Urban travel tales

Discover Secret London: King’s Cross

Here is a guest post by the Architect and London resident Elizabeth Pearson. Let her guide you in her favorite places in this area of London.
Where mentioned the photos are by John Sturrock. The painting is by Lewis Cubitt.

With a reputation for drugs and prostitution King’s Cross was once a place in London to avoid at all costs. Now it is undergoing the most amazing transformation; 50 new buildings, 2,000 new homes, 20 new streets and 10 new public squares will bring 45,000 people to live, work and study in the area.
Known locally as the ‘Railway Lands’ in the Victorian era, goods from all over the country were brought here by road, rail and canal for redistribution to the rest of the country.
The buildings from that industrial era are now being creatively converted and reused for art, education, restaurants, shops, housing and business, complimented by new designs.
Masterminded by the developer Argent, the area lies behind King’s Cross and St Pancras stations which have both have been imaginatively renovated and extended in the last 5 years. They are worth a visit in themselves.

urbantraveltales, London King's Cross station

London King’s Cross station

urbantraveltales, London King's Cross station

London King’s Cross station

In St Pancras station the spacing of the columns was designed to allow 7 beer barrels to be stored between them. These spaces are now shops and restaurants.King’s Cross station has a brand new departures terminal and a lovely pub called ‘The Parcel Yard’ converted from the old parcel depot.

urban travel tales, Secret London, Granary Basin, painting by Lewis Cubitt

Granary Basin, Painting by Lewis Cubitt

The imposing brick ‘Granary Building’ (formerly a grain store) is now home to the prestigious Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design. It has many famous alumni including Alexander McQueen and Colin Firth. In front of the art school is a new square with banks of fountains that delight both children and adults.

urban travel tales, Secret London, Granary Square, King's Cross

Granary Square, photo by John Sturrock

They are beautifully lit at night. For eating and drinking try the stylish and chic restaurant ‘Caravan‘.

urbantraveltales,Secret London,Caravan,The Granary

Caravan, The Granary, photo by John Sturrock

The nearby ‘Filling Station’, a pop up bar and restaurant, was once a petrol station. Other highlights of the area include the green oasis of Camley Street Natural Park and King’s Place, which offers music performances, a sculpture gallery and a place to sit by the canal in the evening sunshine.

urban travel tales, Secret London, King's Cross The Filling Station

The Filling Station, photo by John Sturrock

For more information http://www.kingscross.co.uk/

As noted the photos are by John Sturrock. The painting is by Lewis Cubitt.

You may also want to check my post
Secret London: Trafalgar Square, Fourth Plinth https://urbantraveltales.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/secret-london-trafalgar-square-fourth-plinth/

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