As a tourist or a Londoner, when you think of London neighbourhoods to explore you very rarely think of King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston. However, as a tourist it’s a great place to stay with loads of hotels in King’s Cross, which is in zone 1. And then there’s the great transport links, including trains to all parts of the UK and the Eurostar to France and Belgium. But it’s not an area to explore, right?
Over the last few years, the area has undergone a huge transformation and had lots of investment. Even Google and YouTube have offices in King’s Cross. And it’s still being developed with new apartments, shops and restaurants going up in Autumn.
I was given a challenge by Hotels.com to explore King’s Cross St Pancras and Euston with £100 in my pocket to show just how much there is to do there. Challenge accepted! I took my friend Kaye with me and off we went.
If you’re a culture vulture, you’ll love these areas. Start off in Euston at the Wellcome Collection. It’s a free museum and library that connects science, medicine, life and art in a number of exhibitions, tours and events. When we visited there was an exhibition on teeth and all things dentistry, an exhibition about cows and one on free diving (diving using just your own breath).
There is also a restaurant and a cafe, as well as my favourite room – the Reading Room, where you can sit quietly and read or work. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Be sure to check out their shop, where you’ll find some really cool and interesting books and gifts. I bought a book for my nephew and a gorgeous pencil pin badge for myself.
Once you’ve seen all there is to see, head over to The British Library. Again, there are a host of events, talks and collections to explore as well as reading rooms and a cafe. After the library, head towards the shops and restaurants in Granary Square, King’s Cross St Pancras. You’ll pass the absolutely stunning 5 star St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – look out for the purple car that’s featured on many an Instagram feed.
A couple of years ago, the only shopping at Euston and King’s Cross St Pancras was in the stations themselves. Granary Square is changing all that. There are a host of shops to get your shopping fix, such as & Other Stories, Jigsaw, Sweaty Betty, Tom Dixon and 18montrose as well as markets. Check them all out here. I had to resist the urge to spend a small fortune in & Other Stories! For quirky, affordable shopping, check out Hema in Euston Station. It’s a Dutch store that sells everything from snacks to make-up and kitchenware. It’s awesome!
And if you need somewhere to sit down after all that culture and shopping, take a seat by Regent’s Canal. It’s so lovely when the sun is out. You can watch all the boats go by.
Kaye and I needed a coffee after exploring the museums so we headed to Fortnum and Mason in King’s Cross St Pancras Station. They have a shop that sells their famous branded products, such as tea and biscuits, as well as a restaurant. I was feeling a bit peckish as I’d not had breakfast so I had some crumpets with jam. They also do afternoon tea if you fancy it. Fortnum’s is a lovely calm oasis in an otherwise busy station.
For lunch (or dinner) there are so many options to choose from but, as it was such a lovely day, we wanted somewhere with outside seating. The Lighterman seemed a good choice, with it’s terrace. I’ve actually been before for a Sunday roast so I knew the food was good.
They were refurbishing their kitchen so the menu was limited so we went for the vegetarian sharing plate to start, which had carrots and dip and toasted sourdough, mozzarella, olives, tomatoes and roasted peppers. Sunshine on a plate!
I then had the hot smoked salmon flatbread and Kaye had the vegetarian one with peppers, aubergine and cheese. They were absolutely delicious! The flatbread was thin and crispy and yummy.
We were really full after lunch, which was a shame as there was such a cute ice cream van selling handmade ice cream. I’m sure they did a roaring trade though as there were so many kids running through the water fountains in the square, trying to cool off.
Kaye and I had a wonderful time exploring Euston and King’s Cross StPancras. It has changed so much over the last couple of years and there’s so much to see and do. We decided to walk off our lunch with a walk along the canal. You can find yourself in Camden in just 20 minutes! Oh and if canals are your thing, there’s the London Canal Museum in King’s Cross too.
This post was in collaboration with Hotels.com. I was given a budget but was free to choose what I did and what I spent it on.