King's Cross, St Pancras and Euston Station for visitors

What to expect staying near King's Cross, St Pancras and Euston stations, London


Kings Cross St Pancras Station exterior London

St Pancras Station: London

King's Cross and St Pancras are two physically separate railway stations next to one another and Euston Station is just a few hundred yards along the Euston Road, the major road artery through this part of London.

 

If you are travelling north of London to the Midlands and North Of England, North Wales or Scotland, odds are that you will travelling on a train from one of these stations.


All three stations have some commuter lines too and from St Pancras the Eurostar trains to France and Belgium have their London terminus here.


This strip connecting Euston, St Pancras and King's Cross stations is at the northern border of the centre of London visited by tourists. The area is a major transport hub, both for getting around the centre of London and as a gateway to London.

King's Cross St Pancras overview

King's Cross St Pancras Underground Station is London's busiest with six Underground lines radiating out in all directions.


King's Cross and St Pancras are at the eastern end of the Euston Road that defines this hotel strip. A couple of decades ago this area had a reputation as one of the seedier districts of London. That is now not the case, so if you read anything alluding to this, it is well out of date.

 

However, the area around King's Cross and St Pancras Stations is still primarily a cheap hotel district. Opposite the stations, on the other side of the Euston Road from the two stations is Argyle Square. Nearly every building around the square and the immediate streets around it are simple, cheap independent budget hotels. Of their type, this is one of the best districts in London look for this type of accommodation.

 

Because of the bias towards the budget sector there are lots of services geared to this market. It's easy to find a laundrette and cheap places to eat. With the stations having literally thousands of people passing through each day, many looking for “food on the go” you will be overwhelmed with choice for fast food and snacks, from all the global franchises to local independents.


Cheap Hotels Around Argyle Square, Kings Cross With St Pancras Station In Background

Cheap hotels around Argyle Square
with St Pancras station in background

With the redevelopment of St Pancras Station and the opening of the grand 5 star Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras Station, it's not all cheap and cheerful.

 

The area has certainly gone upmarket in the last few years. Especially in St Pancras Station and the Renaissance Hotel there are some very swish places to linger, including a Champagne Bar at St Pancras Station.


The majority of people staying in this area go no further than walking between their hotel and the Euston Road and the two stations, and there is no good reason for you to do any different.

Euston Station overview

A few hundred yards west of St Pancras Station along the Euston Road, past the British Library is Euston Station.

As you walk along the Euston Road there is a slow but sure change in the feel of the district.

 

At King's Cross its traffic gridlock, hustle and bustle, budget hotels with some posh hotels and fast food. By the time you get to Euston its not quite traffic gridlock, more relaxed and spacious with mostly 4 star hotels with some budget options.

 

Around the area of Euston Station is a major hospital, medical schools and London University. Although with so many students the bias is still towards value for money, the surroundings are more spaced out and elegant (once you get off the Euston Road) with garden squares and fine Georgian buildings.

 

Again Euston Station is the hub around which this district ticks. Compared with Kings Cross, St Pancras there are less shops and restaurants outside the station, though there are plenty of traditional pubs.

King's Cross, St Pancras & Euston stations

Euston Station London Fast Food

Euston Station fast food

All three stations have their respective Underground Stations beneath the railway station which you descend to from within the station.

 

All have coffee shops, burger outlets, bakery, pizza slices, doughnuts, cookies and bars. You'll find a pharmacy (Boots), a news stand or two and outlets where you can buy sandwiches, cold drinks etc.

 

Each has a left luggage office, manned, run by the same company, the Excess Baggage Company.

Toilets and baby changing is available for which there is a small charge and you will need coins.

Showers are available at King's Cross.

 

The wi-fi is provided by commercial operators on a pay as you go basis, (through free at St Pancras).

Passport photo machines are available at all three stations.

King's Cross, St Pancras & Euston in relation to rest of Central London

London Hotel Districts

Getting around London from King's Cross, St Pancras & Euston

For most, the London Underground is the way into and out of the area. Using the Underground you should be able to get to most places in Central London within 20 minutes.


If you are a night owl, there are many night buses that connect the area with the centre through the night. Its not too long a walk to actually walk to the West End entertainment district. Covent Garden is probably walked in 20 to 30 minutes.

 

A popular option for visitors to get orientated with London is to use the hop on, hop off tour buses. There are two major operators, the Original London Tour and the Big Bus. Both visit King's Cross, St Pancras & Euston with connector services. that interchange with the main tour routes in the centre of London. The Original London Tour has a terminus of one of their main routes outside the Royal National Hotel several hundred yards south of Euston Station on the road to Russell Square.

Anything of Interest around King's Cross, St Pancras & Euston?

British Library Entrance London

British Library Entrance

King's Cross, St Pancras & Euston have no headline attractions within the hotel area. It is very much a good base from where you can travel to all that London has to offer, quickly and efficiently.

 

However it would be a real shame if you stayed in the area and didn't visit the British Library on the Euston Road, half way between St Pancras and Euston Stations. Like all of London's free attractions it doesn't get the marketing the more commercial venues do.

 

The major source of interest for visitors is the The Sir John Ritblat Gallery which is a museum containing some fascinating documents, there is something truly for everyone.

 

For US visitors there is the Magna Carta, original music scores from Mozart to the Beatles, ancient maps, ancient bibles, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, letters from Charles Darwin to Sigmund Freud are just some of the contents.

 

The British Library is a modern building and the exhibits are well presented in a spacious, comfortable environment. You can even download apps to help you enjoy the contents.


The other attraction also free in the area is at King's Cross Station, home of Harry Potter's platform 9 3/4. After it found such fame in the Harry Potter film the station authorities entered into the spirit of things and created their own entrance for platform 9 3/4. Today, a steady stream of visitors make the pilgrimage for this short photo opportunity.


Of the major attractions, the nearest is the British Museum, just a 10 or 15 minute walk. Like the British Library it's free entrance. The British Library is vast. Staying nearby therefore you can visit it in bite size chunks of an hour or two at a time, perhaps using the evening opening sessions.


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