Things to do in King's Cross and St Pancras, London

The area of King's Cross in London has seen a great deal of development during the past few years; step off the Eurostar and explore.
King's Cross and St Pancras station on a clear day with blue skies in London.
Travel to King's Cross and St Pancras by train. Image courtesy of Reid.
  • King's Cross and St Pancras are two connected rail terminals, from which you can travel across the UK and to Europe.

  • King's Cross St Pancras is a single Tube station.

  • Cultural destinations in the area include arts centre Kings Place, the Gagosian Gallery, British Library and Bloomsbury Theatre.

  • King’s Cross is full of bars and restaurants, many of them along the canalside as well as surrounding the station.

King’s Cross is one of London’s most newly regenerated areas. With 50 new buildings, 20 new streets and 10 new public squares, it is a dynamic and exciting place to be. As indication, businesses such as Google UK and The Guardian newspaper have set up London headquarters here, and the Eurostar connects London with mainland Europe.

It is also home to several cultural institutions – such as Central St Martins and Kings Place – as well as many bars and restaurants, like The St Pancras Grand.

King's Cross was named after a huge monument of King George IV in 1835, which stood where King's Cross station - designed by the architect Lewis Cubitt – now resides. Following the Second World War, this busy industrial district underwent economic decline and, by the 1990s, was in need of regeneration.

Travel to King's Cross and St Pancras by train

King's Cross and St Pancras International stations both provide trains in and out of London. Some of the major UK cities that connect with King's Cross by rail are:

  • Leeds
  • York
  • Edinburgh
  • Cambridge
  • Nottingham

Travel across London from King's Cross 

There are also a number of Tube lines and bus routes that stop at King's Cross St Pancras. You can also find taxis waiting outside both stations.

Eurostar: King's Cross and St Pancras International

St Pancras International is home to Eurostar, London's high-speed rail link with Paris, Brussels and continental Europe.

St Pancras station is also a great place to pick up last-minute gifts, gourmet food, clothes and accessories from stores that include Hamleys, Neuhaus and LK Bennett. Stop off at Europe's longest champagne bar for a well-deserved drink afterwards!

King's Cross station has also recently been restored; prominent new features include the stunning extension of its arched glass roof and an open-air piazza.

Culture in King's Cross

Inside the British Library, a cultural institution in London's King's Cross area.

Relatively cheap rents and a central London location make King's Cross attractive to artists and designers, attractions and cultural establishments:

  • a major arts centre, Kings Place, next to the Regent's Canal hosts numerous art, music, live comedy and cultural events throughout the year
  • both Antony Gormley and Thomas Heatherwick have studios in the area
  • The London Sinfonietta and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment are both based here, alongside the Pangolin Sculpture Gallery;
  • Central St Martins College of Art and Design has taken up residence in the Granary Building, which looks out over Granary Square, a new public space decorated with more than 1,000 coloured fountains
  • the cutting-edge Gagosian Gallery moved its main London premises to King's Cross in 2004

Kings Cross has a heritage of nurturing arts and culture. The British Library is located next to St Pancras Station, displaying some of the world's most famous written and printed items, such as the Magna Carta (1215) and Shakespeare's First Folio. The London Canal Museum commemorates the importance of London's canals. The fascinating Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, London's first home for abandoned babies. The area also features a number of theatres, including the Shaw Theatre and the Bloomsbury Theatre.

The Camley Street Natural Park is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of King's Cross: spot wildlife, relax by the pond and learn more at the park's visitor centre. The peaceful St Pancras Old Church is also worth a visit: look out for the Grade I listed mausoleum of Sir John Soane, which inspired the design of London's red telephone boxes.

Eat, drink and shop in King's Cross

Two women holding shopping bags and talking in front of shops in King's Cross area in London.

King's Cross is full of lively bars, some of which are relatively new to the area, such as, the Spanish Camino, Drink Shop Do and VOC.

If you're feeling peckish, there is a great selection of restaurants, including the Caravan cafe, Golden Arrow at Pullman London St Pancras or Bruno Loubet’s Grain Store.

Pubs in the area include The Lighterman, The Fellow, and The Driver.

For a quick snack at lunch, the Sourced Market in St Pancras International station offers a diverse range of gourmet foods.

Or venture to the area's newest food and shopping destination, Coal Drops Yard, for more top places to eat and drink, plus great fashion finds, statement stores, art installations and regular pop-ups, talks and workshops.

Alternatively, the exquisite St Pancras Renaissance Hotel – which was originally built by Sir George Gilbert Scott, and saved from demolition by Sir John Betjeman, despite his comment that it was "too beautiful and too romantic to survive" – is the perfect place to treat that special someone: take them for drinks in the Booking Office bar, or for a meal at The Gilbert Scott. You'll also find an all-day restaurant, Plum + Spilt Milk, in the historic Great Northern Hotel, London's first railway hotel.

King's Cross is a great place to party, too. The Scala and the Big Chill House are both in close proximity. Venture a bit further north for Egg, a three-floor club venue with a great outdoor area for lounging.

King's Cross is just a short walk from Euston Station – find out more about hotels and attractions near Euston.

The King's Cross Partnership was established to fund regeneration projects and the first stage is now open to the public. You can find out more about the current redevelopment at the King's Cross Visitor Centre.