Lonely Planet review
Looking at the jaw-dropping Gothic elegance of St Pancras, it's hard to believe that the 1873 Midland Grand Hotel languished empty for years and even faced demolition in the 1960s. Now home to a five-star hotel and 66 luxury apartments, St Pancras has been restored to its former glory and can be visited by guided tour (advanced booking only).
Tours take you on a fascinating journey through the building's history, from its inception as the southern terminus for the Midlands Railway line to its slow fall from grace and eventual revival. The Midland Grand Hotel was incredibly modern when it opened but lack of maintenance meant the building was derelict by the 1930s and the hotel closed. St Pancras was then used for railway offices and finally abandoned in 1988. It was only when plans to use St Pancras as the Eurostar terminal came up in the 1990s that local authorities decided to renovate the building and open a hotel. The Eurostar arrived in 2007 and the hotel opened in 2011.
Royden Stock, the hotel historian, has a long association with the building (St Pancras is a very popular film location and Stock used to work on-site with film crews) and knows it inside out. You'll get to walk up the glorious grand staircase, wander around the exquisitely decorated corridors and visit one of the 30-odd Victorian rooms.