Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Walking with friends: King's Cross to Camden... and beyond

Canalside Green Steps
Canalside Green Steps.

Monday April 1, 2024.

As it was Easter Bank Holiday Monday, my friend Steve and I decided to take a trip to London, specifically to visit the regenerated King's Cross area and then to see where our feet led us.

Our journey began from from Watford Metropolitan station straight to King's Cross, taking less than an hour.

Exiting King's Cross station we headed into St Pancras International, so that I could point out the free jukebox and the model of 'HMS Alice Liddell' to Steve, who had never seen them before. This took us out onto Battle Bridge Place, where children and families were enjoying the IFO (Bird Cage), and we took a left up King's Boulevard towards Regent's Canal and Granary Square.

The first coffee van that we stopped at was having an issue with their machine, so we crossed to Granary Square, where we discovered 'Matchado'. This was a revelation as this little van, near Granary Square, is London's first Matcha specialist café, specialising in Japanese Matcha and hand-crafted special Matcha sweets. Steve opted for a latte, while I had a Sencha green tea. Both were excellent.

Matchado kiosk
London's first Matcha specialist café.

From here we began our wander by heading to Coal Drops Yards, then Stable Street, which was full of food, clothing and jewellery stalls, before turning west to see Gasholder Park. 

Gasholders Park
Gasholder Park.

Then we headed through Lewis Cubitt Square and Lewis Cubitt Park, before heading down York Way, so that I could see the old York Road underground station. This station opened in 1906 and was closed in 1932.

York Road disused underground station
York Road station (disused).

We then turned down Handyside Street and into the Granary Square building. The architecture of this building, including its interior, is something to behold. These Victorians warehouses and ancillary buildings were obviously built to last and I am glad that the regeneration of the area has saved as many of these buildings as possible.

Granary Square building interior
Inside the Granary Square building.

After this we found ourselves in a wonderful canopied area full of market stalls.

Canopy Market
Canopy Market, where there is something for everyone.

After a good peruse of the stalls, where artists, jewellers, seamstresses and more were displayed their wares, we decided it was time for a spot of lunch. And there was much to choose from. Rice dishes, oysters, burgers, Thai noodles, Indian dishes, pastries and so much more. In the end we decided to try 'The Frenchie', who was selling duck burgers.

The Frenchie Duck Burgers
We did duck ourselves.

Canopy Market Bar
Mead, wine, cocktails, beer and more.

Following these amazing burgers, we purchased beer from the Craft Beer stall and enjoyed the sunshine, as we explored this part of Granary Square.

Train Turntable
Granary Square turntable.

Word on the Water Book Barge
Word on the Water Book Barge.

Then we headed across Granary Square to the King's Cross Light Tunnel, which was something that I had been looking forward to seeing. It took a bit of patience as I waited for the 90 metre tunnel to be clear of people, but I finally got the shots that I wanted.

King's Cross Light Tunnel
The King's Cross Light Tunnel.

We then headed back to Regent's Canal and began a slow walk towards Camden... and beyond.

The walk to Camden was enjoyable as the sun was still shining, although dark clouds were scudding in from the east, threatening rain. As we reached Hampstead Road Locks the hail began to fall, so we dived inside Camden Lock Dingwalls pub, where we had a drink and rested until the hail and rain subsided. It didn't take long before the sun was back to full strength allowing us to continue our stroll. 

Camden High Street Bridge
Camden High Street Bridge above Regent's Canal.

Once we had passed through Camden, passing beneath Prince Albert Road, the canal took on a more tranquil feel, as houses and clutter were replaced with trees and a wider towpath. We spotted some monkeys, in what was the old aviary of London Zoo, all the while keeping a lookout for animals that we may be able to spot on the far side of the canal. None were visible.

Soon we left London Zoo behind and passing beneath Macclesfield Bridge, also known as the 'Blow Up' Bridge, the vista changed again. Now there were villas with manicured lawns and private gardens, with signs warning of guard dogs. 

Veneto Villa and Ionic Villa
The Veneto Villa and Ionic Villa, with a narrowboat passing by.

It remained this way until we reached Park Road, where we left the canal and headed towards Baker Street, stopping for a photo at the home of Danger Mouse.

Me at the home of Danger Mouse
At the home of Danger Mouse.

We then headed into the Metropolitan Bar for a final drink.

Steve with a pint of Brew Dog
Steve with a pint of Brew Dog.

As it was a Bank Holiday we had expected to see a lot more people out and about than we did. Because of this we were able to take a photo with the greatest detective who never lived, which was cool.

Sherlock Holmes statue
Me with Sherlock Holmes.

It was a great day out, where we discovered new things and saw lots of interesting places.

Distance travelled:
  • Car - 0.0 miles
  • Taxi - 0.0 miles
  • Train - 0.0 miles
  • Underground - 31 miles
  • Walking - 8.1 miles
Click below to see some more photos of the Granary Square area.

Click below to see more photos of Regent's Canal.


  1. Sounds a great walk. Really must visit Kings X Granary Square and thereabouts again. Good pics.

    1. Considering the regeneration of the entire area it still has that historic feel and has so many hidden gems and architectural wonders to discover.