UK Holiday Shop - King's Cross and Camden Lock

See some of north London with a few hours at King's Cross and Camden Lock


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King's Cross and Camden Lock

On a recent family day out in London we decided to spend a little time in the King's Cross and Camden Lock area of our great capital city. We try and get down to the ol' smoke every few months, and see something different each time. In the past we've frequented the Science Museum, Natural History Museum, the London Eye, walked over the 02 arena, gone up The Shard, and a couple of weeks ago, went to the Imperial War Museum. This time round a trip to see the "Railway Children" was on the cards - and as this takes place behind King's Cross station, it seemed an ideal opportunity to explore the area.


King's Cross

King's Cross is certainly having a lot of money spent on it - the whole area has been cleaned up a treat. With offices and new apartment blocks springing up all over the place. There are a couple of viewing platforms around King's Cross - one near the station and the other near the swimming pond - which allow you to see the work going on, and the surrounding area. On a hot day the fountains are a good place to stop for a cup of tea, and the children can splash around in the fountains.

Fountains at King's Cross Ideal on a hot day - the fountains at King's Cross

Or sit on the astroturfed steps looking out to the canal. A 5 minute walk takes you to the natural swimming pond, a combination of swimming pool and pond - a unique way to spend an hour in King's Cross.

The photo below was taken from the "viewing platform". One tip though, it's best to book a swimming session before you turn up - as the pool can get full.

The natural swimming pond at King's Cross The natural swimming pond at King's Cross - an oasis in the heart of urban King's Cross

Next to the pond is the Skip Garden, a little garden oasis amongst the building projects going. The name comes from the garden being made up, er, skips. It does what it says on the tin!

The Skip Garden Not just a building site - in the middle of this urban regeneration we have the King's Cross Skip Garden

King's Cross to Camden Lock

Camden Lock is around 1½ miles from King's Cross, with the canal's tow path making a superb route to get to this mecca of multi-cultural delights. You can walk along the tow path, or, as I did, hire a Santander Cycle to ride along the path (The cycle dock at Crinan Street is the best option; you can push the bike for 30 seconds up the road to get to the tow path - so no road cycling is necessary!). Walking/cycling along the tow path gives you a different perspective on London. Whereas the roads and paths seem to be frantic, the tow path is a drop of serenity.

Regents Canal at King's Cross Just seconds from the throng of King's Cross, the tow path on Regents Canal

Camden Lock

When you arrive at Camden Lock, the serenity of the tow path well and truly ends. Camden Lock is heaving. (For those with a Santander Cycle, head towards the "Camden Lock" sign - as seen on the photo below, and take a right into Castlehaven Road).

The sign at Camden Lock When you see this, you know you've arrived at Camden Lock

You can head up the high street and visit the clothes/souvenir shops along the way. Don't forget to look up at the buildings too, there is some quite spectacular art work to be seen. I particularly liked the aeroplane hanging vertically from one of the shops.

Shops on Camden High Street Look up at the shops on Camden High Street - particularly this one with a plane

The street market next to the canal has to be seen to be believed! This miss-mash of cultures offers food, sights and smells from all over the globe - and is the place to head for a range street food. Whether you're after a sit down and a go on a Shisha pipe; some American street food; or some Chinese food, there's something here for you.

Inside Camden street market Brave the hustle and bustle of Camden street market

Once you've decided on the part of the world you'd like to dine from, the best thing to do is head back to the canal area to sit and consume your chosen meal. Walking a minute up the canal gives you a break from the crowds, and a place to sit for a while.

Regents canal and tow path past Camden Lock A little peace & quiet next to Camden Lock - and an ideal place to eat your lunch from Camden street market

Hiring a cycle

I mentioned the Santander Cycles; they used to called Barclays Bikes - or known as Boris Bikes. These bikes make a great way of getting around, and they aren't expensive to use. Pay £2 for a 24 access period, and you can use the bikes for 30 minute periods as often as you like. For example, I took a bike from Crinan Street in King's Cross to Castlehaven Road in Camden Lock - a 20 minute ride. Docked the bike and spend a couple of hours looking around Camden Lock. I then got another bike from Castlehaven Road back to Crinan Street. The total cost was Pay £2. Now that is a good deal!



tags: london | kings cross | camden lock

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This article is brought to you by John. I'm the person to blame when things go wrong on our family day out or holiday. If you've got any questions or comments, feel free to email me on john@uk-holiday-shop.co.uk. I'll do what I can to help.



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Bee Cottage, Langdon Hills, nr. Thurrock
Name: Bee Cottage
Code: E5574
Sleeps:2
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Langdon Hills, nr. Thurrock
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Code: KE036
Sleeps:2
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Sleeps:2
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Name: Sutton Cottage
Code: PLLZ
Sleeps:2
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Hawley, Kent.
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Code: E5298
Sleeps:2
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Basildon
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Name: The Lodges - Bluebell Lodge
Code: 27635
Sleeps:2
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Hawley, nr. Dartford
The Lodges - Chestnut Lodge, Hawley, nr. Dartford
Name: The Lodges - Chestnut Lodge
Code: 27636
Sleeps:2
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Hawley, nr. Dartford
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Name: The Old Dairy Annexe
Code: PRRO
Sleeps:2
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Flamstead, nr. St Albans
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Accommodation type: cottage
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2 Hazelwood Lodge, Ash
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Sleeps:3
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Ash
Westview Cottage, Crockenhill, nr. Swanley
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Sleeps:3
Accommodation type: cottage
Area: Crockenhill, nr. Swanley
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Sleeps:4
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Code: LP6823
Sleeps:4
Accommodation type: Lodge
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Code: LP6824
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Name: Holdsworth Court
Code:
Sleeps:4
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Area: London
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Code: LP3567
Sleeps:4
Accommodation type: Lodge
Area: Harlow
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Code: LP3643
Sleeps:4
Accommodation type: Lodge
Area: Harlow
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Code: E5299
Sleeps:4
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Code: E5300
Sleeps:4
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Sleeps:6
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Code: 23460
Sleeps:6
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Sleeps:7
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Code: 170600
Sleeps:8
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