About the Area
Paddington is a district in Westminster, located in central London. Paddington used to be a metropolitan borough outside of London, although it was integrated into both London and Westminster in 1965. Paddington, a name that in Old English is thought to mean "place of the farm," has been known as such for centuries; historians have recently discovered that the earliest reference to Paddington was in 1056. This district is known for being a major transportation hub, a vibrant cosmopolitan area, and a generally entertaining place. Throughout this district, it is easy to find quaint, authentic pubs, delicious restaurants and bustling markets. Famous residents of this area include Emma Thompson, a British actress and screenwriter who appeared in several Harry Potter films, as well as Seal and Elvis Costello. Actor Kiefer Sutherland was born in Paddington, and well-loved Victorian poet Robert Browning lived here until 1887.
Paddington is a location that is referenced in both fiction and film. Scenes from the 1960 film "Never Let Go" were filmed here and Paddington Bear, a character from a series of popular children's books, was found at (and named after) Paddington Station.
Places Of Interest
There is no shortage of interesting things to see and do in Paddington. A must-see venue in Paddington is, of course, Paddington Station. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and opened in 1854, this is a transport hub and a piece of history. The station was also just recently renovated and now includes a variety of different restaurants, shops and even a champagne bar. The new concourse was designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, and even includes a statue of the fictitious Paddington Bear. Incredibly close to the Station is Regent's Canal and Little Venice, both of which are great places to relax and enjoy a meal. The renovated Paddington Basin is another venue that can't be missed, if not for the array of restaurants but for the rolling bridge that looks amazingly like a caterpillar.
While St. Mary's Hospital might not seen like an interesting location, it is another historical venue and an architectural gem in Paddington. Built in 1845, this hospital is where both heroin and penicillin were discovered, in 1874 and 1928 respectively. The Fleming Museum can be found here, and should be visited by those who wish to learn more about this hospital and the significant medical discovery.
Additional places of interest in and around Paddington include Hyde Park, which is just ten minutes away from Paddington Station, the Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Gallery and the Lisson Gallery, both of which are contemporary art galleries.
As explained earlier, Paddington is a transportation hub and so getting to and from this area is incredibly easy. Paddington Station is the terminus station for rail service to places such as Bristol, Cardiff, Reading, Oxford and Plymouth. This is also the terminus for the Heathrow Express train, making it incredibly easy to get to and from Heathrow Airport. Tube stations are here as well; Paddington can be accessed on the Hammersmith and City line, the Circle line, the District line and the Bakerloo line.