When selecting the perfect neighborhood to base yourself in, Kings Cross often emerges as a top contender. Its revitalized image, key transport links, and diverse attractions make it a prime choice for tourists.
Reasons to Stay in Kings Cross
1. Strategic Location with Robust Transport Links:
Kings Cross, historically known as a major railway hub, boasts the famous Kings Cross St. Pancras Station. This means that when you stay in this area, you’re connected not just to other parts of London but also to the rest of the UK and even Europe. The Eurostar service runs from St. Pancras, offering direct connections to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam. Within London, the Underground network from Kings Cross spans multiple lines, ensuring that attractions like the West End, Covent Garden, and The British Museum are just a short tube ride away.
2. Modern Attractions Amidst Historical Charm:
The magnificent Gothic architecture of St Pancras Railway Station is a particular highlight of this area, but there’s more. Kings Cross has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, evolving from a gritty transport hub to a shining example of urban regeneration. The Coal Drops Yard is a testament to this transformation. Once an industrial site, it’s now an upscale shopping, dining, and recreational area. Stroll through its cobbled paths, visit boutique shops, or grab a coffee and enjoy the unique blend of modern architecture and preserved Victorian structures.
3. Proximity to London’s Scholarly Heart:
Just a short walk from Kings Cross, you’ll find yourself in Bloomsbury, often regarded as London’s intellectual and literary heart. The British Library, the second-largest library in the world by number of items cataloged, is located right next to St. Pancras Station. It’s not just a haven for scholars but also a delight for any visitor with its exquisite exhibitions and the original manuscripts of many iconic authors, including the likes of Jane Austen and Lewis Carroll.
4. Plentiful Accommodation Options:
Given its key location, Kings Cross offers a diverse range of accommodation options suitable for various budgets. From upscale hotels like the Renaissance London Hotel housed in the historic St. Pancras building to budget-friendly hostels and cozy bed and breakfasts, there’s something for everyone. The area is also known for its short-term rental apartments, perfect for those wanting a homely feel during their stay.
5. Cultural Hotspots and Nightlife:
For those interested in arts and culture, the Kings Place is a contemporary venue hosting concerts, art exhibitions, and events. It’s an architectural delight and a hub for the city’s cultural scene. As for nightlife, Kings Cross doesn’t disappoint. With a plethora of bars, pubs, and clubs, there’s no shortage of places to let your hair down. For a unique experience, visit the ‘Drink, Shop & Do’, a quirky spot that seamlessly transforms from a crafty café during the day to a buzzing bar at night.
6. Pockets of Green Spaces:
While Kings Cross might be viewed predominantly as an urban space, it isn’t devoid of greenery. The Camley Street Natural Park, a hidden gem, offers an urban oasis with its diverse habitats, including ponds, marshes, and meadows. It’s a serene place to take a break from the city’s hustle and bustle.
7. A Food Lover’s Paradise:
For the culinarily curious, Kings Cross provides a melting pot of diverse food options. From classic British fare to international delicacies, the choices are endless. Granary Square, with its multitude of restaurants and eateries, is an ideal spot to satiate your taste buds. ‘Dishoom’, for instance, offers delectable Bombay-inspired dishes, while ‘Caravan’ serves a fusion of global flavors.
Is Kings Cross a safe place to stay?
King’s Cross in London has undergone significant redevelopment and improvement in terms of safety and amenities. It is generally considered safe for tourists and travelers. However, like any urban area, it’s essential to exercise standard precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, securing your belongings, and avoiding poorly lit or deserted areas at night.
Places to Stay in Kings Cross, London
Kings Cross, once known mostly for its transportation significance, has emerged over the years as a destination unto itself. Its renaissance, driven by strategic development and regeneration, has brought forth an array of places to stay that cater to various tastes and budgets. Here’s a deep dive into some of the most notable options:
1. Upscale Luxury – St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel:
History and Grandeur Combined: This iconic hotel is housed in the historic St. Pancras Railway Station building, offering guests a chance to step back in time while still enjoying modern amenities. Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, its neo-gothic facade is just the beginning. The interiors, with their grand staircases and period details, exude old-world charm. Guests can experience the luxury of spacious rooms, a spa, and high-end dining options.
2. Boutique Elegance – Megaro Hotel:
Quirkiness Meets Comfort: Situated just opposite St. Pancras, Megaro Hotel is a boutique option with a dash of flair. With uniquely designed rooms showcasing vibrant wallpaper, edgy artwork, and chic furniture, it stands out from the typical hotel vibe. Their downstairs bar serves delightful cocktails, and the Megaro Eatery is an ode to modern British cuisine with an Italian twist.
3. Budget-Friendly and Hip – Generator Hostel:
Social Vibes and Affordability: For younger travelers or those on a tight budget, Generator Hostel offers a trendy and wallet-friendly option. Beyond just dormitory-style rooms, they also offer private rooms for those seeking a bit more solitude. The hostel boasts a vibrant atmosphere with its bar, cinema room, and chill-out areas. It’s not just a place to sleep but also a hub for social interactions with fellow travelers from around the world.
4. Cozy Bed & Breakfast – The Harrison:
Personal Touch with a Homely Feel: Tucked away on a quiet street, The Harrison offers a more intimate and personal stay experience. With just a handful of rooms, guests can enjoy the homely vibe while being treated to a sumptuous traditional English breakfast each morning. The establishment also houses a pub on the ground floor, which is known for its folk music nights, adding a touch of local flavor to the stay.
5. Serviced Apartments – Kings Cross Apartments:
Home Away from Home: For families or travelers who prefer a more self-sufficient setup, serviced apartments offer the perfect balance between hotel luxury and homely comfort. Kings Cross Apartments, located close to the station, offer fully-furnished apartments that come equipped with kitchens, living rooms, and all the amenities one might need for a longer stay. It allows tourists to feel like a local, even preparing their meals after a visit to the nearby markets.
6. Classic Elegance – The Great Northern Hotel:
Victorian Charm with Modern Amenities: Another historic gem in the Kings Cross area, The Great Northern Hotel first opened its doors in the 1850s. Having been meticulously restored, it now offers rooms that are a blend of Victorian charm and modern elegance. Their restaurant, Plum + Spilt Milk, is an attraction in itself, known for its classic British dishes.
7. Trendy and Modern – Clink78:
Vibrant and Youthful: This budget-friendly option offers both dormitory-style and private rooms. What makes Clink78 unique is its history. The building was once a courthouse, and travelers can even stay in an authentic converted cell! The hostel frequently organizes events, DJ nights, and live music, ensuring guests always have something fun to look forward to.
When it comes to picking the perfect place to stay in Kings Cross, the decision often boils down to personal preferences. The neighborhood’s transformation over the years ensures that whether you’re a luxury traveler or a backpacker, a history buff or a modern art enthusiast, Kings Cross has something tailor-made for you.
Examples of a Day in Kings Cross:
- Morning: Start your day with a hearty breakfast at ‘The Pitted Date’, known for its vegan pancakes and avocado toasts. Follow it up with a visit to the British Library, immersing yourself in the world of books and knowledge.
- Afternoon: Head to Coal Drops Yard for some retail therapy. Grab a light lunch at ‘Morty & Bob’s’ famed for its grilled cheese sandwiches. After lunch, a stroll along the Regent’s Canal Towpath would be refreshing, leading you towards the beautiful Little Venice or the bustling Camden Market.
- Evening: As the sun sets, venture to Granary Square. Enjoy the interactive fountains, especially if you’re traveling with kids. Dine at ‘The Lighterman’, overlooking the canal, serving dishes inspired by British classics.
- Night: If you’re up for some nightlife, ‘Scala’ is one of the most popular nightclubs in the area, offering diverse music genres. Or for a quieter evening, ‘The Fellow’ is a cozy pub perfect for a pint and some classic pub grub.