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The area around one of London's busiest transport hubs was grimy physically and emotionally before development wiped away a lot of the dirty corners. Walk behind King's Cross these days and you'll find shiny pedestrianised walkways lined by swish restaurants and bars, leading up to immaculate Granary Square where fountains and students from Central St Martins give the eye something to rest on. Walks along the canal are no longer risky, and instead the waterside pathways have become a star attraction for all age groups. Stop along the way at the surprisingly engaging London Canal Museum, check what's on at the House of Illustration, drop into the Camley Street Natural Park (now accessible from the canalside) or browse the boutiques in Coal Drops Yard. For a longer walk, the canal takes you Camden to the west or Islington to the east in half an hour. It's still worth exploring the less salubrious area around the Cally Road for stand-out restaurants like Supawan Thai Food.
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