North or South: Kings Cross vs Bermondsey - where would you rather live?

Discussion in 'South East London General Discussion' started by Stuart, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Stuart

    Stuart South East Crusader

    The Standard had an interesting feature a few days ago - pitching North vs South London and using the rapidly changing Kings Cross as a stick to beat Bermondsey (why Bermondsey?) with:

    On the south side of the Thames, the Shard rises ever higher. Renzo Piano's stern scalpel of a skyscraper will eventually pierce 310 metres of sky above Bermondsey. Around it will stand a newly rationalised London Bridge station, another 17-storey office building and a large public plaza. Southwark Council talks of making this London's 'third business district', after the City and the West End.

    Full article here

    Bermondsey Street
  2. Nick Barron

    Nick Barron Admin Staff Member

    Interesting that "Bermondsey" is the name they attach to this area, when I would have described it more as Borough, or maybe even London Bridge?! Still, regardless, both areas have a lot to recommend them and I think it's exciting how much buzz is attached to so many parts of E / SE London.
  3. Stuart

    Stuart South East Crusader

    If the Shard is being built in Bermondsey then so is the new public library reflected in a certain Tube station...


    Canada Water's in Rotherhithe, and London Bridge is in the old Borough of Southwark (ie that pair of Tube stations use both of the historical names for exactly the same area).

    I wouldn't live in Kings Cross if you paid me.... unless it was the St Pancras Chambers penthouse as shown on the BBC's Climbing Great Buildings last night...:cool:
  4. Monkeyboy

    Monkeyboy South East Crusader

    Oh I don't know, KX has 'issues' but it's deffo smarter than it used to be and should get a lot better. If I had a crystal ball I would have bought in Farringdon, I'm working on the Thameslink project here. When that and Crossrail arrives it will suddenly be VERY well connected, some great little shops and bars but fear I may have missed the boat.
  5. Nick Barron

    Nick Barron Admin Staff Member

    Stuart, my brother lives in Kings X and there are some absolutely lovely parts of it. The area immediately around the station has also changed hugely in the last few years. It's a far bigger development site than LB to be honest, so I'm not sure that the two places are particularly comparable at the moment.
  6. DKZ

    DKZ South East Crusader

    KX Station is coming along brilliantly - and the Londonist has nabbed itself a whole set of amazing pix of the new western concourse canopy. I love the way the glass curves geometrically right into the the grand Victorian splendour of Charles Barry's Great Northern Hotel (top left):


    The entire project, including a new piazza on Euston Road, doesn't get completed until after the Olympics though, in 2013. Camden New Journal also reports that:

    The work to upgrade King’s Cross, which has cost around £500million, will be completed in stages. The main areas should be finished by March, while the second stage, which includes the demolition of the green canopy on Euston Road, will take place as soon as the Olympics are completed next summer.

    Network Rail’s Tom Fernley, who leads tours through the site, said the plans were well on target and below budget.
    “When King’s Cross was built, it had two platforms – one for departures and one for arrivals,” he said.
    It meant that while extra platforms have been added, the station itself has stayed pretty much the same.
    “This has created a legacy of problems we are now finally dealing with,” said Mr Fernley.
    Other work includes the restoration of original builder Lewis Cubbitt’s historic front.

    Located at the southern end of the station, it is hidden by a 1970s green canopy that will be removed next summer, with a new public square, designed by Islington architects Stanton Williams, being put in its place.
    On the station platforms, the smog-covered roof is being replaced and will boast rows of solar panels – providing 10 per cent of the station’s entire electricity. The 240-metre-long roof, made of wrought iron, will be completely cleaned and restored.
    Other highlights include a restored Victorian hall. British Rail had split up the hall into smaller spaces – cupboards and offices – and fitted a false ceiling to add an extra floor upstairs. This has all been removed and the ticket office has been restored to how it would have looked when it was first opened in the 1850s.

    The build has yielded some surprises – workers found a long-forgotten badminton court above the ticket hall, installed by staff to use during their lunch breaks.
    On the first floor is a pub which Network Rail say will be the largest at any railway station in the UK. Covering two floors, designers have kept original wooden partitions and restored window frames.
    In one part of the building, the scheme has repaired damage done by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz. In May, 1941, a bomb knocked down four storeys of the station and destroyed the roof. Rail workers had the damage cleared away within a week and the trains running again. But the section of the building demolished was never rebuilt – until now.
  7. tirez

    tirez Respected Local

    Yeah, if £ grew on trees, I'd choose Farringdon/Clerkenwell. Good location, transport and retail.

    I also like King's Cross (used to live just up on Caledonian Rd) - particularly when you're up by the canal.

    As for the article, interesting that Southwark Council want to make Bermondsey a "third" business district. Isn't that a bit risky in current climes? If London lost it's financial cachet, what would be left of it? Surely we should be encouraging a more diverse set of industries to call London their home?
  8. Nick Barron

    Nick Barron Admin Staff Member

    I don't see why business district means finance? The shard's not designed for banks (floorplates totally wrong) and More London seems to be mainly occupied by lawyers, accountants and management consultants. The area also has a lot of media and design companies and of course a decent tourism economy.
    DKZ likes this.
  9. Michael_FH

    Michael_FH Lives for South East London

    Surely 4th business district, unless Canary Wharf is no longer in London. I don't see London Bridge /Bermondsey rivalling the Isle of Dogs.
  10. DKZ

    DKZ South East Crusader

    No, Canary Wharf has moved to London Bridge/Bermondsey/Borough/Southwark (delete as appropriate). Spot the Shard!

    Thanks to Ben Veasey
  11. Stuart

    Stuart South East Crusader

    Is this the same person that Barry Road is named after? The road that runs from Peckham Rye to Dulwich Library?

    London Reconnections has more on the KX project here

    They say that "The finished roof is an impressive structure, as the image above shows. As can also be seen, the new concourse follows the curve of the Great Northern Hotel that sits alongside the station. The ground floor of the Great Northern has effectively been removed in order to provide open, easy access to the new concourse."

    I know this is gonna sound like a dumb question, but how on earth will you be able to enter the hotel then?!

  12. north2south

    north2south Respected Local

    Im a north londoner , i live in Islington , born n bred , i have kids in Nunhead , the debate of King's cross versus Bermondsey ....? i wouldn't live in the cross full stop , it's a commuter place now , used to be a toilet where you could buy anything anytime of the day . I have to say im very impressed with South london , Nunhead and the surrounding areas in particular , always used to come out in a huge rash when crossed London bridge .:))
  13. SE Steve

    SE Steve Super-South-Easter

    Welcome to the forum n2s - obviously I'm curious how you found us, being from up north, like :)
  14. north2south

    north2south Respected Local

    Thanks Mick , haha i found you and the other lovely south londoner's by chance really , been visiting Nunhead the last couple of years due to family commitment's , and was trying to get on that Nunhead forum but to no avail , could not join up for some reason ?? i consider myself half a south londoner now , nice friendly helpful people you are , never had any problems at all your side of the river , love the Ayres bakery and Peckham shopping experience , nice parks too , got it sorted havnt you , nice place to live i think .:)
  15. Cassandra

    Cassandra Local


    My partner and I moved from Clapham to Bermondsey Spa a few months ago because we were really drawn to the Southwark/Hyde masterplan, and we're now very happy residents on Spa Road.

    Nestled between two listed buildings and with ready-mature trees, Spa Road was attractive to us right from the word go. During our first visit to the area, I loved the walk from the tube station, past The Gregorian and through the pretty churchyard, with the Dragonfly apartments in the background. The tidied-up railway arches felt new yet full of history, as the Spa Station photo-feature on the wall clearly documents. And of course, to the west of the development, Bermondsey Square and Bermondsey Street are only a short walk away, past that charming row of 18th century houses. A friend visited recently and I couldn't resist "showing off" the Saturday farmers' market, and she was most envious. ;)

    One of the reasons why I sold my property in Clapham North is that the area has developed a relentless party boy/girl vibe in recent years. It attracts wave upon wave of 20somethings (a lot of Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans) who only spend a few years in the country before moving on, creating a very transient rental-ghetto feel. The 20somethings there tend to drink a lot on Clapham High Street, party a lot, so the feeling (especially on weekends) is one of a fraternity or sorority house. There is a lot of late night parties, litter, vomit on the pavement, pissing in the front gardens of the terraced properties nearest the high street - you get the picture.

    My partner and I were looking for a change of scene - a place that was urban (because we're city mice at heart) and still had a high proportion of owner-occupation - people who are going to STAY, and be part of a community. It boiled down to "a tale of two regenerations" - Elephant & Castle v Bermondsey Spa, and in the end - because of the awards this area and Bermondsey Square have won, and because ALL our friends said choose Bermondsey over E&C, we ended up here. I'm happy to report that my development has a good mix of nationalities, races and ages, and I've seen some young children, which to me is always a good sign. Also, three summer months have passed and so far - no late night parties, no drunken yelling etc. :)

    I'm very excited about the possible Shard effect on this area. I do hope that it generates employment for locals, especially the younger generation, and that the area as a whole benefits without its original, historic charm being lost.

    Any other Bermondsey Spa newbies out there? How are you finding it so far?
  16. north2south

    north2south Respected Local

    Sounds like some exotic health club off the old kent road , any sand there ?
  17. Goo Goo Eyes

    Goo Goo Eyes Local

    Shad Thames. I'm looking into this area near Tower Bridge. Any advice?
  18. I was thinking the same thing. Or perhaps it's not all enclosed?


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