Over the last few years, the area behind Kings Cross station, once notorious for prostitution and drug dealing, has been transformed, and continues to transform, into a vibrant area with fabulous shops, restaurants, apartment buildings, and massive office blocks for the likes of Google and Facebook.
Living relatively nearby, we visit Kings Cross, and Coal Drops Yard, regularly to see the changes. One of the most recent developments is the opening of Camley Street Natural Park, managed by the London Wildlife Trust. On a sunny November day, when the skies were blue, we were amazed how calm and peaceful this urban oasis felt, despite the noise of trains, as the park is sandwiched between rail tracks and Regent’s Canal.
Although it’s early days, the woodland, grassland and wetland habitat has ponds, a reedbed and marshy areas, which will provide a habitat for butterflies, amphibians, plant life and birds. Judging by the scribblings on a ‘sightings board’ at the entrance, their hard work is paying off.
Depending on your pace, it probably takes around 20 minutes to walk around the two-acre park on a path covered in bark chips. It’s relatively flat going, although at one point there are a few steep steps to negotiate but there are benches for sitting and soaking in the tranquillity.
Although we didn’t visit it, the onsite Kingfisher café sells a range of hot and cold drinks and sweet and savoury snacks which can be enjoyed on the lovely outdoor terrace. There are accessible toilets available too.