A Literary Journey from St. Pancras International  

In celebration of World Book Day, we’re recommending a selection of literary-inspired destinations to enrich your imagination or land you into scenes from famous stories.  

Waste no time by travelling by train and let Southeastern Railway or Eurostar whisk you away, sustainably, and drop you directly in to city centres where literary worlds and reality become one.  

Fun fact:  St. Pancras International would have been demolished, almost entirely, if it wasn’t for renowned Poet, Sir John Betjeman.  He was the figure head behind the public movement that ensured the long-term protection of St. Pancras through its Grade I listing. You can see a statue of him on The Grand Terrace. 


The Kent countryside, coastal landscapes and historic towns have a wealth of tales to tell. Here’s a couple of suggestions to help you spy some of the well-known literary settings.  

The Chaucer bookshop, in a beautiful 18th-century building a few minutes’ walk from the cathedral has 2 floors of literature to explore, including ‘The Canterbury Tales’ by Chaucer who helped put the destination on the map.   

Being home to Ian Flemming, author of the James Bond novels, Kent was used as a backdrop to many of his stories and can be spotted in many of the famous films. Sir Hugo Drax’s Moonraker plant was filmed at Kingsdown, the Port of Dover appeared in Diamonds are Forever, and the speedboat chase in The World Is Not Enough was partially shot at The Historic Dockyard Chatham.  

Getting here: St. Pancras Int to Canterbury West: 53 minutes.  

CO2 emissions for this journey: 68.2% lower carbon emission vs car. 


Evoking the essence of a romance novel - embark on your own adventure to the city of love, and back again in just one day. Create your own exciting narrative in this timelessly beautiful city, but here’s a couple of suggestions to help you on your way:  

Step in to the footsteps of famous writers. La Closerie Des Lilas is a brasserie frequented by renowned author Ernest Heminway. Inside, find the original bar where tables and seats are named not only after Hemingway, but other famed writers including Oscar Wilde, Jean-Paul Sartre and artist, Pablo Picasso.  

An independent, English language bookstore, perfect for writers and readers alike. In the words of owner, George Whitman, “I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations.” 

Getting here: St. Pancras Int to Paris Gar du Nord: 2 hrs.  

CO2 emissions for this journey: 96% lower carbon emission vs plane.  

Credit: Anthony Delanoix Unsplash


Although Belgium is most famous for its culinary offering, there are some lesser-known literary links to get a taste of it too during your trip. Did you know, famous British authors, Emily, and Charlotte Bronte, spent some time in Brussels between 1842 and 1843, and two works by Charlotte Bronte are influenced by this special city. Here’s some other things to do in between meals:  

An estimated 30 mins walk away from the station lies a beautiful, high-ceiling, bookstore, Tropismes; once a grand mirrored ballroom and a jazz café. Although most books are in French, it’s known to be a great place to visit for literary lovers in the city.  

Not just novels, but famous comic strips such as TinTin originated in Brussels and there’s plenty to see around the city, on foot, to celebrate this link.  

Getting here: St. Pancras Int to Brussels Midi: 1 hr 53 mins 

CO2 emissions for this journey: 96% lower carbon emission vs plane.  


We recommend staying over in Amsterdam so you can experience this incredible city in full. This iconic city is rich in charming sights and is home to some fascinating literary stories.   

The Rijksmuseum is a must-visit even without a love of books. Within the museum, you’ll find the oldest and largest library in the Netherlands – beautifully restored to its former glory. Visitors can use the library to delve deeper in to the museum’s collections.   

Anne Franks Diary is one of the most-read and important books in the world. People all over the world were introduced to Anne's story and in 1960 the hiding place became a museum: the Anne Frank House. 

Getting here: St. Pancras Int to Amsterdam Central: 3 hrs 57 mins.  

CO2 emissions for this journey: 94% lower carbon emission vs plane. 

Credit: Gaurav Jain Unsplash



Pick up a new book before you go



Buy one valid adult ticket on Southeastern services and take up to four children with you for £1 each.

Find out more
A St Pancras gift card