Still very much on the up, Paddington, is quickly shirking its scruffy reputation in favour of something sleeker, younger and more dynamic. The area around the station and the adjacent canal basin can be considered some of the capital's biggest success stories when it comes to regeneration. A floating park, trendy bars, restaurants and inspiring public spaces have injected new life into this transit area many woke wanting to avoid.
The revamped canal side in the northern section of Paddington is now a destination in its own right, home to a popular al-fresco dining experience and food market Pergola, popular craft food and beer joint Brew Dog and many other bars and restaurants curating the new Paddington Basin 'scene'. The area even hosts its very own music festival during the summer months, wooing residents of the glossy new residential waterside developments that have mushroomed in the last five years.
The imminent arrival of Crossrail is set to further elevate Paddington's status as one of the best-connected hubs not only in London but the whole of the west of the country. Once opened, 24 trains will stop every hour at Paddington each carrying up to 1,500 passengers. Workwise, office space in Paddington has been completely rebooted, and now, developments such as the glittering high-rise units of Merchant Square are some of the most sought-after Grade A space in the capital.
Visa’s European head office is located in Paddington Basin, which includes a 10,000 square-foot Innovation Centre, which opened in 2017. Telecom brand Vodafone has called Paddington home since 2009, electing to move their global HQ to the capital from their Newbury campus in Berkshire.
Paddington’s new Crossrail station will offer a journey time of nine minutes to Liverpool Street, 16 minutes to Canary Wharf and 23 minutes to Heathrow.
In the area…
Neglected until the ’80s following the decline of London's Grand Union canal as London's main trade artery in the 1900s, you can now spend your lunchbreaks discovering an oasis of zen down by the newly regenerated Paddington Basin.
Just the tonic for stressful days in the office, grab a coffee at one of the numerous floating cafes or explore the Floating Pocket Park with its open lawn areas, nature reserve and interlaced decked platforms and walkways. The health benefits of living and working near water are manifold and often referred to as 'blue mind theory' - so, it's official... working in Paddington is good for the soul.
For something a bit different after work, grab a bunch of colleagues and hire a self-drive electric GoBoat and enjoy Friday drinks cruising up the Regent's canal to Camden Lock past ZSL London Zoo, through Regent's Park from Paddington Basin's Merchant Square.
One of the biggest draws to the area and contributing to Paddington Basin's status as a go-to foodie destination are the many bars, restaurants and street food outlets creating a gastronomical Mecca in W2. On any given weekday, expect vendors such as the Rice Guys, Holy Guacamole and Rolling Dough.
When it comes to post-work drinks – or impromptu liquid lunches – there's a lot to take in. A standout is the widely popular Brew Dog empire which has expanded into Paddington, or try the two floors of dining and drinking at Pergola Paddington, which overlooks the mind-bending knot of train tracks feeding into London Paddington.
Pergola – Shedding its scruffy reputation
Discover Pergola – al fresco dining on 2 floors
Rice Guys – you won’t run out of lunch options
The regenerated Paddington Basin
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Grand Union Canal, Paddington
Want to see what the wider neighbourhood has to offer? Why not read our guides for the nearby areas.
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