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.