UCL Urban Laboratory


Urban Lab Walk #01: King's Cross - Beyond Regeneration

26 February 2022, 11:00 am–1:00 pm

Urban Walks

The first of UCL Urban Lab's 2022 walking tour series, led by researcher and author of 'London's Lost Rivers' - Dr Tom Bolton.

This event is free.

Event Information

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Despite their proximity to busy central London and to UCL, the neighbourhoods behind Euston, King’s Cross and St. Pancras stations are cut off by railway lines, canals and busy roads. We will visit Somers Town, the village of radicals; Elm Village, once condemned as London’s worst slum; the Maiden Lane Estate, a tangle of decks, alleys and hidden corners; and Belle Isle, a strange part of London’s mythology: a landscape of change, social contrast and urban complexity.

From Saturday 26th February, the UCL Urban Laboratory will host the first of a series of urban walks centred around our annual theme of ‘Emergency’. With each walk led by a different urbanist, anthropologist, activist or author, we will start near UCL’s Bloomsbury campus and each week head further east, eventually taking in the ongoing construction of UCL East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and entering London’s edgelands.

As ever, the Urban Laboratory is committed to engaging with those outside of academia to look at a wide variety of issues facing urban life. Walk leaders will lead discussions on everything, from the housing crisis and river pollution, to night-time safety and gentrification, and each walk will be free and open to the public.

The programme will cover parts of the capital packed with history, culture and controversy, and often overlooked spaces of wilderness such as the Channelsea River and the surprisingly beautiful surroundings of Beckton Sewage Works. If you are still recovering from the effects of lockdown and fancy exploring the city, we’d love for you to join us.

Click here for full details.

End Point: Kings Cross Station.

  • Due to limited numbers, we request that you do not book tickets for more than two walks during the series.
  • If you are find that you are unable to attend, we request that you cancel your booking at the earliest opportunity, in order that someone else can take your place.
  • We foresee continuing the walk in all but the most unpleasant of weather conditions. Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear.

About the Speaker

Tom Bolton


Dr Tom Bolton is an author and researcher with a particular interest in London, hidden history, landscape and walking.

He has published five books: London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide Volume 1(2011/2019), London’s Lost Rivers: A Walker’s Guide Volume 2(2019), Vanished City: London’s Lost Neighbourhoods(2015), Camden Town: Dreams of Another London(2017) and Low Country: Brexit on the Essex Coast(2018).

Tom has written for a range of newspapers and publications, has appeared in the documentary Lost Rivers (2012), and holds a PhD from UCL's Bartlett School of Architecture.

More about Tom Bolton