Don’t doubt it; the area around Paddington’s globally-known railway station is packed full of fascinating things to do, places to visit and activities to try. Away from the busy centre that throngs with tourists every day; here, you may find you have greater scope to relax, enjoy yourself and those you’re with in your short time in the capital and discover and ‘unearthed’ delight of a district that’s not sampled by each and every visitor – at least not for more than usually passing through as a transport hub. Convinced? Well, if not, here are some pointers to what we mean…
Share a selfie moment with Paddington Bear
The fun starts as soon as you visit Paddington Station – yes, really. Straightaway, hunt down the statue of the oh-so famous fuzzy ursine, who arrived at the station from ‘Deepest Darkest Peru’ in a series of books by Michael Bond – and more recently a pair of wonderful films – that have enchanted adults and children alike. Made of bronze and to be found near a shop dedicated entirely to his very own merch (fridge magnets, books, teddy bears and so on), it’s become a meeting point and a very popular photo/ selfie op for visitors from across the globe. Some of them even from Peru, no doubt.
Pop over to Portobello Market
Just a short bus ride away – or a brisk 25-minute stroll for the fit among you – is Portobello Market, one of the most renowned markets in the capital. Boasting more than 150 years of vending goods and with a welter of stalls (and shops) that top the 2,000 mark, it’s truly the place to be of a Saturday morning in this area (especially if you’re based nearby at the likes of the Park Grand Paddington Court hotel). Frankly, you can pick up pretty much anything here; this stretch of street being very famous for its bric-a-brac and antiques vendors. That’s right; glass, china or crystal – it’s all here, all right, and those who covert collectables’ll have a difficult time keeping their wallets in their pockets as they make their way down the two-mile stretch of road that makes up this giant market of great renown.
Put yourself in Sherlock’s shoes
Elementary, my dear reader… for yes, West London was once upon time (in Victorian era; well, in the pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books, to be precise) the stomping ground of the super sleuth that was Sherlock Holmes. And should you at all fancy emulating the incredibly perspicacious deerstalker-wearer or just discover somewhat more about him, then your best bet is to follow your nose to – well, where else? – 221B Baker Street, of course.
For it’s here (well, more or less at this most famous of literary addresses) that you’ll find the Sherlock Holmes Museum. It’s a genuinely unique institution – and a must-visit if you’re enjoying London Paddington hotel deals – one that offers an array of fascinating paraphernalia associated with the ace fictional detective, while its first floor ‘study’ is kept in exactly the fashion that, we’re assured, would have been preferred had Mr Holmes been alive today. Absolutely spiffing.