When travelling in London – more so than many other big cities – you are going to find yourself in and out of a lot of train stations, especially if you are using the London Underground system to get from A to B. Though upon arrival at a few of these you are likely to want to get straight to your The Montcalm Hotel London and get an Aviary London cocktail on the mix, if you find yourself stuck because of a delay, or get to the station a little earlier than anticipated, here are some things to do in various London stations around London.
King’s Cross St Pancras
When you are on the tube, you will have seen that King’s Cross St Pancras is one stop and if you understand that these are two separate stations, this may have previously caused confusion for you. To clear things up: King’s Cross Station and St Pancras International are two separate stations but are so close to one another that you simply need to travel to this one tube stop to get to either of them.
If you have time to kill in either King’s Cross or St Pancras International, you are in luck, because this is arguably two of London’s most exciting train stations – which is largely because cross-country trains from the likes of Edinburgh to Europe depart from here. In St Pancras, you will find top shops like Harrods, John Lewis, Foyles bookshop, and a number of other cafes and stores to get everything from a takeaway sandwich to a Joules scarf. Not to mention, there are pianos scattered around the station which members of the public are encouraged to play and it seems like there is always someone with a tune to share, so if you can’t play yourself, listen and follow the tinkling until you find the little impromptu concert taking place.
In King’s Cross, you will find a couple of shops (though not quite so varied as St Pancras, so just mosy across the road if shopping is your preference), but it is also home to Platform 9 and ¾ – the famous (fictional) platform from J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which is how witches and wizards get from the real world to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You will find the platform next to the Harry Potter shop, where you can buy everything from chocolate frogs to house scarves, which you will need if you want to pose with the trolley halfway through the wall on the platform. Bonus: there are Harry Potter Shop staff on the case when it comes to getting the perfect photograph – they will hold your scarf out of the picture so it looks swept in the wind as you run to get your Hogwarts Express!
Those using their London Hotels Special Offers to stay in The Montcalm Marble Arch will likely find themselves needing to use Paddington Station. It is a massive station with a fair amount to do, so if you find yourself stressing about being late for trains, you should get there early instead and enjoy the station. Literature-lovers, film-lovers, and people with children will all have Paddington Station as a reference point through the best-loved children’s story of Paddington Bear. At the station, there is a quaint statue of the loveable, marmalade-loving bear as well as a store called Paddington, selling gifts and memorabilia of the blue-coat and red-hat wearing bear.
The station is rich in history, and architecturally quite beautiful. The best piece of advice you can take when visiting the station is, “look up”: the intricate steel embellishments around the station are prime examples of metropolitan beauty! There are also, of course, plenty of retail outlets and a number of cafe’s for the burning pockets and rumbling tummies.
Given that Waterloo is a terminating station, bringing people into London from as far afield as Hampshire’s Alton, it is very well-stocked to ensure those coming in and out have everything they could need. Whether your time-killing preference is to eat away the time, or shop it away, there are plenty of options for both types of people. If it is food you are after but you aren’t sure what you fancy, go to the upper terrace level of the station and pick from the food-hall style variety.
Liverpool Street Station
If you are staying at The Montcalm at The Brewery London, you will likely be frequenting Liverpool Street Station at some stage during your stay, as it is one of the biggest in the area. If you have intentions to visit Cambridgeshire, Essex, Greater London, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk at some point in your UK adventure, it is also the starting point. You may find the name familiar if you were an active player of the original Monopoly game, as this was one of the four train stations that could be found around the board, the other three being Fenchurch Street, Marylebone and King’s Cross.
Due to the station being a big commuter destination, there is absolutely no shortage of any food or drink you might need – whether it is a sandwich or a pasta, a pint or a coffee, there is something for everyone. It is also a great spot because if the delay is big enough, you can leave luggage at Excess Baggage Co on platform 10 and explore some of the nearby attractions, like the Spitalfields Market. Or, you could head to Finsbury Circus Garden, pick a bench and enjoy your wait from the outdoors (weather permitting!)
So, if you find yourself with a lot of time to kill or have a delay at any of these London train stations, don’t fret – there is plenty for you to busy yourself with, whether it is a chocolate croissant, a bag of Percy Pigs from M&S or a little clothing or gift shop before heading to your next destination. Then, once you get back to your hotel after the probably somewhat stressful wait, you can head straight to The Montcalm Spa to ease any tension you are holding onto.