Those who live in or regularly frequent the Paddington/ Bayswater area of Central (or perhaps) West London are only too aware of the colour, vibrancy and fascinating ever-evolving nature of the area. Yes, it may well be most notable among many in the UK capital – and those who visit from elsewhere, many of them overseas – for the Paddington mainline Overground and Underground railway station and little else, but it’s likely few of them will have spent any time there much at all. Well, little time outside of the station, at least. And that’s because they’re likely not aware Paddington and Bayswater are packed full of terrific restaurants, retail outlets (brand-name stores and brilliant boutiques), museums and other attractions, as well as many a fine hotel.
All that said, due to all the noise, excitement and constant goings-on in the area, at some point you might actually fancy finding somewhere a little quieter for a few moments, should you like the idea of staying in London accommodation near Paddington Station (such as the Park Grand London Paddington hotel). Is there such a little haven of peace of quite in such a bustling part of the capital? You better believe it; London’s nothing if not diverse; it truly does have something for everyone.
When you might find yourself after some solitude one lunchtime or afternoon during a short-break staying in the Paddington/ Bayswater area then, you’ll be pleased to happen upon Paddington Green. A conservation area that doubles as a retreat for some alone-time, it’s located just off Edgware Road and next to the Westway road and is part of the oldest individual section of the Paddington district, having been singled out for deserving natural conservation just under 30 years ago. And, aside from its peaceful, natural greenery, it offers a wonderful view beyond the yawning, leaf-heavy branches of its old, sagacious trees; specifically, the two large Georgian terraced houses – of a once copious collection – that line its eastern side.
Moreover, owing to its status as one of the district’s oldest sections, the area in which the green sits originally belonged to the ancient villages of Paddington and Lilestone. Indeed, this one-time village aspect to quaint, even countryside-like green’s history actually explains its existence. Like the wider area, this part of what would become Paddington, as it is now, grew quickly as a fashionable, popular place to live in the late 18th Century owing to its proximity to London’s West End – eventually ensuring it was subsumed into the city, of course.
It should be noted too the green’s home to St Mary on Paddington Green church. Part of the Parish of Little Venice, the place of worship dates back to the aforementioned late 18th Century (its construction was completed in the year 1791) and is particularly notable for its graveyard – often referred to as St Mary’s Gardens (or St Mary’s Churchyard). Not least for its monuments to past local inhabitants, including the legendary theatre actress Sarah Siddons, whom in particular was celebrated for her portrayals of Lady Macbeth. Still, it’s more likely than not you’ll find Paddington Green not a place of disagreeable drama (Shakespearean or not), but calm repose.