The original, permanent, Paddington statue, at Paddington Station.
Simon is a big fan of Paddington. We bought him a Paddington bear and a few Paddington books for Christmas last year. When I heard about the Paddington Trail I was so excited. I try at least once a week to take Simon into the city, but the things I want to do/see aren’t always things that would interest a three year old. The Paddington Trail is the perfect way to entertain Simon while I get to see more of the city.
The “trail” is actually a collection of 50 Paddington statues placed around the city to celebrate the release of the Paddington Movie. The trail is also a fundraiser for the NSPCC, a children’s charity, and the statues will be auctioned off at the end of the year. From the website: “Each of the statues [was] created by artists, designers and celebrities with the trail following the travelling bear’s favourite places in London.”
So Simon and started where it all began, at Paddington Station. (The station existed before the bear, he was named after the station when he was found there by the Brown family.)
#1- Love, Paddington by LuLu Guinness
#2- Texting Paddington
#3 – The Mayor of Paddington
#4 – Bearing Up – This bear was a soft, fuzzy, velour texture. (And that’s Simon’s best thumbs-up.)
#5- Brick Bear
All the bears we saw on this day were in the Paddington part of town, which has gone massive regeneration in recent years. It was really pleasant and a nice combination of historic London charm (Paddington Green), along with new, modern and chic business development (Paddington Basin). Most of the bears were sponsored by companies involved in the regeneration of the area.
#6- Futuristic Robot Bear by Jonathon Ross
#7 – Paddington inspired by Michael Bond (Author of the Paddington books)
#8 – Paddingtonscape by illustrator Hannah Warren (This picture depicts the historic London charm I mentioned. Green spaces with white mews hotels on either side, classic London.)
We actually started at Paddington Station, walked to Norfolk Square Gardens, walked along the Paddington Basin, the canals of Little Venice and then finished at Rembrandt Gardens before catching a bus back to the station. As soon as I spotted the next bear I would tell Simon and he would start running until he saw it, and then he would squeal with delight and shout “Paddington!”
Here are some of the places we saw. I loved it all!
This picture depicts the regenerated London I referred too. New, modern business developments with hip shops and cafes.