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London Paddington Hotels – A Good Place To Stay In London?

Author: Bob Handford
Paddington is a very popular hotel district in the north west of Central London particularly popular with those flying into Heathrow Airport. The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect trains offer the fastest, most stress free transfer option between Heathrow and Central London. With a hotel around Paddington it can be quicker to your check-in at Heathrow than if you stayed at a Heathrow Airport hotel.

There are no A1 major sights within the Paddington district, Oxford Street, London\’s busiest shopping street is about 10-15 minutes\’ walk and Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens about 10 minutes.

The district does have very good Underground and local bus options that will get you most places you want to go in London within 30 minutes tops.

Hotels in Paddington offer value for money at all budget levels, certainly a tier down in price levels from Marble Arch less than 1 km away.

The centre of gravity that the whole district revolves around is Paddington Station itself. Paddington Station is a major station with frequent trains to the west of England and South Wales as well as commuter services west of London including services to Windsor, Oxford and Bath, very handy for independent sightseeing. The net effect is that the immediate area around Paddington Station is always full of bustle at all times. Fast food and food on the go targeted at travellers passing through the station are the main market of commercial activity here.

Paddington Hotels

With regards hotel accommodation, Paddington is a very large hotel district. Its southern border is defined by Hyde Park, going there is very little north of Paddington Station. The hotels thus stretch south from Paddington Station to Hyde Park and west towards Bayswater, another major hotel district with a bias towards budget hotels..

The plushest hotel of all in this district is arguably the Hilton Paddington that forms the front of Paddington Station itself. This Hilton has a sister hotel the Hilton Metropole, one of the largest hotels in London several hundred yards further along the road opposite Edgware Road Underground Station.

In the immediate vicinity of the station are several 4 stars including the Indigo (who might challenge the notion that the Hilton is the plushest hotel) and the Mercure Paddington. However most of the accommodations around the station are independent budget hotels.

Just 50 yards south of Paddington Station is Norfolk Square, a garden square surrounded by cheap terraced Bed and Breakfast style hotels. There is the ultra low budget chain hotel, easyHotel here too.

Another 50 yards south of Norfolk Square is Sussex Gardens, a wide tree lined avenue with terraced buildings all of which are hotels. There is a good mix of hotels here from cheap to 4 star but from the outside it\’s very hard to tell which are which. Both Norfolk Square and Sussex Gardens are surprisingly quiet compared with hustle and bustle around Paddington Station itself.

There is a good range of small convenience stores here, many traditional pubs and a lot of mostly budget orientated cafes and restaurants. The station itself has a wide range of restaurants mostly aimed at the grab and go traveler on the move but other outlets include a champagne bar.

About 10 minutes\’ walk south-west of Paddington Station opposite Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens is Lancaster Gate, which has its own Underground Station.

Lancaster Gate is a more relaxed, less frantic and more elegant district than the immediate vicinity around Paddington Station. The hotels here tend to be larger, many owned by brand chains in the 3 to 4 star category.

The Bayswater Road that borders Hyde Park / Kensington Gardens has frequent 24×7 local buses up to Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus / West End in addition to the Underground Station.

Craven Terrace is a street that is lined with neighbourhood shops with cafes offering a cheaper alternative for food than your hotel and everyday needs like laundry, hairdressing, dry cleaning, pharmacy etc. Some nice pubs are scattered around the district too.

Going west from Paddington, there are hotels all the way to Bayswater, but not in the same densities as the main hotel sub-districts of Paddington, Norfolk Square, Sussex Gardens and Lancaster Gate. Some places here can be very pleasant with almost a village like feel with the occasional pub, occasional neighbourhood shops and restaurants peppered around the district.

The video clip below puts in to pictures the above paragraphs

Bed & Breakfast – Cheap hotels around Paddington Station


Budget Hotels – 2 / 3 Star Grade Hotels Paddington and Lancaster Gate


4 Star Hotels – Full service hotels around Paddington and Lancaster Gate


Airport Connections And Paddington As A Base For Sightseeing

As said before if you are flying into Heathrow, Paddington really is a benchmark district to beat because of the fast, stress free train link.

Gatwick on the other hand is the other side of London and unless you have specific business in the Paddington area has little to commend it over more accessible districts like Victoria, County Hall and Kensington.

Stansted and Luton airports have 24×7 bus services that stop at Baker Street and Marble Arch about 1 km from Paddington Station with very frequent links 24×7 by local bus to Paddington and Lancaster gate plus the Underground up until around midnight.

For getting around London, Paddington is a good place to be. You can\’t really walk to any of the major sights but as a major Underground and local bus hub with services radiating out in all directions you\’ll get to wherever you want to go in short order.

All of the popular hop on, hop off open top sightseeing buses have a major stopping point at Paddington, but only Big Bus have one of the main sightseeing routes staging through, the others just service Paddington with a feeder service into the main sightseeing routes. If you want to go on traditional coach tours the main operators will all have pick-ups in Paddington and Lancaster Gate.

Lancaster Gate offers an alternative Underground option and there is also a very good 24×7 bus service from here too along the Bayswater Road to Marble Arch

Restaurants, Food and Shops

In the immediate vicinity of the station there is just about every fast food type you can think off and in the station two handy convenience supermarkets as well as a Budget supermarket outside. Traditional English pubs are very prevalent serving hearty pub grub and there are also a couple of chain family restaurants as well. Outside your day to day needs there is little – Oxford Street, London\’s busiest shopping street is 15 minutes\’ walk or 5 minutes on the bus away.

Away from Paddington Station its surprising how relatively quiet it soon becomes. There are not any brash shopping centres or brand name fast food outlets but you will come across small parades of small independent service businesses like hairdressers and launderettes, convenience stores etc. There are plenty of cafes and traditional pubs scattered around, many offering breakfast as an alternative to your accommodation

Everyday Item Price Checks In London

“Price Of Snack Foods in London From Convenience Stores – Prices of common snacks in convenience stores in London


Price Check McDonald’s v Burger King v KFC – Prices of fast food in London


Coffee Shop Prices In London – Starbucks v Caffe Nero v Costa Coffee


Family Restaurant Prices In London – Comparison of several budget chain restaurants in London


Any Comments or Questions?

If so, just use the discussion facility below.
I\’ll normally respond within 24 hours

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  • belle

    Hello. Can you recommend a budget hotel in a central location like paddington? I’m looking for something similar to Tune or Easy hotels in terms of price range and quality of stay (basic but clean). Thanks so much.

    • Bob

      The largest budget chain is Travelodge which are similar to Tune/easyhotel but have many more hotels in Central London

      For the independents it really comes down to what price band you mean by budget and whether you can do with shared bathromm

      Hotel districts wildly differ, some districts which are bias towards business custom are much cheaper at the weekend, districts attracting leisure visitors are more expensive at the weekend,

      For weekends try Docklands and south of the river and Earls Court, during the week Bayswater, St Pancras, Earls Court

      Most cheap hotels around Paddington are of the cheap and nasty kind

      • belle

        Thank you! This is off topic, but I’m also looking at apartments and because of a tight budget, have narrowed it down to near Seven Sisters station, Brondesbury Villas and Hatton Street. Any thoughts about these areas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

        • Bob

          If its Hatton Street off the Edgeware Road at Marylebone then that is the stand out location.
          Personally as a visitor I would avoid the Seven Sisters location

          • belle

            It is about 400 meters (google says 8 minute walk) to Edgware Rd station. Thank you so much. That is exactly the information I needed.

  • Tammy McKeown

    Thank you, I appreciate your help

  • Tammy McKeown

    Thank you. So waiting until January wouldn’t be too late for deals? This is my first trip overseas so I need all the help I can get.

    • Bob

      The best prices, especially for 4 star hotels are normally around January.

      A lot of people will book a hotel which enables them to cancel without penalty as “banker” then search for a better price on sales and promotions which normally have a can’t be cancelled booking condition.
      For a good quality 4 star hotel in London in March any price around £100-120 is a good price

  • Tammy McKeown

    Sorry I meant March 2015. My main concern for a hotel is one in a safe area. I would like to spend below £150. I have noticed that baths are not listed too often and a bath would be nice. Thank you for your help.

    • Bob

      £150 for a room in London in March is a pretty comfortable budget.
      I would leave it until January when you should be able to pick-up a good 4 star often around £100 – Hilton are normally one chain who have pretty good deals in sales then
      If you are staying at the weekend the best deals are normally in the County Hall, City Of London area during the week Kensington.
      The fallback (in terms of the bath requirement) is the Premier Inn chain, the benchmark to beat in terms of value for most UK leisure travelers

      All the major hotel districts in Central London are perfectly safe to walk around alone in at night with the normal commonsense precautions, they have hotels in just about every major hotel district in London

  • Tammy McKeown

    Hi Bob,
    My daughter and I are flying to Heathrow in March 2014. We will be in London for 5 days then need to get to Newcastle (we are taking a cruise to see the total solar eclipse). We would like to take the train (to see the countryside) so, where should we stay in London? This is our first trip to England so I would love any help you can give me. We want to see as many sights in London especially anything Dr. Who related.
    Thank you,

    • Bob

      The trains to Newcastle from London leave from Kings Cross Station which is a hotel district and has a direct Underground link to Heathrow.

      It doesn’t really matter where you stay in the centre, London is spread out so you’ll use public transport to get around everyday.
      KIngs Cross / St Pancras would be the most convenient situation in terms of airport and train transfers and if you are budget minded would be a front runner, but its not the most elegant area
      Bloomsbury / Russell Square is less than a mile away and is more interesting for which you pay a premium.
      Without knowing your hotel budget or what you want from a hotel its hard to go beyond that.

      Most of the DR Who stuff is in Cardiff over a 100 miles from London. There are frequent trains to/from London from Paddington Station

  • Jim

    Dear Sir,

    We will be staying at Marriott Hotel in West India Quay. We will arrive at Heathrow airport on Sat, June 7, 2014. Me and my wife will be carrying 2 big luggages at 23 kgs each, 2 cabin bags and backpack/purse. Please let us know the best and most convenience way to get from Heathrow to our hotel.

    Our thanks in advance.

    • Bob

      Docklands is very awkward from Heathrow independently as its on the other side of London from Heatrow so you have to through the centre and some way out the other side into the inner suburbs
      It’s really a straight choice between a private car and the Underground/DLR combination. There is no hotel shuttle style service.
      Either option will take over an hour.

      If you’re fit enough to independently carry your luggage up/down escalators and perhaps have to stand in the train for some sectors then its an option for you but probably not the best experience of your trip – just think of the money you are saving over a car

      • Jim

        Thanks Bob! I think we chose the wrong hotel. I was thinking about taking Heathrow Express to Paddington and then from Paddington to Limehouse. Would this be a good choice?

        • Bob

          You could take the Heathrow Express train to Paddington. The bulk of the journey will still be the Paddington to Docklands underground/dlr sector though.
          Using the Heathrow Express for 2 people then Underground would start making a private car competitive. Try an on-line quote from somebody like Simply Airports or Just Airports

  • Harry

    Thanks ..best way to travel from heathrow to noting hill would be ?

    • Bob

      Cheapest is London Underground
      If you have a family or a lot of luggage get an advance purchase car or Heathrow Express to Paddington then taxi
      If you don’t fancy the Underground but the Heathrow Express looks expensive then, Heathrow Connect Train to Ealing Broadway then Underground to Notting Hill

  • Harry

    Hey Bob Needed your suggestion,is it ok to stay at noting hill area since we were planning to rent an apartment for a week,is it gonna be comfortable to travel to central london?

    • Bob

      Notting Hill is as good as any place to stay in Central London.
      It’s pretty upmarket nowadays with lots of showbiz and politicans residing in the area

  • Harry

    Thanks bob for your valuable inputs,I will go ahead and book @ the tower bridge area.
    Thanks a ton:)

  • Harry

    Thanks a ton for your quick response bob.One last question would it be convenient to enjoy the night life and the touristy places while i would be staying at the Tower Bridge area.
    Much appreciate your help 🙂

    • Bob

      I would not worry about staying in that area from a location perspective.
      London has no downtown area in the North American sense it’s very spread out.
      I guess if you follow the guide books you’d end up in the Leicester Square / Covent Garden area in the evening which is the theatre district and where the main nightclubs are.
      Around Tower Bridge it’s more refined and earthy at the same time. You’ve got some outrageously priced places for the financiers but there are plenty
      You have St Catherine’s Dock and Butlars Wharf on your doorstep great as a place to have dinner with Tower Bridge / Tower of London as a back drop.
      You are on the border of the City Of London, the financial area and during the week the area is quite alive and very atmospheric, Spitalfields Market area is good and Leadenhall Market. You’ll be able to enter Tower of London for the Ceromony of the keys late evening free before a night cap
      In the other direction Brick Lane is worth exploring for a curry etc.

      London has excellent public transport 24×7 and is perfectly safe to walk around at night in the centre. so if you want to go up to the West End all night that is no issue. When the Underground closes at midnight there are plenty of night buses.

      For sightseeing Tower Bridge is as good as any a district to base yourself armed with an Oyster/Travelcard.

  • Harry

    Hi Bob,
    Coming to london with my wife for the first time in 1st week of june 2014..A friend of ours works for a four star chain of hotels and he getting us a deal between 80-100 pounds a night.The only issue is that hotel is at tower bridge.Have read your article which says that it would be really difficult to reach from Heathrow to Tower Bridge.Need your expert opinion weather we should still stay there since the price is great or you could suggest us some hotels in central london or bed and breakfast at around 80 pounds a night since we would be staying there for 11 nights.Would
    Appreciate your help.Thanks in ADVANCE 🙂

    • Bob

      If you can get a 4 star around Tower Bridge for less than 100 GBP in June then take it.

      Yes, Tower Bridge is awkward from Heathrow with luggage but even if you bought a private car in advance all the way you’d still be quid’s in and in my opinion the Tower Bridge area would be alongside Bloomsbury as my money no object places/districts to stay.

      As long as you are not flying with ton’s of luggage, say one case of 20kg (44lbs) plus a small shoulder bag each then if you are budget minded the London Underground changing at Hamersmith to Tower Hill is doable and cheap.

  • Glenda

    Hi Bob, How do I get from London City Airport to Sussex Gardens?

    • Bob

      Get an Oyster Card at City Airport.
      DLR City Airport to Canning Town
      Jubilee Line Canning Town to Baker Street
      Circle Line Baker Street to Paddington

      • Glenda

        Much appreciated, Bob 🙂

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