Nearest Tube: Paddington
The name of this district, situated just to the north of Hyde Park, is derived from the Anglo-Saxon chief Padda, who once ruled the area.
For many years it was a rural area on the outskirts of London and it wasn't until the industrial expansion of the city during the 19th century that it became urbanised.
The main deterrent that kept people from settling in the area prior to this was the Tyburn Gallows that were situated nearby. These were dismantled in 1780 and so people became more willing to settle in the area.
But the main impetus for the development of the area was the Grand Union Canal, which opened in 1801. This linked Paddington to the industrial midlands and brought a great deal of welcome trade to the area.
The area then expanded rapidly as both an industrial and a residential region. As a result, much of the architecture in the district dates from the 19th century, with lots of squares surrounded by terraced houses.
|Today the district of Paddington is most famous for two things - its station and its bear. The impressive Victorian station was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and first opened in 1838. Its vast iron girders give it a distinctly cathedral-like feel and are typical of the design principles of the Victorian age.
Paddington Bear, meanwhile, is the famous children's character who arrived at the station with a suitcase full of marmalade sandwiches and a label reading "Please Look After This Bear".
The district of Paddington includes several distinct regions including Bayswater, Maida Vale and Little Venice. Tourist attractions include the London Toy and Model Museum and the Alexander Fleming Laboratory Museum.
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