1 GRAND UNION CANAL
Exit Paddington station via South Wharf Road and turn left into the cobbled pedestrianised street that runs alongside St Mary’s hospital. Follow the sign to the right for Paddington Basin and snake around the building until you reach the Grand Union Canal. Stretching 220km from London to Birmingham, it was once a major artery for bringing goods and freight to the capital from the Midlands and the North. Today, Paddington remains an important transport hub, as the London terminus of GWR and a future Crossrail station – but it has also invested in a cultural future. More than £1 billion has been spent on regenerating the neighbourhood, transforming the banks of the canal into a lively area buzzing with restaurants, bars and community spaces, while its waterways have become tourist attractions. Head to the year-round Floating Pocket Park at Merchant Square – overlooked by glass and steel buildings, this lush green space was created by garden designer Tony Woods and offers respite from the industrial architecture, its series of lawns connected by decked platforms and walkways, with plenty of bench seating amidst floral planters.
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September - October 2020