The mention of Kings Cross will conjure up a variety of images for the average Londoner. A commuter hub with a notoriously seedy background and one of London’s busiest and frequently ‘passed through’ neighbourhoods. Kings Cross is Commonly thought of as a means of getting from A to B rather than a destination. However all that is changing as Kings Cross undergoes one of the biggest urban regeneration projects Europe has ever seen.
This month Foto Ruta is celebrating King's Cross with a pop up event Foto Ruta Clue Kings Cross, encouraging people to experience and photograph everything that makes it a classic London neighbourhood; full of history, industrial architecture and culture as well as getting to know Kings Cross, post-operation: 'extreme makeover'
If you’re still not convinced, here’s Foto Ruta’s top ten reasons to visit Kings Cross:
To enjoy the world’s first Gasometer Park
Thankfully the Kings Cross regeneration project has kept many of the area’s most defining features. One of them being Kings Cross’s gas holder No.8 which has been moved and turned into a park. The imposing structure looms over a green space for people to enjoy.
To say you’ve been to the biggest library in the world
Bookworms take note; you’ll be able to get your bookish hands on every book that has ever been published in the UK. The British Library is the world’s largest library and a sense of national pride and although, if books aren’t quite your thing its still worth visiting for the regular archive exhibitions it puts on.
The Renaissance Hotel and Station St Pancras
If architecture is your thing, it’s hard not to be impressed by this palatial hotel and train station. A classic London Grade 1 listed Victorian building that was virtually unused from the 60s onwards was brought back to life in 2001 with the high profile opening of the Eurostar terminal and adjoining St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in which Foto Ruta will proudly be hosting their first Kings Cross event.
To get Somewhere Else
Anyone who’s visited London will mostly have taken a trip through Kings Cross (whether they wanted to or not). Kings Cross’s transport credentials are impressive: Two national train stations, an International train terminal, London’s biggest Underground interchange (including six tube lines), fourteen-plus bus routes, oh and Harry Potter’s platform 9 ¾ …Making it London’s commuter heaven (or hell, whichever way you want to look at it).
To Re-visit London’s Seedy Past
Londoners of the 70s and 80s will still think of Kings Cross’s notoriously seedy past. London’s biggest red light district, Kings Cross was a home to some of London’s ‘less desirables’; from prostitutes and pimps to down and outs and drug dealers. With gentrification well under way, luxury hotel spa massages are outnumbering the original ‘massage parlours’ of yesteryear.
To Visit the Ex-Home of London Clubland
Londoners of a certain age (children of the 70s/80s) with a penchant for electro and house music may have memories of Kings Cross through bleary eyes, leaving one of its many clubs at day break. Once the home of some of London’s biggest clubs; The Cross, Canvas and The Key all of which were sadly closed to make way for the regeneration.
Take a Stroll along the Regent’s Canal
Escape the industrial and urban jungle with a walk along the colorful and almost tranquil Regent’s canal, filled with narrow boats, cyclists and canal side cafes
To Get to Paris
By far, the easiest and most enjoyable way to visit our French neighbours is by taking the Eurostar from St Pancras Eurostar terminal - enjoy Oysters and champagne then hop on the train. Arriving in Paris’s Gar du Nor station in just over two hours feels almost magical.
To Capture it on Camera
A vibrant urban hub with glimpses of history, swathes of modernity and touches of filth make Kings Cross a great neighbourhood to photograph. Join Foto Ruta Clue for its first Kings Cross outing on Saturday 25th October. The event includes: a photography workshop, group exploration and a photo review with wine and snacks (included in the price). Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and to book.