Paddington has made its mark in west London as a property, cultural and historic landmark, best known as one of the most important transport hubs in all of London. Paddington’s neighbouring borough of Kensington and Chelsea has stolen some of its spotlight in the past, however, one of the biggest regenerations in the capital is helping Paddington to gain the reputation that it deserves. Here are our reasons why you should love Paddington as much as we do at Astons.
Excellent transport links
Alongside the £65m redevelopment of Paddington’s iconic station, the area will also be home to an upcoming Crossrail station by 2018. As one of the most well-connected places in London, with Heathrow Airport only 15 minutes away and Oxford Street just down the road, the zone 1 location is a magnet for businesses and tourists.
By the end of 2014, the average house price in Paddington ranged from £2.5 million to £6 million. Various factors are responsible for pushing house prices up in the capital, however, Paddington’s future Crossrail station - yet to be completed - is predicted to increase house prices by around 37% by 2020. Couple that with the amount of regeneration currently working its way across Paddington – 13 projects concentrated inside a small, triangular area of land for example – the area has been tipped as one of the best prime investment hotspots to watch. The area has long attracted international investors, however, home-grown property investors should take note of Paddington’s presence in today’s market.
Several state schools in Paddington have been judged to be ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Outstanding secondary schools in the area are: Westminster Academy, Paddington Academy and St Marylebone CofE. There is also a variety of public schools to choose from for all age groups.
The postcode W2 is synonymous with independent boutique shops selling an array of colourful goods, from Portobello Road in Notting Hill to quirky stores in Queensway. Like the rest of W2, Paddington is no different. Alongside the usual chain shops like Boots and Paperchase, you’ll also find an array of independent shops, hotels, cafes and restaurants. If you fancy a taste of luxury while you sleep, we recommend the Space Apart Hotel and the Darlington Hyde Park along Sussex Gardens.
Paddington has officially shifted from a commuter stop off to a stay-all-year-round stylish spot in the city. Regeneration has been the buzz word around Paddington since developers took notice its potential. British Land invested £470m in Paddington Central in 2013, in the midst of a 20-year, Soho-sized development of Paddington Waterside.
Like its shopping scene, Paddington is home to an eclectic array of culinary delights, from sushi and Indian restaurants to uber-healthy cafes and pop-up stalls. We recommend the Frontline Club for a hearty lunch and the Pearl Liang for an elegant evening out.
As the rest of this guide illustrates, Paddington is simply a great area to live, sleep, eat, work and play. Property along Hyde Park estate attracts international investors and families seeking a refined home with outdoor areas, while workers tend to reside in converted flats and modern apartments that are a quick walk away from Paddington’s expanding business quarters. There is also a large student market in Paddington for those seeking out a luxury pad while they study; there really is something for all age groups in Paddington.
With Hyde Park a quick stroll away and a maze of waterways circling around Maida Vale and Paddington Basin, the area promotes a healthy, outdoor lifestyle that creates a buzz through the streets in the warmer months. You’ll find plenty of al-fresco eating areas to choose from and outdoor attractions to wander around, such as the Isambard Kingdom Brunel Bridge – once a lost treasure – and the Serpentine Lake with gallery.
Varied property market
As Paddington evolves constantly, so does its property market. Today, the Paddington property market is made up of beautiful white stucco properties with garden squares through to glass-clad homes in Paddington Basin that are a part of fresh mixed-use developments. Some of the best streets remain the same: Hyde Park Square and Connaught Square, however, streets with cottages and small family homes such as St Michael’s Street and Praed Street have risen through the ranks in recent years. Thanks to a wave of recent investment, Merchant Square, and the streets that surround it, has also become an investment beacon.
Paddington bars are colourful and comforting after a long day in the heart of London. Head to Old Mary’s if you’re in the mood for a soulful, Speakeasy night or the Victorian-style The Mitre near Hyde Park for a quaint evening indoors. Alternative bars include The Green Man with its craft beers and ales, and Smith’s bar and grill for a needed sup after work although the choice of Astons London would be to visit The Victoria at the end of Sussex Place with great food and friendly patrons; you’re always made to feel welcome.