Statue of Paddington Bear, Paddington Station
Paddington-Maida Vale is a district of northwest central London, located around the vast Paddington Station of Paddington Bear fame.
This inner London district is somewhat bereft of attractions but it does have a large range of budget and mid-priced accommodation. That, combined with the convenient central London location and transport links, makes it a popular area with visitors.
Paddington itself and the areas between it and Hyde Park - Bayswater and Lancaster Gate - consist largely of Victorian houses, some of them rather grand, which have been converted into either small residential flats or hotels. Maida Vale to the north is similar but almost entirely residential and is most notable for canalside streets and the houseboats of Little Venice. St John's Wood is distinctly upscale and leafy and includes the home of world cricket at Lords as well as some of the most sought after real estate in London.
The district is served by the following tube stations:
- Paddington (District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Bakerloo lines)
- Bayswater (District and Circle lines)
- Queensway (Central line)
- Lancaster Gate (Central line)
- Maida Vale (Bakerloo line)
- Warwick Avenue (Bakerloo line)
- Edgware Road (District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Bakerloo lines)
- Royal Oak (Hammersmith & City line)
- St John's Wood (Jubilee Line)
Paddington Station is the London terminal for trains from the following cities in the southwest of the country: Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Swindon, Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol and Bath, and also for trains from Reading and Oxford.
While there is not a great deal to see in the way of traditional visitor attractions, Paddington makes a convenient base for exploring other parts of the city.
- Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum, St. Mary's Hospital, Praed St, ☎ +44 20 7886 6528, . M-Th 10:00-13:00. £2.
- Abbey Road Studios, Abbey Rd, St. John's Wood (tube:St. John's Wood). No tours. World-renowned studios where many famous musicians and groups, most notably The Beatles, recorded music. Near the studios is the equally famous zebra crossing immortalized on the cover of the Beatles' album Abbey Road. Located in the vicinity, in Cavendish Avenue, is a home which was formerly owned by Sir Paul McCartney.
A packed Lord's, one of the great sights in English sport
- Lord's Cricket Ground, Wellington Rd NW8 8QN (tube: St John's Wood), . The home of Cricket and a must visit place for cricket lovers. Lord's usually hosts two international five-day Test matches every season, as well as limited-overs One Day International and Twenty20 cricket, although tickets for internationals can be expensive and will often sell out. Lord's is also the site of many Middlesex County Cricket Club home matches, with tickets for County Championship games and day/night limited-overs fixtures available on the day.
- Queens Ice and Bowl, 17 Queensway W2 4QP (tube: Bayswater or Queensway), ☎ +44 20 7229 0172, . Queens is an entertainment centre with 50,000 sq ft of activities including ice skating, 12 lanes of ten pin bowling, karaoke rooms, bar, food and video games.
- Whiteleys, Queensway W2 (tube: Bayswater), . Large shopping plaza with many of the usual suspect British high street brands plus a UCI cinema.
Good value eats abound in this area. The Bayswater/Queensway area has many excellent Middle Eastern, Indian and Chinese options. Edgware Rd is another good bet for Middle Eastern and the area around Paddington Station itself is a hive of small cafes. Warwick Avenue and Maida Vale are home to some good, stylish mid-market restaurants.
- Cous Cous Cafe, 7 Porchester Gdns W2 4DB (tube: Bayswater), ☎ +44 20 7727 6597, . Moroccan cuisine at decent value prices. Try the tagines (£10-15) or mezze plates (£7-12)
- Kalamaras, 66 Inverness Mews W2 3JQ (tube: Bayswater), ☎ 0871 3327813, . Markets itself as London's oldest Greek restaurant. Not sure if that is true but it has been around a long time in this quiet mews in Bayswater and is a favourite with local residents. Counts several celebs amongst its regular clientele. Try the taramasalata and keftedes Mains £10-15.
- New Taxin Thai, 79 Castellain Rd W9 1EU (tube: Maida Vale), ☎ +44 20 7286 4801. Good Thai restaurant using fresh ingredients to produce food that will not burn too large a hole in your wallet. £15-20 per head.
- London Street Brasserie, 16 London St (Exit Paddington Train Station (Garfunkel's Restaurant on your left), cross the road and walk 2 blocks down London St on your right), ☎ +44 20 7706 4444, . 07:00-23:00. The London Street Brasserie at the Hotel Indigo London-Paddington offers a wide selection of healthy meals in a relaxing atmosphere. Serves a selection of breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. It features seasonal menus that draw from as many natural, organic and zero trans fat ingredients as possible.
- Rodizio Rico, 111 Westbourne Gr (tube: Bayswater), ☎ +44 2077924035, . A Brazilian all you can eat meat (with limited veggie options) buffet. The meat is imported from Brazil and barbequed on site. The meat is delivered to your table on a skewer, the waiter then cuts a portion of it and you put it on your own plate. The meat is fantastic and it just keeps coming. This place is highly recommended.
- The Street Hawker, 166 Randolph Ave W9 1PG (tube: Maida Vale), ☎ 0871 0757916. Pan Asian cuisine at decent value prices. £15-20 per head.
- The Waterway, 54-56 Formosa St, W9 2JU (tube: Warwick Avenue), ☎ +44 20 7266 3557 ([email protected]), . Stylish bar and restaurant alongside the canal at Little Venice. Has alfresco dining area right by the water during summer. Mixed European food Mains £15-20.
- Mad Bishop and Bear, (In Paddington Station itself, go to The Lawn eating area, and up the escalators to the top floor). A surprisingly good pub. It is a Fullers pub, serving well-kept real ales. It is in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide. Breakfast is served from opening (M-F 09:00, Sa 07:30, Su 10:00) until noon, standard pub food is served at other times.
This district probably the greatest range of budget and mid-price accommodation in central London.
A lot of the hotels here are converted Victorian houses which makes for a charming stay but can also mean dodgy plumbing and poor heating systems. And always check if the property has have a lift if this is important to you.
A good option for the value-conscious is to check the large range of service apartments available. The standard of accommodation at these is often much better than you would get in an equivalently priced traditional hotel.
- Ascot Hyde Park Hotel, 11 Craven Rd (Few minutes' walk from Paddington Stn), . Popular budget hotel
- Bluedaws Hotel, 133-135 Sussex Gdns (2 min from Paddington Stn or Hyde Pk), ☎ +44 20 7723 6040 (fax: +44 20 7262 8390), . Very clean budget hotel. Singles £25, doubles £35, triples £45, including English breakfast.
- Equity Point London, 100-102 Westbourne Ter (It's a 2-min walk from Paddington Stn), ☎ +44 20 7087 8001 ([email protected]), . An affordable hostel that has clean and cheap rooms. From 15£ including breakfast, internet access and bottom linen.
- Green Man Bestplace Inn Hostel, 308 Edgware Rd W2, ☎ +44 20 7723 7980. Very cheap hostel above a pub aimed at young partying types. Gets very raucous indeed. Dorm and private rooms. Dorms from £12, privates from £45.
- Mina House Hotel, 21-23 Craven Rd (Few min walk from Paddington Stn), .
- Mitre House Hotel, 178-186 Sussex Gdns (5 min walk from Paddington Stn), ☎ +44 20 7723 8040 (fax: +44 20 7402 0990), . Two-star hotel.
- Palace Court Studios, 1 Palace Ct W2 4LP (tube: Queensway), ☎ +44 845 680 0086, . Thirty six self-contained apartments for one to three persons. All apartments are en-suite with own kitchenette and bathroom. Other facilities are communal washing/drying machines, phone in each apartment, Wi-Fi and lift to all floors. Single studio apartments from £56, twin from £64, double from £64, triples from £70.
- Royal Court Apartments, 51 Gloucester Ter W2 3DQ, ☎ +44 20 7402 5077 ([email protected]), . Good value self-catering apartments in a very convenient location. From £56.
- Umi Hotel London (umi Hotel Bayswater/The Westminster Hotel), 16 Leinster Sq W2 4PR (tube: Bayswater), ☎ +44 20 7221 9131 ([email protected]), . Good value budget hotel with 117 rooms in a convenient Bayswater location. Opened in 2007. From about £50.
- Wake Up! London Backpackers Hostel, 1 Queens Gdns W2 3BB (corner of Queens Gdns and Devonshire Ter), ☎ +44 20 7262 4471 (fax: +44 20 7706 8548), . Dorm beds from £13.
- Barry House Hyde Park, 12 Sussex Place Hyde Park London W2 2TP (next to Lancaster Gate and Paddington tube station), ☎ +44 20 7723 7340 (fax: +44 20 7723 9775), . from £65.
- Brynteg Hotel, 109 Sussex Gdns (tube: Paddington), ☎ +44 20 7723 6040 ([email protected], fax: +44 20 262 8390). Recently upgraded 3-star bed and breakfast. Well appointed, modern bedrooms with spotlessly clean and en-suite facilities. Singles £50, doubles £65.
- Hyde Park Towers Hotel, 41-51 Inverness Ter (tube: Bayswater or Queensway), ☎ +44 20 7221 8484 (fax: +44 20 77923201), . Elegant three star hotel.
- Mercure London Paddington Hotel, 144 Praed St (tube: Paddington), ☎ +44 20 7706 8888 ([email protected]), . Good value for the price. The rooms are tiny, but that is where the resemblance to other London hotels ends. The rooms are immaculate, the plumbing is perfect, the decor is beautiful, and the fitness room is brand new. From - Singles £70, doubles £120.
- Quality Crown Hotel Hyde Park, 8-14 Talbot Sq (tube: Paddington), ☎ +44 20 7262 6699 ([email protected]), . Four star hotel. Blend of classic and contemporary English town house style. The hotel and the staff are very welcoming. The location is in a quiet garden square.
- Royal Norfolk Hotel, 25 London St (junction of Norfolk Sq/London St in Sussex Gdns, tube: Paddington), . The conversion of two Edwardian London terraced houses into one 60-en suite room hotel, an affluent residential area close to Hyde Park.
- Hilton London Paddington, 146 Praed St (at Paddington Stn), ☎ +44 20 7850 0500 (fax: +44 20 7850 0600), .
- Lancaster London, Lancaster Ter W2 2TY (tube: Lancaster Gate), ☎ +44 20 7262 6737 ([email protected]), . Right alongside Hyde Park and many of the rooms have clear views over the park. From about £120.
- Hotel Indigo London-Paddington, 16 London St, Paddington, W2 1HL (tube: Paddington), ☎ +44 20 7706 4444 ([email protected]), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 11:00. Close to Paddington Station. From about £130.
- The Hempel, W2 3EA, ☎ +44 20 7298 9000, . Offers a Zen minimalist atmosphere, very unique for the area. £110-220.
- London Short Letting Apartments, 7 Spring St, ☎ +44 20 7706 11 22, . Provides a wide range of short and long let apartments service around west and central London. £75-525.
- Danubius Hotel Regents Park, 18 Lodge Rd, ☎ 020 7722 7722 ([email protected], fax: 020 7483 2408), . Very friendly staff. Spotlessly clean quiet room. Great view of Regents Park. Breakfast is excellent. Service the same. The location is superb, particularly for any cricket fan, as it looks right over Lords cricket ground. £148198.
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