Paddington Waterside area is a special area of London that is enjoying strong regeneration.
Overseen by the Paddington Waterside Partnership, the project is made up of 13 separate developments between Praed Street, Westbourne Terrace and the A40 Westway and includes Paddington Central and Paddington Basin.
This means visitors can now enjoy a wealth of upgraded facilities, including Paddington Station and a new Crossrail station – there is even the chance to paddleboard on the waterway running throughout the area.
Paddington the Bear
Of course Paddington Bear is forever linked with famous London region and there is evidence of the bear’s existence throughout the borough.
Just outside the main railway station there is a life-size model of the bear from Peru – providing the perfect photo opportunity.
The bronze statue is also located near a shop dedicated entirely to Paddington merchandise – fridge magnets, books, teddy bears and more – it’s become quite the meeting point for residents and tourists.
Take a stroll
Paddington Waterway offers a great place to take a stroll and enjoy some of the great green areas that London has to offer visitors.
To the south is the famous Kensington Gardens that boasts a stunning palace, while Hyde Park is one of the world’s best city parks. In addition, there is the lesser known Green Park, which is itself linked to St James’s Park, and to the north-east, is the wonderful Regent’s Park with its stunning open-air theatre, access to the grounds of Winfield House and London Zoo, and some of the best views of the capital via Primrose Hill.
It is really easy to spend hours explore the different parks in the city, with Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park just a short walk from Paddington London Underground and main railway stations.
It is also worth taking a stroll to the famous Speaker’s Corner which is around 15 minutes walk from Paddington Station. Every Sunday, people get on their soapbox here to talk about the issues they’re most passionate about, whether it’s foreign policy or domestic problems – it can often result in some very entertaining speeches and the chance to learn more about all kinds of things – and you can even heckle if the mood takes you.
Little Venice is another great place to take a stroll around. It really is a mix of cultures, with some lovely eateries, bars and delightful boats. As well as being a great place to soak up the atmosphere, it is also a good location for trying to spot some celebs, who enjoy hanging out at the area’s bars and cafes.
It is also developing as a cultural hub and is increasingly become a popular venue for music performances and stand-up comedians.
Within the Paddington redevelopment area is the world-renowned Portobello Market. This delightful and exciting market has been running for more than a century and has grown to its current day size, where there are now more than 2,000 regular traders along a two mile stretch.
The best day to visit Portobello Market is on Saturday morning, when the bric-a-brac and antique vendors are out in full force. It really is a great place to pick up some mementos to remind you of your stay in the capital.
Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum
Just a few minutes walk from Paddington station is the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum. Often overlooked, the attraction celebrates the life of the man who discovered penicillin in 1928.
The museum is located in a Grade II listed building within St Mary’s Hospital and has been used as a film location for a number of productions.
It is possible to take a tour of a reconstructed laboratory and learn about the impact the development of the lifesaving drug at on the future of medicine.
Fleming, who was a Scottish biologist, pharmacologist and botanist, was carrying out research into influenza in 1928, when he discovered mould had developed on culture dishes being used to grow the staphylococci germ.
Luckily, the scientist realised the mould had created a bacteria-free circle around itself to protect against the virus – thus leading to the development of one of the most commonplace drugs.
In 1945, Fleming alongside Austrian researchers Howard Florey and Ernst Chain shared the Nobel Prize in medicine.
The museum is open Monday through to Thursday from 10am to 1pm, although you can make an appointment if you wish to visit it outside of those hours. It is closed on public holidays.
Admission are priced per adult and child, and are cheaper for concessions. Any staff and students of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College School of Medicine are allowed to enter for free if they bring along proof of identification.
The Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum was designated an International Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1999.
Grab some food
Paddington has the benefit of being home to so fab places to grab something to eat.
One of the most interesting is the Frontline Club, which offers a great choice of British classic dishes. It has a seasonal menu and the majority of the restaurant’s ingredients come from its own farm that is located in Norfolk, with an aim of supporting local and sustainable producers. In addition, all of the profits go towards funding London’s top press club and events programme – the Frontline Club.
Use Paddington as a base
Paddington is a great place to base yourself during your trip to London, as well as the attractions previously mentioned, the area is just a short trip to a number of the capital’s famous landmarks.
Therefore, it is worth seeking out the Park Grand London Paddington hotel, especially as it benefits from being close to Paddington Station. The hotel is just over six minutes walk from the station, you need to exit out of the south exit onto Craven Road and follow it to the right before turning right again onto Devonshire Terrace. Then it’s just two roads down until you find Queen’s Gardens and the Park Grand London Paddington itself.
Of course, the hotel is all the usual luxurious amenities that will make you feel pampered and content during your trip, with rooms, bar and restaurant in a unique style.
Future developments for the Paddington area
The project to redevelop the popular area of London is still continuing and visitors can expect to see a number of developments over the coming years. It is expected a number of mixed-use buildings will be constructed and transport links to the rest of the capital and the UK will continue to be strengthened.
As well as revamp of the old Post Office sorting office, there is expected to be the addition of a high-rise bar that will offer splendid views of the London skyline.