Just behind Tesco Express and St Mary’s hospital at Praed Street, lies the Paddington Basin. It is not obvious as it is hidden behind the buildings lining the canal. The Paddington Basin is now a major redevelopment site designed to rejuvenate the area with works beginning back in January 2000 by draining the basin. This area of redevelopment is known as the Paddington Waterside and is now surrounded by modern buildings, offices, flats, and canal boat all harmonising together around the 100+ year old basin. Previously an area with little commercial office space, the basin is now home to a number of major corporations.
At Merchant Square, the center of the redevelopment, you find two unique architectural gizmos namely the Fan Bridge and the Rolling Bridge. The Fan Bridge is a three metre wide 5 vertical sections cantilevered moving structure spanning 20 metres across the basin while the Rolling Bridge is a bridge that curls itself into a ball like caterpillar. See both bridges perform in action on Wednesdays and Fridays at 12 noon and on Saturdays at 2pm.
The basin is a beautiful, calm waterside area for jogging, walking and sitting. There are sections along the canal with benches to sit & enjoy the view. A paved path runs along the canal, with canal boats lining the edge of the water. From here, you can walk along the canal to Little Venice. Some lovely restaurants have canal views and the atmosphere is modern, relaxing and fun. A great place just minutes from the crowds and hectic noises of Paddington.
Paddington Waterside as the redevelopment is known.
Location of Paddington Basin. Entrance to the basin are marked ‘E’ with a circle. Click to enlarge.
Offices and apartments at the Paddington Waterside.
Restaurants with canal views.
Modern office buildings.
The back of Tesco Express. No back door though.
Where the center of action is.
Statue of former London deputy mayor Sir Simon Milton at the Paddington Waterside.
The Rolling Bridge unfolded.
Information board about the Rolling Bridge.
The Rolling Bridge curled up. Credit : blog.tunehotels.com
The Fan Bridge across the basin.
Information board regarding the Fan Bridge.
The Fan Bridge doing its performance. Credit : blog/tunehotels.com
Imagine getting off your canal boat and walking to your office just by the side.
Our accommodation for the entire stay in London was at Tune Hotels, Praed Street, Paddington. In actuality, the hotel is much closer to both the Edgware (District & Bakerloo) tube stations rather than the Paddington station. Please note there are two separate Edgware tube stations, one running the District line and the other the Bakerloo line. They are not far apart.
Staying in Paddington is not cheap as we had stayed around here before but a promotional room rate offered by Tune made it worth it. The rate includes two single beds, room with window, WiFi, flat-screen TV, air conditioning/heater, safe, hair dryer, private bathroom with hot/cold shower and toiletries. Housekeeping is done on every 3rd day but should you require fresh towels, they are available at the check-in counter.
We have requested in advanced for a room on the 3rd or higher floor to avoid the rumbling of the tube that runs close by. We were given a room on the 4th floor facing the back and was quiet for a good night’s sleep. Lift is available but no free parking on site. However, public parking is right in-front of the entrance. Tesco Express is just across the street and right below the hotel there is a halal deli. Exiting the hotel to your left heading towards Paddington station, there are a couple of halal eateries a few lots away. Nearby, two halal Malaysian restaurant operates and the whole stretch of Edgware Road is cramped with halal restaurants mostly middle eastern. Makes deciding really difficult.
One lesser known London attraction, the Paddington Basin is right in-front of the hotel although not visible. Well, actually you need to go around Tesco, a few shop lots away and you’ll be at the Paddington Basin where several canal boats are moored right in the middle of London.
Tune Hotels Paddington.
Entrance to Tune Hotels Paddington. Public parking right in-front of the door.
Tune Paddington and Paddington Basin are within walking distance. Bus stand are maked with arrows.
Two single beds and window.
Flat TV with various channels.
Hair dryer and safe included in our package.
Tesco Express right across the hotel. Great to buy mineral water, bread and the like.
Paddington Basin just behind Tesco. Live-in canal boats surrounded by apartments and modern office building. London’s secret?
April 2016 Jump to London 2015 postings. Jump to London 2017 postings.
Arrivederci Firenze. We leave Florence and embark on a 2½ hours flight to our next destination, London City Airport (LCY). We had previously been to the observatory deck of the Shard on the 72nd floor and noticed planes making turns around it to start their descend into LCY. We tought this would be a great way to get a magnificent view of London. We booked seats on the right hand side of the plane to get the best view. On City Jet’s Avro RJ85 aircraft, avoid seats nos. 5-10 as your view will be partially obstructed by the jet engines. Seats nos 1-4 would be best as you avoid blurred images caused by the heat trail of the engines.
A short while after taking off from Florence, we were rewarded with fantastic views of the iced-capped Alps against the deep blue sky. Crossing the French coastline later, our plane flew over the White Cliffs of Dover proceeding North. Presumably, at the mouth of River Thames, the plane turned towards central London where it made a final right turn around the Shard and started its final approach into LCY.
White cliffs of Dover and the Dover Ferry Terminal. You’ll still be able to get a glimpse the French coast from inside the plane at this point.
English township from above. The heat trail of the engines blurs the upper portion of the photo.
True to my expectations, we got great views of London from above. The Shard, Monument, Gherkin, Sky Garden, Tower of London, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, City Hall were all within clear sight. Leaving central London, we flew pass Canary Wharf, over the O2, Emirates cable car and finally when the Thames Barrier were to our right, the plane was into its short final. What an incredible tour of London within a few minutes. Definitely a photographer’s delight with most of the photo spots captured into a single frame. We’ve purposely chosen to get into London City Airport instead of the other airport just for this. Worth every cent of the €78 ticket.
We know it isn’t an easy landing into LCY as it requires tight turns, bumpy rides and short runway. Anyway, thanks to the pilots for their nerve of steel and the many hours of training they undergo to bring us in safely.
Our plane making a turn around the Shard. HMS Belfast, City Hall and Tower Bridge clearly visible.
London icons. The Monument, Gherkin, Sky Garden, Shard, Tower of London, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf. All in a single frame ….. nothing beats this.
The O2 and the Emirates cable car right underneath.
Thames barrier close-by to London City Airport.
Our aircraft safely parked in LCY.
Passport control straight ahead.
If you would like to see a cockpit view of an approach into LCY, see it below :
Our chosen mode of transport in London, by convenience is by tube. We’ve calculated our transport expenses will be more than £30. Thus we opted for a 7 day anytime, zones 1-2 Travelcard at £32.40 loaded into an Oyster card. The Oyster card itself cost £5 (refundable). Since we are now in London City Airport which is in zone 3, we need to ‘top-up’ £1.70 to enable us to cross into London zones 1-2. You can get your Oyster card at their counter just after exiting arrival hall to your right just before going up the escalator to the DLR tube station. The counter only accept card payments.
Oyster cards for our tube rides.
Our hotel is in Pread Street, Paddington and we require 2 change of tube lines. 1st change was at Canning Town for the Jubilee line to Baker Street and then onto the Bakerloo line for Edgware station. For our flight home from Heathrow, we’ve purchased advanced tickets for the Heathrow Express @ £8.80. We will be taking the Heathrow Express from the Paddington train station which is about 10 minutes walk from our hotel.
Heathrow Express ticket cost much cheaper when purchased in advanced and even more cheaper when travelling on weekends.
DLR tube map.
London City Airport DLR tube station. Consider the DLR as an extension of the tube line, even the great length of its track is not underground.
Tune Hotels, Paddington. Our accommodation for five nights.
So where is LCY compared to LHR ? Click to enlarge.