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The Literary Landmarks to Visit in and Around King's Cross

Picture of Amy Wakeham
Updated: 31 October 2017
London’s King’s Cross isn’t just for people catching trains or changing on the tube. The bustling hub is also a key location for many British literary landmarks, from Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾ to the iconic British library. Read on to find out which you should visit.
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Charles Dickens Museum

For lovers of British literature, 48 Doughty Street is simply a must-visit. The location of the renowned Charles Dickens Museum, it is also where the esteemed author lived for an extended period, and where he wrote Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby. The museum offers a step back in time into the life of Dickens, with recreations of his study, bedroom and the servants’ quarters in the basement. Dickens’ own desk, hand-written manuscripts and his wife’s engagement rings are all on display, too. Simply unmissable.

48 Doughty St, London, UK, +44 20 7405 2127

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The British Library

For book worms of all types, The British Library is the definitive example of its type. With over 150 million items, the library contains a copy of every book and publication ever published in the UK and Ireland. As well as books, the library also offers study rooms for academics, students and researchers. The British Library also has many literary-based exhibitions every year, on a vast array of topics. The Holy Grail for any literature fan.

96 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London, UK, +44 330 333 1144

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Harry Potter Shop, Platform 9¾

Experience the magic of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter in real life, with the ultimate destination for Potter lovers: King’s Cross station’s Platform 9¾. Immortalised years ago, with half a luggage trolley sticking out through the wall, a whole Potter experience has since grown up around the iconic spot. You can have your picture taken with the trolley, and you can also discover a magical world of Harry Potter gifts and goodies in the shop next door. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to make it onto the Hogwarts Express…

King’s Cross, 341 Grays Inn Rd, Kings Cross, London, UK, +44 20 3196 7375


Platform 9 3/4 | © City.and.Color/Flickr | Platform 9 3/4 Kings Cross

King’s Cross’ blue plaques

The blue plaques that you see on buildings throughout London are part of a project that started in 1866, with the aim of linking the buildings of the present with the people of the past. You can find out where people were born, lived, worked and died simply by looking up whenever you see a plaque.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

Essayist and historian Thomas Carlyle is famous for his social commentary on the Victorian era. The Scottish writer also presented many famous lectures in which he argued that the key to history is the ‘Great Man’, one who causes great change and revolution through his actions. He lived at 33 Ampton Street, near King’s Cross when he first moved to London from Scotland.

33 Ampton Street, King’s Cross, London, UK