When it comes to choosing where to stay during a trip to London, the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel is an excellent choice.
Located a short stroll from Paddington and the vast open green space of Hyde Park, the hotel is ideally placed in the centre of the UK capital so that you can get to almost anywhere in a surprisingly short space of time.
The hotel itself is housed in elegant white stuccoed terraces, which hint at its stunning contemporary interior style. But what is there to do in the area surrounding the Park Grand Paddington Court?
Address: London, W2 2UH
If you look for the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel on a map, you’ll spot a huge patch of green less than half a mile South. This is Hyde Park and it is one of the largest green spaces in central London, covering some 350 acres.
Many often mistake the adjoining Kensington Gardens as part of Hyde Park because in daylight, the two merge seamlessly; however, at dusk, Kensington Gardens closes. Combined though, the two parks cover 625 acres.
The standalone Hyde Park is home to many famous landmarks, such as the Serpentine Lake, Speakers’ Corner, and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, as well as memorials to the Holocaust and the 7/7 bombings from 2005.
Many high-profile rock concerts have been held here over the decades, the first in 1968 featuring sets from Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac. Most recently, Hyde Park has staged performances from The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Blur, The Who and Black Sabbath.
Every winter, the east part of Hyde Park sees the arrival of Winter Wonderland – a festive-themed event with Christmas rides and shows, an outdoor ice rink and stalls selling yuletide food and drink. It is free to enter but you’ll have to put your hand in your pocket to get the full experience. The event usually runs from mid-November into the first week of January.
Address: Kensington Gardens, London, W8 4PX
Located on the western edge of Kensington Gardens, this royal palace is the official London residence of some high-profile royal family members, namely the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Princess Michael of Kent.
Here, you’ll be able to view the King’s Staircase, State Apartments and Gallery, as well as the Queen’s State Apartments and exhibitions documenting the long and extraordinary life of Queen Victoria and the fashion of Diana, Princess of Wales. Entry to these exhibitions are included in the palace admission price.
Address: Maida Vale, Little Venice, London, W2 1TH
Less than a mile north of the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel is Little Venice, a picturesque part of London, blessed with beautiful canals and waterways. The charming area features some unique waterside cafes, pubs and restaurants.
We’d recommend the canalside Summerhouse restaurant and The Waterway with its wide terrace. Other establishments to keep an eye out for include the Pearl Liang Chinese restaurant, Molly’s cafe, and the Bridge House – a traditional British pub.
Little Venice is also home to some of the capital’s most interesting independent theatres, such as the Canal Café Theatre, Sheldon Square’s amphitheatre and the Puppet Theatre Barge, which is exactly as the name suggests.
Address: Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 1LJ
One of the most famous street markets in the world sits just over a mile west of the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel. You may recognise it as the setting of Notting Hill – the 1999 film starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts – and the area has been frequently mentioned in popular culture over the decades.
The market is known for its offering of quality antiques, vintage collectables and bric-a-brac, but you’ll also find a great selection of vintage fashions, young and emerging designers and upmarket brands. Portobello is home to some fantastic street food stalls too, offering on-the-go dishes from around the world.
If you want to experience Portobello at its finest, you’d be wise to drop by on a Saturday, as this is when all the street stalls are set up. A market isn’t held on Sunday, but all the shops are open as usual most days.
Address: 191 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2ED
First opening as one of Britain’s first purpose-built picture houses in 1910, the Electric Cinema’s interior is styled to reflect its long history, with 65 leather armchairs, footstools and side tables in place of the fold-down cloth seats you’ll be typically used to. There are also three two-seater sofas and even six double beds in the front row, promising the most unique cinema visit you’ll ever have, as well as the comfiest.
The decor may be vintage but the programme is fresh, consisting of the latest high-profile releases likely to appeal to those with independent and arthouse tastes. Weekday showings tend to start not long after 6pm and 9pm in the evening, with an earlier showing around 2.30pm on weekends.
Madame Tussauds London
Address: Marylebone Road, Marylebone, London, NW1 5LR
Heading east through Paddington and into Marylebone, you’ll come across Madame Tussauds London – a standard tourist staple that really needs to be ticked off if you’ve never been.
The novelty of seeing waxwork statues of the Royals and hottest celebrities of the day doesn’t seem to get old, and we dare you not to have a fun time at Madame Tussauds London.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London
Address: The London Pavillion, 1 Piccadilly Circus, London, W1J 0DA
You could include Ripley’s in the same group as Madame Tussauds in terms of timeless novelty fun and must-see attractions.
There are many Ripley’s museums around the world but London’s is the biggest of them all, with more than 700 amazing artefacts spread across five floors and 19 themed galleries.
The Wallace Collection
Address: Hertford House, Manchester Square, Marylebone, London, W1U 3BN
Based in a historic London townhouse, this national museum is free to visit and amongst its 25 galleries is the Great Gallery, which has been praised as the greatest picture gallery in Europe.
With nearly 5,500 objects, the collection includes French 18-century paintings and furniture, Sèvres porcelain, an armoury and the Laughing Cavalier – a portrait by Dutch Golden Age painter Frans Hals, often hailed as one of the greatest Baroque portraits. The Wallace Collection is also home to two paintings by Titian and five Rembrandts.