Monday, 1 December 2014

THE PADDINGTON TRAIL


Special Delivery by Ben Whishaw

Fifty bears, one city. In celebration of the newly-released Paddington movie, a selection of artists, designer, and celebrities have each designed a bear and from the 4th of November, they have been placed around London in the Paddington Trail. It follows the travelling bear's favourite locations throughout the city, spanning across museums, parks, shops, and key landmarks. Now I don't consider myself to be particularly well-versed with the geography of London town, despite having lived here for almost two years, I often find myself lost in a previously unexplored area more than your average tourist. Despite this, my friends and I were keen to give the trail a go and see how many of the bears we could find.

Paddington Lloyd Webbear by Andrew Lloyd Webber | Blush by Nicole Kidman

The Bear of London by Mayor Boris Johnson

Paddington Who? by Peter Capaldi

Paddington the Explorer by Ripley's Believe It Or Not! | Gravity Bear by Sandra Bullock

We decided to start at Covent Garden where we spotted our first bear designed by the voice of Paddington himself, actor Ben Whishaw. From there we made our way to China Town where stood composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's flamboyant design and onto Leicester Square where Nicole Kidman's creation blended in seamlessly with the golden autumn leaves. Walking straight through to Trafalgar Square, we found Boris Johnson's bear hidden to one side of the National Gallery. I do really love how his little suitcase is a double decker bus! From there we decided to take the tube all the way to Greenwich as I really wanted to see Peter Capaldi's bear before the day was done. Conveniently (cough), the Doctor Who bear was situated right at the top of the huge hill where the GMT is originally located, which is pretty cool when associated with the time travel aspect but not so much when you have to hike all the way up it after an already long day of walking. On the way back from Greenwich it had already started to get dark (it was 4pm, dang it London winter) and by the time we reached the Southbank it was practically pitch black. Luckily the lights provided enough illumination that we were able to find the two bears there without too much trouble but after that we decided to call it a day. So in total we found nine Paddington Bears that first day, not a bad start but we thought we should probably figure out a more time effective route for our next day of hunting.

Fragile by Ryan McElhinney

Shakesbear by Michael Sheen | Sherlock Bear by Benedict Cumberbatch

Paws by Sally Hawkins

Good Morning, London by Michael Howells

Bear in the Wood by Rankin | Flutterby by Emma Watson

The Journey of Marmalade by Hugh Bonneville

Paws Engage by Canterbury of New Zealand | Paddingtonscape by Hannah Warren

Paddington by Michael Bond

Futuristic Robot Bear by Jonathan Ross | Bearing Up by Taylor Wimpey

Brick Bear by Robin Partington & Partners | The Mayor of Paddington by Costain Skanska

Love, Paddington x by Lulu Guinness

The next day we set off to the Museum of London to find Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock Bear and on the bus ride there I was pleased to spot Sally Hawkin's colourful creation. Around the museum area we found another two bears before we made our way to Knightsbridge for a sushi break and to visit Emma Watson's bear. A walk to Hyde's Park saw Hugh Bonneville's marmalade design resting in a picturesque area along the Serpentine and we discovered another two bears on our journey to Paddington Station, where the original Paddington Bear by the creator of the Peruvian explorer himself, Michael Bond, very fittingly stands. After that we proceeded around the Canal Towpath where we spent a good chunk of time trying to figure out where the two bears that were meant to be around this area on the map were. Unable to locate them, I took to the instagram hashtags to see if other people might have found them but this ended up confusing us even more as it turns out the two bears had been switched around before the map had been updated. After we sorted out that initial kerfuffle we found three more bears before the sun set, including a velvety textured blue bear (or the Mystique bear as my friend has nicknamed it) and Lulu Guiness' bear, complete with signature lips. The route of my bus ride home took me past Guy Ritchie's bear too.

Dapper Bear by Guy Ritchie | Striped by Inkie

Precious Paddington by Solange Azagury-Partridge | The Selfridges Collection by Kate Moss

Texting Paddington by Westminster Academy | Sparkles by Frankie Bridge

Little Bear Blue by Intel

Bear Necessities by John Hurt | Bear Humbug by Ant & Dec

Golden Paws by David Beckham | The Special One by Chelsea FC

The next weekend I was surprised to hear that a couple of new bears had been added to the trail, one by graffiti artist Inkie and another by jeweller Solange Azagury-Partridge.  A trip to Selfridges on Oxford Street saw Kate Moss' golden bear on display amongst jars of Paddington's favourite marmalade. I only just realised after I left that there were two more bears located on different floors of the department store, d'oh! Also on Oxford street, The Saturdays member, Frankie Bridge's glittery design glistened in the morning sunlight. We ended the day by visiting two football inspired bears including David Beckham's. The next morning we looked around Strand for a couple of bears that were allegedly clustered in that area. After successfully locating them we travelled to Borough Markets where it was quite apt that a bear covered in chillies stood at the entrance as the mouth-watering scents of cooking food wafted past.

Good News Bear by The Telegraph

Paddington is GREAT by Stephen Fry | Wonders of the World by Peru

W2 1RH by Marc Quinn | Wish You Were Here by Nick Mason

Paddington Jack by Davina McCall | R; G; B; by Zaha Hadid

Taste of Peru by Peru

Primrose Paddington by Julie Walter | Rainbow by Darcey Bussell

Toggle by Benjamin Shine

Bearodiversity by Peru | Parka Paddington by Liam Gallagher | Thread Bear by Matthew Williamson | The Spirit of Paddington by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Sticky Wicket by Sir Ian Botham | Bearer of Gifts by Hamley

A very unique 'bear' in the shape of Paddington's famous duffle coat toggle was one that definitely made an impression on me and there were a couple that I spotted day to day when I didn't have my camera with me so I had to settle for iPhone snaps. So far I have found 53 bears out of the current grand total of 57 (and counting), who know how many more bears will be added before the Trail closes on the 30th of December? Apparently many more artists are keen to participate following the success of the Paddington film which I had the pleasure of watching too the other day. I thought I wasn't one for animated family genre films but I gladly take that back, Paddington moved me to tears and then had me in fits of laughter. All in all, a very heartwarming film that made me love the city I live in even more than I thought was possible by the time the credits rolled. So which out of the bears I've seen on the Paddington Trail is my personal favourite? It would have to be Special Delivery, perhaps because my favourite actor designed it or because it was the one that started my journey. I've had so much fun conquering the Paddington Trail and am proud of how many bears I managed to find (though a lot of the spotting was done by my friend's keen as eagle eyes I admit). I would highly recommend anyone in or visiting London to give it a go, it's a great way to spend a day with family and friends and I feel like I know the nooks and crannies of this city a whole lot better now. All details about the Paddington Trail can be found here.

Which bear is your favourite?

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10 comments

  1. These are adorable! I remember seeing them on Instagram, their so cute!! Wish I could get down to see them. My favourite is the sparkle bear, so cute. I also love the rainbow looking ones as well. Such a great idea for them to do this. Happy December doll xxx

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  2. awh I love this! all of the bears are so cute!

    Eilidh from Velvet-Winter

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  3. Girl you found so many!! Love all of these, esp lulu guiness

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  4. What a fun adventure! I love all your pics!

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  5. Oh wow this is so cool! I would love to see this if I lived in London. Btw your hair is perfect!

    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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  6. Ahhhh bb I am just obsessed with these photos! PERFECT! You look so so cute and I would give anything to have seen this with you! hehe especially love the butterfly one and the green with little daisies. Just so sweet. :)

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  7. I loved seeing all the Bears on your Instagram, so cute! I love Andrew Lloyd Webber's as CATS was the first musical I fell in love with ha!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

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  8. Looks like you found quite a few then! This is sub a good idea - I want to do it when I'm back home for Christmas!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style, Beauty Blog

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  9. Amazing pictures, took me back to my childhood haaaa!

    That Fashion Victim x

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  10. this is so lovely, i only spotted 3 on my trip the other weekend! x

    // The Dress Diaries

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