Portobello Road and Notting Hill, London
Notting Hill is one beautiful rich district in West London. It used to be the area of immigrants some years before, and also an artists' alternative scene for many years but in our days I can say it's only a cosmopolitan district but worth the visit.
1.The annual Notting Hill Carnival take place here every August for two days. There are years that the carnival has attracted up to 1.5 million people!
2.The Portobello Road houses the famous second hand & antique market. Some say it's a tourist trap but I like markets anyway. Expect to find many people here because it's one of the most visited places in London. I cant wait to go back, last time I saw some beautiful box gloves! just for decoration! :) Some years before I bought many vinyl records there.
3.The area became famous because of the film "Notting Hill" (1999).
Many people who delight in antiques, flea markets, tourist tat and souveniers head instinctively for the Portobello Road in Notting Hill. Saturday sees the whole road thrown open to a huge outdoor market but any other day of the week sees all the shops mentioned above and a few market stalls frequented by tourists and locals alike.
Alongside the antique and junk shops there are some rare treats, the original Rough Trade record store is still trading (Rough Trade are a legendary record label that signed such up and coming bands as The Smiths, The Strokes and The Libertines among many others).
Alas some more notable high street stores seem to be moving in like Jack Wills and Quicksilver but hopefully they will remain the minority while the quirky little stores that draw the crowds will continue to flourish.
Notting Hill has always been famous for its market and street carnival amongst other things but 10 years ago the movie with Hugh Grant made it even more recognisable. For fans who loved the movie there is now a tour that takes people to all the film locations from the movie. It's alot of fun and a nice way to see other parts of London too like Kenwood House in Hampstead.
The Portobello and Notting Hill are is another of my favourite places in London.
You feel as if you are in a different place and time, and breath culture all around.
Go down Portobello Road, and get in and out of all the wonderful shops (clothing, antiques, craft-work, bookshops).
There are also a lot of nice pubs to take a break and freshen up, and a street market with lots of fruits and vegetables. All you need :)
The streets in Notting Hill are alive with food,shopping,store's
and booths.one could spend days looking through all the wonderful things for sale,and the scent of food cooking makes for a fun day.
there are many fine pubs along the way like portabello star.
Old stuff,new stuff,all kinds of stuff for sale in every nook and cranny of notting hill.
Early morning it is less crowded,by mid morning the crowds are growing and by mid-day,it does get a bit crowded,but what fun,and there's always people watching.
Tourists cannot miss Notting Hill area and "Portobello Market" every Saturday morning
Colorful buildings, shops all over, tourists and natives alike mixed in one big shopping human concoction. Its like organized chaos. They sell almost everything here...a lot of stalls selling antiques and Scottish wool. I loved the street performers, and this small stall owned by an Irishman who sold stamps he designed himself. Visited The Travel Bookshop (featured in the Hugh Grant-Julia Roberts movie Notting Hill) just for kicks. And if you get hungry, be sure to visit the Hummingbird Cafe to taste their delicious cupcakes. The line's quite long though, so have a bit of patience.
If you've read any of my other posts you already know that I am a huge history buff. This extends to antiques, so I was really excited to get to the market. Unfortunately, I was a little dissapointed. I've posted some photos and a short narrative on my travel blog at:
The stuff on the market is towards the bottom of the post.
It just seemd like more junk than antiques. I spent a long time looking, but no realy gems. That, and the prices were pretty high. I wouldn't visit the market unless you have plenty of time in London. It wasn't horrible, but there are many more things that would be a better use of your time.
The vibrant Portobello Market became world-famous by the movie “Notting Hill” with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant; most of the guidebooks about London mentions it among the top sights of London. There is one single difference only compared to the living city, namely in the film there are much less people on the street.
Mainly for its numerous, beautiful and valuable antique merchandise is well known.
The antique fair is held on every Saturday - it is worth to go there early in the morning - with more food than you will know what to do with. It is highly recommended, not to eat your breakfast before heading to Portobello, making you unable to consume the delightful delicacies.
It is a great place to browse for antique and beautiful jewellery; there is something for everyone here, from shoes, scarves, costume, jewelry, coats, hats, cheap and second-hand clothes to the newest trends and local designs.
A much smaller market selling fresh vegetables, luscious fruits and fragrant bunches of seasonal blooms is held there on other days.
Open: Saturday 8am to 5pm
Portobello Antique Dealers Association: http://www.portobelloroad.co.uk/
I must confess I want to go to Notting Hill because of the film (starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts). Actually I did not find Hugh Grant's library because so many window shops looked after that one. Anyway it's a nice place where to take a walk and go shopping, nice libraries, nice vintage shops and cute home accessories's shops.
The Celebrity Walking Tour of Notting Hill
This new walking tour is a very enjoyable 2.5 hour walk through Notting Hill’s greatest celebrity homes, famous film locations, music landmarks, celebrity hangouts, popular tourist attractions, and much more.
It's basically a comprehensive tour of the areas colourful pop culture history. The tour departs from the top of Portobello Road daily between May 18th and October 31st.
Here's a list of some of the things you'll visit on the tour.
• Celebrity Homes, including Richard Branson, Annie Lennox, Robbie Williams, George Orwell, and many more!
• The hotel where Jimi Hendrix overdosed
• The recording studio where Bob Marley made the album 'Exodus'
• Audrey Hepburn's ballet school
• Sienna Miller's fashion boutique
• A James Bond film location
• Film locations from 'Notting Hill', like THAT blue door and the REAL Travel Bookshop
• A 'Love Actually' film location
• The famous Victoria Beckham charity shop
• An authentic Banksy graffiti artwork
I've been visiting Portobello Road for more than 30 years now and, although it has changed a lot over that time, every Saturday morning that I'm in London finds me heading down the Road for a browse among the antique stalls, a coffee at 11 with a group of 'Road regulars for a "show and tell" session of their latest finds and a visit to the Travel Bookshop and Books for Cooks in Blenheim Crescent. Coming to the end of the antique section of the market we'll stop for a purchase of some fruit from a favourite stall holder and then it's time for lunch - what will it be? Something from one of the many street stalls that have sprung up in the last few years, a walk around to Ottolenghi's or a pub? Portobello Gold is one of our favourites, both for their good food and the gorgeous conservatory you eat it in.
So that's my Portobello Road experience, a ritual that has developed over many years. What brings the hordes that throng the Road every Saturday?
Hundreds of antique dealers operate in and around Portobello Road, selling their treasures (and some trash) out of everything from street barrows to some very posh shops indeed. Doorways on the street open into warrens of arcades crammed with small shops. Rickety stairs in some of them lead to basements and upper floors and more shops. Size and location is no indicator of quality - the funniest little stall in a tucked away corner can be selling exquisite porcelain or perfect small "objets de virtu" - the catch-all name for the precious trinkets of a by-gone age. Silver, jewellery, books, maps, prints, textiles, furniture, clocks, there is something for everyone here
Out on the Road, things are more mixed as more and more barrows are taken over by general bric-a-brac stalls, pashmina sellers, CDs and other odds and ends. There are still some genuine dealers out on the Road though, so don't dismiss it all as junk.
Don't just stay up in the antique end of the Road however. Once you've had your fill of antiques, keep on walking to the produce end with its colourful fruit, vegetable and flower stalls. Venture into some of the side streets too - Blenheim Crescent has some fabulous food shops as well as those bookshops I mentioned and Westbourne Grove is another great street with some of London's trendiest shops. There are plenty of great cafes and restaurants too - it's impossible to list them all, Notting Hill could qualify for its own dedicated site here on VT.
If you're a serious antique shopper, come early - especially on a fine day. The Road can get impossibly crowded.
The antique section of the market - including the shops in the arcades - is only open on Saturday. Everything else is open all week, though the food market has half-day closing on Thursday afternoon.
London is the capital of the antiquities, and Portobello is his paradise. Here you´ll fin any kind of antiquities from iron slag to real art pieces. A antiquities market takes place every weekend, but I cant remember certainly if it was on saturday or monday mornings. Be carefull with the pickpockets, it´s full of them in market days!!
Beautifull neightbourhood with low buildings near Nothing Hill. Do you know George Orwell? He used to live here. BIG BROTHER STILL WATCHING YOU MY FRIEND!!
METRO: Nothing Hill Gate. Circle, District and Central lines
We stayed at a hotel on Portobello Road. I was worried it was going to be too far from the main sights, but it ended up being one of our favorite places in London! We didn't manage to make the weekly antique market since we were in town on the wrong days, but the street is lined with a ton of great stores selling clothes, shoes, antiques, trinkets, housewares, and everything else. There are also a ton of restaurants, and one of the most wonderful movie theaters I have ever been to, The Electric. It seemed that a lot of the antique shops were closed when the market wasn't going on, so I'd aim for that time of the week if you're in town, but it really is the most charming area to walk around in. The crowd at night was very hip and skewed slightly younger. In the mornings, there was also a great street market every day we were there selling fresh fruit, pastries, and even clothes at GREAT PRICES, even by American standards! Easily my favorite location in London!
The carnival has grown since 1964 from a minor celebration to become the biggest street carnival in Europe. The carnival route is about 5km long and there are many licensed static sound systems along the way playing a mix of jazz, soul, hip-hop, funk and drum 'n' bass. The carnival is organised into 4 disciplines: costume masquerade, steel band, calypso and SOCA (Sounds of Caribbean and Africa), a distinctive fusion of musical styles.
In recent years, the Carnival has developed beyond merely Caribbean traditions to include those of other countries in the Latin and developing world. Sunday is traditionally reserved as Children's Day with the emphasis on family and young festival goers. Bands and performers that appear on this day are all under 21 years old and sites around the Carnival are reserved just for activities aimed at the younger generation
This year, the carnival take place between Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August 2007
Open: Midday until late (daily)
Notting Hill Carnival Trust, 332 Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill, London, W110 5AH
As the biggest of its kind in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which takes place in Notting Hill, London, England each August, over two days (Sunday and the following bank holiday).
The parade of bands on the bank holiday weekend is best part of the event, so don't miss it even I believe that the crowd will limit your moves and seeings.
It has continuously taken place on the streets of Notting Hill since 1965. It is led by members of the Caribbean population, many of whom have lived in the area since the 1950s.
The Carnival 07 timetable:
The Parade of the Bands
(advisese from the orginazers)
1- Be alert for any unattended bags.
2- Pickpockets operate in large crowds.
3-lost property can cause a security alert.
4-congestion is cometimes unavoidable
5-meeting up with friends is easiest and safest before you arrive at the carnival.
6-traveling back may be easier from another station or bus stop.
7-walking is sometimes qucker and easier.