Tips + Trends

Why Steve Booker Thinks London’s New King’s Cross Station is Worth a Second Look

The exterior of King’s Cross train station is classic Victorian; inside is another matter. (Photo: Steve Booker)

Given a much-needed restoration in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics, London’s King’s Cross train station, built in 1852, has kept its red brick Victorian exterior but was given a modern interior whose tree-like steel and glass canopies provide travelers — including lifestyle vlogger Steve Booker — a new reason to take a look at this historic transportation hub. Booker, a London native, recently shared with us what he thought of the new King’s Cross.

King’s Cross railway station, on the northern edge of central London, has undergone major restoration since work begun in 2007. The completion of the five-year refresh, now marries together the old architectural design with modern steelwork formations. The combination creates an eye catching result and is a great example of incorporating new design into historical buildings.

(Photo: Steve Booker)

Creating light within the station is an integral part of the new design with sweeping doomed roofs lighting up its 12 platforms and highlighting the architectural juxtaposition of old and new.

(Photo: Steve Booker)

The station was a key location within J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels and was also used as a filming location for the movies. As the movies were such a huge international hit, King’s Cross embraced its new celebrity and actually has an homage to the films in the form of a trolley, used in the film, sticking halfway in and out of the wall signifying a Hogwarts student on the way to platform 9 ¾.

(Photo: Steve Booker)

The building itself combines beautifully constructed architectural design inside and out.

Having been a regular traveler to London, and the surrounding areas for many years Kings Cross has historically never ranked particularly high on areas of the city I’d be excited to visit.

Having said that, it is fairly clear to see it is in the midst of a revival that looks set to attract not just creative businesses to the area but discerning foodies and cocktail enthusiasts.

Further, there are very few train stations in the world, let alone London, that are exciting and interesting to walk around.

King’s Cross has somehow gone from a dingy classic London tube, to something that is exciting with vibrant art, rich history and tourism at every corner. More than just a place to get on a train and travel, it is an area of rich culture, an exciting atmosphere, that is growing each day, and home to some of London’s most exciting new bars and restaurants, including Bill Granger’s Granger & Co., coffee shop Caravan, Bruno Loubet’s veggie-friendly Grain Store, Indian eatery Dishoom, The Greek Larder, the Spain and Italy inspired Vinoteca, and sleek and modern Drake and Morgan.

Walking tours of the station and surrounding area can be downloaded, like this illustrated guide (you can even take the tour with your smartphone), while architecture fans will find this tour helpful.


The Place: King’s Cross Railway Station; Euston Rd, London N19 AL, United Kingdom

Where to find Steve Booker: Twitter: @SteveBooker | Instagram: Steve Booker | YouTube: Steve Booker | Tumblr: Steve Booker