London Paddington Station is one of London’s busiest stations, with both a Central London terminal and an Underground station complex in daily use by both visitors and locals alike. But how much do you really know about this station? Here’s a few surprising facts, figures and stats you might be surprised to discover…
Paddington was one of the first Underground Stations
Widely accessible from the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate, London Paddington remains central to the London Underground rail network, but it was one of the very first stops ever created within this then-pioneering system. The influence of the London Underground can’t be overstated, as it freed up and sped up rail travel right across the city, with Paddington there at the very start.
The station moved in 1854
The original Paddington station wasn’t where the current one now rests, which may come as a surprise! Opened in 1838, the first Paddington Station was located on the site of what is now known as Bishop’s Bridge Road. It wasn’t until May 1854 that Paddington relocated to it’s present home.
Paddington introduced royalty to train travel
Queen Victoria was the first monarch to travel by train back in 1842, venturing from Slough to Paddington following a stay at Windsor Castle. She was accompanied by her husband Prince Albert, and famed engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Following this event, she frequently used rail travel to visit the castle. Not only fit for royalty, Paddington is also close by to the Park Grand London Lancaster Gate.
Paddington has many different terminals and destinations
As you might expect from such a busy hub of public transport, London Paddington has 12 terminal platforms, but it also links up not only to London but to overseas air travel terminals. A day never goes by without seeing busy commuters and travellers rushing to catch their next plane or dashing off to the airport, giving it a special appeal to visitors staying at boutique hotels in Paddington London.
You can enjoy champagne while you’re there
While it might not be the first thought on a busy morning commute, Searcy’s Champagne Bar kiosk at Paddington Station offers the ideal opportunity to upgrade your travel beverage from coffee or tea to champagne. Championing family-owned brands and unique wines, this is much more than a fun gimmick and instead gives visitors the chance to really immerse themselves in a world of luxury and indulgence next time they visit this unique London station.
Paddington has its own famous bear
Paddington Bear’s creator, Michael Bond, bought a stuffed bear from a store near Paddington one Christmas, and decided to begin writing stories about it – leading to the creation of the first Paddington Bear book after just ten days. Bond never expected the book to be published, but wrote it for fun. However over 60 years later, Paddington Bear is one of London’s most iconic characters, and the subject of books, films and even stuffed toys of his own.