Lug. A brilliant verb that says everything it needs to: ‘to drag something around’. It doesn’t imply lightness or an easy ride – far from it – it firmly points to a fair amount of heaving, lifting and lurching. But despite the implication, most of us still seem to pack an awful lot into our luggage when we go away. Hence, we end up caught in the perpetual travellers spiral of heaving, lifting and lurching – from train, to cab, to tube, to visitor attraction, to hotel – and back again… If you’re travelling into London King’s Cross we’ve got a different solution …
If you’re visiting London, you could decide to travel light. A certain Mr Whittington arrived with nothing but the clothes he stood up in and his lunch, in a hanky on a stick. Oh, and a Cat – but the feline friend was probably just after some of the food. These days a handkerchief on a stick is not especially practical on the mean streets of London. But if you’re doing exciting things before you check in to your accommodation – for example heading to the theatre for a bargain matinee performance – you won’t be wanting to do that with a family sized suitcase in tow. If you’re out for the afternoon and your hotel is the other side of town , one option is to find an alternative place to leave your luggage ‘twixt train and check in.
It just so happens that our Camden branch is within striking distance of King’s Cross, St Pancras and London Euston….
Here’s Camden’s Dan explaining how our King’s Cross left luggage works…
If you’re passing through King’s Cross though – here are some fantastic facts that you probably don’t know about the Station – along with a couple of nearby tourist attractions.
- King’s Cross station was built on the junction of York Way and Euston Road and opened in 1852. It took just 4 years from first plans being drawn up in 1848 to its opening in October ’52.
- The Station opened with just two platforms – one in bound and one outbound. The area between the tracks was used as sidings, but over the next 30 years new platforms were added as the rail network grew.
- King’s Cross was designed by Lewis Cubitt – Brother of Thomas (whose works included Belgravia, Bloomsbury and Osborne House) and son of Sir William – famed for being chief engineer and chair of the building committee for The Crystal Palace.
- It’s most famous platform doesn’t really exist. Platform 9 3/4 – departure point for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in J K Rowling’s Harry Potter was a figment of her considerable imagination. In fact – if legend is to be believed – she really meant platforms 4 & 5 within the main station, but recalled the platform numbers incorrectly when penning her enchanted masterpiece.
- The original 1852 facade was partially covered in 1972 when British rail installed a temporary ground floor ticket office and concourse. It turned out to be less than temporary – lasting 40 years – and was only removed in 2012, as part of King’s Cross’ £500 million refurbishment.
- King’s cross has played host to a number of famous locomotives – most notable the Flying Scotsman and A4 class Mallard which claimed the world speed record for a steam locomotive in 1938 – achieving 125.88 mph.
Attractions near King’s Cross
If Railways are a bit too modern for you, then a visit to the London Canal Museum might be more to your liking. You can learn about the history of London’s Canals (our major transport infrastructure before the railways were built) and see inside a narrowboat.
The British Library is a stone’s throw from King’s Cross St Pancras. Home to one of 4 copies of the ‘Magna Carta’ (all four will be exhibited together in 2015 in a special balloted event) and a collection of books begun by George III, which his son George IV presented to the nation in 1823.
And don’t forget – if you do find yourself in need of our King’s Cross left luggage storage – you know where to come.