Wednesday, 13 April 2016

K is for Kings Cross

The theme for my A-Z posts this year is London Underground Stations.  I've chosen a station for each letter and at the end of each post I've listed the other stations for that letter with their Wikipedia entries.  I've tried to visit each station and take my own photos.

Kings Cross St. Pancras is a huge station complex.  There is the underground station now known as Kings Cross St. Pancras which is on the Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria lines.  It is the second busiest underground station after Oxford Circus.
Above ground are Kings Cross and St. Pancras mainline stations.  These are also busy stations especially St. Pancras which is the terminus for the Eurostar.

The busy undergroun ticket hall.

St.Pancras Hotel which is part of the station complex.

The entrance to Kings Cross mainline station.

One of several entrances to the underground station.

The interior of St. Pancras station

One of my friends commented on an earlier post about what a warren of tunnels there must be under London and there must certainly be a lot of tunnels under Kings Cross although some of the lines mentioned above share the same tracks through the station.

There has been a station on this site since 1863 and there have been many changes and redevelopments over time.  One of these was caused by the fire in 1987 which claimed 31 lives.  This was blamed on a cigarette being dropped on an escalator (wooden at the time) and the subsequent trench effect causing the fire to spread very quickly.  Since then all escalators are now metal and there is no smoking allowed anywhere on the underground.  (Or in most public places now in London.)

I hadn’t been to Kings Cross for a while when I visited in March to get some photos.  The tube station itself is not very interesting but walking in to St. Pancras mainline station is a bit like walking into an airport.  That’s to be expected with passport controls in place for those travelling to France on the Eurostar but there is also a huge range of shops to provide for all your needs.  You could literally turn up with just your money and buy all you needed, including the suitcase, for your journey.
What impressed me the most though was, as in most airports I’ve visited, the public toilets were free.  In most mainline stations the toilets, if there are any, charge a fee.  This can range from 20p – 50p.   

Believe me, I’m an expert on public toilets!

These two statues are in the St. Pancras mainline station.  One is of Sir John Betjeman who saved the station from demolition in the 1960s.  The other is known as The Lovers and stands 9 metres tall.  It is huge and serves as a meeting point.  If you want to find out more about these and other artworks in the station go here.

Sir John Betjeman
The Lovers

Other “K” stations are:

Next stop, L is for ….? Check back tomorrow to find out.  Thanks for visiting.


  1. Magnificent looking station! Would be fun to see it in person. I like your theme for the A/Z challenge! Good luck with the rest of the letters :)


  2. Love the photos (always) and this is actually one I have heard of before!

  3. What a beautiful place this in. So much wonderful history!

  4. Its a beauty of a station - I went through the older version.
    Im blogging from Fill the cracks and Moondustwriter's Blog. Happy A to Zing!

  5. I have never in my life seen a toilet you had to pay for!! I find that ridiculous. Looks like the hotel might be a grand place! Enjoy the AtoZ!
    Revisit the Tender Years with me during the #AtoZChallenge at Life & Faith in Caneyhead!

  6. The statues are beautiful, the lovers esp. I have taken trains out of King's Cross several times. Really like your theme idea.

    Happy A-Zing!
    Ninja Minion

  7. I think it would be amazing some day to just leave the house without anything and go on a trip, having to purchase items as I went along (note: in this scenario, money is obviously not something I am worried about).


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