Portobello Road and Notting Hill, London
With all the fame and the ensuing tourists, its amazing how Notting Hill didn't turn into a full-blown tourist trap (You know what I mean if you have been to Prague). Although it is not hard to find junks for tourists, but they are mostly cheap Britain-themed T-shirts, mugs and poster; nothing too insulting on the tourists' collective intelligence. If you can't afford to shop at Harrods or Selfridge, bring some cash with you. You can actually find good quality clothes and shoes at Notting Hills, as there are discount stores selling out-of-season goods.
Keep staring at walls for graffitis, for they might be works by Banksy; one of the most well-known and mysterious and sought-after graffiti artists in the world. His work can easily fetch price north of £50,000 in an auction. If you see a graffiti protected by an acrylic panel then its pretty likely you are looking at a Banksy.
Be sure to stop at antique stores and dig through the piles of keys and spoons and peculiar objects. Its like time traveling with your fingers.
If you see a charming looking cafe, just go for a cup of coffee, choose a window seat and people-watch for a bit.
The carnival is something you have to do at least once. It is summertime and time for party. It is incredibily busy, but loads of fun. You will have to be very patient and expect to move as part of the crowd.
Kensington Temple is the largest church of its denomination, penticostal and was built in 1849 by Horbury Chapel and has been used by several denominations throughout the years. 5000 worshipers from 110 nationalities attend the church each week and it has opened up 50 more 'KT' churches throughout London.
Pembridge Road is just next to Notting Hill Tube Station and is an ideal place to window shop as there are many antique, jewelers, and clothes shops there, intermingled with souvenie shops for tourists visiting Portobello Market.
Orme Square is a private square along Bayswater road in Notting Hill. The houses are Victorian but entrance to the square is prohibited unless you are the owner of one of the houses. Pineapple sculptures are seen here, indicating that the previous residents of a century and a half ago were very rich as the fruit was transported from the colonies and cost the equivalent of £5,000 in today's money.
I love Notting Hill, it is such a lovely part of London, with its colourful houses, trendy stores, Portobello Road Market and lively surroundings. It is known as being a trendy and fashionable area of London.
When I visit Notting Hill I usually shop in the stores on Pembridge Road, they are awesome (see my photos) - where there is a good selection of high-fashion clothes cheaper than in other parts of London - surprisingly enough. I have paid half the price for some cardigans than I would have paid in other markets - and here at the stores there is a set price - no haggling. There are also 2 stores here where everything costs GBP 5. There is no trying on the clothes in the GBP 5 stores, but one can return the clothes if they don´t fit. I have paid more for clothes in Tooting Broadway´s markets way down in South London than in Notting Hill - imagine that.
The British film "Notting Hill" (1999) with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts, was filmed here - I add the website to a self-help guide of the film locations of "Notting Hill". Next time I visit I am going to use that guide, as I adore that film and watched it recently.
There is a popular Carnival here in August - The Notting Hill Carnival. It takes place on the Bank holiday in August and has done so since 1965 (the year I was born).
Portobello Road is the best known road in Notting Hill - it cuts through Notting Hill from south to north. This is where the world famous Portobello Road Market is located with the largest antique market on the planet - the Londoners say.
Acklam Village Market is the food-market of Portobello Market. Of course there are many food-stalls and restaurants along Portobello Market, but at Acklam Village Market one can only find food and drinks. And live music in the inside bar, where one can bring the food and have a drink.
I have been here several times and my partner has tried their food. Acklam Village Market is an authentic food market, which only serves organic ingredients and authentic international recipes.
There are some lovely murals at Acklam Village Market (see my photo).
Next to the market are stalls with vintage clothes - maybe we should call this part of the market "old clothes´market". When you visit you will know what I mean.
Opposite the Acklam Village Market is Portobello Green Market with more than 800 stalls.
This is my favourite London market - it really bustles on a Saturday as hundreds of people walk along the Portobello Road - it starts off at its Notting Hill end as a normal street where buses carefully move past through the crowds and there are just shops at the start but as it moves up through colourful residential houses the road is eventually closed to traffic and the market becomes a mix of shops and stalls. There is also some street entertainment and certainly a lot to see and do.
Portobello claims to be the worlds largest antiques market and it certainly has any antique stalls and shops - some looks rather dubious but there are some beautiful clocks for example and a good variety of jewellery.
I think most people come to look and enjoy the atmosphere and many different sorts of eatery.
Portobello Market is billed as the World's Largest Antique Market. Lining both sides of Portobello Road are antique stores and in front of them are stalls - most selling antiques as well. You can find just about anything there from collectibles to engravings to knobs and knockers! The shops are open 6 days a week and the market is only open on Saturdays. A few stalls sell souvenirs as well. Even if you don't buy it's fun to look at everything including the people!
The market is packed with people and we walked and walked and walked for hours. We ended up in other markets and flea markets – that sold everything from fruits and vegetables to Bollywood movies to “designer” fashions.
It's a great way to spend a sunny Saturday!
If you're looking for something specific, check the website or visit the information booth (open Saturdays only) at the junction of Porobello Road and Westbourne Grove.
For antiques, novelty items and for a Nottinghill Movie fanatic --- Portobello Road is your haven! My husband was wondering what I was looking for since we've been walking for hours... I said, "the travel bookshop"!!! :) My husband face was blank with confusion...hahahaha I must admit I was about to give up since my feet started to get crazy on me when I saw this Blue painted shop and instinct tells me, this is it!
Every august bank holiday (usually 2nd to last weekend) from saturday-monday Britains biggest carnival hits the strees near notting hill. The event has taken place for a long period of time and people competing with their sound systems to get people dancing is a regular feature. The event used to be notourious for it's stabbings and other criminal activities, but with the organisers now working with the local authorities it has calmed down a lot. That's not to say you can be stupid whilst you're there, the same rules apply as if you were going to a big event in any city, pickpockets are the biggest problem, whilst girls being harrased has been known to happen as well.
Although anyone travelling from brasil wont' find it that impressive, anyone that doesn't regularly go to carnivals or experience something like this will love it. please note though it does get very very crowded (look at second picture) so taking kids may not be a good idea... don't wear open shoes as well as there's always a lot of glass around and people to tread on your toes! Get as many people you know to go down there, and try and get there early, last year 750k people turned up which is a lot for a small area of london
all that's left to say is take care, have fun, and dance the weekend away!
I have stroll down this road many times, I have eating in a lovely restaurant next door. But for me this was just another teather.
Someone pointed out my ignorance one day.
Electric is different because they show quality mainstream and art house films.
If you are free in London during an August Bank Holiday weekend, then missing the opportunity to go to the carnival is a big mistake. Even if you just go once in your life it's an experience not to be missed. Don't be too put off by horror stories- just be aware e.g. don't go there with a flash handbag or with an expensive camera around your neck!
if you are meeting people there do it before you get anywhere near the area. I made the mistake once of arranging to meet in the midst of it and spent three hours wandering on my own not being able to get a mobile phone signal!
We only skimmed the surface of the Notting Hill area, but the movie is one of my wife's favorites so we at least wanted to take a short stroll through a portion of the area. Notting Hill is close to the west end of Hyde Park, so we had lunch and walked through some of the neighborhoods after we explored the Bayswater Road Art Show and Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
I was struck by the architecture and the ambience. It looks like a fantastic place to live and I am glad that we saw it. Definitely worth an hour or two of your time. Unfortunately for my wife, no Hugh Grant.
This is one of those little known museums that seem to exist in many cities. this particular museum has over 12,000 original items from the unique Robert Opie Collection.
It shows the world of consumerism from Victorian times up to the present day. Enjoy the time tunnel.
Information as at June 2010:
Tuesday to Saturday 10.00:18.00
Closed Mondays except Bank Holidays
Last entry is 45 minutes before closing
Closed Christmas Day
Closed Notting Hill Carnival 29th/30th August
Adults £5.80 (including Gift Aid),
Children (7-16) £2.00, Family £14.00
Group discount 10%
(groups of 10 or more are asked to pre-book to avoid overcrowding in the museum).
Disabled access, tea-room and shop, school groups welcome, please call the Museum for further information.
The Museum is located two minutes walk from the world-famous Portobello Road and five minutes from the famed door featured in the film Notting Hill.