Your Guide to London Paddington
Where is Paddington?
Being the inspiration for Paddington Bear and the location of Paddington Waterside (an exciting 21st century development that’s changing the face of Paddington) this cluster of streets surrounding Paddington Train station in the City of Westminster is well worth a visit! Paddington is situated in Tube Zone 1, inside the congestion charging zone, on the verge of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and surrounded by places like Maida Vale, Bayswater, Marylebone and Westbourne Green. You can travel all over London using Paddington Tube Station and even catch the Heathrow Express from Paddington Train Station!
History of Paddington
It’s believed that Paddington was named after Padda, an Anglo Saxon chieftain who once lived here. Paddington was nothing more than a country village and central London market garden until the 19th century when the Grand Junction Canal and Paddington Train Station arrived and the population explosion began.
Paddington swung from blight, vice and prostitution around the time of the 2nd world war to poverty and overcrowding in the 1950’s. The redevelopment of the area in the 1960’s crudely wiped out large parts of Paddington, particularly the building of the Westway, but finally property developers began to notice the potential of the area as it’s so close to the West End and other important parts of Central London. This recognition of potential has never been more apparent than now, with Paddington Waterside transforming the area surrounding Grand Union Canal into a stunning complex of offices, homes, shops and restaurants that’s even making Londoners sit up and pay attention. Isn’t it about time that you did too?
The Positives of Paddington
Thanks to Paddington’s convenient Central London location, this is a really great place to use as a base to explore. It’s on the edge of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, a short walk away from delightful Little Venice and close to the West End too. There are plenty of cheap hotels in the area for you to choose from, and as Paddington Tube Station is really well connected it’s easy to get around. You can even use Paddington Train Station to take day trips to places like Bath and Bristol, or travel to Heathrow Airport. As the Paddington Waterside development has changed the face of the area considerably, Paddington is transforming into a rich and exciting place that you need to experience.
Need to Know Paddington
When you arrive at Paddington Train Station you might think that that’s all Paddington has to offer, as it seems to occupy a back street location surrounded by endless terraces of houses and tacky shops. However dig a little deeper and you’ll find plenty of tourist attractions in the vicinity! As Paddington is such an important gateway in and out of London it can be chaotic, but the same can be said for any inner city area that you stay in! In the past the area was known for being little more than a commuter interchange, but now that significant regeneration has taken place thanks to Paddington Waterside, you really should stop and take notice of Paddington!