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Travel Info & Tips From King's Cross and St Pancras stations to London's Top Tourist Destinations

From King's Cross and St Pancras stations to London's Top Tourist Destinations

How to reach more than twenty of London's most popular tourist destinations when arriving at King's Cross and St Pancras stations by train.

| Last Updated: 23 days ago
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King's Cross and St Pancras stations are in the same location on the northern edge on the heart of the city.
The British Library is across the street from St Pancras, but you will be taking public transport on to all other popular tourist destinations, when arriving at King's Cross and St Pancras by train.

Hence using my insights from being a Londoner, who frequently has to plan trips around the city centre for someone who prefers to avoid using stairs, to come up with this guide to accessing London’s most popular tourist attractions from King's Cross and St Pancras stations.
The focus is on what’s easiest, so where relevant alternative step-free routes have been included; though comparatively few Underground stations in central London have step-free access by lift (elevator) between the trains and the streets.
The deep-level ‘tube’ lines, the Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Northern, Piccadilly and Victoria, are only included when they are absolutely the most logical option.

to the British Museum

The easiest public transport option for travelling to The British Museum from King's Cross and St Pancras is to take a westbound Piccadilly line train to Holborn.
Despite Transport for London's promotion of Russel Square as the ideal station when travelling to the museum.
The walking route from Holborn, left on to High Holborn and then right into Bury Place, is a similar distance to that from Russel Square, but the plus is that it leads towards the museum entrance on Great Russell Street.

to The Natural History Museum, The Science Museum and The V&A Museum

The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum and The Victoria and Albert Museum are all located on the aptly named Exhibition Road in South Kensington.
These museums are a five minute walk north of South Kensington underground station, through a subway which leads off from the ticket hall.
Take any westbound Piccadilly line train direct to South Kensington from King's Cross St. Pancras.

Arriving at King's Cross

If your train has arrived at platforms/tracks 0-8 in King's Cross station the first access point to the Underground which you will see is over to the left, just outside the station.
At the foot of this access point, there are signs which say go right for the Piccadilly line
20210925_103603.jpg
but trust me on this go to the left and not to the right.
Just over to left is one of the ticket halls in the Underground station, and this ticket hall houses an escalator which leads directly down to the Piccadilly line.
The alternative route to these two lines, which the signs are suggesting you follow, is at least 5 mins longer, as it will lead you through a more distant ticket hall.

But if you arrive at platforms 9 – 11 the closest access to the Underground will take you down to that alternative ticket hall.
From there you can just follow the signs pointing you in the direction of each respective line, as there aren't any short cuts available.

Arriving at St Pancras

The Piccadilly line can be accessed from two different areas of the main station building:

  1. On the other side of the ticket hall above the Circle and Metropolitan lines, which is located in front of the station, is another less obvious ticket hall which houses escalators down to the tube lines.
  2. At the end of the station by the Thameslink station and below the area of the station that the Southeastern trains arrive at, is the access to a passage way to an alternative Underground ticket hall, but this ticket hall is under King's Cross station, which is across the street.
    So the passage way is fairly long, as is the passage ways which leads to the Piccadilly line from this ticket hall.
    Though if you would rather use lifts (elevators) instead of escalators to access these tube lines, then this is the route to take

to Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is the location of The National Gallery and the separate National Portrait Gallery, plus Horse Guard’s Parade and The Churchill War Rooms, which is just off The Mall, are within a few minutes walk.

Take any westbound Piccadilly line to Leicester Square station for the short walk down Charing Cross Road.

to The South Bank

A clutch of tourist destinations are located on the south bank of the River Thames between Waterloo and Westminster Bridges.
They include The London Eye and The Sea Life London Aquarium and The London Dungeon and The South Bank Centre arts complex including The Hayward Gallery and The Festival Hall.

Waterloo underground station is within a 5 -10 minute walk of all these attractions, though the station has multiple exits, so take your time and use the maps and signs, so that you use the exit with the easiest access to where you will be heading.

There isn't a direct Underground Line to Waterloo from King's Cross, but of the many options, SMTJ's preference is to take the Piccadilly Line westbound to Leicester Square and connect there into the southbound Northern line, as the connection between the two lines at Leicester Square involves a comparatively short set of stairs.
Though at Piccadilly Circus station, the next stop on from Leicester Square, an escalator link is available to the southbound Bakerloo line.

Or if you'll want to use lifts (elevators) during the end-to-end journey, you can take this route:

  1. Head over to the adjacent St Pancras station and take one of the 12 trains an hour from platform A, which will be heading to London Bridge.
  2. At London Bridge station lifts (elevators) and escalators will enable easy access to platforms 8 and 9, from where all the trains will call at Waterloo (East); trains depart at least every 5 minutes.
  3. Waterloo (East) station is adjacent to the main station at Waterloo, to which it has step-free access by a footbridge, though a fairly step slope leads up to it from the platforms in Waterloo (East).
    20221006_135805_size.jpg
    At the other end of the footbridge a lift (elevator) and escalators are available down to the main concourse, from where the access to the South Bank is on the far side of the station, by the platforms with the high numbers.

to the Tower Of London

Take an eastbound Circle line train to Tower Hill station, as it is a few minutes walk from the main entrance into the Tower Of London.
Though these Circle line trains aren't particularly frequent.
The alternative is to take a southbound Northern line train to Bank station, where an escalator is available up to an eastbound Circle or District line train to Tower Hill.

Arriving at King's Cross

If your train has arrived at platforms/tracks 0-8 in King's Cross station the first access point to the Underground which you will see is over to the left, just outside the station.
At the foot of this access point, there are signs which say go right for the Piccadilly line
20210925_103603.jpg
but trust me on this go to the left and not to the right.
Just over to left is one of the ticket halls in the Underground station, and this ticket hall houses an escalator which leads directly down to the Northern line.
The alternative route to these two lines, which the signs are suggesting you follow, is at least 5 mins longer, as it will lead you through a more distant ticket hall.

But if you arrive at platforms 9 – 11 the closest access to the Underground will take you down to that alternative ticket hall.
From there you can just follow the signs pointing you in the direction of each respective line, as there aren't any short cuts available.

Arriving at St Pancras

The Northern line can be accessed from two different areas of the main station building:

  1. On the other side of the ticket hall above the Circle and Metropolitan lines, which is located in front of the station, is another less obvious ticket hall which houses escalators down to the tube lines.
  2. At the end of the station by the Thameslink station and below the area of the station that the Southeastern trains arrive at, is the access to a passage way to an alternative Underground ticket hall, but this ticket hall is under King's Cross station, which is across the street.
    So the passage way is fairly long, as is the passage ways which leads to the Piccadilly line from this ticket hall.
    Though if you would rather use lifts (elevators) instead of escalators to access these tube lines, then this is the route to take.

to The Shard and Borough Market

A clutch of tourist destinations are located in the London Bridge area including Borough Market (best experienced on a weekend), The Shard and HMS Belfast the south side access to Tower Bridge, plus the attractions in the adjacent Bermondsey Street area such as the Fashion and Textile Museum and The White Cube Gallery, plus on weekends, The Ropewalk.

To access the London Bridge area from King's Cross and St Pancras taking a southbound Northern line train on the route via Bank is the quickest option..
For Borough Market use the exits on to Borough High Street, for HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge use the exits on to Tooley Street.
The Shard and Bermondsey Street are on the opposite side of the railway tracks, so head to the Tooley Street ticket hall, but exit through the right into the passage way named Joiner Street - and then head to the right.

Arriving at King's Cross

If your train has arrived at platforms/tracks 0-8 in King's Cross station the first access point to the Underground which you will see is over to the left, just outside the station.
At the foot of this access point, there are signs which say go right for the Northern line, but just over to left is one of the ticket halls in the Underground station, and this ticket hall houses an escalator which leads directly down to the Northern line.
The alternative route to these two lines, which the signs are suggesting you follow, is at least 5 mins longer, as it will lead you through a more distant ticket hall.

Avoid taking the Underground.

The alternative route is to take a southbound Thameslink train, up to 12 trains per hour now depart from platform A in St Pancras Thameslink station and take just over fifteen minutes to make the journey to London Bridge station.
For Borough Market use the exit on to Tooley Street and turn left, for HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge use the same exit and turn right, for The Shard and Bermondsey Street use the exits on to St Thomas Street.

to The Zoo and Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussauds is adjacent to Baker Street Underground station, it is on the next block, but taking the bus is the easiest means of reaching The Zoo.
The only bus route which stops right by London Zoo’s entrance is the 274
and at Baker Street it departs from bus stop C, take the bus heading to Angel, Islington.

To head to Baker Street from King's Cross and St Pancras take any eastbound Circle and Hammersmith & City line train, the access to the street exits at Baker Street is more straightforward than from the Metropolitan line trains.

Though an alternative option for accessing London Zoo from King's Cross, St Pancras is to take a northbound Northern line train to Camden Town as The Zoo is a 15 – 25 min walk from there.
Head off down the road named Parkway and then turn right on to Prince Albert Road.
Though Camden Town station can be exceptionally busy on Sundays.

to Westminster

When heading to Westminster Abbey and the area around the Houses of Parliament from King's Cross and St Pancras stations, making the transfer at Green Park between the southbound Victoria and Jubilee lines seems the way to go.
Though the Victoria lines near permanent crowds result in the typically easier option being:

  • Take any southbound train from platform A in St Pancras Thameslink station, boarding into the rear of the train.
    20221006_165619_size.jpg
  • At Blackfriars connect into any westbound Circle or District line train to Westminster.

to the Covent Garden area and The London Transport Museum

The Covent Garden area, which is where the London Transport Museum is located, is most easily accessed from King's Cross and St Pancras stations by taking a westbound Piccadilly line train to Leicester Square station.
Take the exit from the station on to Cranbourn Street, turn right into Garrick Street and then left into King Street.

Arriving at King's Cross

If your train has arrived at platforms/tracks 0-8 in King's Cross station the first access point to the Underground which you will see is over to the left, just outside the station.
At the foot of this access point, there are signs which say go right for the Piccadilly line
20210925_103603.jpg
but trust me on this go to the left and not to the right.
Just over to left is one of the ticket halls in the Underground station, and this ticket hall houses an escalator which leads directly down to the Piccadilly line.
The alternative route to these two lines, which the signs are suggesting you follow, is at least 5 mins longer, as it will lead you through a more distant ticket hall.

But if you arrive at platforms 9 – 11 the closest access to the Underground will take you down to that alternative ticket hall.
From there you can just follow the signs pointing you in the direction of each respective line, as there aren't any short cuts available.

Arriving at St Pancras

The Piccadilly line can be accessed from two different areas of the main station building:

  1. On the other side of the ticket hall above the Circle and Metropolitan lines, which is located in front of the station, is another less obvious ticket hall which houses escalators down to the tube lines.
  2. At the end of the station by the Thameslink station and below the area of the station that the Southeastern trains arrive at, is the access to a passage way to an alternative Underground ticket hall, but this ticket hall is under King's Cross station, which is across the street.
    So the passage way is fairly long, as is the passage ways which leads to the Piccadilly line from this ticket hall.
    Though if you would rather use lifts (elevators) instead of escalators to access these tube lines, then this is the route to take.

to Buckingham Palace

The entrance for the viewing of The State Rooms at Buckingham Palace is approximately an equal distance from Green Park and Victoria stations, so from King's Cross and St Pancras take the southbound Victoria line to Green Park.

Unusually for a central London underground station, step-free access by a series of lifts (elevators) between the trains and the street is available at Green Park.

to Greenwich

Greenwich station is a 5 – 10 minute walk to the historic center of maritime Greenwich

There are only typically two trains per hour, which are direct to Greenwich from platform A in St Pancras Thameslink station, these trains will typically be heading to Rainham.
Or if the waiting time for one of these trains is more than 15 minutes, you may as well take the first train heading to London Bridge station, then where you arrive there, head over to platform 1 for a train to Greenwich.

to The O2 Arena

Take the southbound Northern line to London Bridge and transfer there to an eastbound Jubilee line train to North Greenwich.

to Wembley Stadium

Take any northbound Metropolitan train to Wembley Park station
The train will be heading to Amersham, Watford or Uxbridge.

to the Sky Garden

The easiest route from King's Cross and St Pancras stations to the Sky Garden is to take the eastbound Metropolitan or Circle line to Aldgate station; don't board a Hammersmith & City line train, which will be heading to Barking.
The Sky Garden will then be an 8 - 12 min walk along Fenchurch Street, which is slightly longer than from Bank station, but you can avoid the more complicated transfers to and from the Northern line.

to Somerset House

The easiest option for the journey from from King's Cross and St Pancras stations to Somerset House is to take any southbound train from platform A in St Panrcas Thameslink station, boarding into the rear of the train, then at Blackfriars connect into any westbound Circle or District line train to Temple.

to Tate Britain

Pimlico station is an 8 to 15 walk from Tate Britain, so take the southbound Victoria line
Then on arrival at Pimlico, head to the gallery's side entrance by crossing over Vauxhall Bridge Road on to John Islip Street and turning right into Atterbury Street.

to Tate Modern

Head down to platform A in St Pancras Thameslink station and then board into the front of any train, leaving it at Blackfriars station, using its southside exit.
20221006_165751_size.jpg
The main entrance to Tate Modern is then within a 3 minute walk.

From King's Cross

  • Head over the street to St Pancras station, using the exit at King's Cross on to Pancras Road, which leads off from the main concourse on the opposite side to the departure boards.
    The main entrance to St Pancras International as seen from the Panrcas Road exit at King's Cross
  • Once you have entered St Pancras International go straight ahead and you will then see the entrance to the part of the station, used by Thameslink trains, over to the right, on the other side of a ticket desk.

to St Paul's

Monday to Saturday

Head down to platform A in St Pancras Thameslink station and then board into the front of any train for easy access to the exit on Ludgate Hill at City Thameslink station.
The advantage of the route is that the walk from Ludgate Hill leads up to the front of the cathedral, where its main entrance is located.
20221006_143133_size.jpg
Also lifts (elevators) are available to from the trains at both Thameslink stations.

Sunday
City Thameslink station is only open from Monday to Saturday, so on a Sunday take a westbound Piccadilly line train to Holborn and transfer there to an eastbound Central line train to St Paul's station.

To Kensington Palace

There are two optimal routes for the journey from King's Cross, St Pancras station to Kensington Palace:

(1) the quickest route is to take the southbound Piccadilly line to Holborn and connect there for the westbound Central line to Queensway, or
(2) avoid ‘the tube’ by taking a westbound Circle or Hammersmith and City line train to Edgeware Road, connecting there into a Circle or District line train to Bayswater.

to Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are some distance from King's Cross and St Pancras stations, hence the multiple options for making the journey by train:
(1) The quickest, but busiest option is to take a southbound Victoria line and then connect at Victoria for a westbound District line train to Kew Gardens station, though take care to board a train which will be heading to Richmond.
(2) Avoid ‘the tube’ by taking a westbound Circle or Hammersmith and City line train to Edgeware Road.
Transfer there to District line train to Wimbledon which will call at Earl's Court, where a simple as can be cross-platform transfer will be available into a train heading to Richmond; check the indicators.
20221006_154415.jpg
If you're in luck, a cross-platform transfer will also be available at Edgware Road station.
(3) This option seems bizarre, but it's typically very simple and can take less than 40 minutes:

  • take a train from platform B in St Pancras Thameslink station to West Hampstead Thameslink station
  • Leave that station and when you're on the road, turn right and walk for around a minute and then enter West Hampstead Overground station.
  • Take an Overground train to Kew Gardens; taking care to board a train heading to Richmond.
    Oyster Cards can be used on the Thameslink and Overground trains.
Author

Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.

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