Paddington Bear, Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, and Harry Potter: Two bears + two boys = four beloved characters from children’s literature who are commemorated in London. Read on to find out where you can find them…
Paddington Bear in Paddington Train Station
“Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform. In fact that was how he came to have such an unusual name for a bear, for Paddington was the name of the station.”From A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond, published in 1958.
On platform 1 under the clock you’ll find a bronze statue of the little Peruvian bear called Paddington. He’s wearing a note around his neck, placed there by his aunt, which reads, “Please look after this bear. Thank you.” And, even though we can’t see it, we can be pretty sure he has a marmalade sandwich tucked up under his hat. The little bear is sitting right where he might have been when the Brown family met him and decided to take him home.
Nearby there’s a bench with Paddington painted on it and a plaque saying that scenes for the Paddington movie were shot in the station.
If you are looking for a Paddington book, toy, or keepsake, there’s also a Paddington shop in the station which sells all things Paddington. It’s the only shop anywhere that is solely dedicated to items pertaining to the little Peruvian bear.
- To read more about Paddington Bear and find out how the book came about, click here.
- For Paddington shop website, click here.
See Paddington on Platform 1, Paddington Station, London W2 1RH
Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh at the London Zoo
As all Pooh fans know, Winnie the Pooh lived in the Hundred Acre Wood (which isn’t in London). But he was named after a real bear called Winnie who resided at the London Zoo.
When A. A. Milne took his son Christopher Robin to the zoo, they met a very sociable black bear called Winnie. She had ended up there when a Canadian soldier, Lieutenant Harry Colebourn, rescued her in Canada and bought her to England with him. He named her Winnie after his home town of Winnipeg.
But when the soldier went off to war, he had to find a new home for Winnie. So he left her in the care of the London Zoo. When the war was over, Colebourn came back to claim his bear. But when he saw that she had settled in and loved all the attention she got from the children who visited her, he left her there.
A statue commemorates Lt. Colebourn and Winnie at the London Zoo. It was presented by the people of Manitoba on 19 July 1995 and stands near the war memorial.
- Read more – Winnie the Pooh: Named After a Real Bear and Maybe a Swan.
- For London Zoo site, click here.
See the statue at: ZSL London Zoo NW1 near the war memorial. Nearest tube: Regent’s Park
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens
The 14 foot bronze statue in Kensington Gardens features Peter Pan standing on a tall tree stump which has squirrels, rabbits, mice, and fairies scampering around it. J. M. Barrie, who created the Peter Pan character, lived near here and commissioned the statue himself.
He kept his plans quiet and had the statue installed on the night of the 30th of April 1912. He wanted it to be a May Day surprise for the children in the area. The next day an announcement from him appeared in The Times newspaper which read: “There is a surprise in store for the children who go to Kensington Gardens to feed the ducks in the Serpentine this morning…. They will find a May-day gift by Mr. J. M. Barrie, a figure of Peter Pan blowing his pipe on the stump of a tree, with fairies and mice and squirrels all around…”
Mr. Barrie wanted the statue to appear as if the fairies had placed it there overnight, so he didn’t bother getting permission from the park. He donated the statue to the city of London and they gladly accepted it.
And this statue can actually talk to you. If you would like a phone call from Peter Pan, just scan the QR code.
- The statue is in Kensington Gardens and the closest tube station in Lancaster gate. See the Royal Parks website for a map.
Harry Potter at Kings Cross Station: Platform 9 ¾
At Kings Cross Train Station you can find the famous Platform 9 3/4 where Harry Potter and the other students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry caught the Hogwarts Express. Only gifted students of magic can actually see this enchanted platform. To the rest of us, it just looks like a brick wall.
But even us muggles can spot the end of a cart that seems to be passing through the wall. And we can have our photos taken to look like we are pushing it our way to Platform 9 3/4 to catch the magical train. A professional photographer is on site to capture the moment while another attendant will hold out your scarf so it looks like you’re running through the wall.
You can buy the photo of you running through the wall in the Harry Potter Shop next door and use it to convince your friends of your powers of sorcery. This is a popular destination, and there is usually a crowd waiting to have their photo taken in this legendary place.
- For more info on Platform 9 ¾ click here.
King’s Cross Station: Euston Rd, London N1 9AL
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