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Explore Portobello Road: One Of London’s Finest Markets

Portobello Road Market

London’s Portobello Road Market remains the most visited market in Europe and whilst best known for an abundance of antiques, it is also increasingly recognised as a hive for fashionistas and foodies!

Situated in the heart of West London’s Notting Hill, Portobello Market spans the entire length of Portobello Road, boasting well over 2000 stalls of delightful knick-knacks, vintage clothing and speciality food to tempt the palate of even the fussiest food critic!

Portobello Market, although decidedly busier than depicted in the 1999 blockbuster ‘Notting Hill’, has been drawing crowds of locals and tourists alike for years. Saturday is the market’s most popular day and visitors can expect large crowds and guaranteed hustle and bustle. Be sure to go to the market equipped with enthusiasm and patience and you will be rewarded with hours of adventure.

This unique market can be divided into four different sections of interest. The antiques market can be found at the start of Portobello Road, closest to Notting Hill tube station. The antiques stalls begin where Chepstow Villas meet Portobello Road and go on for about half a mile to Elgin Crescent. Those who are keen to bag an antique bargain will simply be spoilt for choice by the mix of trendy upmarket antique shops and shabby-chic, bric-a-brac stalls displaying delightful relics including antique jewellery and ornaments spanning several eras.

Bargain Hunting

Continue walking up the Portobello Road for a closer insight into how the local residents shop for fresh fruit and vegetables. The cultural melting pot that is West London means increasingly exotic produce is available to be tried and tested by lucky visitors!  In this section, you will also find stalls selling an array of pastry delights, including bread cakes and croissants.
Throughout Portobello Market you will find a good smattering of burger, noodle and other international hot food stands. Eateries are dotted all over, so if you do feel like resting your weary feet for a while, be sure to check out the plentiful pubs and bars which line Portobello Road and its adjoining streets. For those interested in a quieter atmosphere, there are also many coffee shops and pantry-style kitchens offering North African, Mediterranean and even Thai cuisine. It really all depends on what you fancy!
Between Talbot Road and the Westway is perhaps a less glamorous side to the market, where stalls selling everyday household items can be found. Persevere under the Westway to discover an arcade of charming vintage clothing, certainly worth a second look! Here fashionistas, designers and stylists will certainly take pleasure in trawling through endless racks of outlandish clothing. From typically British tweed and Barbour jackets to fake furs can be found and those with a penchant for military gear or leather need not be disappointed!  Second-hand book and music connoisseurs will also be in their element in this section of Portobello market!
For the diehard shopper, the tail end of Portobello Road offers both second-hand items and some new stalls. Only a few tourists venture this far, which means the chance of bagging a bargain, is even better!  If you make it this far, Golborne Road crosses the end of Portobello Road and is the perfect stop-off for a variety of delicious, well-earned refreshments. You will certainly deserve a treat after scouring two whole miles of market.
Happy Shopping!
How to get there?
The best place to start from is Notting Hill Gate tube station Portobello Road Market is 5 minutes walk from there. District, Circle or Central lines go to Notting Hill Gate.
Many buses from Victoria, Oxford Street, Hyde Park Corner and Kensington High Street stop near to Portobello, buses include: 7, 12, 23, 27, 28, 31, 52, 70 & 328.
When is the market open?
Mon-Wed    8am-6.30pm      Local community shop for produce
Thurs           8am- 1pm         Local community shop for produce
Fri                8am-6.30pm     Second-hand Market
Sat               8am-6.30pm     Antiques market, produce and Second-hand Market
The Market is closed on UK Bank Holidays, Christmas Day and Boxing Day (26 December)
Top tips
Ensure that you keep your eye on your bag at all times as pick pocketing can occur.
If you are unsure about antiques PADA, Portobello Antiques dealers Association have an information booth at the junction of Portobello Road and Westbourne Grove which offers excellent advice on purchases.
About The Author
Rochelle Ferguson is a London-based journalist for a global television news service. She adores travel and speaks French and Spanish fluently. She is also proficient in Arabic.
Photo Credits: Chensiyuan, Josep Renalias

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2 Responses to Explore Portobello Road: One Of London’s Finest Markets

  1. Siegfried Reply

    March 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    hmmm…. I’ve been to Portobello road several times, usually over the weekend, and NEVER saw any stalls, how crazy is this ? :)

  2. The Blighty Traveller Reply

    March 7, 2011 at 7:34 am

    That’s pretty crazy :)

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