Paddington-Maida Vale is a district of northwest central London, 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 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 Lord's and some of the most sought-after real estate in London.
The area has a number of connections to music. The BBC Maida Vale studios have been used for recording live music since 1934 including the John Peel Sessions. Abbey Road Studios, and the famous pedestrian crossing pictured in the Beatles' Abbey Road album are in St John's Wood.
The district is served by the following tube stations, in Zones 1 or 2:
- Paddington (Zone 1) – (District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Bakerloo lines)
- Bayswater (Zone 1) – (District and Circle lines)
- Queensway (Zone 1) – (Central line)
- Lancaster Gate (Zone 1) – (Central line)
- Maida Vale (Zone 2) – (Bakerloo line)
- Warwick Avenue (Zone 2) – (Bakerloo line)
- Edgware Road (Zone 1) – (District, Circle, Hammersmith & City and Bakerloo lines)
- Royal Oak (Zone 2) – (Hammersmith & City line)
- St John's Wood(Zone 2) – (Jubilee Line)
- 1 Paddington station (PAD, QQP IATA), Praed St, W2 1HQ. The London terminal for trains from the following cities in the southwest of the country: Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Swindon, Plymouth, Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Penzance, and also for trains from Worcester, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Heathrow Airport, Reading and Oxford. As of August 2019, Elizabeth line (Crossrail) services from Shenfield and Abbey Wood are expected to commence in March 2021.
Various bus routes go to and through Paddington. Visit the Transport for London Website for details. Use of a Hop-On Hop-Off sightseeing bus is also a possibility.
A Waterbus runs from Camden Lock through the Regent's canal to Browning's Pool, Little Venice.
A traffic free local cycle route tracks alongside the Grand Union Canal in from around Northolt to Paddington Basin. The route is not part of the national cycle network.
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.
- 1 Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum, St. Mary's Hospital, Praed St, W2 1NY, ☏ . M-Th 10AM-1PM. £2.
- 2 Abbey Road Studios, 3 Abbey Rd, St. John's Wood, NW8 9AY (tube: ). No tours. World-renowned studios where many famous musicians and groups, most notably The Beatles, recorded music. The equally famous zebra crossing, immortalized on the cover of the Beatles' album Abbey Road, is right in front. In the vicinity, in Cavendish Avenue, is a home that used to be owned by Sir Paul McCartney.
- 3 Little Venice. A canal basin where the Regent's Canal meets the Grand Union, just a few minutes walk from Paddington Station.
- 1 Lord's Cricket Ground, Wellington Rd, NW8 8QN (tube: ). 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. It is also home to the Marylebone Cricket Club Museum, the world's oldest sporting museum, featuring a vast collection of cricket memorabilia. Tours are available daily except on match days, preparation thereof, some special events, and the days surrounding Christmas.
- 2 [dead link] Queens Ice and Bowl, 17 Queensway, W2 4QP (tube: or ), ☏ . 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.
- 3 London Underground Tours, ☏ , (mobile). W, Th, F, Sa (and bank holidays): 11AM. Guided tours that cover the tube's 150-year-history in two hours, including its construction, design and social history. Meet at the Sherlock Holmes Statue. Adult: £20, Child (under age 12): £12, Senior (60+): £12.
- 4 Go Boat, Merchant Square, Paddington, London, W2 1JZ (on the north side of Paddington Station 50 m west of the rolling bridge), ✉ email@example.com. 8-person boat hire for self-drive journeys round London canals. £55.
- 5 Paddington Central (Sheldon Square), 1A Sheldon Square, W2 6PY, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Checkout constantly changing events at the Paddington Central development with the amphitheatre in Sheldon Square, or visit for the food, shopping and atmosphere.
- 6 Puppet Theatre Barge, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. A floating puppet theatre on a converted barge. Varied schedule of performances.
- 1 [dead link] Whiteleys, Queensway, W2 4YN (tube: or ), ☏ . Large shopping plaza with many of the usual suspect British high street brands including Costa Coffee, Gap, Kurt Geiger, H&M, Sports Direct and Zara; plus an Odeon (UCI) cinema.
- Paddington Bear store, Paddington Station, W2 1RH, ☏ . M-F: 7:30AM-9AM, Sa: 9AM-9PM, Su: 9AM-7PM. The official store of Michael Bond's famous Paddington Bear with merchandise including books, DVDs, souvenirs and of course, marmalade.
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.
- 1 Cous Cous Cafe, 7 Porchester Gdns, W2 4DB (tube: ), ☏ . Moroccan cuisine at decent value prices. Try the tagines (£10-15) or mezze plates (£7-12)
- 2 Kalamaras, 66 Inverness Mews, W2 3JQ (tube: ), ☏ . 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.
- 3 London Street Brasserie, 16 London St, W2 1HL (exit Paddington Train Station (Garfunkel's Restaurant on your left), cross the road and walk 2 blocks down London St on your right), ☏ . 7AM-11PM. 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.
- 4 The Waterway, 54-56 Formosa St, W9 2JU (tube: ), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 5 Il Gusto, 11 Craven Rd, W2 3BP (near Paddington station), ☏ . 8AM-11PM. An inexpensive casual Italian restaurant serving pasta, pizza and seafood. Also has an extensive dessert menu. Mains: £7.50-19.50
- 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 9AM, Sa 7:30AM, Su 10AM) 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.
- Mondrian Apartments, 105 Seven Sisters Road London, N7 7QS, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. One-bedroom serviced apartments in the North of London.
- 1 Equity Point London, 100-102 Westbourne Ter, W2 6QE (a 2-min walk from Paddington Station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. An affordable hostel that has clean and cheap rooms. From £15 including breakfast, internet access and bottom linen.
- 2 The Green Man Publove Hostel, 308 Edgware Rd, W2 1DY, ☏ . 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.
- 3 Ascot Hyde Park Hotel, 11 Craven Rd, W2 3BP (Few minutes' walk from Paddington Stn), ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Popular budget hotel. Single: £40-100, double: £44-113 (prices fluctuate greatly).
- 4 Bluedaws Private Hotel, 133-135 Sussex Gdns, W2 2RX (2 min from Paddington Stn or Hyde Pk), ☏ , fax: . Very clean budget hotel. Singles £25, doubles £35, triples £45, including English breakfast.
- 5 Mina House Hotel, 21-23 Craven Rd, W2 3BU (Few min walk from Paddington Stn), ☏ . From £79 per night (free breakfast).
- 6 Mitre House Hotel, 178-186 Sussex Gdns, W2 1TU (5 min walk from Paddington Stn), ☏ , fax: . Two-star hotel.
- 7 Barry House Hyde Park, 12 Sussex Place, Hyde Park, W2 2TP (tube: next to and ), ☏ , fax: . from £65.
- 8 Brynteg Hotel, 109 Sussex Gdns, W2 2RU (tube: ), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star bed and breakfast. Well appointed, modern bedrooms with spotlessly clean and en-suite facilities. Singles £50, doubles £65.
- 9 Lancaster Hall Hotel, 35 Craven Terrace, W2 3EL (tube: ), ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 10:30AM. Small hotel run by the YMCA. Rooms are small and basic, but reasonably priced and comfortable (and with free Wi-Fi). Breakfast is normally served from 7:30-9:30AM (though apparently can be arranged earlier through management the day before) and consists of various breads, jams, hardboild eggs, cottage cheese, deli meats, yogurts and breakfast cereals; with a choice of fruit juices and tea or coffee. Not to be confused with the much more expensive Royal Lancaster Hotel. Singles £79, doubles £99 (includes breakfast).
- 10 Mercure London Paddington Hotel, 144 Praed St, W2 1HU (tube: ), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Singles from £70, doubles from £120.
- 11 The Westbourne Hyde Park, 51 Gloucester Terrace, W2 3DQ, ☏ .
- 12 Hilton London Paddington, 146 Praed St, W2 1EE (at Paddington Stn), ☏ , fax: . Essentially inside Paddington Station. A nice and convenient place to stay, particularly if someone else is picking up the tab.
- 13 Royal Lancaster London, Lancaster Terrace, W2 2TY (tube: ), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Right alongside Hyde Park and many of the rooms have clear views over the park. From about £120.
- 14 Hotel Indigo London-Paddington, 16 London St, W2 1HL (tube: ), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Close to Paddington Station. From about £130.
- The Hempel, W2 3EA, ☏ . Offers a Zen minimalist atmosphere, unique for the area. £110-220.
- London Short Letting Apartments, 7 Spring St, ☏ . Provides a wide range of short and long let apartments service around west and central London. £75-525.
- [dead link] London Perfect Accommodation, Gloucester Terrace, ☏ . Great value accommodation in central London and the surrounding areas. £100-500.
- 15 Danubius Hotel Regents Park, 18 Lodge Rd, NW8 7JT, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 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. £148-198.
|Routes through Paddington-Maida Vale|
|North London ← Hammersmith and Fulham ←||W E||→ Mayfair-Marylebone → Bloomsbury|
|West London ← Notting Hill-North Kensington ←||W E||→ Mayfair-Marylebone → Bloomsbury-Soho|
|Westminster ← Notting Hill-North Kensington ← main loop ←||S E||→ main loop → Mayfair-Marylebone → Transfer to eastbound trains from Hammersmith|
|Hammersmith and Fulham ← Notting Hill-North Kensington ← Hammersmith branch ←||W E||→ Hammersmith branch → Mayfair-Marylebone → Bloomsbury-Camden|
|Wimbledon ← Notting Hill-North Kensington ←||W E||→ Mayfair-Marylebone → END|
|Hammersmith and Fulham ← Notting Hill-North Kensington ←||W E||→ Mayfair-Marylebone → Bloomsbury-Camden|
|North London ← Hampstead ←||N S||→ Mayfair-Marylebone → Westminster|
|Routes through Paddington-Maida Vale|
|Watford ← Kilburn ←||NW SE||→ Marble Arch|
|Hammersmith and Fulham ← North Kensington ←||W E||→ Marylebone → West End|
|North London ← Hampstead ←||N S||→ Marylebone|