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March 2017 / Area Guides / by Sophie Hampton

Paddington

Intro

While you may not be a fluffy little bear from Peru named Paddington, there are probably many things about this central London district that will attract you to it.

At its heart lies the majestic station where said bear was found: a structure designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel that boasts National Rail services, the Heathrow Express and links to the rest of the city via four Tube lines. Crossrail is also in development and set to open in 2018. With such great connections come great facilities: a magnificent regeneration project is transforming the area formerly known as the Paddington Basin into a treasure trove of premier business and residential developments, with views across the picturesque Grand Union Canal; at Connaught Village there’s a delicious range of boutiques, delis, galleries and restaurants; while the endless joys of Hyde Park can be savoured within just a few minutes’ walk. Popular with graduates and young professionals due to the impressive city links, Paddington is also within walking distance of many central London attractions, such as Marble Arch and Oxford Street.

 

Trivia

Paddington is home to St Mary’s hospital, famous for being the location at which Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin.

 

Smartest streets

Although characterised by grand white stucco buildings set around leafy squares, Paddington offers a mix of properties. Large homes can be found on Connaught Square; large flats (predominantly converted terraces) appear in Hyde Park Square, Westbourne Terrace and The Lancasters; small early Victorian terraces grace the roads between Praed Street and Sussex Gardens; while the Hyde Park Estate has streets and squares of post-war properties. Modern residential blocks are available around the Grand Junction canal basin as part of the Paddington Waterside project; and Gloucester Terrace has some beautiful 18th-century homes, originally built for the newly wealthy professional classes of doctors, lawyers and bankers in the area.