Paddington Station Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know8 April, 2021by Bounce
London's Paddington Station has been one of the city's main transport hubs for almost two hundred years. Opening with only four platforms, the station has been expanded over the decades as train traffic and passenger numbers increased to contain thirteen platforms as well as connections to the London underground system.
Not much of the original Victorian station designed by one of the leading civil engineers of the 19th century, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, remains apart from the domed glass roof and some intricately decorative metalwork. The series of renovations it’s undergone, however, means it's kept up with the times and is a train station with a modern look and a 21st-century operating efficiency.
Paddington is a train station you may well find yourself in if you've flown into the country and landed at Heathrow Airport or are traveling to London from pretty much anywhere in the UK to see a West End Show, have a day sightseeing in the capital or attend an event like the South Bank Christmas Market. Before you set out, make sure you drop your belongings off at a luggage storage service near Paddington Station.
Bag Policy at Paddington Station
After disembarking your train or prior to boarding one, while you are in Paddington Station you mustn't leave any of your baggage unattended. That goes for on the platforms and in any of the spaces accessible to the general public, including outside the shops or washrooms, on the cafe terraces, or in the ticket and information service offices. That won't be a problem as long as your train is departing promptly or you're luggage-free, but if you're not then your bags can start to become something of a burden. That's the ideal moment to start thinking about getting a storage locker at Paddington Station.
Food Policy at Paddington Station
If you get to Paddington Station with an appetite, you won't need to worry about staying hungry for long or going without something decent to eat until you arrive at your final destination. Paddington has a superior selection of restaurants, coffee shops, and retail outlets. You'll find you can get everything from a quick sandwich to take onboard with you to a gourmet meal. The best thing to do, if you're not rushing for your train, is to find a luggage storage locker, stow your bags and have a browse around. You'll be amazed at what you find.
Camera Policy at Paddington Station
Paddington Station has some very interesting features and if you're a keen photographer you'll certainly be enticed to snap off a few black and white shots of the glass-domed roof or the trains. Taking photographs in Paddington Station is allowed, but the use of a flash is not. Focusing on the security cameras is something that is best avoided too or you might find they're focused on you. If you're on the platform and decided to take some shots before finding your seat in the carriages, make sure you stay well away from the edge or you could fall onto the tracks and that wouldn’t be such a great start to your trip.
Rules at Paddington Station
Paddington Station is operational twenty-four hours a day, though not all of the on-site services have the same opening hours. Only passengers with a legitimate train ticket are permitted onto the platforms. If you're with family or friends who want to go with you onto the platform to bid you farewell then they must purchase a platform pass from the ticket office. Not doing so could land them with a large fine that will make them even sadder than saying goodbye does. The same as at an airport, leaving any luggage unattended will see it swiftly removed by security staff. If you don’t want to stay with your bags then the best thing to do is deposit them with a storage service.
Lockers in Paddington Station
When you're in the British capital and have time to spare before your train departs, you won't want to sit in the station waiting room, no matter how architecturally attractive it is. That said though, it's practically impossible to move around London with your luggage in tow, especially if you need to board buses or use the underground.
When you've gone to the station and then decided to do something else, you'll find suitcases can be stored in the Paddington Station left luggage office. Although, if you're planning on leaving your stuff for more than three hours you'll need to pay the fee for twenty-four-hour storage which works out quite costly.
If you're in no hurry to get to the station, Bounce has several luggage locker facilities near Paddington Station where you can drop your bags for however long you like. With only a minimal per bag per day fee to pay, you'll be liberated from the weight of your suitcase and still be well in pocket.