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King's Cross, in the London borough of Camden, houses one of the most well-known railway stations in Europe and boasts a canal-side atmosphere, art, architecture and more. King's Cross provides high-speed inter-city train services to many parts of the UK including Yorkshire, the North-East and Scotland. Just across from the station is St Pancras International, London terminus of the Eurostar rail services to Europe. Together the two stations form one of Great Britain's largest transport hubs.
Originally built in 1852 as the main London hub for the Great Northern Railway and East Coast main line, the station is named after the King's Cross area of London. Today, King’s Cross is one of London’s newest and most dramatically regenerated areas. A dynamic and exciting place to spend a day or a weekend, there are many new buildings, streets and public squares to explore.
Just a four-minute walk from King's Cross Station, on Euston Road, is the British Library, the largest UK public building built in the 20th century. Here, a copy of every single publication produced in the UK and Ireland is sent for permanent housing. It’s possible to take a guided tour and see parts of the impressive 150-million strong collection. Highlights include drafts of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare's first folio, the Gutenberg Bible, the only surviving copy of Beowulf and The Beatles' manuscripts.
After a three-minute walk into King's Cross, visitors will find the wonderful Granary Square. Here, the highlight of the square is a series of over 1,000 choreographed individual fountains, which are lit in multi-coloured glory at night. An excellent place to meet friends, the square has room for 2,000 people to relax and enjoy a concert or movie, often played during the summer months.
The station itself has had many past cultural references, and has featured in films such as The 39 Steps and Chariots of Fire. More famously though, it’s home to Platform 93/4, terminus of the Hogwarts Express, which famously took Harry Potter and friends to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter novels and films. There’s even a plaque near the station’s Harry Potter shop, which has a luggage trolley embedded into the wall underneath it, as per the stories.
There are plenty of fantastic new foodie hotspots within the newer developments in King's Cross, all within walking distance of the station. Try Eat Street for a fine selection of world food to take away, or Shrimpy’s, a trendy eatery situated in an ex-petrol station forecourt.
For great coffee try Caravan, or for a longer meal head to The Driver, which has wonderful rooftop views and excellent roast dinners.
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