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So you now find yourself at this massive transport hub in West London and are unsure what to do. You may be wondering if the name has anything to do with the cute fictional bear called Paddington and the answer would be yes!
Paddington Bear was created in the 1950's by Michael Bond. The series of books he wrote (which were later turned into a TV series and more recently in 2014 a film was made) detail the antics of a bear who arrived at Paddington Station from Peru where he was found by Mr and Mrs Brown. He was sitting on a small suitcase near the lost property office wearing nothing but an old hat and a label round his neck with the words "Please Look After This Bear. Thank You". The Brown's named the bear Paddington after the place at which they found him.
If you have grown up reading and watching Paddington and your children now love the movie, you should take time out whilst in London to visit the station and surrounding area. It will be a travesty not to take a look around, search for Paddington statues and visit the Paddington shop for a souvenir.
The bronze statue on platform 1, to mark the location in the movie where he first meets the Brown family
Paddington isn't just about the bear, there are lots of other things to do in the area. Pick up a map from outside the Paddington shop for some ideas. Here are a few to get you started:
1. See the public art on offer in the local area, including a sculpture of Michael Bond with Paddington at Paddington Green
2. Visit Merchant Square on the Paddington Basin where you can sit back and watch the narrow boats and swans. There are stunning bridges, a water maze, regular events and street food to keep you entertained.
3. Watch 'The Rolling Bridge' turn from being a useable bridge, to an octagonal sculpture on the canal path by Merchant Square.
4. Have a ride on the waterbus and cruise the historic Regent's Canal.
5. Watch a show at the Puppet Theatre Barge and then check out the pretty coloured houseboats at Little Venice.
6. Grab a deck chair and enjoy the entertainment at Sheldon Square on the big screen, enjoy a game of free ping pong and seek out the statue of Paddington.
7. For real film buffs, take the Paddington Bear Tour of London. You can follow in Paddington's paw prints and visit some of London's famous landmarks as well as sites that have featured in more than 20 books, and film locations from the movie. You can learn about Paddington's adventures, discover how the movie was made and there are several chances to get off the bus to stretch your legs, take photos and see Paddington locations up-close.
Whether you live in London or another country near or far, there is something for everyone in Paddington, bear related or not!