King’s Cross to the City of London
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
This wonderful walk takes you through Central London, taking in some very interesting architecture and history along the way. This walk starts with fewer popular tourist attractions, but shows a different side of London not often seen by tourists. You then come to Farringdon and the attractions pile up: St Paul’s, the Bank of England, Monument, incredible new architecture like the Gherkin and Cheese Grater, then to Brick Lane, Spitalfields Market and back to Liverpool Street Station.
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Route Description for King’s Cross to the City of London
This walk in Central London has fewer big-name attractions, but it is still a great walk. The start of this walk shows a more ordinary London, where people work, eat, drink and live. It then starts to hit the highlights after Farringdon, taking in amazing history, great architecture, incredible markets and some great food options.
Start your walk at King’s Cross. This area, including the tube station, has undergone a major refurbishment. Before leaving King’s Cross (if you are a fan of Harry Potter), be sure to check out Platform 9 3/4 and get your picture taken as you cross through the barrier wearing your house colours. As you exit the station the first thing you notice is the striking St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, which is gorgeous.
From Kings Cross Station, start your walk by going right onto Euston Road. As you walk down Euston Road, you will pass The British Library on your right. This building is the largest public building constructed in Great Britain during the twentieth century. Included in the library's collections are treasures such as the Magna Carta and Leonardo da Vinci's notebook.
Cross Euston Road and go left at Mabledon Place. Continue down Mabledon Place as the name changes to Cartwright Gardens, along the way you can find Lord John Russell, a great British pub to enjoy a pint or a bite to eat. There is also the Fork Deli Patisserie, a rustic-chic café that serves gourmet small bites, pastries, and coffee.
Turn left onto Tavistock Place and take your next right at Hunter Street. Walk down Hunter Street until you reach Brunswick Square Gardens. Walk through Brunswick Square Gardens, a tranquil green space in the city that dates back to the eighteenth century.
At the end of Brunswick Square Gardens go left on a path into Coram's Fields. Coram's Fields is a seven-acre park and playground for children under the age of sixteen. It has a community nursery, sports programs, children's center, youth center, a café, and a city farm. Please note, adults must have a child with them to visit Coram's Fields.
Continue through Coram’s fields and walk to your right, aiming for Guilford Street, which you cross and walk down Guildford Place, and come to Great Ormond Street. If you go right you will find the Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of the world's leading children's hospitals. It was the first hospital to provide dedicated inpatient care to children in the United Kingdom.
Instead turn left onto Great Ormond Street. Walk down Great Ormond Street and go right onto Millman Street. Continue on Millman Street through a pedestrianized area and connect with Great James Street on the other side.
When you get to Theobalds Road go left and walk for 450 m as it changes to Clerkenwell Road. Along the way, you will also pass Gray’s Inn Walks Gardens on your right. These walks are open to the public from 12 to 2:30 on weekdays, and it is a very nice set of Gardens. At the far end of the gardens is Gray’s Inn, one of the four Inns of Court that exclusively has the right to call people to the Bar of England and Wales. The purpose of The Inn is to educate, develop, and support its student barrister members as well as to provide professional development to its qualified barrister members.
Continue on Theobalds Road and go right and walk down Leather Lane for 300 m then turn left onto Greville Street. Continue on Greville Street as it changes to Cowcross Street and passes Farringdon Station. On the other side go right on Cowcross Street, passing some pubs and restaurants.
When you come to St John St go right and cross Charterhouse Street where you will reach Smithfield Market. Smithfield Market, once a livestock market, is the oldest and largest EU approved wholesale meat market in the United Kingdom. Today's market has been around for more than 140 years but there has been one on this site for nearly one-thousand years. Smithfield Market is open Monday to Friday from 2:00 AM. The market is at its best before 7:00 AM. If you come later in the day it will be empty.
You are now in The City of London, also known as the Square Mile. This is the historic center and financial district of London.
After exiting the market, walk straight through the roundabout until you reach Little Britain, which you walk along until you come to an intersection, where you go right and then left at the Lamb and Trotter.
Continue on Little Britain for 120 m before turning right onto St Martins le Grand. Another option is to take a short detour and go left on Aldersgate Street to the Museum of London. The Museum of London is free and open daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. With over nine galleries, the museum documents the history of London from prehistoric times to the present-day.
Walk down St Martins le Grand for 240 m before turning left onto Cheapside at the St Paul’s tube station. From here, you can also detour a little way south on New Change to visit St. Paul's Cathedral. St. Paul's Cathedral is open for sightseeing from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm every day except Sunday. A discount on admission is available if you purchase online. There are also guided tours hourly from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. One highlight of the cathedral is the Whispering Gallery where you can whisper something next to the wall on one side and another visitor can hear it on the other side.
If you don’t visit St. Paul’s, continue on Cheapside as the street changes names to Poultry for 600 m and you come to Bank Station. We love the views from this intersection, especially the Royal Exchange, a beautiful building that has shops inside. Just north of Bank Station is the Bank of England, where there is a museum, which is an interesting stop.
From Bank Station, walk straight down Lombard Street and then continue ahead on King William Street. As you come to Monument Station, go right towards the Thames and then take your first left at Monument Street and walk towards The Monument; a monument built to remember the Great Fire of London in 1666. Climb the 311 steps to the top for a great view of the city.
From The Monument, go left and walk up Fish St Hill as it changes to Gracechurch Street. You’ll notice the interesting Walkie Talkie building on your right. There is a public garden at the top of the Walkie Talkie building which you can visit.
Turn right at Leadenhall Market and explore; a stunning market open Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. There are many shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants within the market in a beautiful heritage setting.
After walking through Leadenhall Market, continue onto Leadenhall Place and get ready for some incredible architecture.
Walk out of Leadenhall Market and go left on Lime Street. In this area, you will start to see new skyscrapers. Here is where some of today's most innovative architectural work is located. To start with, the famous Lloyd’s Building, designed by Richard Rogers.
Turn right to continue on Fenchurch Avenue, above you is the Willis Towers Watson, designed by Norman Foster building. Walk down Fenchurch Avenue then go left onto Billiter Street. Continue on Billiter Street for 100 m and then turn left onto Leadenhall Street.
Walk down Leadenhall Street and pass another new building, known as The Scalpel. This 190 m high skyscraper is the 7th tallest in the City of London, for now.
Ahead of you is the Leadenhall Building, known as the Cheese Grater. This 224 m building is the 6th tallest building in London.
Before reaching the Leadenhall Building, go right at St Mary Axe and pass St Helens Bishopgate church, of which parts still remain from 1480. Towering above the church is the famous Gherkin building, officially known as 30 St Mary Axe. The Gherkin is a dramatic landmark designed by London-based architect, Norman Foster. Standing at the base and looking up is awe-inspiring.
Continue up St Mary Axe and go right on Bevis Marks, where you’ll notice the interesting curved 70 St. Mary Axe. Follow Bevis Marks until you reach Aldgate Square and go left to see the interesting to St Botolph Without Aldgate church.
Continue going North on St Botolph Street and then go right onto Middlesex Street before going left again on Whitechapel High Street. Whitechapel was the home of the Victorian serial killer, Jack the Ripper.
Walk down Whitechapel High Street for 350 m before turning left at Osborn Street, which changes to Brick Lane. Brick Lane is famous for having the most curry houses on a single street in all of London. It is also home to some very Indie clothing shops. On Brick Lane you can further find Chez Elles Bistroquet, a rustic-chic restaurant offering exceptional French bistro dishes.
Go left on Fournier Street and come to Spitalfields Market, a recent redevelopment of an old antique market. It is a fun place to look around and there are many Roman artifacts that were found during the market's development. The market contains numerous shops, as well as places to eat and drink.
Exit to the north of Spitalfields Market and onto Lamb Street. Turn left and continue until Bishopsgate, where you go left. Continue on Bishopsgate for 350 m and end your walk just outside Liverpool Street Station. If you need a pint, Dirty Dicks is across the street from the station.
Insider Hints for King’s Cross to the City of London
- Today is a complicated walk, as many of the attractions are hidden away, and the City of London can be confusing to walk around. Have a map app on your phone and use it, or else be comfortable just wandering around today.
- The City is very busy during the week, however on weekends it is very quiet, and a lot of businesses may be closed. We like to be in the city in the afternoon and then head for a pint with the office workers after work.
- If you just wanted to focus on the City of London, start this walk at Farringdon or Barbican stations.
Getting to the King’s Cross to the City of London Trailhead
Take the tube or train to King’s Cross Station.
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King’s Cross to the City of London Reviews
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