Paddington’s guide to London

By Paddington Bear, London-based bear and marmalade connoisseur

Photography by StudioCanal

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November 2017

Whether it’s seeing the sights and snuggling down for a good night’s sleep, or where to grab a bear-sized bite to eat and find the best view in the city, Paddington Bear lets us in on his top 10 places to experience London.

1. Double decker

I think the best way to see London is from the top of a double decker bus. There are lots of special tours with a guide but you can see just as much on a regular bus, especially if you are lucky enough to get the front seat on the top deck. It’s better value if you get a weekly Oyster card (Tip: don’t try to buy one from a fishmonger like I did. You need to go to a station or a shop that sells them).

Discover London

Sometimes on windy days I go here with the Browns as it’s a good place to fly kites, although I’m not very popular if I let go of the string.

2. Science Museum

This is Jonathan’s favourite museum as he loves the gallery called ‘Exploring Space’ but I enjoy going there too because there are so many different things to see. They even have a piece of mould from Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin. I tried offering them one of my old marmalade sandwiches as an exhibit, but for some reason they weren’t very keen to take it.

Check out these alternative museums

  • Put your white coat on and experiment at the Science Museum’s Chemistry Bar © Plastiques Photography.

    Sliding scale

    Don’t miss the Friction Slides in the museums Forces zone, where you get to test how fast you can slide on different types of surface.

    Discover London
  • Jump on board a traditional red London bus to sightsee the city © Getty Images.

    Did you know…?

    The number 24 bus has been taking the same route between Pimlico and Hampstead Heath since 1911.

    Find your way around
  • Take your pick from the outrageous flavours at Ruby Violet.

    Just desserts

    On Fridays and Saturdays from 18.00 to 21:30 Ruby Violet hosts a Pudding Club, serving mini baked Alaskas and chocolate puddings washed down with a glass of bubbly.

    Explore foodie London

3. Primrose Hill

Although London is a city, there are lots of open spaces and I’m particularly keen on Primrose Hill. It’s quite a steep climb to the top, especially after a large lunch, but it’s worth it to see the view. Sometimes on windy days I go here with the Browns as it’s a good place to fly kites, although I’m not very popular if I let go of the string.

4. Covent Garden

This used to be a market, which has been turned into shops and places to eat but I like to come here to watch the street entertainers. You can see everything from singers to jugglers and people who turn themselves into statues. I tried staring at an entertainer once for over ten minutes to see if they would move before I discovered it really was a statue.

5. Rainforest Café

I grew up in the Peruvian rainforest so this café is a good place to go if I want to remember the sights and sounds from my early life. The food is more American than Peruvian but I can recommend the Sparkling Volcano for dessert and if you have the Total Kids Adventure Menu they include an activity pack. I wonder if they would consider doing a special menu for bears?

Explore London's best bites

  • Get caught up in the buzz of Covent Garden Market © Getty Images.

    Location, location, location

    Covent Garden has long history and has featured and referenced in many films, books, and TV shows, including My Fair Lady and Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy.

    See London’s food markets
  • Catch a show on the Puppet Theatre Barge.

    String to your boat

    The Puppet Barge spends most of the year in Little Venice, except during summer time and mid-October when it’s moored in Richmond.

    Find a London hotel

6. Puppet Theatre Barge

This is very unusual because you get to watch a puppet show on an old Thames barge. There are only about 50 seats in the theatre but I like it because if you’re small like me they make sure there is nobody tall sitting in front of you. The shows are always good and they serve refreshments in the interval so I don’t even need to eat my emergency marmalade sandwich.

7. Portobello Road

This is very close to where I live with the Browns and it’s where my friend Mr Gruber has his antiques shop. I visit him every day to share our elevenses and on my way I always stop to buy some buns from the baker’s. There’s a market every day but it’s busiest on a Saturday when the stalls stretch all the way from Westbourne Grove to Ladbroke Grove.

8. Brown’s Hotel

I already live with the Browns in London but if I needed somewhere to stay then I would want to come here. Apart from the name I’ve heard that younger guests get all sorts of extra treats. There’s even a special library for children and milk and cookies at bedtime. If I stayed here I think I would definitely feel the need for an early night.

Book a stay at Browns Hotel

9. Ruby Violet

Most people know I love marmalade but I’m also very keen on ice cream so I was really excited when I visited Ruby Violet in Tufnell Park as they were serving Brown Toast and Seville Orange Marmalade ice cream! They don’t make that one all the time but their ice cream is really good and they do so many interesting flavours that it’s important to keep going back to test them all.

10. Paddington Station

This is still my favourite place in London as it’s where the Browns found me and how I got my English name. I like to remember how lucky I was to meet such kind people when I was all alone with nowhere to stay. Sometimes I walk past my statue to see if anyone will notice and then I call in at the shop that sells my memorabilia.

Explore London

See Paddington 2 in UK cinemas from 10 November 2017.

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