Deep in west London (well, not that deep, or that west) is a small suburban area called Paddington. Yes, it was where Paddington Bear was found, and the reason he was named Paddington, but it also hosts one of London’s hidden gems, which is free to visit.
Within and next to huge office blocks are restaurants, cafes and large fake-grass covered steps, which are actually perfect to sit and people watch from.
Little Venice is a small canal which filters through Paddington. It’s filled with house boats and is surrounded by canal-side restaurants and coffee shops, which as you can see, are lit up at night.
Little Venice is a summer haven because of its waterside, outdoor seats but is also perfect for winter. Each restaurant has glowing outside fairy lights and toasty, warm interiors.
For a free experience of Little Venice, simply walk along the canal, day or night time. Unlike the majority of London, the canal walk isn’t heaving with people – at night it’s actually positively peaceful, apart from the odd bicycle rider who may scoot past. Bright lights beam across the water and huge, white wash, millions of pounds- Paddington houses loom over the canal.
Despite its lack of publicity, Paddington truly does host London’s answer to Venice, Little Venice is well worth an evening stroll or a romantic meal.