Hands down, the most popular attraction at King’s Cross are the fountains at Granary Square. The 1,080 jets are individually controlled and lit, providing hours of entertainment and photo ops. The square is always buzzing with activity, including the stylish students from Central Saint Martins art school. Visitors can sit on one of the carved benches that surround the fountains to watch the aqua-choreography and soak up the atmosphere.
On a sunny day, the square morphs into an urban beach, with kids of all ages dashing through the jets, and lookers-on enjoying the spectacle from a dry distance.
Designed by Kent-based company, The Fountain Workshop, the square transforms at dusk when the fountains are illuminated with multicoloured lights, creating a spectacular light show. If you’re an early bird, you might catch the fountains at their most dramatic, as occasionally they fill the square with clouds of rolling fog. Lit from below on a wintry morning it’s a sight to behold.
Get your game on with Granary Squirt
The fountains also hold a secret – they can be controlled, via your smartphone, to become a giant playable gameboard! The first game to be developed was 70s arcade classic, and Nokia phone favourite – Snake.
Up to eight people can play at a time, each controlling a line of coloured water jets. Just tilt your phone to move the jets, dodging the sides, the other snakes and taking care not to run into your own tail! To play, just download the ‘Granary Squirt’ app, in iTunes or Google Play. You need to be at Granary Square between 4pm and 5pm. Once you get there make sure you’re using the free King’s Cross wifi. The app will tell you your starting position, then just point your smartphone at the fountains and play!
Granary Squirt will be back in early 2017. And watch this space, as new games will be released throughout the year.
A giant watery playground
Come summer, there’s no better way to spend a hot day in the city than with a visit to King’s Cross. And top of the list is a cool off in the fountains.
The jets squirt and splash in patterns, providing hours of fun for kids of all ages. Even a bit of cloud and a chill in the air usually isn’t enough to stop a kid’s urge to take their socks off and get wet. It’s virtually car-free here so your children can don their swim gear and run around without the noise and worry of London traffic.
There are tables dotted around the square for picnic-ers. Or take advantage of the KERB street food market at the top of the boulevard, or the Benugo van for take-out treats. Also here is Yumchaa tea shop with seating on the square. You can enjoy a cuppa while the kids splash around.
For the obligatory ice-cream stop, just around the corner you’ll find Ruby Violet, serving delicious handmade ice creams and sorbets. Afterwards, why not visit the Global Generation Skip Garden or Camley Street Natural Park.
Toilets and changing facilities can also be found on the square. And don’t forget to bring a towel and a change of clothes! You’ll need it. Granary Square fountains are open daily from 07.40am – 23.30pm.