We live in a modern age where visiting London means taking a reel of selfies and photos that you can take home and show off to your friends and family. Or, if you are doing things more traditionally, you can print out your shots for a photo album! Even Meghan Markle has got a tourist photo posing in front of Buckingham Palace as a young girl, so there is no excuse not to get them all under your belt.
Now, you probably have a checklist of iconic landmarks and monuments to photograph like Trafalgar Square or Tower Bridge, but you probably aren’t familiar with all the photo opportunities in and around Paddington itself. So, here are the best spots that will show your Facebook friends and Instagram followers that you did a full-city tour, rather than just the must-see landmarks that everyone has heard of.
Marble Arch is both a street that’s just a short walk from The Devonshire London, as well as a historic landmark at the corner of Hyde Park, by Speakers Corner. It is an exquisite architectural triumph of a 19th-century white marble-faced arch that was designed in 1827 by John Nash as the state entrance to the cour d’honneur of Buckingham Palace. The arch is located on a reasonably busy road, so the best spot to take photographs of it is either from across the way in Portman Square or from behind it in Hyde Park, depending on the angle you are looking for.
Address: London W1H 7EJ
If you are staying in Westbourne Terrace London Hotel or any of the lovely hotels in Paddington, you are always only a few minute’s walk away from Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. The gardens in themselves could fill endless photo albums, but if you walk to the Round Pond in front of Kensington Palace, you can get an incredible view and shot of the Palace from across the water. This abode, former home to royal residents like Queen Victoria and Princess Diana, is one of the most Instagrammable spots in London.
Address: Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London W8 4PX
Peter Pan Statue
Also in Kensington Gardens is the statue of J. M. Barrie’s fictional boy who didn’t want to grow up, Peter Pan. Appreciators of the children’s story and in general, of literature, will want to snap a picture next to this brass monument of Peter amongst brass companions of squirrels, rabbits, mice and fairies, that sits by the Long Water. It was built in 1912 by Sir George Frampton, commissioned by J. M Barrie himself, who used to live on Bayswater Road so he wanted his immortalized creation within walking distance.
Address: Kensington Gardens, Kensington, London W8 4PX
Edward Jenner Memorial
In the Italian Gardens, which straddles Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, you will find the memorial of Edward Jenner. He was the physician, scientist and pioneer of the world’s first vaccine, so modern medicine owes a lot to his work. The artist, William Calder Marshall, was a famous Scottish sculptor. In general, the memorial is part of the beautiful Italian Gardens, making it a worthy photo-spot as well as one of historical importance.
Address: A402, London W2 2UD
Paddington train station – just around the corner from The Devonshire – is a famous London station that’s well-known mainly because it has been in existence since 1838. In itself, the station and iconic arched ceilings are a prime photo opportunity. Between the intricately designed metalwork by the windows’ archway and the big, old-fashioned clock, you have got a few compulsory snaps in the storage bank.
Those familiar with Paddington Station are often also familiar with the fictional children’s bear character named Paddington due to his arrival at the station from Peru. As of 2000, there is a bronze sculpture by Marcus Cornish of Paddington Bear in his iconic hat, sat on his suitcase and donning his name tag, and not getting in on a photo-op with him would be unbearably wasteful while you are exploring the area.
Address: Praed St, Paddington, London
The Rolling Bridge
A number of the best restaurants near Paddington are along the Grand Union Canal, which runs through Paddington all the way up to Leicester and all the way down to Birmingham. The section in Paddington is the Paddington Basin, where you will find The Rolling Bridge, which is an artistic, curling, moveable bridge that was created in 2004 by Thomas Heatherwick, a novelty experience to walk across, as well as a truly selfie-worthy sight to see. It works with two-part links, which collapse towards the deck with hydraulic cylinders to create the curling effect.
Address: S Wharf Rd, Paddington, London W2 1NW
The Grand Union Canal
While The Rolling Bridge is the most striking landmark on The Grand Union Canal, the canal in itself is a photo-worthy spot. Between the eclectic array of houseboats and barges, to the green corridor walls that line it, it is a beautiful route to walk or cycle down and enjoy the scenery. There are points along the way where you would hardly believe you are in the middle of a big city, rather than moseying down a countryside canal.
The Alexander Flemming Museum
The inventor of penicillin is memorialised in this small but impactful museum in Paddington. Fleming’s Nobel prize-winning discovery of this world-famous antibiotic is all nestled in this building that is packed with historical significance. Photographs are not permitted inside due to copyright, however a picture outside is a great opportunity, in order to show the scope of experience and exploration you have had on your trip to London Paddington.
Address: 135a Praed St, Paddington, London W2 1QY
Some of the best hotels in London England can be found within the relatively small neighbourhood of Paddington. This is incredibly lucky, considering what an amazing place it is and how much there is to do, eat and see there. Make sure you take your camera along with you so that you can get shots of some of these amazing photo opportunities when you visit.