Whetstone to Kings Cross – photos

Well – they are both on the Northern Line!

Whetstone at Totteridge and Whetstone tube station is the penultimate stop on the Northern Line – Barnet branch – and so is one of North London’s outermost areas. Indeed one of my photos shows a footpath from Whetstone which goes all the way to the northern section of the London Loop – that walkway that (sort of) mirrors the M25 for walkers.

Whetstone is not an exciting area – it is quiet and middle class – in an ordinary sort of way – not some posh middle class area like parts of Kensington and Chelsea. It is the sort of area the produces the backbone English Middle Class.

I have compared it with the large scale – but very pleasant – redevelopment of the Kings Cross area which started with the station itself and now encompasses a large geography to the north of the Station, totalling 67 acres.

The station both the inside and the front of Cubitt’s great building (which cost more to build originally than the vastly more ornate St Pancras over the road) are improved beyond recognition and the front of the station – removed of it’s awful former clutter – is particularly fine. The new part of the station with its splendid roof structure is designed by John McAslan and Partners.

North of Kings Cross was for years a complete mess and a dump. The very large scale redevelopment of the area is one of the most pleasant redevelopment areas in London with a mixture of shops, offices and housing, together with the main campus for the University of the Arts London. One of the main new office occupants will be the UK HQ of Google.

One of the most interesting developments is the housing built inside the frameworks of the former gasometers – a development that I wasn’t sure would work – but from an outside view, at least, certainly does.

I have taken a number of photographs of the cleaned up Regents Canal – which was for years in this part just a dumping ground. I took a photo (not shown) of a swan and its cygnets on the canal as an indication of how cleaned up here it has become.

I do not know the date when the Kings Cross development will be fully complete – but it is well worth a walk around even as it develops.

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