Perched in the centre of our city, Kings Cross is one of the areas in London that’s had something of a revival over the last fifteen years or so. That being said, with all this revival has led a whole heap of the best things to do in Kings Cross that are dotted all across the neighbourhood.
Now, this might sound amazing but if it’s your first time in London or you’re pretty new to the area of Kings Cross, you might find it a little daunting.
Whether you’ve just found yourself on the train from Paris (that gets into Kings Cross St Pancras) or you’ve stumbled upon the neighbourhood by accident, I wanted to share a few of my favourite and easily the best things to do in Kings Cross on your next trip to London.
After all, there’s a mountain of new restaurants, venues, galleries and sites that I’m hoping you’ll love.
Take a look at some of the best things to do in Kings Cross, below.
1.) Travel Via Platform 9 3/4
So, you kinda can’t come to Kings Cross without a little visit to Kings Cross Station. This is especially true if you’re a Harry Potter fan (like me).
As you might know, Kings Cross Train Station is where Harry would enter Platform 9 3/4 to leave the Muggle world behind and head to Hogwarts. Now, although you can’t get to Hogwarts yourself, there is an awesome photo opportunity now installed in Kings Cross station that can’t be missed.
With a luggage trolly and sign that leaves the ‘muggle world’ behind you can truly (try) and enter the world of wizardry.
Oh yeah, and for obvious reasons, don’t run at the wall if you are a muggle, I guarantee a sore head if you do! 🙂
There is also an official Harry Potter Store within the Station itself so you can grab a wand (or two) when you visit. It really is one of the best things to do in Kings Cross for Harry Potter fans.
2.) See Some Old Curiosities
If, like me, you love to visit some local museums when you’re in a new city, then The Wellcome Collection will easily be up there as one of the best things to do in Kings Cross.
Once here, you’ll see huge showcases of items that Sir Henry Wellcome amassed during his lifetime. From Napoleon’s Toothbrush to an array of world-famous art and medical history, take a journey through the various artefacts and curiosities that Wellcome prised. It’s a really unique spot that also has seasonal changes to their exhibitions.
3.) Restaurants in Kings Cross
Okay, so, Kings Cross has a heap of tasty restaurants to choose from whatever tastes (or budget) you have.
For me, one of my favourite spots is the German Gymnasium that’s perched just between St. Pancras and Kings Cross Station itself. Here, they serve up some of the tastiest dishes (their lamb is so nice) to gorge on. It really is a great spot for dinner.
Alternatively, pop on over to Plum and Spilt Milk which has a menu for each meal. My favourite is their breakfast menu, especially their Irish potatoe cakes.
If you fancy leaning into the tradition of pie and mash in London, then pop over to Piebury Corner (Caledonian Road) which bakes fresh pies daily. This informal spot is the perfect place to grab a proper pie and some good comfort food for lunch. It’s easily up there as one of the best things to do in Kings Cross if you want a totally chilled and informal treat.
4.) Watch a Magic Circle Show
The Magic Circle is one of the world’s most famous societies where all the secrets of magic are housed. Under lock and key, with around 1,500 world-wide magicians, it’s easily one of the best things to do in Kings Cross if you love magic.
Now, the Magic Circle can be visited to gain a rare glimpse into the inner-workings of such a secretive organisation, especially during one of their weekly shows or ‘Monday morning magic’ events they host each week.
Take a wander around, watch one of their epic shows and learn more about this secret society of magicians.
5.) Have A Luxury Afternoon Tea
If all that reading and curiosities make you peckish, visit the little know, Fortnum & Mason Tea Salon. It’s one of the best things to do in Kings Cross if you really want to lean into that British tradition of tea drinking and scones.
This little treat of a salon is packed with some of the very best in British Afternoon Delights. Plus, they have bespoke Fortnum and Mason tea blends, cucumber sandwiches with smoked salmon, home-made scones with lashings of clotted cream… Yum!
Although a little higher in price than some afternoon-tea venues, it’s a great place to experience and won’t break the bank beyond a £25 charge.
6.) Explore the Gagosian Gallery
Fancy a relaxing afternoon of world-class art and culture, then The Gagosian Gallery is the place to be.
Perched on Britannia Street, it’s one of the best things to do in Kings Cross if you’re a lover of art. Now, you might recognise the Gagosian Gallery from other cities like New York as it’s one of fifteen spaces in the world.
Housed inside, the Gagosian’s collection brings a wealth of world-renowned artists for you to discover, see and explore.
7.) Feed Your Inner Book Worm
Talking of books, if you’re something of a bookworm, then the British Library might be the place for you.
You see, the British Library in Kings Cross houses every single published book in the UK and is a treasure trove of knowledge. Sign up to go inside and head towards the British Library to feed your inner bookworm.
Plus, it’s one of the best things to do in Kings Cross on a wet day where you can chill out and just read for a few hours.
Now, one thing to note is that the British Library just books, so, if that’s not your thing then give it a miss.
8.) See the Hardy Tree
Placed by world-famous author Thomas Hardy (Far From The Madding Crowd), the Hardy Tree is probably one of the more unique spots to see whilst in Kings Cross.
You see, back in the 18th Century, the UK was expanding their rail network which, in turn, meant that an ancient graveyard was used for tracks to be laid to Kings Cross.
Back in the day, before his book publications, Hardy worked on the railways and decided to preserve the hundreds of gravestones and present them in a circle around an Ash Tree. This can still be seen to this day and is easily up there as one of the best things to do in Kings Cross if you want to see something a little different.
To find it, here’s a Google Maps link to help you along your way.
9.) Take a stroll around Regents Canal
Perched just behind Kings Cross Station is the Regents Canal, a historic network of canals that criss-cross quite a bit of England.
On a sunny day, it’s the perfect place for a stroll to take in spots like Granary Square (with all the little cafes), Gasholder Park and Dishoom for one of the best curries in London.
If you really fancy stretching your legs, take the 20-minute stroll to Camden Lock and explore the neighbourhood of Camden with all its markets, vibrant culture and hundreds of stalls.
10.) Explore a market
Although Kings Cross might not seem like an obvious place for one of the best markets in London, there’s a growing scene in the new public spaces where markets are springing up.
For some firm favourites, stop off at Kerb Kings Cross for some foodie stalls, or even the Canopy Market that’s got a treasure-trove of little foodie joints.
Oh, and don’t forget, there are also monthly events around vintage markets and exhibitions that you might run into, too. Just keep your eyes peeled once you’ve arrived.