St. Paul’s Cathedral London on Paddington Trail

A walk to St. Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London, followed by a walk to Tower of London, led to an unanticipated quest where we bearly saw London for 24 hours. We had randomly seen four Paddington Bears already during our five days in London. A quick google check and I learned London had a special exhibit of 50 Paddington Bears displayed mostly around central London until December 30, 2014. Our final 24 hours Kelley and I spent in London on a cross city Paddington Trail adventure.

We walked from The British Museum to St. Paul’s Cathedral to Tower of London where we obtained a map that sent us on a Paddington Bear trail through the City of London for the afternoon.

I photographed 26 Paddington Bears around London in less than 24 hours. Finding Paddington Bear at St. Paul’s and Shakesbear by the Globe Theater were chance events. So random chance that we missed two other Paddington Bear statues within a one or two minute walk of our locations. Once we had a special London map showing us where 50 Paddington Bear statues were located around the city, bearly seeing London in 24 hours on Paddington Trail took off.

Paddington St. Pauls

Bear in the Wood, Peter’s Hill, St. Paul’s Cathedral

The day started as a walk across Holborn in the London Borough of Camden and into the City of London. I only know a few of the boroughs of London from my one week stay in the city. We spent almost all our time in central London in City of Westminster where the big sites of Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Big Ben, The West End theater district, Soho and Covent Garden are located. We walked east, roughly aiming for an unseen St. Paul’s Cathedral.

City of London is the old city with Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

City of London

City of London boundary marker

On our sixth day walking around London, the first break in the clouds happened for our trip. Sunglasses had remained in the hotel room for the week. Unnecessary in the persistent dull gray skies.

St Pauls-1

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul’s Cathedral is immense and greenery surrounding the building gives life to an area in the City of London largely void of green space.

St Pauls courtyard

St. Paul’s London Cathedral courtyard leaves in late November.

Colored leaves littered the ground around St. Paul’s.

St Pauls-3

St. Paul’s Cathedral, London

UK news repeatedly stated October and November had been unseasonably warm and normally there would be bare trees instead of colored leaves on the city’s trees so late in November.

St Pauls-2

St. Paul’s Cathedral London

The most impressive views of St. Paul’s Cathedral come from a distance.

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge view of St. Paul’s and City of London School.

Millennium Bridge crossing the Thames to South London is a good spot for photos.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Millennium Bridge view to St. Paul’s Cathedral

The sky brightened when we were south of the Thames.

St Pauls Thames

St. Paul’s Cathedral seen from southeast bank River Thames.

We found Paddington Shakesbear on the south bank of the Thames as we walked a bit east past The Globe Theater to Tower Bridge.

Paddington Southwark

Paddington Shakesbear, Michael Sheen inspired, Bankside Pier.

We crossed Tower Bridge. At the Tower of London Visitor Center, the woman working the counter gave us a photocopy map showing 50 Paddington bear statues around London, on display until December 30, 2014.

The quest to find Paddington Bear began. We visited parts of London that I would not have seen if not for seeking out Paddington Bear statues with a unique paper map for London exploration.

Tower of London

Tower of London

Over the next 20 hours, with the map, I photographed 24 more of 50 Paddington Bear sculptures around London and photographed a total of 29 Paddington Bears and lots of other stuff around the bears as we walked the Paddington Trails.


About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

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