Arriving at Paddington Station, you may well be tempted to rush straight to places such as the Strand, Trafalgar Square and other London hotspots. But if you do that, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to see what north-west London has to offer.
The area surrounding Paddington Rail Station is absolutely chock full of interesting things to do, places to go and activities that you won’t want to miss out on. Away from the busy centre that throngs with tourists every day, you have a much greater chance of discovering a fantastic restaurant selling a style of cuisine that can’t be found anywhere else in England. Or a deserted stretch of park where you can stop and admire how the city ebbs and flows around you.
If you want to get the best out of the neighbourhoods surrounding Paddington Station, take a look at our all-encompassing guide of the area below. Believe us – you won’t be disappointed.
Get a photo with Paddington Bear
The fun starts as soon as you get off the train in Paddington Station. No doubt the first thing you will want to do is locate the structure of the famous fuzzy character, who arrived at the transport hub from Peru in a series of books – and more recently films – that have enchanted adults and children alike over the years. Made of bronze and located near a shop dedicated entirely to Paddington merchandise – fridge magnets, books, teddybears and more – it’s become a meeting point and a very popular photo opportunity for visiting tourists.
A short bus ride away – or a 25-minute walk if you’re feeling adventurous – you’ll find Portobello Market, one of the most renowned attractions of London. Boasting more than 150 years of history, plenty of opportunity to catch some street entertainment and a wealth of stalls and shops numbering well into the 2000s, this truly is the place to be on a Saturday morning.
While you’ll find you can acquire pretty much everything at Portobello Market, this stretch of road is particularly famous for its bric-a-brac and antiques vendors. Glass, china or crystal – it’s all here, and those who love their collectables will have a hard time keeping their wallets in their pockets as they shuffle down the two-mile stretch of road that the market calls its home.
Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising
Honestly, who wouldn’t want to check out a museum with such a specific name? The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising is one of London’s little gems that few people discover compared to the Natural History Museum or the V&A, but it’s well worth snooping around its collections for an hour or so.
Here, you’ll find some 12,000 packets, adverts and other oddities dating from the Victorian era to the present day. If you’ve ever wanted to venture back to the good times when you didn’t have to remortgage your house in order to pay for a first class stamp, this is the place to be.
Enjoy a nice walk
Walking in London is a fun activity at the best of times, but it is especially if you happen to be in Paddington, which is located a stone’s throw from some of the city’s biggest green spaces. To the south, both Kensington Gardens with its magnificent palace and the impressive Hyde Park can be found, boasting enough green space between them to keep even the most intrepid of travellers happy. But just in case you’re left wanting more, you only have to cross a roundabout to enter Green Park, which is itself linked to St James’s Park. Finally, to the north-east, we have the extraordinary 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.
All of these destinations can be reached on London’s fine Underground but the nearest – Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park – don’t even require any public transport, being just a short walk south of the station through Sussex Gardens.
Become a super sleuth
West London was once famously the stomping ground of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth Sherlock Holmes, and those wanting to emulate the character or simply find out a little more about him are advised to head to – where else? – 221B Baker Street where you’ll find the Sherlock Museum. This unique institution sports a rather incredible collection of goodies including paraphernalia associated with the famed detective, while the first floor study is maintained in the fashion that, we’re assured, would have been preferred had Mr Holmes been alive today.
Fans of the most recent BBC incarnation starring a certain Mr Cumberbatch, don’t worry – we’re reliably informed there will be a handful of nods to the up-to-date version of the super sleuth. The museum can be reached via the Bakerloo line from Paddington Station to Baker Street.
Short stay accommodation
Paddington is a great place to base yourself during your stay in London. Not only do you have all the above on your doorstep, but it’s only a short trip to Theatreland, Camden Market, high-class shopping and the centre’s famous landmarks.
With all that in mind, Park Grand London Paddington is easily your best option for accommodation near Paddington Station. A mere six minute 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.
The hotel boasts luxurious amenities that will make you feel pampered during your trip, with rooms, bar and restaurant in a boutique style. Be careful – you might never want to leave. Extra indulgence in the modern Club Rooms is available with special pampering options – perfect for helping you to unwind in between seeing the sights and enjoying the city’s evening scene.