London is packed with interesting places to visit – and Paddington is certainly a highlight for any new arrival in the city.
With its quiet garden squares, picture postcard canals and array of top eateries, it really is a fabulous location that offers something for everyone.
So what should you make a point of seeing while you’re in this part of London?
Go to the park
Green spaces including Norfolk Square Gardens and Talbot Square Gardens boast giant chess pieces, ping pong tables and deck chairs. They are therefore perfect if you want to take the kids out to play, or enjoy a romantic picnic.
Pay tribute to the Paddington Bear
You probably don’t need us to tell you that Paddington Bear’s name comes from this part of London. But you might not know that there is a bronze statue of the bear to be seen at Paddington Mainline Station. Created by Marcus Cornish and unveiled in 2000, it is a fitting reminder of the fictional character in an entirely appropriate location.
Honour the unknown soldier
Paddington Station is also home to a war memorial depicting a World War One soldier. Designed to pay tribute to Great Western Railway staff who perished in the conflict, it is an evocative and thought-provoking monument.
Alexander Fleming’s laboratory
Paddington is home to St Mary’s Hospital, which you will recognise from the news as this is where the likes of Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were all born.
But it’s also the place where Nobel Prize winner Sir Alexander Fleming discovered antibiotic penicillin back in 1928 and revolutionised medicine in the process. Visitors to Paddington can get an insight into this moment in history as his laboratory has been restored to how it would have appeared back then and opened to the public.
See Paddington’s basin bridges
The Rolling Bridge and Fan Bridge have established themselves as true landmarks of the Paddington Basin, as they are pedestrian pathways that open up to allow boats through. The distinctive openings take place at set times on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Head to Little Venice
London is a melting pot of cultures, with different areas bringing to mind a wide variety of places. But one of the most beautiful and fascinating is Little Venice, which evokes its Italian namesake with its charming restaurants, cafes, bars, moored boats and waterways.
Its relaxed and cosmopolitan feel has made it popular among the wealthy and the famous, and with features such as the Grand Union Canal and the Regent’s Canal, it’s easy to see why it has become such a desirable and attractive location.
But Little Venice is far from just a quiet retreat for celebrities – it’s also a thriving cultural hub hosting events such as music and stand-up all year round, and a great place to enjoy a good meal.
Sample street food
Merchant Square hosts an array of stalls serving up all sorts of culinary treats every Tuesday and Thursday. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just a passer-by who wants a tasty snack, you’re sure to find something to titillate your taste buds.
Savour the architecture
Paddington is home to some stunning buildings, most notably the Grade I-listed London Paddington Station, which was designed by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Address: 3 Devonshire Terrace, Paddington, London W2 3DN, UK
WebAddress: PADDINGTON COURT EXECUTIVE ROOMS