18 Things to do in Notting Hill London’s prettiest neighbourhood
Visiting Notting Hill is a must when visiting London. We easily travelled to Notting Hill when housesitting in London. We took the tube to Nottinghill and when coming out of the tube station simply cross the street and then turn right at the next street and wander down you will see the Portobello Road market right away.
The main reason we wanted to visit the Notting Hill attractions was to see the Portobello Road Market. Of course, we also watched the Notting Hill movie before we went so we could see if we could find some of those Notting Hill attractions and all the best places in Notting Hill.
Why is Notting Hill so famous? Notting Hill is one of London’s most famous locations, mainly because of its use in many films. It’s a perfect mix of some of London’s finer details; markets, food, nightlife, and parks. Filmed at Notting Hill were Paddington, Burnt, Cruella, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and the Italian Job to name a few. In addition, the Notting Hill Carnival draws in thousands of tourists and locals to the annual Caribbean festivities.
These days in Notting Hill, in particular, the Kensington Park Road is a very exclusive address in London, but more shall we say left-wing than conservative, although still very expensive. Luckily with the Portobello Market and all the other Notting Hill activities, you will keep busy and definitely want to come back to the area again.
- 18 Things to do in Notting Hill London’s prettiest neighbourhood
- How to get to Nottinghill
- 18 Things To Do In Notting Hill
- Colourful houses in Notting Hill
- Notting Hill movie
- Notting Hill restaurants
- Notting Hill Carnival
- Where to stay in Nottinghill
How to get to Nottinghill
Getting to Notting Hill is pretty easy there are 3 Tube stations to the area including Notting Hill Gate in the south and Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove in the north. A lot of London buses also go through various sections of the neighbourhood.
18 Things To Do In Notting Hill
Notting Hill is truly one of London’s best-loved neighbourhoods to walk around. It is a popular area to live with celebrities and the wealthy side by side. The Notting Hill houses (known as mews) and lovely pastel-painted houses just scream London to me. The whole neighbourhood is like a movie set. This is my little guide to all the attractions in Notting Hill.
Portobello Road Market
Wow, what can you say about the Portobello Road Market? One of the biggest reasons to visit Notting Hill is, of course, the market. Open every day but Sunday the market but the area is a great shopping district for everything from antiques to fashion.
What is the best day to go to the Portobello market? Depends on what you want to see or are planning to buy. Saturday is the busiest day as it is the day for antiques. Fridays are the second busiest day with a focus on antiques, vintage clothing, furniture and food. Mondays through to Wednesday there are more fruit and veg stalls and a few clothing ones among the vendors.
This is one of London’s most iconic and famous markets. Tens of thousands of people visit Portobello Market in Notting Hill and it is alive with shops, cafes, restaurants and as diverse a clientele as you will see anywhere in London.
The Market took its name from Porto Bello Farm which was the original start of the area. Prior to the 1940s, Portobello was a fruit and veg market for the locals. It was in the ’40s that Portobello Road began to attract the “rag and bone” men who were selling their goods from movable carts that could roam the neighbourhood.
Soon other traders began selling knick-knacks and antiques and gradually over the years Notting Hill and Portobello Market became home to the antiques and vintage fashion that became popular in the 1980s.
These days there are five distinct sections of the market
Secondhand goods – Golborne Road to Westway
Clothing/fashion – Westway area
Household essentials – Westway to Talbot Road
Fruit, veg and other food – Talbot Road to Elgin Crescent
Antiques – Elgin Crescent to Chepstow Villas
Street Food in Notting Hill
Portobello Market is also home to some of the best street food in London. From Jerk Chicken and Jamaican peas and rice to Venezuelan arepas, Spanish Paella to Octoberfest sausage and grilled cheese there is a range of portable food to keep you going for hours.
Acklam Village in Notting Hill
Acklam Village is next to the Portobello Green Market at the very end of Portobello Road. This is true foodie heaven and here you can find food from all around the world.
Colourful houses in Notting Hill
Many of the side streets off Portobello Road are heavenly with multi-coloured houses. Lancaster Road has some incredibly vibrant homes in lime green, purple, bright blue, yellow and other colourful shades. These are definitely not your pastel cute houses.
St. Luke’s Mews
In Notting Hill, you will find the super cute instagrammable houses in pastel shades around St. Luke’s Mews. The Mews houses used to be where the rich stabled their horses back in the day, but these days think millions for one of these tiny little British homes.
The best places to see in Notting Hall for cute and colourful houses is Lancaster Road, Denbigh Terrace, St. Luke’s Mews and of course Portobello Road itself.
Antiques on Portobello Road
The most famous or rather most Instagrammed antique shop is Alice’s. It is truly super cute if you can bear that terminology without gagging. They have a brilliant selection of teapots and ceramics and other smallish items. The shop has displays outside but inside is a true White Rabbit warren it is tiny but you are sure to find a perfect teapot to take home.
Books for Cooks
A good cookbook cannot be beaten and the best place for that is the Books for Cooks shop. It is a treasure trove of every kind of cookbook available and I could spend hours there.
Shop for vintage clothing in Notting Hill
Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill is a mecca for vintage shoppers my hubs found the perfect aviator jacket lined with sheepskin for only 45 sadly he couldn’t figure out a way to pack the damn thing sigh a bargain lost.
Under the Westway on a Friday is the perfect time for vintage browsing. Prices and quality can vary but the stallholders are all up for a chat and you can find something for every budget. Westway is the flyover road that the stalls are sheltered under and they seem to run forever.
Explore the Art Galleries of Notting Hill
The can’t miss gallery is Graffik, which is where you can find works by the elusive Banksy, Catman, Dotman and other urban artists. They also do some really cool graffiti workshops.
The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising
If you are into nostalgia and love antique marketing and advertising this place is for you. A treasure trove of packaging and advertising that stretches back over a hundred years. The Museum of Brands specializes in showing how brands shape – and are shaped by – people, culture and society.
If it’s not raining head to the pretty garden at the back where you can sit with your coffee from their little cafe.
Notting Hill movie
The Travel Bookshop – Notting Hill Hugh Grant
This is actually a place in Notting Hill and in the film with Hugh Grant is was supposed to be his bookshop that sells – well travel books. In real life, however, the “bookshop” is a tacky tourist shop selling all things plastic and made in China.
What actress is Notting Hill based on? Hugh Grant claims that the character of Anna in the movie Nottinghill was inspired by Uma Thurman.
The Blue Door
Sadly not real either although there are a lot of blue doors in Notting Hill to see that particular door was auctioned off at Christie’s by the film producers.
Notting Hill restaurants
The Churchill Arms
One of those iconic beautiful pubs in London The Churchill Arms sits at the corner of Kensington Church Street and Campden Street. There has been a pub on the site since at least the late nineteenth century. Previously known as the “Church-on-the-Hill”, the pub received its current name after the Second World Know in London and on Instagram for its exuberant floral displays, and extravagant Christmas displays it has been described as London’s most colourful pub.
There is also a lovely Thai restaurant out the back of the pub. Oh and don’t believe the hype that Winston broadcast his wartime reports from the pub it’s not true. However, his grandparents the 7th Duke of Marlborough and Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane were patrons of the pub in the 19th century.
A gorgeous shop that sells biscuits (cookies) that are so beautifully decorated you don’t want to eat them. A perfect place for afternoon tea or perhaps taking a decorating workshop.
It may be a chain but they have fabulous scones with cream and good tea and coffee. The outdoor seating makes it a perfect place to people watch.
Notting Hill Carnival
Finally, if you are in Notting Hill and looking for things to do in August don’t forget to attend the raucous and outstanding Notting Hill Carnival. This huge parade of floats and performers runs along the Notting hill carnival route, filling the streets with intricate costumes, steel bands, marching bands, calypso music and a variety of tasty Caribbean foods.
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that has taken place in London since 1966 on the streets of Notting Hill, each August over two days on the August bank holiday.
Where to stay in Nottinghill
Nottinghill Glow Apartment
One bedroom Notting Hill flat
The Hux Hotel
A family-run, 24 room
Take a Notting Hill film tour
Here’s a few more articles on what to see in London
What did you buy at Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market?
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