It is no secret that as a family we love a trip into Kings Cross. It might sound odd to some but let me convince you to have a day out there. There is so much to do that you will be planning to return again on your way home. It helps if the sun is shining of course but even on a cloudy day there is plenty of fun to be had.
Granary Square, is London’s newest square situated on the banks of Regent’s Canal with more than 1,000 choreographed water fountains as the central attraction. The space is full of character and atmosphere, especially on a warm summers day when the children can splash and play to their hearts content. We often take a picnic whenever we go out and about in London and there are plenty benches and tables around the square but there are equally plenty eateries on offer here such as the popular Caravan, Grain Store and Dishoom just around the corner. We still haven’t been to any of these but they are certainly on the (ever-growing) list! All of them offer outdoor seating to keep an eye on the goings-on. There is also one of the biggest Waitrose stores (housed in a restored historic train shed) close by to grab food and drinks on the go. It is worth noting that toilets and changing areas are available, just don’t forget to pack a towel and change of clothes – you will need it! For older kids and adults alike, as the sun starts to go down, you can use your smartphone and an app called Granary Squirt to take control of the fountains and play a giant game of Snake – how cool!
The Canalside steps have just recently been carpeted in green for the summer months. At Halloween it was adorned with carved pumpkins and in Spring the steps were covered in a blanket of flowers. Worthwhile noting that the steps provide the perfect amphitheatre for the floating cinema for some child-free summer evenings.
No visit to Kings Cross is complete without a stop off at the Skip Garden and kitchen. They describe themselves as an ‘urban oasis with a twist.’ All of the food that they grow is used in their skip garden kitchen. From experience I can tell you that the food is well worth a trip or just to sit in the surroundings with a cup of coffee on a warm Sunday morning whilst the kids help to water the plants. Last year they ran wonderful family Saturdays (I really hope they do them again this year!) which you can read about here.
At the heart of Kings Cross is a hidden gem, two-acres of wild green space. Camley Street Natural Park is an urban nature reserve on the banks of Regent’s canal and home to an array of wildlife. London Wildlife Trust holds family-friendly events and activities here throughout the seasons including pond-dipping and bug hunting. We had a great day out here last summer and can’t wait to go again.
Tucked away just off Granary Square is Handyside Gardens with a small children’s play park where you will find swings, a slide and a sand pit to keep little ones entertained.
Soft play is available in the summer months (returns in May this year) at Lewis Cubitt square between 10-4pm. It is worth noting here for the adults with pre-school children, that if some refuelling is required, the street food market KERB can be found on the boulevard at lunchtimes (12-2pm, Monday – Friday). Perfect!
Gasholder No. 8 is the largest of the iconic gasholders that dominated the King’s Cross skyline. When the redevelopment project of King’s Cross began the structure was dismantled, restored and moved to a new home north of Regent’s Canal. It now frames Gasholder Park. The perfect place to relax and watch the narrow boats at St Pancras Lock or the passing trains coming in and out of Kings Cross. The central lawn is a great play space.
Make sure to keep checking the events calendar on the Kings Cross website as there is always something going on, below are a few events that we are going to try and get to over the coming warmer months. Maybe see some of you there?
World Environment Day (5th June)
Open Gardens Square Weekend (18th – 19th June)
Skip Garden Pizza Parlour (18th June)
The BGF in Pictures (24th June – 3rd October)
KERB Takeover (24th – 25th June)
Mumsnet Bookfest 2016 (25th June)
Strawberries & Screen (27th June – 10th July)
KERB Takeover (26th – 27th August)
KERB Takeover (23rd – 24th September)