Paddington is one of the best places in Central London to have a great time. Gardens, squares, parks, cafes, restaurants and more attractions await you to discover them.
2 destinations you should definitely put on your list are Notting Hill and West End.
There are so many things to do near Paddington Station because it’s one of London’s most important transport hubs.
Pretty much all of the neighbourhoods surrounding it have gone through renovations and beautifications over the years.
In fact, it’s common to see new luxury apartments and offices pop up over Paddington every once in a while. All the more reason for the city to look after its main landmarks.
Even Paddington Station itself is worth visiting (like other important train stations in London). It’s not only of historical significance, but a true architectural marvel.
And of course, who can forget the lovable Peruvian bear that made the area famous outside of the UK?
However, don’t explore all the fun things to do in Paddington while dragging your luggage after you. At CitySpareSpace, we offer a same day left luggage service.
Yes, you could just store your luggage at Paddington Station. However, you save up to 50% when you work with us. Only £7 per bag! What’s more, you also benefit from:
- CCTV monitoring and tamper-proof seals with unique numbers.
- Very advantageous opening hours; from early morning to late at night.
- Only 5 minutes away from Paddington Station and Lancaster Gate Tube Station (by foot!).
- 7 days a week luggage storage, including overnight.
- Drop off & pick up whenever you want; we only charge a day rate.
How Do You Get To Paddington?
Getting to Paddington by train is the easiest if you’re coming from outside London. It’s open 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Many trains from South-West and West England go to Paddington, including those from Bristol, Cartiff, Oxford and Exeter. Trains from South Wales also go to Paddington train station.
The Heathrow Express’s terminus is also Paddington station. From there, this dedicated non-stop service takes passengers to and from Heathrow Airport every 15 minutes.
Flying Out From Heathrow?
London Paddington station is where you can access the fastest transport from central London to Heathrow Airport.
The Heathrow Express is only a 15 minute journey from Paddington Station with trains every 15 minutes.
CitySpareSpace can help you maximise your time in London. Don’t drag your bags with you!
Our Paddington luggage storage partner is only a 5 minutes walk to Paddington Station.
Make the most of London; book a bag drop with CitySpareSpace!
1. Meet The Paddington Bear
Let’s start with the obvious. If you arrive in Paddington by train, you’ll already be in the same place as its biggest attraction.
Coming all the way from abroad, the Paddington Bear has been a favourite children’s tale in Britain since the 1960s.
If you happen to be unfamiliar with the bear, here’s the gist of him: he’s from Peru, he loves marmalade, and he’s based on the author’s experience during World War II.
The bear’s books have been published in over 40 languages, and there’s even a recent big screen movie about him (from 2014).
The charming bear’s statue can be found on Platform 1, just under the clock; where he’s found in the story. The Paddington Station also has the one and only Paddington Bear shop.
Gifts, souvenirs, memorabilia and other tidbits connected to the famous bear can all be found there. Naturally, you can purchase his iconic hat and suitcase.
If you didn’t come to Paddington by train though, no worries! You don’t need a ticket in order to access the section with the statue.
You’ll find him immortalised in bronze alongside his trusty suitcase and hat. Just look for him on Platform 1, where the Brown family originally found him.
There’s also a plaque and a bench near the Paddington Bear statue. A perfect place to enjoy a marmalade sandwich, just like he would’ve wanted you to.
2. Explore Little Venice
No need to go to Italy to enjoy beautiful canals and waterways. Just a bit north of Paddington, where Regent’s Canal and Grand Union meet, you’ll find an intimate and inviting area. All along the canals, there are waterside cafes, restaurants, and pubs.
It’s hard to beat that feeling of cosiness and calmness that you get from these unique things to do in Paddington. If you’d like to stay on the move, boat rides along the waterways are also offered.
Every now and then, you’d also catch a puppet show. As tranquil as the entire neighbourhood is though, don’t expect any gondolas. You’re not actually in Venice.
Other than being a quiet and beautiful spot to spend an afternoon, Little Venice is also a hub for transitions. You can reach the London Zoo, Camden Town, or Regent’s Park, all by barge.
If you’re just looking to stay on the water and relax for a while though, that’s possible as well.
For example, the London Waterbus offers a 45 minute experience where you’re taken from Little Venice all the way to Camden Lock Market.
If art is what floats your boat, then make sure to catch a theatre performance at the Canal Cafe Theatre.
3. Stroll Through Hyde Park
Hyde Park could easily be the only landmark that you visit during your stay in Paddington, if that’s what you wish. The reasoning is quite simple: it’s a green stretch of land of 350 acres! Everything that a park could have, well, it’s there.
Nature, cafes, a giant lake, sports facilities, etc. The centrepiece of the park is the Diana Memorial Fountain, built in honour of the Princess of Wales. From there, you can make your way to Speakers’ Corner, a place of historical significance for political and philosophical debate.
Lenin, Orwell, and Karl Marx (among others) all stood there and spoke out in public protest. Debates were also a common occurrence.
Another spot you shouldn’t miss are the dazzling Italian Gardens.
Initially a gift to Queen Victoria in the 1860s (or so the story goes), the gardens have become a popular spot for movie makers to shoot scenes. It’s free to visit them though!
Throughout the gardens, you’ll be surrounded by the soothing scent of English roses, as fountains create a splashing spectacle around you.
Around the huge, centre-piece pond, you’ll also find a cafe. A perfect spot from where to admire the serenity around you.
If you’re in the mood for some action though, visit the Hyde Tennis and Sports Centre. Besides tennis, you could play football, use the putting green, or do some lawn bowling.
Still not enough for you? No problem, there are horse riding stables too!
In London with your children? Take them to the Hyde Park Playground. They’ll surely have a fun time on the swings or the climbing frames.
Another reason to visit Hyde Park is because it’s one of the most convenient things to do near Paddington Station. It’s only 10 minutes away from the station.
4. Shop in Bayswater
Want to go on a shopping spree? Bayswater is sure to have pretty much any souvenir you might be looking for. Since it has also become a central location for shopping, you’re also going to find a lot of cafes and restaurants too.
Some of them belong to bigger chains that are spread throughout the UK and even internationally. Others are independent, serving the Paddington area and its vicinity.
Bayswater is pretty close to Westbourne Grove, the Queensway tube, and it gives you easy access to Kensington Gardens too. Which brings us to…
5. Visit Kensington Gardens
Ever been to a royal park before? Now’s your chance! Even if it’s not going to be your first one, Kensington Gardens is special because that’s where you’ll find the Kensington Palace.
The palace isn’t just the birthplace of Queen Victoria; it’s also hosted British royalty for more than 300 years! We recommend seeing the “Life Through A Royal Lens” exhibition; a collection of photographs of the Royal Family.
Kensington Palace also has a recreation (albeit re-imagined) of Queen Victoria’s childhood rooms. Additionally, you can explore the sublime King’s State Apartments and Queen’s State Apartments.
Remember to book your ticket!
Another reason why this should be on your things to do near Paddington station list is because Kensington Gardens is essentially on the west side of Hyde Park.
You could stroll through parts of both if you plan your route well enough.
Lastly, for the contemporary & modern art lovers out there, there’s the Serpentine Galleries. Go a bit more north on the banks of The Long Water, and you’ll find The Arch (a 6m tall stone sculpture).
6. See The Unknown Soldier
Right in the area’s train station, you’ll find one of the easiest things to do in Paddington. Just a bit further along Platform 1 (around the famous bear) stands the silent protector of king, queen, and country.
The monument is dedicated to all the men and women who lost their lives during World War I.
While it’s directed at the staff of the Great Western Railway (who perished during the war), the statue is a solemn reminder of the tragedy, heroism, and loss.
The soldier stands proudly in his uniform, reading a letter from friends, family, or maybe someone else. His longing gaze says it all. Definitely a must-see if you’re passionate about art or history.
7. Walk Across The Paddington Basin Bridges
If you’re going to visit Little Venice anyway, don’t miss out on these unique bridges. Going across the Paddington Basin, the Rolling Bridge and the Fan Bridge open up in a very distinct way to let barges cross.
For example, the Rolling Bridge has a unique and innovative hexagonal pattern in which it “curls” when it’s raised. Similarly interesting, the Fan Bridge’s structure has five steel beams that open and close like a hand-held paper fan.
So you see, the names are very on the nose! If you want to see them in their full glory, you should go to the Paddington area on Fridays, Saturdays, or Wednesdays. Noon for weekdays, and 2pm for Saturday.
8. Discover The Paddington Paper Trail
Admiring public art is one of the main things to do near Paddington Station. There are 22 such landmarks, starting right from the Unknown Soldier statue we mentioned above. In fact, we’ve already covered a few of them.
Unsurprisingly, the Paddington bear is also on the list, as are the 2 basin bridges. However, there are still way more art pieces for you to discover yourself. For example, the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother sculpture, which is actually the last time she ever sat for a portrait.
9. Taste The Flavours of Edgware Road
In the 1950s, many immigrants from Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Algeria came to London. Over time, Edgware Road became an enclave full of Middle Eastern and Arabian spices, scents, flavours, and dishes.
Presently, you can find a wide variety of traditional restaurants and hookah lounges (also known as shisha dens). That’s one of the main reasons why locals also refer to the zone as Little Beirut. If you want a specialty store or an authentic eatery, this is the place you want to be.
If you’ve never smoked using a hookah before, now’s your chance to try it. However, note that shisha tobacco is just as dangerous and harmful as cigarettes. In fact, even more.
A single 1-hour session of hookah smoking is the equivalent of about 100 cigarettes (including all related toxins and chemicals), according to Stanford. So, moderation is recommended.
10. Experience a Self-Driving Boat…
GoBoat is an innovative company that provides self-driving boat experiences down Regent’s Canal. You and up to 7 others can embark on a 1 – 3 hours experience where you’ll be taking in exquisite vistas.
Each package offers the opportunity of passing by important landmarks of London. Among other things to do in Paddington, you should really note this one down as a priority. No boating experience is required either, as GoBoat teaches you everything you need to know.
The adventure is completely suitable for children too, as the company provides mandatory life jackets for them (for adults it’s optional). Navigation along the canals is very simple, and the needed instructions and a route map will also be given by GoBoat.
1 hour costs £95, 2 hours go for £135, and for 3 hours you’ll need £175. We recommend the middle package, as the cruise also goes past the wild dogs and aviary in the London Zoo.
All in all, this is a unique and memorable way of enjoying a picnic with family, drinks with friends (no alcohol allowed on board though!), or anything in between.
11. …Or Party On The Electric Barge
Want a more lively experience? For a special one-off event, celebration, party, anniversary, or even office parties, you can book The Electric Barge.
The barge goes along the western side of Regent’s Canal, passing London Zoo and Camden Market.
Unlike the GoBoat, the barge also offers a fully stocked bar, as well as catering services. You can enjoy the popular sights of London together with friends, while having hotel-level amenities right there with you.
For the food, you can go 3 ways: a gourmet grazing spread, traditionally amazing fish & chips from Poppies (specialty restaurant), or delectable paella from Marion’s Kitchen.
The drinks also come in 3 varieties: the classic package (unlimited beer, wine, and soft drinks), the premium package (+ single spirit mixers), or just drinks for the guest reception.
You can also buy a complete route package, the most popular one costing £1,200.
Quick Reminder: Don’t Carry Your Luggage With You
There are so many entertaining things to do in Paddington that you have to move fast in order to maximise your time. One of the best ideas to make your experience better is to store your baggage with us while you’re exploring.
For a mere £7 per bag/day, you can take your mind off of dragging all your bags after you. Our location near Paddington Station is just 5 minutes away, and there are CCTV cameras on site.
Additionally, we also add tamper-proof seals to all bags, so that you’re 100% sure of your bags’ safety. Our left luggage service is booked exclusively online.
After that, just go to the location and drop off the luggage. That’s it, hassle-free!
- 50% less expensive than Paddington Train Station.
- 5 minutes away from the Paddington Train Station.
12. Walkabout Sheldon Square Amphitheatre
While events are only hosted at specific dates and times, you can still freely trod the grounds of the amphitheatre any time. If you happen to sync up your Paddington visit with an event though (like the Wimbledon), you might catch a screening.
Other than that, several food and drink venues surround the amphitheatre. For example, you could try out Itsu’s menu. A Japanese cuisine store where you can find specialties such as rice bowls, gyoza, sushi, noodle pots and soups.
Itsu also sells Japanese-style groceries. Think of seaweed snacks, rice cakes, instant noodles, instant miso soup and more.
It’s really worth a visit because Itsu’s founder was inspired by Japan when they visited in 1994. Since then, 77 locations have been opened (including in the USA and France).
13. Visit Alexander Fleming’s Laboratory
It’s hard to imagine where we’d be today as a society if penicillin was never invented. While Paddington’s Saint Mary’s hospital is a popular location since Princess Charlotte and other royals were born there, we shouldn’t forget it’s where A. Fleming worked too.
Nowadays, his laboratory has been restored to recreate how it would’ve looked a century ago. It’s open to the public, so go ahead and visit!
Fleming’s discovery of the famous antibiotic in 1928 brought medicine into a new age, for which he and two fellow scientists won the Nobel Prize in 1945.
14. Attend The Puppet Theatre Barge
If you like theatre but don’t want to attend a traditional one, this is a wonderful alternative. Situated on a converted barge, the Puppet Theatre has been putting on shows for the last 40 years. Numerous children and adults have been enjoying them over the years.
Another feature of the Puppet Theatre is that it moves throughout the year. Since it’s a barge, it can navigate Paddington’s waterways throughout the year.
For example, as of right now (August 2022), the barge is in Richmond. From the 19th of September though, it’ll be in Little Venice.
Another thing that sets the Puppet Barge apart is that it’s actually the UK’s only floating puppet theatre (though that’s not really surprising, is it?). At the same time, the barge is managed by the Art of the Puppet, a charity organisation that supports puppetry in education.
The barge uses traditional wood marionettes across a variety of original and traditionally-inspired shows. Shakespeare and Federico Garcia Lorca are two big inspirations for the theatre.
Some show examples include: The Hare and the Tortoise, Cinema in Silhouette and The Three Pigs.
15. Discover the Floating Pocket Park
Looking for unique things to do near Paddington Station? The Paddington Basin also hosts London’s first ever floating park.
This unique creation came from the initiative of creating a green and relaxing space amidst the usual fast-paced feeling of a busy urban area.
This “city oasis” has quickly become a favourite of office workers in the area. If you visit during lunchtime, you’re bound to see it crowded with employees enjoying a sandwich or a snack.
However, the floating park is also great for actually working in it. Because of its ample seating (thanks to many benches), you could bring a laptop and tend to your work duties.
And yes, there’s free Wi-Fi; plus the train station is only about 10 minutes away. This could easily be your last stop before leaving Paddington.
The park doesn’t really rock that much either, so you shouldn’t feel any vertigo.
16. Meet 3 Local Heroes
Not all things to do in Paddington are as famous as seeing the Paddington bear. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy attractions of their own.
For example, standing proudly as two dimensional steel figures are 3 figures with a rich connection to Paddington.
First, there’s Michael Bond (author of Paddington book series). Second, Alan Turing; a renowned codebreaker and overall computer wizard.
Third, Mary Seacole; a Jamaican nurse that spent her final years in Paddington and who cared for the soldiers of the Crimean War.
All of their statues are in the open park space of Saint Mary’s Square, having been built as part of a local heroes history initiative.
17. Learn Some Gardening
Paddington Central, a central location (go figure) of the area, is a mix of offices, bars, restaurants, gyms, cafes and more.
Amidst all of those urban achievements, you’re also going to find a green space dedicated to gardening.
Created to teach local schools and communities about the importance of local food production, the place is open to anyone who wants to pitch in.
Every now and then, healthy food and farming workshops are held by Square Mile Farms.
These workshops are free! They teach participants how to grow food at home, or even in the workplace.
For example, you can learn how to build planters, nurture seeds, care for plants, and when it’s best to begin harvesting.
Make sure to book in advance though, as a maximum of 5 people can participate at once.
Aside from teaching everyone who’s interested about the wellbeing of plants and their health benefits, the green space covers other biodiversity elements too.
You can find bird boxes, bug hotels, and pollinator-friendly plants that invite birds, insects and butterflies to create nests.
18. Listen to Live Music
There are many things to do in Paddington Central. If gardening isn’t really your thing, you might catch some live music in the Sheldon Square amphitheatre.
During lunchtime on Thursday, you can catch the PC Music Series.
True to its name, the event celebrates musical cultures from around the globe. You can catch a lot of different musicians, genres, and even generations.
The concerts are great opportunities to have a blast together with friends & work colleagues while enjoying the great food options and beverages around Paddington Central.
19. Admire The Marble Arch
No list of things to do near Paddington station should be complete without the Marble Arch. Besides, if you’re taking our advice and exploring Paddington Basin (or Edgware Road), this is going to be on your way anyway.
Built in the 1820s, this iconic gateway of London (that was meant to serve as an entrance to Buckingham Palace) was moved to Paddington roughly 30 years later.
And, there it stands even now, an important landmark for both car traffic and foot traffic (there are many roads around it).
The arch is nothing short of breathtaking, depicting classic arts sceneries and an exquisite attention to detail.
Surprisingly, the arch also has an interior! Nothing too fancy though; just historic sleeping quarters of police officers that patrolled Hyde Park, as well as holding cells. Regardless, the inside is not open to the public anyway.
You’re free to circle around the structure and enjoy the nearby fountains and grassy areas though.
20. Shop for Some Antiques
Among other things to do near Paddington station, you can visit Alfies Antique Market. This specialty store is London’s biggest antiques market.
Being only 15 minutes away from the train station (and open Tuesday through Saturday), you’re sure to find a unique souvenir.
With over 70 stalls (all in the same indoor space) and sections, this vintage place has a large offer of antiquities. Some of them are second-hand, but that just means you can get them cheaper.
There’s a good chance you’ll find what you’re after, regardless of what type of antiquity that might be. Alfies’s vendors sell anything and everything pertaining to vintage furniture, glass, ceramics, jewellery, and of course, clothes.
Alfies is one of London’s most renowned attractions. We encourage you to find out for yourself why.
Where to Eat Near Paddington Station
There are a few eateries right in Paddington Station. However, you can find more exciting pubs a short distance away.
Once you get your fill of things to do near Paddington Station and want to grab a bit, here are our recommendations.
Before going out to eat though, make sure to store your luggage securely for just £7/bag per day! Dragging it with you would just ruin the whole experience.
21. The Prince Alfred
On the west side of London, The Prince Alfred stands out as one of the most verdant and luxurious Victorian pubs. The wooden interior and high ceiling gives the entire place a very cosy and homey feeling.
Historically, it’s a well established pub too. Dating back to 1831, it has served generations upon generations of Londoners and visitors.
Popular with locals and tourists alike, they service British dishes, traditional cask ales, draughts, and lagers (bottled).
If you’re into other types of alcohol, you’ll be pleased to find fine wines and an entire range of gins too.
Food-wise, their fish & chips and homemade burgers take the trophy. Those are 2 dishes that you should definitely try. If you’d rather go for something else, their pie is pretty impressive too.
22. The Lockhouse
Right in the heart of Merchant’s Square and a stone throw away from Paddington Basin, Lockhouse is open from brunch to dinner.
For the summer of 2022, their special offer is a selection of expertly chilled rosé wines (from France, Slovenia, Italy and New Zealand).
Lochouse also pride themselves with a variety of cocktails. In fact, they vigorously call themselves the place with the best cocktails in all of Paddington (we reckon you should test that for yourself).
If you’re searching for things to do in Paddington for bigger groups instead, you might’ve found the place.
Lockhouse also has two bigger areas; perfect for business meetings, team buildings or just hanging out with a large number of friends.
A fan of beer? They have over 13 options on tap. Might be a great way to start your day off alongside a full English breakfast, a steak sandwich, or bacon with eggs benedict.
Want to take a break from all the great things to do near Paddington Station? Huckster is a lower-Manhattan (from the 1980s) inspired sun terrace, bustling with customers all day.
It focuses on being a dining and drinking urban market. However, what really sets it apart is the fascination with Manhattan from the 80s.
The owners wanted to recreate that feeling of art, NY-style street foot and karaoke lounges.
Maybe you’d like some posh chips with dips and seasonings? Or a farm-fresh burger with some mac ‘n cheese on the side? How about delicious buffalo wings (spicy or with a celery & blue cheese sauce).
Huckster also has an all-day happy hour policy. Buy a bucktail, get one free! Feeling like singing? The place also has 2 karaoke rooms for up to 50 people.
If you want to keep the fun on the down low and just have a relaxing conversation, Huckster also serves different coffees.
Right in the heart of Paddington, basically a step away from the station with the same name, sits one of the area’s iconic bars. Still, going to BrewDog or any of the other locations mentioned so far will be just personal preference.
Their craft beers, burgers and wings have a well-established reputation; but, it’s the same menu you’ll find in other such eateries too.
If you happen to be exiting Hyde Park though, BrewDog will be just up your alley. We mean that literally; it’s nearby.
Wednesdays are a particularly great time to visit BrewDog, as they have an unlimited wings offer (just £12)!
The bar takes special care of their vegan customers too, as half the menu is strictly plant-based (some of those dishes are admittedly vegetarian though).
Looking for child-friendly things to do in Paddington? BrewDog has a special Happy Meal menu, a favourite of younglings.
If you’re in Paddington for work reasons, check out their “Deskdog” package. For £7, you get unlimited coffee, tea, a desk, power outlets, a printer, and stationaries.
25. London Shell Company
With Britain being an island, seafood is a staple of the cuisine. If you’d like to move away from burgers, wings, the common fish fish & chips or other traditional pub recipes, here’s your chance.
A company with a long history, London Shell Co. is serving delicate and refined seafood in a barge on Regent’s Canal. Looking for some quality smoked haddock?
Craving Devon oysters or fresh scallops? There are few places where they do them better than here.
The fish is fresh every day and then turned into fine dining. Another great thing is that the barge doesn’t stay put! After the seats are occupied, you’re taken on a route towards Regent’s Park.
Cruising doesn’t happen every single day though. Some days, the barge just stays put. Check their website to make sure you’re visiting at the right time for you.
When it is a cruising day though, expect a five-course meal where the simplicity yet strong nature of British ingredients shine brightest.
Naturally, London Shell Co. also offers a selection of 24 wines that finely complement the flavours of the seafood.
Where Can You Stay in Paddington?
Paddington is one of London’s most important locations. There are over 110 hotels to choose from, as well as guesthouses. Don’t worry, there’s something for all budgets; from more affordable options, to luxury hotels that offer premium services.
Budget and B&B hotel options:
Remember that you don’t need a hotel if you’re staying in Paddington for just a day. Instead, you use our luggage storage service for the entire day.
Just £7 per bag/day, with CCTV monitoring and tamper-proof seals included.
Book Your Paddington Luggage Storage
Dragging your bags, backpacks, suitcases or other luggage around Paddington is a surefire way to ruin the experience. And with so many things to do near Paddington station, that’d be a huge shame. Besides, there’s always the risk of losing your bags too!
Instead, simply book our left luggage service online.
- Only £7 per bag. This day rate is the only thing we charge.
- Same day pick-up and drop-off available.
- Tamper-proof seals for all bags.
- CCTV monitoring. Safe and secure.
- Opens early & closes late. Very advantageous hours to let you explore!
- 5 minutes away from Paddington Train Station.
- Up to 50% less expensive than storage offered at the train station.
- 7 days a week luggage storage (even overnight).