With 30 million passengers passing through each year, Paddington Station is one of the busiest transportation hubs in London – which is saying quite a lot. It’s so busy, in fact, that there’s a good chance you’ll end up there on a visit to London.
If you do find yourself with some time to kill while waiting for a train or bus from Paddington Station, there’s no need to spend your time staring at the departures board when London is waiting to be explored. Drop off your bags at a Paddington Station luggage storage and check out some of these nearby spots for iconic London photos. Just make sure you keep an eye on the time – you don’t want to end up missing your train because you were having too much fun exploring.
Paddington Bear Statue
For this first location, you don’t even need to leave the station itself. And Paddington Bear is such an international icon that it would be a shame not to visit this cute statue while you’re in the area. The bronze statue was installed in 2000 to celebrate the character’s 50th anniversary and can be found on the west side of the station, near platform 1.
If you’re a fan of Paddington Bear, make sure to check out Paddington Basin – it’s just a short walk away and is full of charming canal boats.
Hyde Park is one of the largest parks in London and is unsurprisingly a popular spot for tourists looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is home to a number of iconic landmarks, including Speakers’ Corner, Kensington Palace, and the Serpentine Gallery. It’s also a great spot for people-watching – you never know who you’ll see strolling through the park on a sunny day.
If you’re looking for a place to snap a selfie, we recommend heading to Hyde Park’s Italian Gardens. The gardens are located on the north side of the park and feature beautiful fountains, sculptures, and – of course – plenty of flowers.
If you’re feeling active, why not hire a bike and explore all that Hyde Park has to offer? You can even ride all the way to Kensington Palace if you’re up for it.
Kensington Palace is one of the main residences of the British royal family and has been home to members of the monarchy since the 17th century. The palace is located in Kensington Gardens and is surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens – making it the perfect spot for a summer selfie.
If you want to learn more about Kensington Palace and its history, we recommend taking a guided tour of the staterooms. You’ll get to see some of the grandest rooms in the palace, including the King’s State Apartments and Queen Victoria’s apartments.
Peter Pan Statue
Another fictional character that gets honored with a statue in this part of London is Peter Pan. The bronze statue is located in Kensington Gardens and shows Peter Pan flying above the heads of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling. It’s a popular spot for photos, especially with kids who love the story of Peter Pan.
If you’re visiting with young children, make sure to also check out the Diana Memorial Playground. It’s designed to be an interactive space for kids to explore and has several play structures inspired by J.M Barrie’s stories.
Marble Arch is one of London’s most iconic landmarks and makes for a great photo op. The arch was designed by John Nash and was originally located at the entrance to Buckingham Palace. It was moved to its current location in 1851 and has been a popular spot for visitors to the city ever since.
If you’re looking for a unique perspective of Marble Arch, head to Speaker’s Corner. The area is located just north of the arch and is known for being a place where anyone can stand up and share their views on any topic – as long as they don’t break any laws, of course.
Once you’ve taken your selfie, be sure to explore the rest of Hyde Park. It’s just a short walk away and, as mentioned, is one of the largest parks in London.
Grand Union Canal
The Grand Union Canal is a great spot for a selfie if you’re looking to capture some of London’s more industrial side. The canal runs through Westminster and Paddington and is full of barges and boats, which make for a unique photo opportunity.
If you have the energy to burn, rent a bike and cycle along the canal. You’ll get to see some of London’s most historic landmarks, including the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Just make sure you get off your bike before taking your selfie!
The Rolling Bridge is located in Little Venice and is one of the most unique bridges in London. The bridge is designed to roll up, allowing boats to pass through. It’s a popular spot for photos and always attracts a crowd when it’s in action.
If you’re visiting on a weekend, why not take a ride on one of the canal boats? If you have time before your train, that is. You’ll get to see London from a whole new perspective and might even spot some famous landmarks along the way.
When traveling, finding yourself with time on your hands is more or less inevitable. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. If you have time to kill near Paddington Station, check out some of these nearby activities and fill your camera roll with some great memories.
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