Praed Street, Paddington, London W2 1HR
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- Opening hours:
Main Station: Daily; 24 hours
Lawn area: Daily: 05.45-00h
Station Reception (inc. phone):
39 reviews of Paddington Station in English
My favourite station designed by Brunel : look at the lovely arches recently restored to their former glory.
I love this place as it is the gateway to the SouthWest,Devon & Cornwall
The womens’ toilet costs 30p : shocking
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The beginning and ending of so many of my adventures many good, many bad, mostly just a place to give my ticket over and continue on to somewhere else.
The new upgrades are much better however God help you if you need to catch a train from Platform 13!!! They sometimes don't give you enough time to get there after they announce the platform!
1. If you need the loo, use the one in the foyer of the Great Western Hotel for free.
2. If you have a loooong wait, buy the cheapest first class ticket to ealing broadway for about £5 (cheaper than a sandwich!) and then enjoy free food and drink, papers and comfy chairs in the first class lounges..
One of my more favourite stations. I like the shops. Reasonable facilities, automated ticket machines and information boards up to date and in working order. Underground is also close.
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
Not such a fan of this station. The shops are separated a bit unnaturally, and the seated-area shops dominate. Good area to meet and wait.
Big problems with tube access - I usually find myself at the wrong end of the station.
Reviewed using Android. Get the app
I’ve always found this to be one of my favourite stations in London to travel from. It does pretty well despite the fact that it’s basically just a massive hole in the ground (no points for beauty).
Like at Euston Station, there is a lot of choice when it comes to (overpriced) food and shopping. Here the options are laid out in a slightly better way than aforementioned station. There is even a Fuller’s pub up top, so good for travelling real ale fan. The small Sainsbury’s is also particularly useful.
The station is generally busy, but not unbearable and they seem to indicate the platform for departures quite early, which avoids the mad rush that can occur.
Paddington is one of the great London termini, the gateway to South Wales and the West for over 150 years. It's always busy, and appallingly crowded on Friday evenings (as people rush to their West Country getaways), but historically and architecturally, it still does it for me.
Destinations include Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Oxford, Reading, Worcester, Hereford, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance. Before the 1950s, trains also ran to Birmingham, Shrewsbury and Birkenhead. Since 2000 it has also been the terminus of the Heathrow Express. It has 14 main-line platforms and is used by an average of over 75,000 people a day.
The present station at Paddington opened in 1854 to replace a temporary terminus further west and north opened in 1838. It was designed by the great Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who was appointed to build the original line to Bristol in 1833, at the tender age of 27. In his new terminus, Brunel wanted 'an aisled cathedral in a cutting'. That is what he got, with three great glass roofs running the length of the platforms.
Although Brunel was the chief architect, his friend Matthew Digby Wyatt designed many of the details, including the charming bow-windows on platform 1, the detailing on the arches and the strap ironwork on the screens at the end of the roofs, executed in a charming arabesque style. This is clearly visible in Frith's famous painting of 1860, 'The Railway Station', based on Paddington. The station was substantially enlarged in 1916, with the addition of a fourth roof in a matching style.
A detailed guide to the architecture can be found at: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/documents/3053_PaddingtonArc...
The station is unusual in having no proper exterior: the hotel at the front was opened in 1854 but is architecturally rather conservative. The main entrance is still down a rather unprepossessing side entrance off Eastbourne Terrace, or the cab road from Praed Street. Most arrive on the Underground.
The station had a thorough face-lift in 1999, with the insertion of a three-storey complex of some 20 shops and restaurants in the area known as 'The Lawn' at the end of the platforms. These include W H Smiths, Yo! Sushi, Starbuck's, Costa coffee, Ritazza cafe, a Fuller's pub (with real ale), a Bureau de Change, Thresher's, a small Sainsbury's and Boots the Chemist - among others. These help to make the wait for trains more bearable: Paddington operates an irritating system whereby trains are announced only 15 minutes before departure, leading to a great rush of passengers to get on.
There's currently a major refurbishment of the the fourth roof under way, which should dramatically enhance the currently rather gloomy north side of the station.
Other features include statues of the great man Brunel himself, and a smaller charming one of Paddington Bear. On my visit, however, there was a discarded burger at the little bear's feet rather than a marmalade sandwich...
ottogang, 3 October 2007: Well done and beautiful pictures. Also this one you set in the discussion group.
With Paddington i remember immediately Mrs. Marple.
Dominique, 3 October 2007: I only had a vage feeling of loving Paddington, you have the background to know why I do so. Thanks for sharing all these hard facts with us!
Dominique, 3 October 2007: by the way ... is there a costa coffee at Paddington Station?
dmj1962, 4 October 2007: Dominique: yes, there is a Costa - and a Starbuck's, and a Ritazza, so you can take your choice of coffee venues!
I've added these into the list of shops, and also found an architectural guide to the station, to which I have added a link.
Home from home. I'm here far more than I'd like, but it's my main route in and out of London and it sort of works.
The upside is that it still feels like an old Victorian grand station. And the downside is that it still feels like an old ....
So grand architecture and cold, windy and leaky spaces. The concourse has received an upgrade so there are now places to eat and drink without fear of major food poisoning. Brass bands on Fridays and a statue of Paddington Bear!!
If the trains are on time I love it,if not it's a miserable place. Kings Cross it's not, but it's my station!
Reviewed using iPhone. Get the app
One of the major train stations in London, Paddington serves services from the West of the country. There is an Underground station linked to the railway station, in fact the entrance is inside, so it is very easy to switch between the two (though if you’re going to get the Hammersmith and City line, you need to take that from beyond the last platform rather than the main Underground entrance in the station). The station itself is like any other, with a smattering of shops and cafes, though there is a nice enclosed area with some seating where you can escape the cold in winter.
I only travel to paddington because it is the way into London from where I live. It’s a large unfriendly place and I never quite feel safe. There aren’t anywhere like enough seats for the amount of people comming through and although I understand why they are missing, it is a real pain for there not to be any bins. The large open entrance to the station means it is very windy and cold in the winter.
Paddington station is the main railway terminus into London if you are coming from the West Country. It is a large old windy station. It is the sort of place that you visit because you need to travel through it to get to your destination, not because it is a nice place in itself. There are one or two shops there and a McDonalds takeaway. The toilets there are clean and tidy, although you do have to pay 20p to use them. There don’t seem to be a lot of staff about when you are looking for someone to ask because you need some information.
Trains from Oxford come into Paddington, so I’ve used the station a lot over the years, yet I’ve never quite felt at home there. Arriving is OK, I know my way from the platform to the underground, though there always seem to be delays on the circle line, and the Bakerloo line, despite being further to walk, is a better bet. I’ve never enjoyed the return journey, though. I’m usually going back at rush hour, the place is packed, and trains to Oxford always seem to go from some distant, dark platform! Toilets are down steps and through a 20p turnstile, awkward to negotiate with luggage. Much prefer Marylebone, or the bus!
A very important railway station in London, with important historical significance. The old fashioned style of the roof is particularly striking, and when you spend some time looking up, when you glance back down you expect to see steam trains and people in crazy tweed outfits. The trains are generally prompt, and the quality of the service at customer service desks is very good, especially by London standards. The crowding of the waiting area is quite extreme, and it is not a great place to be be during rush hour. I’m not sure I’d want to use the station on anything more than an occasional basis.
I adore Paddington station and not for getting trains, nope I’ve never even gotten a train from there but I visit there quite a lot because it’s where Paddington bear is YAY, well his statue anyway and of course the official sellers of Paddington products and if you go to the lost and found area they have a huge plush paddington about 8 feet tall you can get your photo done with. Apart from all that Paddington station really is one of our unsung heros of architechtural elegance and beauty. The ceiling is wonderfully ornate and inspiring and the concourse conjurs up memories of times gone by when you’d imagine seeing Victorian ladies and gents hurrying for their trains with their steamer trunks. The building is grade 1 listed and has been is use since 1854, it was designed by a true British legend, none other than Isambard Kingdom Brunel who based it on the design for the original Crystal Palace (alas that burned down). There is a statue of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in the entrance to the station where the cabs drop you off, take time to look at the large clock as well which is stunning. Worth a days visit one lazy weekend, it’s free to walk around, take in the sights, plenty of disabled parking nearby and lots of places to eat. Great for students of photography, art and architecture or just lovers of that inimitable Paddington Bear ah.
When the great engineer Isambard K. Brunel designed the London to Bristol railway line in his spare time he co-designed this, the London terminus. (Although there was a station at Paddington before the new railway opened it was largely rebuilt in 1854.) Both the railway line and this station were, at the time, engineering marvels. Arriving in Paddington (albeit at a painfully slow speed) is a good time to imagine what it must have been like when the Great Western opened and the journey from Bristol to London suddenly took a matter of hours.
It is, of course, also famous for giving its name to a bear that has delighted children for decades.
The station itself is reasonably spacious and has a decent collection of eateries, cafes and shops so killing time whilst waiting for a train isn’t too much of a chore.
I think this place has been working on getting better of late and the manager of the station has been present to answer questions a few times in the concourse has been an encouraging sign. There is a WH Smiths, M&S, Monsoon, Boots, TM Lewin and many more including the oft-frequented by me Krispy Kreme shop.
Travel up the starrs not just to the pub or Starbucks but up to Paul’s bakery - hidden a bit because you have to go up 2 flights but well worth the detour.
There are gates for almost every train so be careful to make sure you have a ticket!
Paddington Station is one of those places that needs to be improved, but never will be. Completely bizarrely, considering it is a major station, the entrance is via a long road/ramp, that takes you to the concourse. It’s very dingy and dark and makes you feel as if you’re heading underground. Compare this with say the entrance to King’s Cross, at street level, or Liverpool Street, nice big light escalators and roof. Peculiar.
Getting onto the trains is also a bit annoying because of the ticket barriers. You have to check your train’s platform on the boards in the centre of the concourse before running for the barriers like a mad thing. And if you’re heading to Maidenhead (for a frolic at the fat duck) your pleasure will be undermined by the horrible dark, scary walk to the far flung platform that your train will be next to. I don’t see anyway they can improve this, because there is solid building above the platform, but somehow they have to, before the Olympics, or this station will be the shame of central London.
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