With acres of traffic-free open space, King’s Cross is the perfect spot to soak up some sun and wile away a summer’s day in the great outdoors. Enjoy alfresco shopping and markets at Coal Drops Yard. Explore art in the open with installations from street artist Andy Leek, Eva Rothschild and more to come! Plus, many of the restaurants and bars have outdoor terraces so you can meet up and enjoy a meal or a drink in the open air.
Eat out in the open at King's Cross
You can once again meet up and enjoy a meal or a drink with family and friends. These great King’s Cross restaurants and bars all have gorgeous outdoor terraces that bring the inside out. Or why not pick up a takeaway and find a picnic spot by the canal or in one of the many parks and gardens. See the listing here.
The Outside Art Project
The all-new outdoor gallery in Kings Cross launches with an exhibition from The Photographers Gallery, ‘Games We Play‘. See the exhibition on the seating benches all around King’s Cross.
Visit Coal Drops Yard this month and you’ll see Pattern Portraits by Lauren Godfrey – an installation of 120 patterned flags stretching between the iconic roofs of Coal Drops Yard. Godfrey worked with Central Saint Martins students and local young people during lockdown to create this ‘giant quilt in the sky’. The sustainable installation is made up of 120 patterned flags which will later be turned into a clothing collection.
Canopy Market is back!
Canopy Market, the outdoor weekend market at King’s Cross returns on July 10. This time, in a new location at Coal Drops Yard. Browse the stalls for the best farm-fresh produce plus fashion, art and homewares from independent designer-makers. Friday 11-7, Sat 11-6 and Sun 12-6.
The ultimate alfresco shopping experience
Set canal-side just a short walk from King’s Cross station, the restored railway arches of Coal Drops Yard are home to London’s most eclectic mix of stores from established names and emerging brands, alongside cafés, bars and dining spots. There are more than 50 stores, bars and restaurants to discover. Find out more here.
Summer has officially arrived and the iconic grass steps are back! This year with a little added sweetness. The steps are dotted with stripey deckchairs and 12 oversized colour-pop ice-lollies ‘melting’ onto the grass – all positioned to help everyone keep a safe social distance. It’s the perfect spot to soak up the sun and watch the activity on the canal.
Summer jazz at Notes
Saturday evenings, from 5 to 7pm, head to Notes on Pancras Square where you can enjoy cocktails, craft beer, wine and music on the terrace. If the tables are full, you can grab a drink and sit by the fountain, or stretch out on the grass.
'Pools' at Granary Square
The best way to feel cool and stay safe this summer? Jump into the virtual ‘Pools’ at Granary Square, the latest artwork from award-winning German artist Stephan Zirwes. As well as Stephan’s pools, there’s a giant word search and a 2D maze for you to navigate.
Fitness studio FRAME is bringing the “indoorphins” out with these fitness classes in the great outdoors. From energizing, high-intensity workouts, to restorative classes that focus on movement and breathing – there’s something for everyone. Click here and select ‘King’ Cross Outdoor’ to see the schedule and book.
King's Cross by bike
The best way to explore the sights and sounds of King’s Cross is on two wheels. Spend some time discovering the area or venture further afield along the canal towpath. You’ll find a route and info on bike hire here.
My World and Your World
Head to the top of Lewis Cubitt Park and you’ll find Eva Rothschild’s artwork, My World and Your World. The 16m-high steel sculpture resembles an inverted tree or lightning bolt. Descending from a single point, the structure splits and diverges into a tangle of branches which sink into the ground. You can move in and around the work – this is somewhere to meet, play, picnic and relax.
Summer just isn’t summer without ice cream. Luckily Ruby Violet is here with its lip-smacking frozen delights. Everything is fresh, organic and made just up the road at Tufnell Park. Choose your favourite flavour (or three), and enjoy amongst the greenery at Wharf Road Gardens.
PlayKX is back
PlayKX is back! With a few changes to keep you and your little ones safe. The times have changed too, with sessions now running Fridays and Sundays, 11am – 4pm-ish.
The group usually meets at Lewis Cubitt Park in the summer months, but check here for daily updates on what, where and when. Children must be accompanied by a grown-up.
A hop, a skip and a jump
Ready for a game of hopscotch? Look out for the colourful squares as you explore King’s Cross. It’s fun for the kids and a trip down memory lane for the adults.
Take a stroll along Regent's Canal
One of London’s best kept secrets, this charming waterway winds its way from Limehouse Basin to Little Venice. The journey is 8.5 miles in total with King’s Cross being the ideal stopping (or starting) point. Have lunch or drinks in one of the excellent canalside restaurants and watch the colourful narrowboats float by.
This beautiful elevated park follows the curve of Regent’s Canal, connecting Granary Square with Gasholder Park. Built on what was an old railway viaduct, the park has lovely views over Coal Drops Yard, the canal and Camley Street Natural Park. Benches and seating areas are nestled amongst the greenery, which features both ornamental and edible plants. Look out for fig, strawberries and liquorice.
Battle Bridge Busk
This summer, we’re bringing the busk back to King’s Cross. Look out for performances by talented street musicians. To begin with, its every Tuesday evening 4.30-7pm – at Battle Bridge Place at the foot of Pancras Square.
Andy Leek's 'This Much'
As we come out of lockdown, street artist Andy Leek of @notestostrangers has turned two-meters of distance and separation into messages of hope, love and positivity. See his joyful installations all around King’s Cross. And watch this space, there’s more to come from Andy – our artist in residence – throughout the summer.
To celebrate the reawakening of London, King’s Cross has partnered with street artist Andy Leek for a three-month residency. Andy is best known for his @notestostrangers project – handwritten notes which have popped up across London since 2015, delivering unexpected and uplifting messages to passers-by.
For his residency at King’s Cross, Andy will use the whole estate as his canvas. His artworks will hopefully bring a smile and spread a message of optimism and positivity after our long period of lockdown and isolation.
You’ll see Andy’s messages as you walk around King’s Cross, on King’s Boulevard, in Pancras Square, by the canal and on Bagley Walk. Find more info here.
Wander along the canal towpath from Granary Square and you’ll come across a little park that is a big bit different. Look out for the historic gasholder guide frame, it’s wrought-iron columns encase the park. With its circular lawn, lush planting and views over St Pancras lock, this is a peaceful spot for a picnic.
This continental-style square is just moments from the station entrances. Restaurants and cafés surround the square making it the perfect spot for a sunny breakfast, alfresco lunch or an after-work drink. With its lawned areas, benches and cafe tables beneath the trees, this is a lovely spot to pause and relax.
Visit Word on the Water
Have you discovered this fabulous floating book shop yet? Word on the water is open outside every day. Browse the stacks of new and used books. There are also talks, readings and music performances to enjoy – keep an eye on their Facebook for details. Word on the Water drops anchor just beyond the Lighterman pub near Granary Square.
Great news for the little ones! The swings and slides at Handyside playground are open. We’re keeping them out of the sandbox for the time being, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had.
Time On Our Hands
Head to Lower Stable Street at Coal Drops Yard to see artworks from the ‘Time On Our Hands’ project. 40 UK artists and photographers came together during lockdown to raise money for the RCN Foundation Covid-19 Support Fund. The series features bold works from the archives of renowned photographers and artists who were able to dig in their crates during lockdown to find old and unseen pieces relevant to current events. You can buy the exhibition book at Kiosk N1C.
‘Semaphores’ is a series of three sculptures by British-Argentinian artist Amalia Pica. Semaphore is a code that was used in early telegraphy to send text-based messages across long distances in visual form. You can read more about the work, how to use it and decode it on the brightly coloured information signs near the steps at Granary Square.
This beautifully landscaped pocket park is just moments from Granary Square and the canal. There are places to sit amongst the greenery, a water rill and a children’s play area. The design of the park is influenced by the railway sidings that once ran through this part of King’s Cross, and the planting is inspired by the growth found on railway embankments.
Lewis Cubitt Park
At the top of the Coal Drops Yard shopping area, and just around the corner from Granary Square, you’ll find Lewis Cubitt Park. This is the main green space at Kings Cross – great for a picnic, or a kick-around with the kids. Look out for Eva Rothschild’s colourful artwork, ‘My World and Your World’ at the top of the.
Kings Cross Academy is running a fun summer holiday camp this summer together with Bloomsbury Football. The camp is for children aged 5 -10 years. There will be a range of multi-sports and activities on offer each day, including football, dodgeball, invasion games and futsal, as well as arts & crafts and drama. Find out more and book here.