In between your journeys at King’s Cross Station and have time to do some exploring? But not enough time to explore the vastness of London city? Have no fear. There is plenty to see and do in the vicinity of King’s Cross that would keep you well entertained.

20 top things to do near by Kings Cross St. Pancras Station

Step off your train and start exploring this iconic railway station. Listed below are 20 top things to do near Kings Cross St. Pancras.

  1.      Pay a visit to Platform 9 ¾

Are you one of the many ardent Harry Potter fans who is still waiting for your Hogwarts acceptance letter? Don’t fret too much because you just have to step to Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station and recreate the moment you barge into the magical portal with a luggage trolley to catch the magical train to Hogwarts.

Here’s a link to the Harry Potter books for all those newbies who have no idea about what I’m talking about.

How to do it:

Just wander around King’s Cross Station and you will come across this magical platform with the half barged Harry Potter luggage trolley sticking out of the wall titled ‘Platform 9 ¾ ‘. This is an extremely popular tourist spot especially in the weekend, so be prepared for long queues. But you can always buy a ticket and skip the line to enjoy your moment at Harry Potter’s world.

Other Harry Potter Tours

If visiting platform 9 ¾ has awakened your craving for more Harry Potter themed activities than London is the place for you! Here is a list of the most popular activities related to the wizarding world:

Magical London: Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour – This walking tour is one of the best value options with a cost of only £15 for two-and-a-half-hour tour, that includes two main Harry Potter attractions: Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾.

3-Hour Harry Potter London Landmarks Tour – For £38, this walking tour includes the Diagon Alley and Platform 9 ¾ along with 6 more other sights.

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio tour from Kings Cross – getting a ticket to tour the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio is hard to come by with the massive demand that draws thousands of tourists every day to the studio. It is advised to plan months ahead because at certain time periods tickets are fully booked in advance for two months on the official Warner Bros. website. But this tour company does not disappoint when in need of a ticket to check out the ‘making of Harry Potter magic’. At a cost of £80 a ticket that also includes round-trip transport from King’s Cross, it is indeed a great value for money!

Harry Potter 3-Hour Bus Tour of London Movie Sites – For only £28 a ticket, you can now tour the Harry Potter movie sights while seated on the comfort of a bus. This bus tour allows you to beat the unpredictable London rain and see more sights and landmarks within the 3 hours’ time.

Harry Potter Tour of London by Black Taxi Cab – If you prefer to tour the sights with only your friends and family without rubbing elbows with the masses, then there is always the luxury option of touring the sights by one of London’s iconic black cabs. This service starts from £310 and includes door to door pick up of your group that will take you on your own private tour.

  1.      Explore the historic St. Pancras Station

For years’ people would commute through St. Pancras station and never have time to take a moment to stop and take a look around. This is a downright shame because St. Pancras Station is filled with a rich and fascinating history all around.

Highlights of Kings Cross St Pancras:

The Dent Clock – The Dent Clock is located on the upper floor of St. Pancras Station, near the Eurostar terminal. This clock is a replica of the original Dent clock that was almost sold to an American collector for $250,000 but was dropped by workers while getting the clock down to be sold.

The statue of John Betjeman – located on the upper floor is the statue of Sir John Betjeman, who is famous for leading the campaign to save St. Pancras station from being demolished in the 1960s.

The Meeting Place – This 9-meter tall bronze statue of a man and woman in an amorous embrace can be found under the Dent clock at St. Pancras station. Also known as the lover’s statue it was produced by Paul Day and displayed in 2007.

The Olympic Rings – ever wondered what happened to the Olympic rings that hung majestically over St. Pancras Station while the 2012 Olympic games were being hosted? After the games, the rings were taken down and sliced and converted into seating benches that can be found outside the South-eastern high-speed platforms.

Is Kings Cross and St Pancras the same station?

Since the most recent renovations Kings Cross and St. Pancras are referred to as one station – Kings Cross St. Pancras. But strictly speaking, they are two separate stations, located right next to each other and separated by one road.

  1.      Drop by for a glass of bubbly at Europe’s longest Champagne bar

Located on the upper floor of St. Pancras Station is Searcy’s Champagne Bar, which is also Europe’s longest Champagne bar that is 98 meters long. Searcy’s Champagne bar is a perfect place to stop and enjoy a glass of bubbly before embarking on your journey. You can enjoy your glass of champagne while gazing over the entire station terminal or up the impressive glass ceiling.

How to do it:

Planning ahead and making a reservation is not required as you can walk right in and order your preferred drink from this longest Champagne bar in Europe.

The bar not only serves champagne and sparkling wine, but it serves nibbles inspired by the seasonal specialties as well as afternoon tea.

Tip: Do remember to take a coat or a warm layer of sorts when visiting the bar during winter. The bar and station aren’t especially warm and can be very chilly at times. The bar does provide blankets upon request but it is always better to have your own warm clothing.

Alternative? If you are not satisfied with a mere glass of champagne, there is always plenty of fun options, like Camden Pub Crawl, for an exciting night out near Kings Cross St. Pancras. Or you can always explore some of London’s historic pubs and watering holes by booking the ‘Historic Pub Tour’.

Fun facts about Kings Cross St Pancras Station

  •    Opened in 1868 by the Midlands Railway Company, St. Pancras station is a Victorian masterpiece built to connect London with the northern cities including Liverpool and Edinburgh.
  •    Back in the days, the railway network allowed the trains to transport beer through three dedicated beer trains each day, from the Bass ale factory. In fact, during the construction of the railway station, the columns were built 3-barrels wide to match the plans of the beer warehouses in Staffordshire.
  •    The historic Midland Grand Hotel, built next to the St. Pancras Station used to be one of the grandest hotels in Europe back in its heyday. The hotel was built with many innovative features for its time such as hydraulic lifts and revolving doors. But it didn’t have running water in the rooms and guests were forced to use communal baths, which ultimately resulted in the hotel’s financial demise and eventual closure in 1935.
  •    The Midland Grand Hotel was returned to its former glory and renamed as the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel when it opened its doors to guests in 2011 after an extensive redevelopment. If you are unable to stay a night at this historic hotel you can always stop by the Booking Office, the hotels’ cocktail bar and restaurant and order a drink from their Victorian-inspired cocktail menu.
  •    The St. Pancras station has been listed Grade I and is part of the top 2.5% of listed buildings in England. This is the highest level of protection a building can get.
  •    The railway tracks were constructed 5 meters above street ground to avoid the nearby Regent’s Canal.
  1.      Explore the treasures at the British Library

A visit to the British Museum is on many to-do lists during a visit to London. Located only a short distance from the Kings Cross St. Pancras station, it is home to more than 150 million catalogued items and a collection with rare treasures that date back to more than 3000 years.

How to do it:

Treasures of the British Library is the most efficient way to experience all the treasures and highlights exhibited in the library. This free and permanent exhibition includes the Magna Carta, Jane Austen’s notebook and original lyrics written by the Beatles.

Don’t miss: the statue of Sir Isaac Newton is also worth a visit and can be found in the British Library Plaza.

  1.      Swing around on an IFO

This impressive artwork by French artist Jacques Rival is a 9-meters high object in the shape of a ‘birdcage’. The bars of the cage is wide enough for people to slide through and enjoy the swing that hangs in the center of the cage. The ‘IFO’ is mostly grounded but at night it’s lit up and hoisted up in the air to give it a fun and neon appearance.

How to do it:

Located just opposite the German Gymnasium, the IFO is only a short distance from the Kings Cross St. Pancras station. Find more details here.

  1.      Take a walk through the rich history of Kings Cross St. Pancras

Kings Cross is rich in history and has been through many ups and downs. It was opened during the height of the industrial era but the disastrous impacts of the two World Wars left the railway station almost abandoned as freight fell into decline during this turmoil time. This impacted the once industrial surroundings in a disastrous manner and in 1980’s Kings Cross became well known as a red light district. But with the changing times, Kings Cross has once again established itself as one of the up and coming trendy neighborhoods of London.

But Kings Cross has been careful to retain its historic allure during its many regenerations and redevelopments while paying homage to its industrial past. Fortunately, Kings Cross has been successful in shunning away any retention of its illicit phase and any information that suggests otherwise is grossly misinformed.

Heritage highlights around Kings Cross St Pancras:

The German Gymnasium – This is the first purpose-built gymnasium in the United Kingdom. Built-in 1864 by the London German community, this gymnasium has now been transformed into a fine dining restaurant and bar.

Gasholder No.8 – This used to be one of the biggest gasholder guide frames at Kings Cross, which has now been converted into a park. By day, Gasholder park is a place to play and hold games, while at night the park is lit with subtle lighting making it an ideal location for events.

The Granary – Back in the days the Granary building was mainly used to store wheat and grain for the London bakers. Today it has been transformed to house the world famous arts college – Central Saint Martins. Peek inside to marvel at the vastness of this building that was once a storage facility.

How to do it:

The option of taking a self-guided walking tour is available that is free of charge by downloading this guide that is also available as a smartphone app.

You can always opt for a guided tour with a local expert who can tell you all the secrets of this historic city by booking a tour through Isabelle Seddon of Unique London Tours.

Or check out the major tourist hotspots with a local guide on this Highlights of London Walking Tour.

  1.      Enjoy some greenery

London is no different from any other major city, as such it isn’t easy to stumble upon a lot of greenery amid this urban concrete jungle. But London is not without its green spaces and Kings Cross St. Pancras has quite a few within its vicinity.

How to do it:

Listed below are a few places where you can enjoy a bit of green nature in this once industrial area:

Gasholder No.8 – as mentioned above, this former gasholder is now a luscious new park.

Camely Street nature park – this nature park is just a stone’s throw away from Kings Cross St. Pancras station. This reserve was created from a wasteland and it now includes ponds and marshy areas with rich and diverse wildlife.

Skip Garden – this is a community project that has succeeded in building a sustainable urban garden full of wildflowers, vegetables, and herbs, using recycled materials. The Skip Garden Restaurant serves delicious hearty meals that were cooked using freshly grown produce at the garden.

  1. Dance in the dancing fountains at Granary Square

Granary square is home to more than 1000 choreographed dancing water fountains, where you can dip your toes or just splash around during the summer or any other day of the year.

How to do it:

The Granary Square fountains are open to the public throughout the year. Visitors to these dancing fountains can now control the fountains themselves using this the Granary Squirt App.

  1. Drop by for a frozen delight at Ruby Violet

Ruby Violet is renowned for its small batch, homemade ice creams and other frozen desserts that are simply marvelous! This high-end ice cream parlour will leave you wanting to come back for more.

How to do it:

Follow the map below to find the Ruby Violet ice cream parlour without much difficulty and access their official website for more information. Try their Masala Chai flavor which is divine!

Or if the weather is too cold for ice cream, you can forgo frozen desserts and instead settle for the 2.5 hour chocolate walking tour of London to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  1. Take a walk along Regent’s Canal

The Regent Canal is also known as the ‘Little Venice’ of London and is a popular leisure amenity nowadays. Boat rides are a familiar sight at the canal and the towpath is frequented by cyclists and walkers as they enjoy the scenery while passing the evening away.

How to do it:

The canal runs from Paddington to Limehouse and is about 13.5 Kilometers long (8.5 miles). The distance proving too far for you? It is okay to bow out anything and catch the tube back to wherever you want to go. Read about this walking path which is a popular path of the Regent canal from Camden to Limehouse.

  1. Get crafty at Drink, Shop & Do

At Drink, Shop & Do, you can not only indulge yourself in food and drink but unleash your inner child and take part in their regular crafts and art events. This peculiar little shop near Kings Cross St. Pancras is a café by day, bar at night and a lot of fun things to do in between that can include making Christmas cards to knitting workshops or to learning calligraphy.

How to Do it:

Check out their official website to have a look at their scheduled events throughout the week. You can also view the menus and make pre-bookings.

  1. Visit the Charles Dickens Museum

Located at 48, Doughty Street, London is the home of one the greatest British storytellers, Charles Dickens. The author’s Victorian family home has been beautifully restored to showcase the life of this world-famous author who created literature classics such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Pickwick Papers. Explore Dicken’s private world by wandering through his study, bed chambers and his dining room and see the desk where he would sit down to compose his many literature manuscripts.

How to do it:

Opening hours of the Charles Dickens Museum is from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm, the last admission being at 4pm. (the museum is closed on Mondays). The admission fees are £9.50 for an adult, £4.50 for children from 6-16 years and free of charge for children under 6 years. There isn’t any need to book ahead but bookings can be done through the official website.

Want to read some of his renowned classics? Find Charles Dickens greatest works here.

And if you are interested in exploring the London that Charles Dickens used to know and which inspired his great literary works, you can take a Dickens tour of the city.

  1. Explore the Wellcome Collection

The Wellcome Collection is a museum that portrays the connection between the medical world, science and art. Founded in 2007, the museum is advertised as “the free destination for the incurably curious”. The venue is not only a permanent library and museum but it regularly hosts art exhibitions, lively music events and conferences.

How to do it:

The Wellcome connection is open from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays) and offers free admission. Check out their official website to find out what exciting events that are scheduled throughout the week.

  1. Chill on the rooftop of Big Chill House

Feeling a bit drained from all the exploring and activities? Drop by the Big Chill House at Kings Cross for a refreshing beer or cocktail on the restaurant’s roof terrace.

How to do it:

Big Chill House does good food and killer drinks. The rooftop is well covered to protect you from the London rain and DJ nights bring the party on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. For more information check out their official website.

  1. Hone your cooking skills at the Waitrose Cookery School

Waitrose Cookery School offers accessible cooking classes to all ages who are interested in mastering different cuisines. The Waitrose Cookery School at Kings Cross offers a modern approach to food. The tutors employed are often talented chefs from Michelin-starred kitchens.

How to do it:

Classes range from one to five hours and differentiate according to subject and scope. Check out their official website for more details on courses available and how to book them.

If you are unable to find a cookery class on the dates of your visit, have no fear because there are plenty of other food-related activities to do around London. Click here to find out more. If not the Medieval Banquet is always worth a visit.

  1. Play video games downstairs at Simmons bar

Simmons Bar at Kings Cross offers something a little extra than your normal bar in London. Venture downstairs to their retro like atmosphere complete with a non-flat tv and a Sega Mega drive for your gaming pleasure. Customers are encouraged to sit down with a refreshing cocktail and relax and play games to your heart’s content.

How to do it:

For more details check out their official website here.

  1. Grab dinner at Dishoom

Located at an old warehouse close to the Kings Cross Station, Dishoom is a replica of an old Irani café from Bombay. Serving authentic and exquisite Indian cuisine, Dishoom attracts plenty of Londoners and Tourists alike to indulge in their small sharing dishes that are packed with Indian spices and flavours.

How to do it:

Dishoom is always packed so expect large queues specially during the weekend. The bar provides excellent cocktails that makes the wait tolerable but arrive on a Saturday at 8pm and it is very likely that the queue might be so long that you will be waiting in the bar for a table to open until the restaurant closes down. Dishoom doesn’t allow pre-booking unless you’re a large group, so your best bet would be to go early around 6.30pm and wait it out. For more information and menu details click here.

  1. Learn some wacky dance moves

We mentioned Drink, Shop & Do before for their fun craft activities, but this peculiar little shop gets a second mention here for its dance lessons that are organized regularly that teaches you to move your body like Britney and Beyonce.

How to do it:

There’s an ever-changing list of dance classes on at Drink, Shop & Do. You can find up to date details here.

Check out here for all details of scheduled dance classes at Drink, Shop & Do.

  1. Sleep in a prison cell at Clink 78

Clink 78 was a former courthouse that has been transformed into a funky youth hostel. The original prison cells have been converted into private rooms complete with barred window, a steel toilet, and a heavy metal door. Little green buttons have been installed inside the room so that nowadays you are able to open the heavy metal door whenever you want to.

Fun fact: Original courtroom of the now transformed courthouse are common rooms complete with TV/film lounge and a computer room and judge’s chairs to relax on.

How to do it:

You can either book a dorm bed or private rooms at the Clink 78. However, it is recommended to spend a night at an English prison cell for a memorable experience, complete with original prison/police custody features. Cell room rates start from £65 per night. Book here to book ahead your night at a prison cell as they happen to be booking out fast.

  1. Take the Eurostar

Kings Cross St. Pancras station is a tourists’ paradise with a rich history and abundant culture to experience. But it is also an international gateway onto the continent of Europe. Home to the international Eurostar, it is certainly one of the best ways of international travel as it is cheaper and takes less than 40 minutes’ time to get off at Paris from London.

How to do it:

Click here to book seats directly with Eurostar. But if you are looking to explore more of Europe after your international train ride, check GoEuro to plan more extensive and detailed routes.