Times change! When I was still working in London, Kings Cross was a dump. I would often have to transfer trains from Thameslink to what was then GNER and would walk a short distance through the area. You could often experience some unusual people doing unusual things. One Sunday I rode through the area because the train I was on was not going the whole way due to maintenance. I found myself weaving through some interesting people who looked like they were still dealing with the previous night. All in all, it was not a great place to hang out.
The arrival of the Eurostar services at St Pancras seems to have been the trigger for some significant regeneration. We decided to check the area out while we were in London and I am glad we did. Aside from the changes to St Pancras itself and some expansion of Kings Cross Station, the surrounding area is undergoing a lot of change. The whole program is a work in progress with some elements done and others still being worked on. The area between the two stations has been transformed. It is now a nice walk up to the canal and beyond.
Restaurants and cafes have sprung up and new housing developments are shooting up. Some of it is very high end but there is also affordable housing. There is a swimming pool that uses a natural, chemical free filtration process. There is a limit on how many people can swim each day in order to manage the water quality. There is also a garden that is quite innovative. Apparently, it was hard to get permission for an allotment system (that might also be to do with the contamination of the earth around the station – I don’t know) so instead they filled a bunch of skips (dumpsters) with earth and they are used as the garden instead. Very thoughtful.
There is obviously still some work to be done in developing the area but the start that has been made is impressive and I imagine the whole place will thrive in the coming years.