It’s that time of year where your mind turns to summer holidays but there’s no need to faff around with airports and Airbnbs, not when you’ve got the King’s Cross ‘Riviera’ right on your doorstep

With Regent’s Canal running right through the neighbourhood, King’s Cross has got peaceful waterways to while away summer afternoons by, leafy squares for al fresco dining, fountains in Granary Square to cool off in, and all the summer shopping you could want in Coal Drops Yard. 

With over 100 shops, bars and restaurants, all just five minutes from King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, there’s no better place to go shopping in person – you can have a proper browse and stumble across all the little gems that you just don’t get from scrolling on a screen. There are a whole host of markets popping up throughout the summer too, where you can discover small producers and indie businesses, including the weekly Canopy Market and Lower Stable Street Market, plus an Illustrators’ Fair, Crafty Fox Market and Shotengai Market, featuring pan-Asian homeware and food stalls. 

This summer King’s Cross is also running an absolutely packed programme of free events and activities, meaning you can turn your shopping trip into a real day out. Pretend you’re in Provence with a game of pétanque at the free Club Pétanque pitches, which will be in place in Lewis Cubitt Square until the end of summer, or catch a film al fresco at the Everyman Screen on the Canal. From 22nd June – 6th August, it’ll be screening everything from blockbusters to family faves to Wimbledon matches, all for free. 

You can also check out the free outdoor Queer Joy exhibition in celebration of Pride, which features 50 portraits of queer people taken by LGBTQ+ photographers showcasing queer self-expression. The art and culture doesn’t stop there as King’s Cross Summer Sounds will be taking over Coal Drops Yard from 9th – 20th August with 12 days of free live concerts, with the likes of singer and pianist Joe Stilgoe, the Harrow Community Gospel Choir and artists from the English National Opera all performing. 

Pétanque, music festivals, open-air film screenings, cooling fountains, ice creams……summer in the city has never sounded so good.

King’s Cross, London, N1C