- Ben Whishaw
- Hugh Bonneville
- Sally Hawkins
- Nicole Kidman
- Jim Broadbent
- Julie Walters
- Peter Capaldi
- Michael Gambon
- Imelda Staunton
visit the film locations
Visit: the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 Free admission (tel: 020.7942.5000) (tube: South Kensington; Piccadilly, District and Circle Lines)
Hatfield House (tel: 01707.262823, admission charge, rail: Hatfield, from London King's Cross)
Paddington location: the little bear arrives in London and gets a new name: Paddington Station, Praed Street, Paddington, London
Against all expectations, the live action adventures of Michael Bond’s much-loved bear is surprisingly witty and imaginative.
The opening scenes of the bear’s discovery in darkest ‘Peru’ were filmed in Costa Rica.
A convenient truck unwittingly ferries him into the capital, inevitably crossing Tower Bridge en route, before dropping him off at one of the capital’s major rail termini.
Paddington location: the entrance to ‘Paddington’ station: Marylebone Station
It is, of course, Paddington Station, where the bear is given his new name and somewhat reluctantly taken in by the Brown family. Or so you’d think. Although the station platforms are the real deal, Paddington Station doesn’t have much of a frontage, so the establishing shot is of the entrance to nearby Marylebone Station, Melcombe Place.
The small and comparatively quiet Marylebone has appeared frequently on screen – most famously over 50 years ago in the Beatles’ first feature A Hard Day’s Night.
Paddington location: the Paddington Bear statue stands beneath the clock: Paddington Station, Praed Street, Paddington, London
Once inside the station, that really is Paddington, although the charmingly old-fashioned tea room, with its chalk board menus, is nothing more than a fantasy created for the film (there is a disguised McDonalds just alongside).
Beneath the clock there's no tea room nor lost property office, but an exit to the taxi rank – plus a bronze statue of the little bear.
Paddington location: the home of the Brown family: Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, London
It’s implied that the Browns live in Notting Hill, but their pleasant home, on ‘Windsor Gardens’ is in an even posher area. It’s 30 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill, NW1, just north of Regent’s Park.
The Browns decide to take the new arrival along to Mr Gruber (Jim Broadbent) who owns an antique shop on Portobello Road in – where else? – Notting Hill, to see if Paddington’s red hat can give a clue to his origins.
Paddington location: the local (and fictitious) ‘Westbourne Oak Station’: Maida Vale tube station, London W9
The local (and fictitious) ‘Westbourne Oak Station’ is the handsome, brown-tiled Maida Vale Station, on the corner of Elgin Avenue and Randolph Avenue, Maida Vale, W9. The photogenic station also features in Richard Curtis’s About Time and Neil Jordan’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s The End Of The Affair.
Paddington location: ‘Gruber’s’ antique store in Notting Hill: Alice's Antiques, Portobello Road, London W11
‘Gruber’s’ antique shop is Alice’s Antiques, 86 Portobello Road, at Denbigh Close, W11. It’s a longstanding institution of the famous street market. Alongside it, on Denbigh Close itself, you can see the flat belonging to Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) from The Italian Job.
Paddington location: the ‘Geographers Guild’: Reform Club, Pall Mall, London
The hat leads them on to the ‘Geographers’ Guild’, which is one of the West End’s famed gentlemen’s clubs. It’s the Reform Club, 104 Pall Mall, a movie staple seen in Guy Ritchie’s revamp of Sherlock Holmes, the 2001 remake of The Four Feathers with Heath Ledger, the 1998 big screen version of TV series The Avengers, as well as two Bond films – Die Another Day and Quantum Of Solace.
The hallway, with it’s striking tiled floor, is the club, but the inner corridors, where Mr Brown (Hugh Bonneville) is obliged to pass himself off as a cleaning lady, are those of Hatfield House, Hatfield, north of London in Hertfordshire.
Paddington location: the home of sinister taxidermist, Millicent: Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London
On the trail of Paddington, with more sinister motives, is evil taxidermist Millicent Clyde (Nicole Kidman), whose home is 52 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, NW3. It’s just around the corner from the police station where Kevin Sheperd (Ioan Gruffudd) is held in another children’s classic, 102 Dalmatians.
Paddington location: the museum in which Millicent keeps her office: Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London
Millicent works in the Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7, previously seen in excellent 1950 thriller Seven Days To Noon, Greystoke, The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes and barkingly daft kitsch classic Basic Instinct II. Don’t worry – the chances of this respected British institution giving house room to a rogue taxidermist bent on stuffing endangered species is about as likely as a Peruvian spectacled bear being able to speak perfect English.