There’s always something new going on in London, and while sometimes it can feel safe and easy to stick to what you know, taking yourself somewhat off the beaten track can lead to some exciting discoveries.
With a particular focus on regeneration of the city since the 2012 Olympics, it seems like every month there’s a new place to explore. Regeneration means new homes, improved transport links and more reason to visit these districts.
Here are three regenerated areas of London that you should definitely pay a visit to:
The regeneration of King’s Cross is one of the biggest development projects in Europe. Once an important industrial heartland for Victorian England, the area fell into decline in the late 20th century and was left full of unused buildings, empty warehouses and a somewhat unsavoury reputation.
That started to change in the mid-’90s, though, when the Channel Tunnel rail link was moved from from Waterloo to St Pancras. In the decades since, King’s Cross has been completely transformed and what was once practically a wasteland is now a unique city destination bursting with affordable housing, shops, offices, a university, schools, bars, restaurants and shops.
King’s Cross even has its very own brand-new postcode – N1C. As a result, it’s now a fantastic place for things to eat, drink, see and do and should be top of your list when visiting London’s regenerated areas.
Elephant & Castle
Elephant & Castle is one of the capital’s most colourful districts. An important staging post since the Roman times, the area was even known as the ‘Picadilly of the South’ between the 1890s and 1940, as wealthy residents enjoyed the latest entertainment, and new shopping centres sprang up everywhere. But it soon fell into decline as slum areas developed and the neighbourhood was bombed heavily during World War II.
Today, though, it’s all changing. The area is undergoing major development with £3 billion being invested to build thousands of new homes, a pedestrianised town centre, new green spaces, better transport connections and a whole lot more. Once a place some liked to avoid, the Elephant is becoming a place to be. Be sure to visit the Mercato Metropolitano for top notch Italian food and The Artworks for food, drink and creativity all housed within shipping containers!
White City was once synonymous with the BBC, as it was home to its ‘Media Village’. However the Beeb left the site in 2013, paving the way for some major redevelopment work to take place.
The area is now being transformed into a social, commercial and residential centre, with new accommodation, office space and a hotel slowly starting to take shape. Those behind the development say the site is inspired by the buildings and parks of New York and Chicago, so expect dramatic skylines and lots of outdoor space (and, of course, a trip to Westfield)!