Held on Portobello Road – which runs straight through the Notting Hill area – is home to one of the best loved street markets in London. Portobello Road Market is primarily known for its second-hand clothes and antiques, but is also a browsers paradise with shop after shop, corridors and hallways absolutely choc-full of goods for sale.
Portobello Road itself can be traced back to 16th century, when it was known as Green’s Lane. In 1740 a nearby farm was built, known as Protobello Farm (named after the Spanish-ruled, now Panamanian, town of Puerto Bello which was captured by Admiral Edward Vernon). Protobello Farm was primarily open hayfields and orchards and by the second half of the 19th century residential areas were growing up on either side of the farm – these areas are now Notting Hill and Paddington.
As the residential developments grew, the wealthy home owners turned to Portobello Farm to provide agricultural goods. Portobello Market came into existence around this time, initially selling fresh-foods. The working class residents of the area turned to Portobello Farm, and the surrounding area, for work and soon the area was rapidly expanding and booming with trade. As the urban developments grew, Portobello farm was swallowed up by concrete and buildings. The last vestige of the original farm was finally paved over in 1864 and Ladbroke Grove Underground Station was built on top.
The fresh food market still persisted, however. By the mid-20th century the market expanded and became known for its’ antique dealers, many of whom are still based here today.
Today, Portobello Road thrives both financially and with tourist trade as home to one of the most famous markets in Europe. It is the largest antiques market in the entire United Kingdom, with over 1,000 dealers based here, and is one of the busiest tourist spots in London. Along with the shops are delicious food stalls, street performers and musicians, all coming together in this mile-long explosion of colour, crowds, and goods.
In addition to drawing crowds who wish to shop, the market also draws in those who are fans of the 1999 film Notting Hill. Starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the film is primarily based around Portobello Road. However, the famous blue door of the film no longer exists here.
Much like Camden Market, Portobello Market is actually man markets in one, divided up by their locations and the specific goods they sell. Although Portobello Road itself holds the Market, the road is crossed over by numerous other streets and roads which act as an easy divider between the various Market sections.
Chepstow Villas – Elgin Crescent – Antiques & Bric-A-Brac: This is the main attraction at Portobello Market, filled with antiques and 100’s of stalls, shops, and arcades to explore. This part of the Market is closest to Notting Hill Underground Station.
Elgin Crescent – Talbot Road – Fruit and Veg – Just past the antiques comes the edible goods! Fruit and vegetables are on display, but so are cakes, breads, cheese and other fresh edible delights.
Talbot Road – Westway – New Goods – Here you will find stalls typical of other London market locations; clothing, cheap jewellery, books, and the like.
Westway Area – Fashion – Here are the vintage clothing shops, fashion accessories for sale, scarves and bags as well as more tourist oriented goods – think ‘I <3 London’ shirts, etc.
Westway to Golbourne Road – Second Hand Items – This section of the market is dedicated entirely to the second-hand. Clothes, yes, but also household goods.
- Please note that the antiques and bric-a-brac stalls are only open on Saturdays. This is the one day of the week when the Market is in full swing.
- Monday to Wednesday – 9:00am to 6:00pm
- Thursday – 9:00am to 1:00pm
- Friday and Saturday – 9:00am to 7:00pm. [Occasionally antique dealers will open earlier on Saturdays]
How to Get Here:
- Nearest Underground Stations – Notting Hill Gate & Ladbroke Grove
- Bus Routes: 7, 12, 23, 27, 28, 21, 52, 70, 94, 328, 452