27 May 2009

Exploring St. Pancras

Wherever I work I like to get out at lunchtime and go for a little explore. This has many benefits, it breaks the work-through-lunch habit, provides a little light exercise and uncovers some nice surprises.

The new Logica office for London is just North of Kings Cross which is a part of London that I have not worked in before so there is much for me to explore. The office is right next to the Regent's Canal and that was an obvious place to start the exploration.

Heading West along the canal one sharp turn leads you to a different world where industrialisation is suddenly masked by countryside idyll in which sits St. Pancras Lock. Just behind the lock is the main line from St. Pancras Station but so too is a small wharf where around fifty canal boats are moored.

This stretch of the canal attracts many lunchtime explorers some of whom chose to jog through the landscape, some sit on one of the many benches and some, like me, try to look as though we are used to walking through rural scenes in business suits.

Just the other side of the railway line is St. Pancras Hospital site. It does not look much like a hospital and I guess that is has been superseded by the nearby University College London Hospital but it still appears to be owned by the National Health Service.

This magnificent Victorian industrial architecture sits on the North side of a small park and it is hard to think of a more impressive boundary or a more attractive backdrop for the trees and bushed.

The park is a mess in a delightful way with a criss-cross of paths and some graves and other monuments related to St Pancras Old Church on the South side. The park's main feature is this decorative monument that is guarded by four impassive lions.

All of these sites are no more than ten minutes from my office and were completely unknown to me until a few days ago. This is precisely why I go exploring!

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