hosts a variety of happenings throughout the year, from weekend-long family festivals to Fashion Week shows. The Everyman open-air film festival is a particular highlight, drawing crowds with its outdoor cinema experience.

Markets, concerts, and other cultural events frequently take place in the square, ensuring there's always something to entertain and engage visitors. Keeping an eye on the event calendar is advisable to catch the latest offerings. What's more, you're only a stone's throw from other iconic squares in the area.

For a more detailed insight into this historic area, read our guide to unveiling the secrets of Granary Square.

That wraps up our guide to the best things to do in Kings Cross

Despite how comprehensive this article may appear, this is just a taste of what King's Cross offers - a plethora of attractions and experiences for visitors. From its unique charm to its culinary delights, museums, and galleries, there's something for everyone in this vibrant neighbourhood.

Whether you're a Harry Potter fan looking to visit Platform 9 ¾, a book worm who wants to pour through an ancient manuscript at the British Library, or a foodie looking to sample the local brews, King's Cross has it all. Don't miss the opportunity to explore the green spaces and enjoy the entertainment and nightlife that this area has to offer.

With its accessibility and range of activities, King's Cross is the perfect destination for tourists seeking an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to discover all that King's Cross has in store for you!

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