London

The Paddington Trail in London- Until 30 December

A Paddington Bear is the first contact I had with London when I was a child. It was a present from my mother from a repatriation she did.

Since then, I’ve always liked it. It now stands in my “curiosity cabinet” in Marseille, along with all my small favourite items: my first soft bear, a collection of manekinekos, a bear-buddha candle holder…
 
Michael Bond is the father of Paddington.
He was inspired to write his first book after he bought a small bear from Selfridges department store on Christmas Eve 1956 as a gift for his wife. They were living quite close to Paddington Station at that time and he thought that Paddington would make a good name for a character.
 
Having been the subject of countless books and TV episodes, Paddington Bear is now coming to the big screen for the very first time.
To celebrate his arrival in cinemas on 28 November, 50 Paddington statues have been placed across London close to museums, parks, shops and key landmarks, and will remain there until 30 December.
 
Each statue has been created by a celebrity: Emma Watson, David Beckham, Liam Gallagher, Kate Moss, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nicole Kidman, Sandra Bullock, Guy Ritchie…
 
A map referencing the statues is available for downloading to help you in your quest to find them all. 
4 mini trails are also suggested to save time and ensure to see the most of them.
 
If you happen to be in London with your children before the end of the year, chasing the Paddington Bears is the perfect activity that will allow you to bring them wherever you want without a single moan. 

And if you don’t have children, you don’t need to find a valid excuse to see them, their cuteness is enough!

Like most of the time in the UK, this initiative supports a charity.
Indeed, from 10 December 2014 to 7 January 2015, some of the statues will be auctioned online with a starting bid of £500. All the proceeds will go to the NSPCC, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
 
And if you don’t have the money or the space to buy a real-size Paddington, you can still visit The Paddington Curiosity Shop at Selfridges and buy a miniature Paddington. A part of the profits will also go to the NSPCC.
 

I will do my best to see the 50 Paddington Bears but I can’t promise anything, as some are located in areas where I don’t often go, like the O2. And I will update this post every time I encounter a new Paddington, so stay tuned! 

There are 2 secret Paddingtons hidden in Selfridges:

4th floor, with the toys
Lower ground floor, in front of the cinema

There are at least 4 Paddington statues that have been added after and are not referenced on the map:

Mandarin Oriental, Knightsbridge
Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge
ChildLine, Shoreditch
NSPCC, Shoreditch

There were finally more than 50 Paddington statues. I think that I saw all of them except the Patchwork Paddington designed by Rihanna…


For more information about Paddington: 
http://www.paddington.com/gb/home/
For more information about The Paddington Trail: 
http://www.visitlondon.com/paddington/
For more information about the auction:
https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/the-paddington-trail/lots/129?pid=ecom_hp_featured

 

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