St Pancras train station was designed by William Barlow in 1863 and the famous Gothic front facade was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott. The newly refurbished station is now home to the Eurostar terminal and the St.Pancras Renaissance Hotel is set to become one of the great hotels of the world.
St Pancras International, right next to King's Cross station, is one of the easiest stations to get to in central London with direct links to 6 underground lines. It takes just 7 minutes to walk to from Euston, past the British Library - easily done if you've got a pull-along case.
There are 5 entrances. One is on Euston Road at the tube station (where you can sometimes see a Muslim man in full flowing robes selling peacock feathers), 2 more are on Midland Road, where the taxi rank is located, and a futher 2, including the main entrance and the taxi drop off point, are on Pancras Road. You can also enter the upper concourse via the hotel.
The taxi drop off point is immediately outside the check-in hall. The business and premium ticket office is also here and there are plenty of Eurostar staff waiting to help. There's a currency exchange desk opposite check-in and a cafe.
The newly refurbished station is an excting mixture of original brick and cast iron columns and modern glass and steel. There's lots of cafes, restaurants and shops, including several famous brands such as Cath Kidston and Hamleys. There's even a 'Sourced Market' just as you enter the main entrance, selling fresh produce in wicker baskets and barrels. You certainly needn't worry if you've forgotten to pack anything.
At the far end of the shopping mall, on the right, is the Eurostar ticket office and its minimalist design is like a hotel lobby. You can use their computer terminals to book future travel.Toilets are near the ticket office and are free to use.
Fast trains to Dover are accessed through the main entrance. You may catch these trains if going on a cruise or by Ferry across the channel.
Upper Concourse & Hotel
To escape the crowds whilst you're waiting, go to the upper concourse. Here you can see the Eurostar trains waiting to leave, their engines the shape of serpent's heads, red lights glowing like angry eyes. Look up and you will see the magnificent cast iron & glass roof. The grand scale seems appropriate for international travel and adventure.
There's a statue of Sir John Betjeman, and 2 brass plaques are laid into floor leading up to it with the quote, 'Revival ran along the hedge, And made my spirit whole, When steam was on the window panes And glory in my soul,' engraved into them. There's also a vat sculpture by Paul Day, of a couple embracing. On the base is a carved eulogy to train travel. There are guided tours around the station, there's that much to see.
Attached to the side of the hotel lobby, on the concourse, is The Booking Office. This is an elegant, atmospheric bar set, of course, in the old booking office. There's also an oyster bar and a champagne bar. As you enter from the front of the hotel, under the old clock, there's the Betjeman Arms and a Carluccios. Wifi is free throughout St.Pancras (although it's £6 per hour in the hotel) and so it's easy to get some work done, or check Twitter and Facebook, whilst you eat and drink. It's lovely just to sit and listen to the gentle hum of the trains and the soft tinkle of teaspoons against china.