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a photo of the CSM building in King's Cross


6 places to check out around CSM

By UALHalls 02 Apr 2023

Hi! Lilia here, I’m a second year Masters of Research Art: Exhibition Studies programme. I started at CSM in September for 2021, after moving from Australia and have definitely come to love calling London home. 

Kings Cross is a wonderful area to study in with plenty of nature spots, shops and food destinations. It’s pretty easy to travel to as well with most train lines & buses traveling via King's Cross and onto places like Soho, St Paul’s, Hyde Park & Notting Hill. Camden is also a 15 min walk away via Regents Canal so plenty of options for a post-class adventure. 

At Granary Square and the Coal Drop Yards there is always something going on - markets Friday to Sunday, art exhibits, film festivals in the Summer.

Spring, summer and autumn are also wonderful times to walk Regents Canal, which can take you right across London from West to East. 

So here are my favourite spots to enjoy King's Cross and your time at CSM.

1. Camley Street Natural Park 🌳

12 Camley St, London N1C 4PW

With plenty of natural spots around CSM to choose from, there is a reason Camley Street Natural Park comes out at the top of my list.

Walking through Camley Street Natural Park is like stepping into another world filled with birdsong (it’s hard to believe it’s next to some of the busiest stations in London). It’s right beside CSM, walk across the canal via the Somers Town Bridge and you’re there!

If you’re hungry you can grab a drink/bite to eat at the park’s cafe, or you can just walk through and find one of the many seats scattered throughout the park to sit and chill. It’s free and well worth a visit.

2. Word on the Water 📚

For my fellow booklovers, this spot is for you!

Word on the Water is an incredibly unique bookshop, with the bookshop being in a boat! Just walk out the front of CSM and take a left down to the canal and you’ll find this gem.

They stock all manner of books, new and old, and even host events and performances. My secret tip is visiting in late Autumn/Winter as they keep a fire running in the boat so you can curl up with a book on their couches and listen to the crackling fire.

They’re open from 12pm to 7pm every day (except Christmas) so you can get your book any day of the year, late into the evening.

3. ODEON Camden 🎞

14 The Parkway, London NW1 7AA

There is the Everyman Cinema right behind CSM but, in my opinion, it’s much better to go to the ODEON in Camden.

It’s easy to get to, walk along Regents Canal towards Camden (about 25-30mins) or get the 214 bus from Chenies Place (the other side of St Pancras Station which takes about 20mins).

The reason I would go with ODEON is their subscription plan. If you like films it’s well worth signing up for myLIMITLESS. It’s £14.99 per month, so a little less than a premium netflix subscription, and you can see all of their films as often as you’d like. I have a few friends with this membership and they are at the cinema weekly seeing the latest films. When a single ticket to the cinema can cost upwards of £10 per film, it’s a money-saving win.

4. EustonWall 🧗🏼‍♀️

350 Euston Rd., London NW1 3AX

There are plenty of options around CSM to meet your fitness goals, classes you can pop into between uni lectures or something longer term. The options are endless, but my go to is a little further away from campus.

Bouldering has been growing in popularity in recent years and for a good reason. It's an exercise that most people can get into within a friendly and fun environment as well as being a great activity to do with friends.

EustonWall, part of London Climbing Centers (8 locations across the city), is my recommendation and they offer special discounts and offers for first timers including 5 entry passes including shoe hire for £47 which would usually cost over £100.

If you’d just like to try it on a few occasions, they offer student discounts too, just be sure to take your student ID with you on your visit!

5. Lafayette 🎤

11 Goods Way, London N1C 4DP

A little-known entertainment venue tucked away in the Goods Way in front of CSM, Lafayette is really changing the game of live performances in London.

For students, it’s particularly cheap to see up and coming bands live, the highest I’ve ever seen their ticket prices for were £16 for events.

They don’t serve drinks or food, but there are plenty of locations around the venue to fuel up before the show.

And if you’re not on board yet these are some of the names they’ve had perform before: Måneskin, Jessi J, Sam Ryder, & Gang of Youths.

6. Franco Manca 🍕

62-68 York Wy, London N1 9FA

Although there is a Happy Face pizza place right behind CSM with delicious pizzas, my tip is to take a 10min walk from uni towards King's Cross to Franco Manca. It has some of the best sourdough pizza you can get. 

For students, we can get any of their pizzas and drink (soft drink or house wine) for £9.95! You just need to sign up with Unidays and activate the Franco Manca code in store to get it.

Applying or moving to our halls? Check out some of our other articles that can helpful to you: