Things to do in Paddington
There’s far more to this West London district than meets the eye. So, when you’ve finished hunting for that familiar bear on the Pawprint Trail, check out these unmissable activities…
Fancy being your own captain for the day? Hop in a GoBoat at Merchant Square and enjoy a characterful route along the Regent’s Canal between Paddington Basin and Camden Lock. Whether you’re going as a group of friends, with your family (they even have lifejackets for newborns!) or as a couple, the waters await.
The UK’s first open-air Float-in Cinema is officially coming back to the Paddington Basin. You’ll maybe recognise the trusty GoBoat’s – used for low-hassle trips the canal. Cinema ‘doors’ fling open on 8 September, so make sure you grab tickets for one of the many big screen classics available. Whether that’s Love Actually or Fight Club, you won’t be disappointed.
Dabble with paddle boarding
Who says you need a beach and Mediterranean waters to paddleboard? Make the experience even more memorable, here against the backdrop of the iconic London cityscape. Also found in the Basin, you can either opt for a training session, a Thames natural history tour, or a private session, which all cater to beginners. Just try not to fall in…
Eating and drinking in Paddington
Whether you’re after a night out in the city, or want to relax with great food and fine wine, you’re in for a treat in Paddington.
Yes, that’s right, copious amounts of cheese on a canal boat. Who wouldn’t think that’s a match made in heaven? Enjoy lunch, dinner or drinks (or all three) on this 96ft double-decker vessel. Choose from cheeseboards, snacks, grilled sandwiches, small plates, sharing platters, sides and desserts galore. Make sure you secure a spot on the roof terrace for that alfresco experience.
This one’s one of the most frequented spots in Paddington, for both locals and visitors. With four self-service restaurants, full bars, daybeds and weekend DJs, it can adapt to your needs whatever the occasion. Everything’s in one large woodland-themed space, with a combination of Perspex and open-air roof sections.
Take a short stroll to discover this favourite local haunt, tucked away in Little Venice. Unwind with a Sunday roast – which caters to both meat eaters and veggies – while soaking up the atmosphere of a pub which opened in 1867. Why not order a ‘Trio of roast’ paired with your favourite sides and drink? It’s Sunday after all.
Shopping in Paddington
In the mood for some serious shopping, or just want some fun memorabilia? Paddington’s got you covered.
Get your fix of a local London street market and head over to Church Street. Grab a bargain at the fruit and veg stalls, enjoy hot food for lunch or find some clothing and accessory hidden gems. If you feel like investing a little more in your keepsake, pop into Alfie’s Antique market. Choose from nearly 100 dealers, with jewellery, vintage fashion, art, collectables and more all at your fingertips.
Another place to find a bargain – albeit a slightly more upmarket one – is at this hidden-treasure consignment shop. The Dresser offers second-hand vintage designer items for a much cheaper price. But as it could still end up being an expensive visit, why not just go for the fun of rummaging through everything from Chanel to Prada?
Of course, one to tick off the list is the good old Paddington Bear shop. It’s the only one in the world dedicated to the timeless character himself. With Paddington-themed books, clothing, toys, collectables, gifts and more, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the books (or movies) yourself.
Culture and history in Paddington
Away from the tall glass office buildings, uncover the true arty side of Paddington in any of these cultural treasure troves.
The Fan Bridge is a unique, moving pedestrian bridge designed by Knight Architects. Its five beams open and rise, operated by hydraulic jacks – a similar movement to a Japanese fan, hence the name. Its nearby friend the Rolling Bridge, designed by Heatherwick Studio, is made of eight triangular sections. To change from footbridge form, hydraulic pistons are activated and it curls up into an octagon. Well worth a watch.
The area isn’t short of nearby quirky theatres. Check out The Cockpit Fringe Theatre for performances sprung from very original ideas; the Canal Café Theatre for the best of comedy, or the Puppet Theatre for a night of entertainment on a converted barge. What’s not to love?
Fancy a visit to one of the most influential and longest-running international contemporary art galleries in the world? With spaces across London, New York and Shanghai, and just a 10-minute walk from Paddington Station, it’s not one to miss. Choose from an array of artists, exhibitions and studio visits, each uniquely different to the next.