Sunday, 18 September 2016

A Day Out in Kings Cross...

Not something I would've expected to be doing 20 years ago.. especially with a 6 year old. Kings Cross really did used to be a place you went to in order to catch a train and then left as quickly as possible. But the renovated St Pancras Station and the new Kings Cross have helped to change the area and I decided it was about time I had a proper explore.

I'd spotted Camley Street Nature Park when out on a work related errand a year or so ago, so that was our first stop on our end of the summer holidays trip. We arrived at about 10.30am and had the place to ourselves for the first half an hour or so!

Camley Street Nature Park is run by the London Wildlife Trust and is a quite remarkable haven in the middle of Kings Cross. Bordered by a road (and then the mainline from St Pancras) on one side and the Regents Canal on the other, it fills a little slither of land. Other than the occasional siren, sound from building sites and the trains you really could be in the countryside. The little man had a go at pond dipping and we tried to find some stag beetles (which we see quite often around here but I think they were all asleep in their log piles at the park that day!). We saw lots of wildfowl too including the family of swans in the image above.

After tea and cake at the park's cafe, we headed out and over to Granary Square...

Central St Martins moved to Granary Square a few years ago now (I always dreamt of going to college there...) and new students were heading in to register when we visited. The little man was more interested in the mesmerising fountains out the front though, and complained that I'd failed to bring a change of clothes so he could go in them (the weather turned out to be warmer than I'd expected!). He watched some other children getting wet for a while before we walked around the corner to the House of Illustration

The House of Illustration is a lovely little gallery devoted (as you may expect) to illustration. The main exhibition at the moment is of Quentin Blake's illustrations for the BFG - which was apt as we'd been to see the film the previous week. The little man had fun creating some Quentin Blake inspired drawings of his own as there was a lovely big activity table in the gallery for children. The second exhibition was on Russian children's book illustrations but sadly by this point the little man was getting grumpy so I didn't get as good a look around as I've liked.

Our last stop on the way to Euston Road for a late lunch (yep, Pizza Express again, who am I to argue?) was the glowing tunnel leading from the Granary Square entrance into Kings Cross Station. I had to stand there for a few minutes to get a shot without anyone in it! 

So a good time was had by all. We'll definitely be heading back to Camley Street and I'm even considering joining the London Wildlife Trust as it turns out there are more places to visit which I didn't know about!

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