This afternoon’s walk was around – and later inside – St Pancras International station.
We came here, to the Camley Street Natural Park. This is a lovely place to explore. Once a coal yard, it has been reclaimed and turned into a area where wild plants and creatures can thrive in mini-habitats designed just for them.
It may seem untidy and a tangle to us, used to tidy parks and gardens, but that is because it is organized according to nature.
While the wild creatures pass easily through the tangled undergrowth, human feet need a pathway if they are not to damage the fragile environment.
As well as trees and undergrowth, there is a pond or small lake frequented by moorhens and coots.
Even at this time of year there are some flowers, showing brightly among the green foliage…
and red berries lurking in the thickets. Special care is taken to provide for the smallest inhabitants, whether they walk or fly. There is an area for “minibeasts”, closed to visitors at this time of year, and “hotels” here and there.
The park is limited on one side by the road and on the other by the canal which is also picturesque in its own way.
Looking out from one end of park we see towards St Pancras and King’s Cross. The city then seems to crowd in on the park which somehow manages to maintain its tranquility within.
In the picture we see a road-widening scheme in progress, the famous King’s Cross gasometer (there are several, but only one currently standing) which is a listed building, and on the right, St Pancras station, with its familiar pointed clock tower.
We went to St Pancras station to get warm and have a coffee. This is, I think, our most beautiful station. For once, refurbishment has been carried out with minute attention to detail and everything is of fine quality. It is quite unique.
This is John Betjeman, much loved Poet Laureate, as unique a human being as St Pancras is unique as a building. His name will always be associated with St Pancras against whose destruction he stoutly – and successfully – campaigned. The sculpture nicely captures something of his unconventional – and slightly unkempt – appearance.
We decided to go for a late lunch to Carluccio’s restaurant in the station. Near it is the well known sculpture by Paul Day of embracing lovers, called the Meeting Place. The frieze around the pediment is, in my opinion, the best part of the work and is superb.
I wonder why the gargoyle reminds me of Freya… 🙂
By the time we had enjoyed our meal at Carluccio’s, darkness had fallen and King’s Cross was wearing its night-time attire of lights.
Behind us the clock tower of St Pancras stood tall against the dark sky. John Betjeman’s ghost has reason to be proud.