It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago King’s Cross was more grotty than glam. Its makeover complete, the area has become a hotbed of creativity, full of quirky galleries, cool shops and hands-on arts spaces. Killing a few mind-expanding hours in the neighbourhood has never been easier.

  • Drink, Shop & Do

    Macramé, Jenga speed-dating, Buffy the Vampire Slayer papier mâché… there’s no time for thumb twiddling at this activity-packed bar/boutique.

    Pop in for a side of craft with your post-work cocktail or settle in for board games, bagels and Bloody Marys at the weekend Bottomless Brunch.

  • House of Illustration

    As if its walls alone weren’t inspiring enough, this illustration-dedicated gallery (founded by cartoonist/illustrator/writer Quentin Blake) plays host to an array of drop-in drawing sessions, live drawing evenings, late DJ sets, family workshops, short courses and day-long masterclasses in fashion, botanical and book illustration.

  • Pangolin London Sculpture Trail

    Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG

    Pangolin is on a mission to get more of us to appreciate, admire and invest in sculpture and this canalside art trail is one of their weapons.

    Take a waterside wander to see large-scale works by the likes of Lynn Chadwick and Anthony Abrahams.

  • School of Life

    70 Marchmont Street, WC1N 1AB

    Living wisely and well is the raison d’être of this hotbed of ideas and inspiration a short walk from King’s Cross station.

    Drop in to browse the shop’s books, gifts and stationery or book yourself on to a course to explore finding love, realising your potential or the meaning of life.

  • Word on the Water

    Granary Square, N1C 4AA

    Paddington’s loss was King’s Cross’s gain when development forced this fabulous floating bookshop to set sail in 2015.

    Now permanently resident on the canal at Granary Square, it’s an atmospheric spot to browse new and used books and listen to jazz on sunny afternoons.