During my trip to London this weekend, I had a little extra spare time to kill before heading home thanks to a cancelled train. So I went in hunt of the famous Paddington Bear at Paddington station!
Paddington Bear at Paddington Station
Literary significance of Paddington Bear at Paddington station
“Mr and Mrs Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform. In fact that was how he came to have such an unusual name for a bear, for Paddington was the name of the station.”
A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond was first published in 1958. As I am sure you are aware, it featured a Peruvian bear with a penchant for marmalade, who arrived in London at Paddington train station and was subsequently adopted by the Brown family. Bond was inspired to write the first story after spotting a lone teddy bear on sale in a shop near Paddington station on Christmas Eve 1956.
70 Paddington titles have been published across 40 languages, selling over 30 million copies. The famous bear with his blue duffel coat and red hat has appeared on screen many times, most recently in the 2014 Studiocanal film. Put simply, Paddington Bear is a classic of children’s literature and the station is his namesake.
Visiting Paddington Bear at Paddington station
The station itself is interesting to visit if you like engineering, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. There are two areas to visit specific to Paddington Bear. The first is a Paddington Bear shop just past the entrance to the Underground where you can buy merchandise, see displays and read all about Paddington’s story. You can pick up leaflets for a walking ‘Paddington trail’ around some of the famous sights of London.
Then visit Platform 1, where scenes from the 2014 movie were filmed. There is a bronze Paddington Bear statue, a painted bench where you can sit next to Paddington (maybe take a marmalade sandwich to eat on it) and a green plaque explaining the location’s significance.
- Cost? Free!
- Photography? No restrictions so long as it’s non-commercial.
- Public transport? Central London hub of public transport! No issues here.
- Accessibility? The platform is all smooth surfaces with lifts available.
- Location? Again, it’s central London… absolutely loads to see nearby, with food and shops within the station as well.
- Weather-dependent? Nope, all indoors.
Next time you’re at Paddington station, don’t just rush for your train or next destination – spend 15 minutes exploring Paddington Bear’s history!
If you liked this post, why not check out more literary destinations around the world?