Synonymous for many with a small brown bear in a blue duffle coat, there's a lot to love about Paddington. The storybook character Paddington Bear, beloved by generations of children, was inspired by a lonely teddy bear in a Paddington shop window, happened upon by author Michael Rosen on Christmas Eve 1956. So the story has it, the stowaway bear was discovered sitting on a suitcase at Paddington Station. You'll find his statue there today, dwarfed by the grandeur of one of the world's greatest railway termini - masterpiece of Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Paddington has long been a gateway to London, not only for rail travellers but also for goods and freight arriving in the capital on the canals of Paddington Basin. Once surrounded by mighty Victorian warehouses, Paddington Basin is now a vibrant leisure destination, its canals busy with pleasure craft and lined with restaurants and bars. Perhaps one of London's best-kept secrets, it's the beating heart of our home - a district of genteel Georgian streets stretching west towards Bayswater, and south to Hyde Park. Leafy Little Venice, one of London's loveliest urban villages, is just to the north, and for serious shopping, Oxford Street is a mere ten minute walk away.
With so much to discover on our doorstep, we can't wait to introduce you to the pleasures of Paddington. Thanks to our friends at The Paddington Partnership, here's a little pre-trip inspiration: http://www.thisispaddington.com/