Discover the London area of Paddington outside its impressive and famous station and see stunning canals, peaceful garden squares, lots of spots to eat, and of course, the little iconic bear who shares its name with the area.
Paddington is in West London and is positioned amidst two Royal Parks, as well as both Notting Hill and the West End. Saunter through the neighbourhood to discover lovely parks, gardens, squares, cafes, the Grand Union Canal and the Grade I listed London Paddington station, which was famously designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Paddington is also really famous for being the home of St Mary’s Hospital, which is where Nobel Prize winner Sir Alexander Fleming transformed the world of medicine with his invention of penicillin. The hospital also has a strong royal connection, as it is where Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were all born.
So if you’re heading to London soon, you definitely need to make sure you pay a visit to this iconic spot. And if you’re planning on keeping your time in Paddington brief, don’t worry, as you can easily discover all the best bits of the neighbourhood with ease in just 24 hours. To prove it, here’s a handy guide to help!
Before we kick off into the amazing things to see and do in Paddington in just 24 hours, it’s a good idea to talk about how to get there, first! Luckily, Paddington Station is such a main transport hub that it’s open 24/7, so there’s always at least one way to get there from the wider city. As well as the mainline station, Paddington is also served by the Hammer smith and City Line, Circle Line, District Line and Bakerloo Line on the London Underground.
The area is also served well by the London buses and taxi network. If you’re planning on staying put in Paddington, you won’t need to worry about getting an Oyster or travel card to jet around.
Also, Paddington station is the final stop in London for the Heathrow Express train to London Heathrow Airport, a non-stop service to the airport that departs every 15 minutes, which is handy.
Things to do
There is so much to see and do in the area, but if time is short, we’ve handpicked a few of the things you should prioritise.
Paddington Station is most known for the children’s book character, Paddington Bear. Find a cute bronze statue of Paddington Bear beneath the clock on Platform 1, where the Brown family discovered him in the original book. You can also pick up a unique, quirky souvenir from the world’s only Paddington Bear shop, which is located in the station.
Take a walk to the south of Paddington Station and you’ll spot multiple leafy green squares with gardens inside, which are occasionally private for the use of the residents nearby, but they are sometimes accessible to the public. Talbot Square Gardens is a beautiful green space in particular, complete with benches and towering trees. Norfolk Square Gardens is a more extensive public garden with picnic points beneath the trees, a children’s play area and ping pong tables, as well as a statue of Paddington Bear on the sculpture trail.
Science and history lovers should definitely check out the Alexander Fleming Museum which is a part of St Mary’s Hospital. It’s here that you can view Fleming’s laboratory, rebuilt to its 1928 form, and investigate the account of Fleming and the innovation and development of penicillin through exhibits and video.
Next, walk over the famous Rolling Bridge as you travel down the basin, which is modest as you cross over it, but in actual fact, it has an additional function as a sculptural exhibition. The bridge is constructed from eight triangular sections, which when the bridge is lifted curl up like a caterpillar, creating an octagonal model that stands on one side of the canal path. You can watch the bridge opening on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12 noon and also on Saturdays at 2 pm – it really is an interesting sight.
Paddington is also notorious for its canal system. In fact, the area is also referred to lovingly by London locals as Little Venice. It’s here that you can take a canal boat tour from Little Venice all the way up to Camden to discover a completely different part of London – a huge hit with tourists and music lovers alike. Or, if you’re feeling particularly active, you could even hire a paddle board here!
Where to stay
Paddington is home to our iconic The Devonshire London Paddington – the best accommodation near Paddington station. On an elegant London street not far from Hyde Park, The Devonshire is something of a hidden gem. A peaceful yet well-connected spot, with Paddington Station London just minutes away, it’s the ideal base for short or long stays in the capital. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, complimentary WiFi and tea and coffee making facilities, and each room has a microwave oven for added convenience.
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What to eat and drink
Our Bed And Breakfast in Paddington London will be the perfect start to your busy day exploring the area. The restaurant at the Park Grand Paddington Court, just across the street from our hotel, serves delicious, freshly prepared breakfasts for guests of The Devonshire. Start the day with a flavoursome full English, as is the custom of course, or enjoy a lighter, continental breakfast. The choice is yours!
Enjoy lunch and dinner at one of the delightful spots along the canal – in Paddington you can find lovely little independent eateries, as well as top British chains, too. There are also a handful of great pubs and bars in the area too if you fancy a drink as the sun goes down.