Paddington visitor briefing

What to expect if you are staying in Paddington

Norfolk Square Paddington

Norfolk Square, 100 metres from Paddington Station, enclosed by hotels

The Paddington area is dominated by Paddington Rail Station. Handling nearly 30 million train passengers a year there is a lot of people transiting through.


Because of fast links to Heathrow Airport, Paddington is a favourite accommodation district for Heathrow users, offering the convenience of a fast, reliable transfer to London's major airport.

The Paddington district itself is in the north western corner of the centre of London. Room rates are quite competitive, at least compared to the hotel options less than a mile away around Oxford Street. The area also has a good mix of accommodation catering to all budgets, again something you won't get closer to the centre.

Paddington Station is a major transport hub with four Underground lines radiating out in all directions. You can get to most sights in London within 20 minutes using the London Underground.

The area around the railway station is not somewhere a visitor is going to dwell. Paddington offers convenience for the trains and a good choice of places for food and accommodation. It's a place to use as a base when In London, just returning in the evening after your exploits. Very quickly, the hustle and bustle around train station is left behind and there are pleasant garden squares and avenues, with elegant period houses and mews. There's almost a village feel in some places.


Paddington Station area

The hub of the Paddington district is of course the railway station. The station is the terminus for a wide range of train services including Heathrow Airport, West London commuter lines and long distance services to Wales and South West England. We have a detailed page on Paddington Station itself.


Outside the station the Hilton Hotel Paddington is the original old railway station hotel at the front of the station facing Praed Street. This area facing the Hilton is the main commercial area of the district, not the prettiest place in London.


The shops continue down Spring Street and London Street opposite the Station as far as Sussex Gardens. The pavements are quite narrow, the shops and restaurants mostly small.


There are no big department stores for leisure shopping here, it's all geared largely around feeding people transiting through the railway station.

Typical Paddington Pub London

Typical Paddington Pub

There is a heavy bias towards fast food and food 'on the go' reflecting the needs of the railway travellers passing through. You'll find most of the multinational fast food and coffee shop chains like McDonald's,

Burger King, KFC and Starbucks as well as independents, fish and chip and sandwich shops.

There are two mid-size chain restaurants immediately outside the station, Garfunkels under the Mercure Hotel and opposite it the Aberdeen Angus Steak House.

If having a good range of restaurants on your doorstep for a leisurely civilised evening meal is important to you,

you might want to look to Bayswater just to the west of Paddington.


Queensway in Bayswater is by contrast one of the best places in terms of affordable and diverse cuisines in London. Just down the road from Paddington is the Edgeware Road, the Arab district is London. So if you fancy Lebanese or similar head here.

Perhaps the best value for plate meals in the area is the pub grub served up by the many large pubs throughout the locality. Around the station area you will find also launderettes, two small/medium size supermarkets and a few ATMs.


Away from Paddington Station

Outside the immediate vicinity of the station area things quickly become more elegant and residential.

All through the district you will find many garden squares. Within 50 yards of the hustle of Praed Street is Norfolk Square for example, a quiet place to sit and chill out.

All around Norfolk Square are hotels in terraced buildings such as those pictured right. The hotels around the station tend to be budget biased but you can find the odd four star in these buildings.

Paddington Mews London

Quiet: Paddington Mews

Standards differ widely. Remember these hotels are typically 5 or 6 storeys and the cheaper hotels will not have lifts. Sussex Gardens is a wide avenue just 200m from Paddington Station which is lined with such hotels. They may look identical but inside you may find a chain Best Western Hotel or a cheap Paddington Bed and Breakfast.

As you head further out from the immediate vicinity of the station towards Lancaster Gate and Bayswater things become more gentrified.


Hotel accommodation is quite dispersed and tends to be of a higher quality and cost than that around the immediate vicinity of Paddington Station.

In parts there is almost a village type atmosphere. Between the main roads narrow cobbled mews like that pictured right are common place. The high class cars normally parked outside reflects the cost of houses here.

Every so often there is a cluster of shops providing basic needs and of course a wide choice of pubs. Down by Lancaster Gate you have the advantage of being directly opposite Hyde Park, London's largest Park.

The district merges in Bayswater at its western extremity. If you're staying a few days it's worth checking out Bayswater as an alternative to Paddington.


Paddington in relation to rest of Central London

London Hotel Districts

Getting around London from Paddington

For most, the London Underground is the way into and out of Paddington. As well as Paddington Station itself with 4 Underground Lines, Lancaster Gate opposite Hyde Park is often just as close, or closer to many hotels in the Paddington area.

If you are a night owl, there are many night buses that connect Paddington with the centre through the night. A very popular option for visitors to get orientated with London is to use the hop on, hop off tour buses. There are two major operators, the Original London Tour and the Big Bus. Both visit Paddington, though Big Bus may be more frequent.


Anything of Interest around Paddington?

Paddington has no headline attractions within the hotel area. It is very much a good base from where you can travel to all London has to offer efficiently.


Hyde Park is about 10 minutes walk from most hotels and Oxford Street London's busiest shopping street is about 15 minutes walk, but realistically you will taking a bus or Underground out of the district.

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