Heading to Paddington Station to photograph a bear? You're not alone. The statue of Paddington Bear is surely one of the most Instagrammed in London. But where to find it? This article provides the location of the famous sculpture, but also shows you the many other locations where the bear is commemorated in the area.
1. The main Paddington Bear statue
First, the main event. This bronze statue of the Peruvian immigrant can be found on Platform 1 — pretty much on the exact location where the Brown family first encounter their new friend in the recent film. Expect a bit of a crowd. The statue has proven so popular that his nose and hat brim have been rubbed to a sparkle. I've had to wait in line to get my photos on two occasions.
2. The Paddington Bear plaque
Platform 1 not only holds a statue of the bear, but also this commemoration plaque. It gives details of the bear's appearance in both the book and film.
3. The Paddington Bear bench
A second photo opportunity can be found beside the plaque on Platform 1. This cute bench invites you to sit down beside Paddington for a photograph. Again, you may have to queue.
4. The Paddington Bear shop
If you're looking for a cuddly souvenir, DVD set, books, or random object with a bear on it, then head into The Lawn, a mostly food-and-drink hub at the station's south-eastern end. Here you'll find the Paddington Bear Shop, which is self-descriptive enough for me to end this paragraph early.
5. The Paddington Bear pub
The Mad Bishop and Bear is the crowning glory of 'The Lawn' area of Paddington Station. The second part of its name is a reference to the duffle-coated bear. The 'Mad Bishop' was a local man of the cloth who supposedly gifted the land for Paddington Station at a bargain rate.
This one's a bit tenuous, to be honest — there are few connections to the bear inside, other than an easily missed black-and-white photo of our fellow stood on the platforms. Scandalously, this Fuller's outpost maintains a 'Sandwich menu', yet steers clear of the marmalade option that every bear-hunter is craving. Still, it's a pretty good pub, lined with vaguely diverting railway paraphernalia.
6. The 'other' Paddington Bear statue
A much less-visited statue of the friendly ursine can be found over in old Paddington. The two-dimensional representation of Mr P, along with his creator Michael Bond, stands alongside similar likenesses of Alan Turing and Mary Seacole. This unlikely quartet of local heroes is part of the Sustrans 'portrait bench' initiative.
To find it, head north out of the station and pass beneath the Westway towards Paddington Green. Then walk to the extreme western end of the string of parks and churchyards, where St Mary's Terrace meets St Mary's Square.
7. Sundry other Paddington Bears
Back in 2014, our furry friend marked his scent all over central London, with a series of artistically decorated sculptures known as the Paw Print Trail. A few of these later found their way to the Paddington area, where they lurk to this day. The one shown above is inside the Marks & Spencer cafe in Paddington Basin, while that below is to be found on the canal under the Bishop's Bridge Road bridge (alongside yet another memorial to Alan Turing).
We know about one final bear, who makes his way to the station once or twice a day. Look out for intercity train number 800010, which carries the name Michael Bond, and features illustrations of Paddington Bear on its nose and a door.