Rushing from one train to another can be quite a stressful affair. And feeling stuck at the train station, hanging around waiting for the connecting train to arrive, is just as boring as watching paint try.
After one of my close friends decided to move to London (and I ended up moving to Paris), I’ve done my fair share of traveling between the two cities to visit my friend who lives in the city of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.
While I found myself bored and restless, while waiting for the Eurostar (and my return to Paris) I couldn’t help but wonder; what about those who arrive in London St. Pancras whose final destination is not London, but somewhere completely different? I’m sure they must hate the idea of spending two, three or even four hours just waiting for their connecting train?
I mean, I could barely even handle forty-five minutes of waiting, so imagine several hours? No, just no.
As the train station is centrally located, there’s plenty of things to do within walking distance of London St. Pancras. No need to buy that Oyster Card or figure out how to get from A to B by metro (or as they say in London; the tube). Let your feet carry you to the pub (and hopefully out of it, too) , or to the shops, to the spa, to the museums – and if you happen to arrive around brunch-time – to the nearest place where you’ll find a nice traditional English Breakfast.
Here are 7 things to do within walking distance of London St. Pancras
- Go shopping. Isn’t that one of the reasons why a lot of tourists go to London in the first place? To do a bit of shopping? Well, I sure love to visit the small local bookshops and doing my share of window-shopping at the mall, whenever I have the opportunity to do so peacefully. Maybe even buy a new dress or two, if I have the extra money for it. The Brunswick Shopping Centre is only a 12 minute walk from London St. Pancras!
- Grab a cup of coffee (or tea). Coffee culture is obviously a big thing in London – just like the traditional cup of tea. Want to spend an hour just enjoying a nice cup of something warm (and a snack) while reading a good book or working on your laptop, in a coffeeshop? Visit Bloomsbury Coffee House (13 minute walk) or Notes Coffee Roasters & Wine Bar (3 minute walk)!
- Or a full English Breakfast. England is not exactly famous for their cuisine, but they are famous for their breakfast (fry-up). As I don’t eat eggs and I prefer veggie sausauges over meat ones anyway, I decided to do a bit of research and head down to one of the traditional pubs that (according to online reviews) serve the best veggie fry-ups in the area of London St. Pancras. And that’s how I ended up in Doric Arch (12 minute walk). And yes, the breakfast was delicious. Beans, hash browns, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast, spinach and a veggie sausage. Yummy!
- Or the traditional fish and chips! Another dish the country is famous for. Not exactly high gastronomy, but it sure is a guilty pleasure of mine. Fries with or without salt and vinegar, and a big, crispy fish fillet. I highly recommend the “chippy” I went to during my last trip to London; North Sea Fish Restaurant & Take Away. While I was waiting, the nice man who took my order offered me a cup of English Breakfast tea (on the house). When my lunch arrived, I sat down on a bench outside of the restaurant and started photographing my enormous fish (and chips) from different angles (to post it on Instagram, obviously). One of the costumers, an older man, “came to the rescue” and offered to take a picture of me with my food, as to him, it looked like I was a sad, struggling tourist. I didn’t wanna tell him that I didn’t want to be in the picture, but hey, it was a nice gesture, so why not.
- Visit a museum. There’s actually quite a few museums to choose from within walking distance of London St. Pancras. The Foundling Museum (14 minute walk) explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. The Charles Dickens Museum (18 minute walk) invites you to the Victorian family home of Charles Dickens, the author of famous stories like Oliver Twist. If you’d rather prefer to visit a natural history museum, visit the Grant Museum of Zoology (19 minute walk). And again, something for those who love literature, maybe you’d like a guided tour in the British Library (7 minute walk)?
- Enjoy a luxury spa. At the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel which is conveniently located right next to the train station. Are you traveling with luggage? No problem! if it doesn’t already fit into the locker, the staff will find a place to store your luggage for you. My friend and I, spent around 3 hours just enjoying the pool and the jacuzzi (for the fee of £30 per person, for a full day). We did not book a massage, as they have to be scheduled in advance. So do all the other treatments offered in the spa. Want to save a little money, and still feel like a queen? You might be able to get a discounted deal on treatments at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel Spa, on websites like Treatwell.
- Grab a pint! Feeling festive? I don’t blame you. Just don’t drink too much, or you’ll miss your connecting train! If you want your pint accompanied by home cooked traditional pub food (such as a yummy lamb stew), check out McGlynn’s (7 minute walk). Other traditional pubs worth checking out is The Skinners Arms (8 minute walk) and King Charles I (10 minute walk). Cheers!
Any Harry Potter fans out there?
While at London St. Pancras – don’t forget to look for Platform 9 3/4 (for some reason I’ve never managed to locate it while at the station)!