London Neighbourhood Watch: Paddington
On the Edge of Zone 1 Westminster, nestled between Hyde Park and Regents Park, and within touching distance of Marylebone, Notting Hill and the West End, sits Paddington. In this bustling, but often overlooked area, you’ll find parks, gardens, squares, the Grand Union Canal and the Grade I listed London Paddington station designed by the great Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Properties here range from Georgian and Victorian terraced houses built in the 18th Century, to smart new build apartments along the canal. Most period properties here have been split into apartments, perfect for couples and small families who want to be close to the city centre. “Paddington has come a long way over the past 10 years” comments Sales Associate Thomas Middleditch. “Big changes to Paddington Basin and Paddington Central have created an urban oasis with open spaces for local residents and the public to relax and meet friends as well as offering excellent bars and restaurants all within close proximity of beautiful waterways. The area attracts an international crowd and is popular with students as a number of universities such as LSE, University College London and Imperial College London are within easy reach. Hyde park is not far away, and this is a big draw for the families, not only this but there is a wealth of good schools for all ages.”
Paddington has received a significant amount of investment as part of an intense regeneration project around Paddington station. “With the recent appearance of new developments amid a swathe of trendy waterside restaurants and bars, this area offers a vibrant and connected lifestyle for those wishing to purchase a new home centrally, with plenty of buying opportunities at developments such as West End Gate, Paddington Gardens and No.3 Canalside Walk.’ Director of Development Consultancy Jeremy Wharmby comments. He adds that ‘Paddington’s connectivity with Heathrow via the Heathrow Express, and the impending arrival of Crossrail, makes Paddington a strong medium and long-term investment. Interestingly, we have witnessed a diverse range of buyer demographics purchasing within Paddington Basin – UK buyers buying London bolt holes for use during the week, repeat buyers living in the Basin, through to overseas investors buying into the Crossrail story for future growth.” Currently, there’s a total of 1,003 units under construction in the Paddington area, however with a restricted future pipeline of new developments, Neil Chegwidden Director of Residential Research expects that ‘Residential sales prices and rental growth will accelerate following a positive Brexit result’.
The northern stretches of Hyde Park and the picturesque waterways of Little Venice are both within walking distance. For world-class shopping and European cafe culture, Oxford Street and Marylebone are also a short distance away. Covering a total of 350 acres, Hyde Park is a real draw for locals looking to walk, run and cycle in the open air or enjoy a sense of peace and quiet among its preened rose bushes. Just west of Hyde Park you’ll find Connaught Village, a small enclave of period properties with independent boutiques and cafés stocking everything from hand-painted ceramics, , fashion and antique silverware, to italian antipasti and Persian inspired mezze. Casa Malevo, an Argentinian restaurant, in the heart of Connaught Village offers traditional grills and an excellent selection of Malbecs. In historic Little Venice you’ll find charming narrowboats and water cafés lining the calm stretches of water where the Grand Union and Regent's Canals meet.
The waterside quarters of Merchant Square and Paddington Central offer residents a vibrant mix of cafes, outdoor activities, eateries and bars. Work up an appetite paddle boarding down the canal or running along the towpath, followed by a visit to KERB, a fortnightly street food market on Sheldon Square. Their trader line-up is mouth-watering, featuring La Nonna’s gelato Taco Dave, , Indian Street Kitchen, Jamon Jamon and plenty of other favourites. Similarly, Paddington Pergola has food stalls and bars spread out across two floors, and the outdoor terrace here really comes into its own during summer. Paddington is also home to London’s first floating park, Garden Bridge, which provides space for events and installations from pop-up gin bars to outdoor fitness classes run by the Paddington Partnership, the body coordinating regeneration of the area around Paddington Station.
So far as transport links, Paddington station is well connected to West and South West England and South Wales. The Heathrow express, a dedicated non-stop service to the airport, leaves every 15 minutes. Paddington is also served locally by four London Underground lines through two separate stations: the Bakerloo, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines. Paddington is also being transformed to incorporate the new Elizabeth Line (Crossrail), which will make Paddington even more conveniently connected to the West End, the City. There are plenty of outstanding state schools for all ages to choose from in Paddington including Hampden Gurney, King Solomon Academy and Gateway, in addition to pre-preparatory Wetherby School, the school once attended by Princes William and Harry.