Sex, pubs & rock’n’roll – King’s Cross has it all, and so much more … from a fish-&-chip shop once bugged by MI5 to London’s most enduring radical bookshop. Inside the main line station, there’s the magic of platform 9¾ … and just outside, the every bit as magical Keystone Crescent. The locality has a lighthouse, a Welsh tabernacle where services are now conducted in Amharic, social housing with a fairy-tale feel, a canal-side well built to store huge blocks of Norwegian ice, and a cruising club based in a water point which once supplied steam trains.

Curious King's Cross-228x228

The area has been repeatedly re-branded ever since the 1820s, when the cinder heaps of Battlebridge were given the more marketable name of King’s Cross, replete with a royal statue which so ‘grievously offended the eye of taste’ it was pulled down after less than a decade.

Andrew Whitehead visits some thirty buildings and locations which offer a fresh take on one of London’s most varied and surprising neighbourhoods; Brian Kelly supplies bespoke photos; and a map designed by Nancy Edwards will encourage readers to follow in the author’s footsteps.

Available in store and online.

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