The Euston and King’s Cross/ St. Pancras train station area has never been renowned for tourist attractions; far more as transport hubs busy with commuters and visitors because as a gateway in and out of the UK capital. However, that may be changing. Around Euston specifically, there are attractions anyone in the vicinity – possibly after travelling into the centre of town from one of the hotels near Hounslow Central station – should surely check out. Here’s just a trio of them…
(183 Euston Road NW1 2BE)
One of the most curious attractions in the whole of the capital, Wellcome Collection is a venue offers up three tantalising galleries (well, tantalising for anyone who’s ever wondered a little deeply about what makes the human race the human race, that is) – the trio of galleries being ‘Medicine Man’, ‘Medicine Now’ and another dedicated to special, temporary exhibitions. With something of an emphasis on the science behind and the history and the culture of medicine, Wellcome is nonetheless hugely diverse in its scope. It also features, for instance, works by Leonardo da Vinci and Andy Warhol as well as fascinating curiosities like Admiral Lord Nelson’s razor, Napoleon’s toothbrush, Charles Darwin’s whalebone walking stick, used guillotine blades and, er, 19th Century sex aids. Make of that what you will! What you will make of this place will no doubt be down to who you are as an individual as much as what it is and what it contains – it’s that sort of a place; thought-provoking to say the least.
Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
(Malet Place WC1E 6BT)
Are you curious about the history, culture and society of the Ancient Egyptians? Many are and if that includes you, then you must pay this venue, located within the celebrated environs University College of London, a visit. Comprising a staggering 80,000 separate artefacts, it gives a great impression of the origins, development and conclusion of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation – its culture, technology and daily life – via the likes of delicate tiles, carvings and frescoes and even a near-5,000-year-old dress (the oldest extant garment to be found anywhere in the world). Extraordinary and fascinating whether you’ve made your base one of the Heathrow Airport hotels with parking, like the Park Grand London Heathrow Gateway, or nearer accommodation.
(96 Euston Road NW1 2DB)
One of the finest institutions in the entire UK, this place – perhaps because of its clever-clever literary focus – tends to go under the radar somewhat, compared to London’s major attractions, at least. But there’s definitely a strong argument it shouldn’t. Not least because within its walls you’ll discover a copy of every publication ever produced on British or Irish soil; yes, really. That’s more than 150 million individual items; among them hugely historically resonant works, such as portions of the Magna Carta, Shakespeare’s first folio, the Gutenberg Bible and the Lindisfarne Gospels. In addition to one of the world’s earliest printed publications, the Diamond Sutra, and the only extant version of the epic Beowulf poem. And massively significant artworks too, including those by Antony Gormley and Eduardo Paolozzi. Meanwhile, for more casual visitors, the exhibition galleries are bound to appeal, offering up events, movie showings, poetry readings and musical performances – check what’s on before you go; something’s bound to pique your interest.