London … on a (Paddington) Bear hunt. ‘Bear’ing the crowds and the English weather to find over fifty bear statues along ‘The Paddington Trail’

As a child I have to admit that I wasn’t a big fan of Paddington Bear. I was a very prim and proper child and I didn’t like the thought of Paddington handling things with his sticky paws caused by his obsession with marmalade sandwiches and an apparent indifference to washing his paws after (or seemingly before) eating them.

But now in my later years when I myself am often guilty of hygiene recklessness (leaving biscuit crumbs down my front is my greatest crime), I have warmed a great deal to Michael Bond’s famous furry character.

With the release this month (November 2014) of Paddington, a star-studded movie about the Peruvian bear, London is celebrating the occasion with over fifty delightful bear statues located across the capital, designed by various celebrities and stars from the movie. Strong public affection for Paddington is clearly evident from the gleeful squeals I have often heard from children and adults in response to spotting a statue. Many a time have I seen people – mainly adults rather than children – launch themselves onto a statue, throw their arms around its neck and take an endless sequence of selfies with their mobiles.

With a great deal of patience I have managed to capture all fifty official statues making up the trail plus a few unofficial late comers. The search took me as far east as Bethnal Green and Greenwich and right across the capital as far west as Heathrow Airport giving all the statues fantastic landmark backdrops which I have tried to capture. There are a lot of photos here so it may take some time for them all to load and a page refresh or two may also be required. Click on the smaller photos to enlarge them and I do hope the wait and effort is worth it. Enjoy. TLT x

PS the best bear puns have already been used by the celebrities behind the designs, but I have tried to come up with a few more (apologies in advance!).


 

Good News Bear

The Telegraph

Great George Street

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear The Telegraph Good News Bear face with Big Ben

Not such good news. Paddington has missed elevenes

Not such good news. Paddington has missed elevenes


 

Bear in the Wood

Rankin

Peter’s Hill, St Paul’s Cathedral

I won't ask the obvious question about Rankin's 'Bear in the Wood'. Poopoo to that!

I won’t ask the obvious question about Rankin’s ‘Bear in the Wood’. Poopoo to that!

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Rankin, Bear in the Wood, Peter's Hill, St Paul's Cathedral, face


 

The Bear of London

Boris Johnson

Trafalgar Square

A cock and bear story

A cock and bear story


 

Blush

Nicole Kidman

Leicester Square

Asking Shakespeare for directions

Asking Shakespeare for directions


 

Wonders of the World

Peru

London Bridge station

Wondering where the Shard is

Wondering where the Shard is


 

Parka Paddington

Liam Gallagher

Carnaby Street

Looking in the window of Liberty's (surely not in search of cigarettes and alcohol?)

Looking in the window of Liberty‘s (surely not in search of cigarettes and alcohol?)

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Liam Gallagher Parka Paddington Carnaby Street, body


 

Trying to take a decent photo of Taste of Peru Bear in the middle of busy Borough Market during a very busy Saturday lunchtime was proving quite a challenge for myself and the handful of fellow bear enthusiasts standing next to me. Whilst we were taking turns to take our shots, a young man appeared to make a beeline for the statue and plonked himself at the foot of it. From a greasy paper bag he revealed a large baguette and started to tear chunks out of it with his teeth, seemingly oblivious to what he was leaning up against and to the crowd of people wanting to photograph it. When one person kindly asked him would he mind just moving for a moment so the group could take the shots they were hoping to capture, the man spat out two words both containing the letter ‘f’ and carried on eating at Paddington’s feet. A less patient photographer then stepped forward and pointed out that there were people waiting to take a snap of the statue and he was being rather selfish choosing to sit right in front of it when there were plenty of other places to sit in and around the market. With this, the young man stood up aggressively and started to unbutton his jeans yelling “why don’t you take a photo of my arse instead?!” With this, I just couldn’t resist and retorted “we’re here to take photos of a bear, not a bare bottom! So, would you mind?” I accompanied this with a hard stare that Paddington would have been in awe of. For a moment he stared back at me like a neanderthal, before muttering something incomprehensible under his breath and then he stomped off, throwing the remains of his meal at the statue.

I eventually got my photos, and some rather warm smiles of gratitude from my fellow Paddington fans.

 


 

Taste of Peru

Peru

Borough Market

"Has anyone got a marmalade sandwich they'd like to share?"

“Has anyone got a marmalade sandwich they’d like to share?”

 


 

Love, Paddington X

Lulu Guinness

Rembrandt Gardens, near Paddington station

More like a gorgeous silver fox than a silver bear

More like a gorgeous silver fox than a silver bear

A kiss on a 'bear' cheek

A kiss on a ‘bear’ cheek


 

I was having difficulty locating David Beckham’s Golden Paws bear near Buckingham Palace, so I went to the palace gates and asked one of the three police officers on duty did they know where it was. They were ever so helpful with one officer insisting it was no trouble at all for him to go into the gate office and ring up someone who might know. As I stood there with the other two officers, only feet from the palace and possibly Her Majesty herself, I suddenly heard the officers’ radios click into life and a deep, authoritive voice calling out to all the PCs in the area: “Sierra-Oscar, we are trying to locate the whereabouts of a Padd-ing-ton Bear in the palace vicinity. Does anyone know of his whereabouts? Over”. It was a rather surreal moment worthy of a Monty Python sketch.

On that occasion the ‘absconder’ was nowhere to be found. He had been deliberately removed and returned to storage in preparation for the Remembrance Sunday gatherings in the area that weekend.

He returned a few days later.

 


 

Golden Paws

David Beckham

Canada Gate, Buckingham Palace

Even bears should doff their hats when in the presence of royalty

Even bears should doff their hats when in the presence of royalty


 

Little Bear Blue

Intel

Noel Street W1

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Intel Little Bear Blue Noel Street, distance with window display

 

An en-light-ened bear

An en-light-ened bear


 

Paddington is Great

Stephen Fry

Downing Street, Whitehall

Paddington outside the gates of Prime Minister Alastair Davies's official residence (one for '24' fans)

Paddington outside the gates of Prime Minister Alastair Davies’s official residence (one for ’24’ fans)

Paying tribute to the Glorious Dead at the Cenotaph just before Remembrance Sunday

Paying tribute to the Glorious Dead at the Cenotaph just before Remembrance Sunday


 

Primrose Paddington

Julie Walters

Primrose Hill (not quite from the top of it)

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Julie Walters Primrose Paddington Top of Primrose Hill side with London skyline including London Eye


 

Gravity Bear

Sandra Bullock

Royal Observatory, Greenwich

I think the text (left) is referring to the Gibeon meteorite below it and not Paddington above

I think the text (left) is referring to the Gibeon meteorite below it and not Paddington above

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Sandra Bullock Gravity Bear Royal Observatory Greenwich face


 

R; G; B

Zaha Hadid

Royal Exchange

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Zaha Hadid R; G; B Royal Exchange, body

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Zaha Hadid R; G; B Royal Exchange, face close up


 

Bearer of Gifts

Hamleys Toy Store

Regent Street

Hamleys Paddington, and is that Kim Kardashian's bear in the 'rear' of the shot?

Hamleys Paddington, and is that Kim Kardashian’s bear in the ‘rear’ of the shot?

Greeting a relative

Greeting a relative


 

Dapper Bear

Guy Ritchie

Notting Hill Gate

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Guy Ritchie Dapper Bear Notting Hill Gate body

A conversation I overheard between two young ladies whilst I was taking these shots:

Girl A: Look! It’s Dappy Bear from N-Dubz.

Girl B: No it’s not. It’s Dapper Bear by Guy Ritchie. From Eastenders.

Girl A: Oh right.

Well, not quite right. Dapper Bear by the ex Mr Madonna.

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Guy Ritchie Dapper Bear Notting Hill Gate face


 

Sparkles

Frankie Bridge

South Molton Street W1 (off Oxford Street)

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Frankie Bridge Sparkles South Molton Street, side


 

Brick Bear

Robin Partington & Partners

Canal Towpath, near Paddington station

An odd looking Paddington who appears to have a beak

An odd looking Paddington who appears to have a beak


 

W2 1RH

Marc Quinn

Christie‘s, King Street Sw1

A stone bear and a bare bottom (the poster behind Paddington)

A stone bear and a bare bottom (the poster behind Paddington)


 

Fragile

Ryan McElhinney

Tate Modern, Riverside Walk

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Ryan McElhinney, Tate Modern, front with London skyline

As there appears to be a tear running down Paddington's cheek, is this bear emotionally fragile?

As there appears to be a tear running down Paddington’s cheek, is this bear emotionally fragile?


 

The Special One

Chelsea FC

Britannia Gate, Stamford Bridge

"Excuse me, can you tell me how Chelsea did tonight?"

“Excuse me, can you tell me how Chelsea did tonight?”

The score was Chelsea 2 – 0 West Brom


 

Paddington Lloyd Webbear

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Gerrard Street, Chinatown

I wonder which of Mr Lloyd Webber's musicals inspired this bear

I wonder which of Mr Lloyd Webber’s musicals inspired this bear

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Andrew Lloyd Webber Paddington Lloyd Webber China Town face


 

Paws Engaged

Canterbury of New Zealand

The Italian Gardens, Kensington Gardens

Enjoying a bear hug

Enjoying a bear hug

The ‘bear’ fountain has a plaque that reads: ” 1859 – 1939 Presented by The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain & Cattle Trough Association to mark its 80th anniversary”


 

Toggle

Benjamin Shine

V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green

There's one hellavah duffle coat out there missing a button

There’s one hellavah duffle coat out there missing a button


 

Paddington Jack

Davina McCall

Horse Guards Parade

It's not the first time a bearskin has been seen standing out on Horse Guards Parade

It’s not the first time a bearskin has been seen standing out on Horse Guards Parade

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Davina McCall Paddington Jack Horse Guards Parade, body and Horse Guards Parade in background


 

Rainbow

Darcey Bussell

Royal Opera House

Taking a bow (strictly speaking)

Taking a bow (strictly speaking)

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Darcey Bussell Rainbow Royal Opera House body from below


 

The Spirit of Paddington

Rolls Royce

Berkeley Square Gardens

Rolls Royce's fabulous new grill: Bear Grills!

Rolls Royce’s fabulous new grill: Bear Grills!


 

Sticky Wicket

Ian Botham

Hanover Bridge, Regent’s Park

Sticky Wicket meeting some sticky beaks

Sticky Wicket meeting some sticky beaks


 

Paddington Who?

Peter Capaldi

Royal Observatory, Greenwich

Quick, run Paddington Who! There's a dalek on your back ... literally!

Quick, run Paddington Who! There’s a dalek on your back … literally!


 

Futuristic Robot Bear

Jonathan Ross

Merchant Square, North Wharf Road, near Paddington station

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Jonathan Ross Futuristic Robot Bear Merchant Square North Wharf Road, front


 

The Journey of Marmalade

Hugh Bonneville

The Dell, by the Serpentine, Hyde Park

By actor Hugh Bonneville, star of Agatha Christie's Marple-lade, Burke & Bear and of course Downton Ab-bear (sorry)

By actor Hugh Bonneville, star of Agatha Christie’s Marple-lade, Burke & Bear and of course Downton Ab-bear (sorry)


 

Sherlock Bear

Benedict Cumberbatch

Museum of London

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock Bear, Museum of London, back


 

Paws

Sally Hawkins

Duke of York Square, King’s Road, Chelsea

Pawing all over Paddington ... with balloons courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

Pawing all over Paddington … with balloons courtesy of the Saatchi Gallery

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Sally Hawkins Paws Duke of York Square, Sloane Square, Chelsea face balloons in flight


 

Shakesbear

Michael Sheen

By the Globe Theatre, Bankside Pier

Exit, pursued by a bear called Paddington

Exit, pursued by a bear called Paddington


 

Paddingtonscape

Hannah Warren

Norfolk Square Gardens, near Paddington station

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Hannah Warren Paddingtonscape Norfolk Square Gardens, front


 

Bearodiversity

Peru

Glasshouse Street

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Peru Bearodiversity Glasshouse Street, face close up


 

Bear Necessities

John Hurt

Great Russell Street and Montague Street

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear John Hurt Bear Necessities, British Museum, body

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear John Hurt Bear Necessities, British Museum, from distance


 

Bearing Up

Taylor Wimpey

St Mary’s Footbridge, near Paddington station

I could bearly keep my hands off this very cuddly velvet-clad bear

I could bearly keep my hands off this very cuddly velvet-clad bear


 

Bear Humbug

Ant & Dec

Oxford Street

I'm a Celebrity Bear ... (you know the rest)

I’m a Celebrity Bear … (you know the rest)

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Ant & Dec Bear Humbug Oxford Street, body


 

Chief Scout Bear

Bear Grylls

London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5

That suitcase should be small enough to bring onto the plane

That suitcase should be small enough to bring onto the plane


 

Flutterby

Emma Watson

Hans Crescent, beside Harrods, Knightsbridge

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Emma Watson Flutterby Hans Crescent Harrods, face close up from below


 

Texting Paddington

Westminster Academy

Sheldon Square, near Paddington station

"Can anybody hear me? Maybe I'll text it"

“Can anybody hear me? Maybe I’ll text it”


 

Goldiebear

Kate Moss

Selfridge’s, Oxford Street

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Kate Moss Selfridge's Collection Goldiebear Oxford Street, window night

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Kate Moss Selfridge's Collection Goldiebear Oxford Street, window and sign night

Unbeknowst to me at the time, there were actually two further bear statues in the Selfridges store: Paddington Goes to Whitby Goth Weekend by Harland Miller and Camobear by Harper Heyman. Sadly for me, these statues had already been taken down and were being prepared for the Paddington auction before I could find and photograph them for this blog. However, the lovely people at visitlondon.com have kindly given me permission to use their official photographs of these two statues, so here there are. Thank-you Visit London!

Paddington Goes to Whitby Goth by Harland Miller. Image courtesy of © visitlondon.com

Paddington Goes to Whitby Goth by Harland Miller. Image courtesy of © visitlondon.com

Camobear by Harper Heyman. Image courtesy of © visitlondon.com

Camobear by Harper Heyman. Image courtesy of © visitlondon.com


 

Special Delivery

Ben Whishaw

Covent Garden

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Ben Whishaw Special Delivery Covent Garden, front

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Ben Whishaw Special Delivery Covent Garden, face close up and Christmas decorations


 

The Mayor of Paddington

Paddington Waterside & Costain

Canalside Plaza, near Paddington station

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Paddington Waterside and Costain The Mayor of Paddington face close up with Paddington station sign


 

Thread Bear

Matthew Williamson

New Bond Street

Churchill: "I can see a blue bear standing behind you Mr Roosevelt. This is definitely the beginning of the end of my drinking"

Churchill: “I can see a blue bear standing behind you Mr Roosevelt. This is definitely the beginning of the end of my drinking”

Fabulous bear coat

Fabulous bear coat


 

Paddington the Explorer

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London

Piccadilly Circus

Obliging a fellow tourist

Obliging a fellow tourist


 

Good Morning, London

Michael Howells

Guildhall Square

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Michael Howells, Good Morning London, Guildhall Square, face close up with pigeon on shoulder


 

Wish You Were Here

Nick Mason

The O2

The dark side of the bear. "He don't need no mar mar lay aide" (oh yes he does!)

The dark side of the bear. “He don’t need no mar mar lay aide” (oh yes he does!)


 

So popular has the Paddington Trail been that more bears have popped up in the city:

 

Maya’s Bear

by 13-year-old Maya Bardsley

NSPCC, Curtain Road, Shoreditch

Absolutely delightful

Absolutely delightful

 

Patchwork Paddington

by Childline intern Rhianna Alphonse-Kalloo (and not the singer)

Childline, Folgate Street, Shoreditch

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Rhianna Alphonse-Kalloo Patchwork Paddington, Childline, Folgate Street, Shoreditch, body

 

Alan Shearer’s Bear

Alan Shearer

Childline, Folgate Street, Shoreditch

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Rhianna Alphonse-Kalloo Patchwork Paddington, Childline, Folgate Street, Shoreditch, unnamed bear

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Rhianna Alphonse-Kalloo Patchwork Paddington, Childline, Folgate Street, Shoreditch, window

 

Precious Paddington

Solange Azagury-Partridge

Mandarin Orient Hotel, Knightsbridge

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Solange Azagury-Partridge Precious Paddington Mandarin Orient Hotel Knightsbridge, from below

 

Stripes

Inkie

Cadogan Place, Knightsbridge

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Inkie Stripes Cadogan Place near the Peruvian Embassy Knightsbridge, front

 

Supergroup Take That‘s Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald joined Paddington stars Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters and Nicole Kidman on the BBC’s Graham Norton Show in November 2014 to decorate their own Paddington statue. See the creation of Paddington That on the YouTube clip below…

[embedplusvideo height=”390″ width=”640″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1zRAKe5″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/j1t_LoPA7i8?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=j1t_LoPA7i8&width=640&height=390&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5631″ /]

…and here is the boys’ finished design, courtesy of visitlondon.com (thank you again Visit London!)

Paddington That by Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald. Image courtesy of © visitlondon.com

Paddington That by Gary Barlow, Mark Owen and Howard Donald. Image courtesy of © visitlondon.com


Oh yes, there was one more bear ….

Paddington

Michael Bond

Paddington station

London The Paddington Trail Paddington Bear Michael Bond Paddington Platform 8 Paddington station, body from below with train and crowd in background

More information on ‘The Paddington Trail’ can be found on the very in-depth Visit London website here.

TLT x


There was a Books About Town bookbench  Books About Town 2014 Michael Bond A Bear Called Paddington Michelle Heron front paying homage to PB earlier this summer (2014) in London. See it and the 50 other bookbenches here.

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4 Responses to London … on a (Paddington) Bear hunt. ‘Bear’ing the crowds and the English weather to find over fifty bear statues along ‘The Paddington Trail’

  1. David Field says:

    What a super blog!
    I was lucky to be asked by 3deye to sculpt the life size (3 feet 6 inches tall) clay Paddington Bear used to create the 50+ colourful statues seen in London way back in 2014. What an honour that was. See the process on my website http://www.davidfieldsculpture.co.uk
    Your blog has brought back many happy memories of that commission. Congratulations on seeing all the Bears, I only recorded 25 on the day I tried to walk the trail.
    You might be interested to know that there is a second Paddington Bear movie in production as we speak, will this mean a new Paddington Bear trail in London soon? Possibly.

  2. Congratulations of finding all of these sculptures and supporting this cause, great to see them all in-situe and to see the fantastic shots you took of my ‘Toggle’! Keep travelling and taking photo’s!

  3. Anne Guy says:

    Great article and photos and well done for seeing all the bears! I published a blog only yesterday about the few I managed to see in one day in the city.

  4. Eric says:

    Very nice… you must have invested quite some time to get all 50+. I allocated a day to see as many as I could and only managed 43 after 7 hours and walking 22 miles. Great photos, you managed to capture some details that I had missed.

    FYI … The Paddington “Book About Town” bench and the bronze Paddington bear were under the station clock half way down platform 1 in Paddington Station. It would have been great if they had put all 3 together

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