Paddington and Little Venice

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This walk takes place entirely within the City of Westminster, which of course is more than just London's famous tourist hub. It actually covers an area of seven square miles and has a population approaching 150,000. It was created, in the 1963 re-organisation, from the old Metropolitan boroughs of Westminster, Marylebone and Paddington.

In fact, most parts of Westminster north and west of Paddington Railway Station are residential, lying outside what is known as Central London, which will hopefully mean that much of this walk will be new to you.

It is a circular walk from Warwick Avenue Tube Station, on the Bakerloo Line. You start and finish in Maida Vale, with many of London's best examples of early Victorian domestic architecture to admire. The route criss-crosses both the Regents and Grand Union Canals in the area known since Byron's day as 'Venice in Paddington' and later, 'Little Venice' and you touch upon a range of different aspects of Paddington's history, from penicillin to pottery to paediatrics, not to mention its most well-known feature, the station.

It is a city walk but it is not without trees! Westminster owns over 7,000 street trees, about half of them London planes, which for example shade Paddington Green itself.

In addition to learning more about both the canals and the railway, you might like to know of two more historical transport links associated with this route: firstly, the world's first omnibus service ran from Paddington Green to the Bank in 1829 and secondly, one of the last surviving cabmen's shelters can be seen outside Warwick Avenue Tube Station; see Additional Information.

There are plenty of opportunities for refreshments, but our recommendation would be to wait almost until the end and then indulge yourselves in Formosa Street, where there is a good choice of cuisine.

The walk was updated in December 2013 and again in April 2016 to take account of the major changes around Paddington station and the canal basin.

England - South England - London - Town or city


Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Industrial Archaeology, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Toilets
6/19/2013 - Victoria Belovski

Did this on a lovely sunny day and it was great! I avoided the building work near Paddington and just dived straight into the station as soon as I saw an entrance, but other than that, the directions were easy to follow and there was a good variety of interesting things to see.

4/25/2011 - Stephen Harris

A very nice walk with good directions throughout. Some of the directions around Paddington could do with a 'bear left' / 'turn right' as we went the wrong way where it says 'continues into London Street' but other than this a nice walk. Walking the canal towpath is particularly rewarding. It's worth taking the towpath into Camden town as an extra after the walk ends. Follow the towpath all the way and you reach Camden with its many food outlets and interesting markets. We rate this 8/10. Well done!

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