We love the hustle-bustle of London, but even the most dedicated urbanites need to escape to somewhere a little more, well, serene. Our capital city has always boasted an impressive array of green spaces providing just this, so it’s been a pleasant surprise to discover, amidst the cranes and construction, that the rapidly regenerating Kings Cross area is no exception.
Here are a few of it’s hidden corners unearthed for your ambling pleasure:
King’s Cross Pond Club
Part art installation, part leisure project, this is the UK’s first ever man-made fresh water public bathing pond.‘Of Soil and Water’ is part of the Kings Cross Art Programme, which aims to establish the area as an international arts destination. For those inclined to try an al fresco dip, the pond is reassuringly chemical free; the water is purified through a natural process using wetland and submerged water plants that act as eco-friendly organic filters. Find out more here
Lewis Cubitt Park
Designed by the creative architects behind Granary Square with its choreographed fountains, this park is a simple and relaxing green space thoughtfully divided into more intimate areas by mounded lawns and some beautiful planting. It’s a great little haven to pause from long desk-based days and catch the last rays of summer.
Stretching stoically from Limehouse in the East to Paddington in the West, the nine mile long Regent’s Canal dates back to 1820. Having at one stage narrowly escaped being turned into a railway, today it offers peaceful tow-paths, boating, cycling and a unique perspective on some of London’s most culturally interesting areas. The astroturfed steps leading down from Granary Square have been adopted by laptop-laden types as a canal front workspace. Steeped in history and with a good dose of nature thrown in, it’s easy to see why this setting would get the creative juices flowing.
Camley Street Natural Park
Right on the banks of the Regent’s Canal and only a five-minute walk from the station, this compact two-acre park is run by the London Wildlife Trust. Despite it’s diminutive size, it’s packed full of wildlife. Bats, butterflies and a whole host of unusual vegetation provide a pocket-sized escape from the rat race.
As Kings Cross undergoes its renaissance, it’s encouraging to see green, cultural and historical spaces being created and preserved as part of the process, making sure visitors, workers and residents have ample places to take some time out and relax. So, happy exploring, and if your wanderings happen to take you through Pancras Square feel free to pop in and put your feet up over a cuppa at our newly opened Drake & Morgan at Kings Cross (wildlife not included).