Renting property in Paddington, W2
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Why rent in Paddington?
The Paddington area around the W2 postcode is a major tourist hub, mainly because of the huge mainline railway station, London Paddington, which is the terminus of the dedicated Heathrow Express service, which takes just 15 minutes to reach all terminals of London Heathrow Airport.
Paddington is bordered by Edgware Road, formerly the Roman Watling Street, to the east and to the south by Bayswater Road and is a convenient distance to areas like Notting Hill, Oxford Street, Queensway and Bayswater and there is a good range of shopping and dining options nearby. The area is perfectly located providing a convenient distance to the major tourist attractions as well as business areas.
Property in Paddington
Paddington is dotted with grand terraces, garden squares and crescents of large houses. Sussex Gardens, Westbourne Terrace, Gloucester Terrace, Kensington Garden Square (see Residential Land's Garden House) and Leinster Gardens are examples of such properties that were built in the 18th century for the newly wealthy professional classes of lawyers, bankers and doctors living in London.
Today you will find that most of these traditional houses have been divided into apartments and studio flats to rent or buy. Paddington also offers a huge range of period conversion properties ranging from small studio flats such as Paddington Green to grand one, two or three bed apartments, for example, Lancaster Gate, Bathurst Street and Grand Plaza, all situated in an exciting and fast changing area.
There are also a number of new residential and commercial developments in the Paddington area, such as the Paddington Waterside development built around the Grand Union Canal terminus.
Transport links in Paddington
Situated in the heart of Paddington is London Paddington National Rail station which serves long distance trains to south west England towns and cities such as Bristol, Bath, Gloucester, Exeter and Penzance as well as the west Wales cities of Newport, Cardiff and Swansea. The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect run regularly throughout the day connecting Paddington to the UK's biggest international airport.
London underground stations in the Paddington area include Edgware Road which is served by the District and Circle lines, Lancaster Gate served by the Central line, Paddington giving access to Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith and City line trains and Warwick Avenue on the Bakerloo line.
History of Paddington
The name Paddington is believed to have come from the old Sussex word "pad" meaning "pack-horse" which, before modern transport means, was the only way to bring goods to the city. The pack horses would be grazed in what was the farm land outside the City of London. This is the land where Paddington as we know it, is situated and is why it is suggested that Paddington might mean "the village of the pack-horse meadows". In the late 1700s Paddington was just a few houses with Westbourne Green and Bayswater forming neighbouring hamlets.
The majority of the land that is now Paddington was originally church land and was owned by the Bishop of London. In 1801 there were only 357 houses in the area with a population of just 1,881 people.
The historic Paddington Station, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1854, was established as the London terminus of the Great Western Railway and it continues to be one of the major transport links in the city providing as it does access to the Heathrow Express and other mainline services.
The station's most well known resident is the world famous Paddington Bear. His story began on Christmas Eve in 1956 when the bear's creator, Michael Bond, came across a lonely and abandoned looking toy bear in one of the London shops. Feeling sorry for the toy, Bond took it to his home next to Paddington Station where he started to write short stories about the bear. At the time Bond had no idea of the success his stories would have; they have now sold tens of millions of copies all over the world and have been translated into over forty languages.
Attractions in Paddington
The Paddington area is full of traditional old English pubs and new bars and restaurants as well as a variety of shops and other tourist attractions.
Alexander Fleming Museum
Walk back in time and explore the laboratory where, in 1928, Alexander Fleming changed medical history by discovering penicillin, through informative displays and a video which tell the remarkable story of a scientist and how he came about his discovery.
Bryan's Boat Trips
Departing from the centre of Little Venice, during the summer months, Bryan's Boat Trips offer barge tours of both the Grand Union Canal and the Regent's Canal. The length, price and departure times of the trips vary, so it is worthwhile contacting them before you turn up.
Canal Cafe Theatre
Situated on the banks of the Grand Union Canal in Little Venice, The Canal Cafe Theatre has a reputation as being one of the finest fringe theatres in the capital and is increasingly known as a place that exhibits the most promising new writing talents.
Cascade Art Gallery
A small gallery on a barge moored on the banks in Little Venice, Paddington, the Cascade Art Gallery displays an interesting and eclectic collection of British and international works.
Connaught Square and Gardens
One of the most prestigious addresses in the capital, Connaught Square has for decades been home to some of London's most famous residents, including former Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Made up mainly of four-storey town houses the centre of the square is a wonderfully landscaped garden that is full of flowerbeds and mature trees.
Restaurants in Paddington
Dinings is a modern Japanese restaurant which serves perfectly formed and interesting tapas style dishes.
Hidden away in a basement, Bonda Cafe is ideal if you are on a budget. Serving Malaysian cuisine, and popular with students and Malay families, Bonda Cafe's menu is extensive and delicious.
The Frontline Club
Serving traditional English food, all profits made from this restaurant are donated to support the charitable work of the Frontline Forum, a charity who show cutting edge documentaries and discussions to ensure the world's causes and crises do not go unrecognised.
Known for its excellent Lebanese menu and great service, Rotana Cafe attracts customers from the local area and beyond who come here for informal lunches and casual dinners.