There’s lots of things to do in Notting Hill when you visit London; the place that conjures up images of the famous romantic comedy film of the same name. The bustling street market, the quaint travel bookshop and of course, the apartment with the blue door where Hugh Grant’s lovable character lives. It’s all a part of the charm that draws so many people to visit London in the first place. The good news is that all of those things exist in real life and can still be considered among the traveller’s things to do in Notting Hill – if you know where to look.
Notting Hill’s popularity may have gone global thanks to the classic film, but there are plenty of other claims to fame that you may not know about. Among the things to do in Notting Hill is Europe’s biggest yearly street festival – Notting Hill Carnival. This street party attracts around 2 million visitors each year, celebrating London’s cultural diversity over 2 big days.
Notting Hill is also famous for its main market on Portobello Road. Here you’ll find the world’s largest antiques market where over 1,000 dealers are sprawled across half a mile of road, with hundreds of buzzing market stalls, shops and arcades. If you fancy yourself a good old-fashioned Del-boy who loves yourself a deal, then you can add Portobello Road to your list of things to do in Notting Hill.
With so many attractions coupled with amazing food and entertainment, it’s no wonder so many tourists flock here every year in search of things to do in Notting Hill, just to get that taste of the quintisenntial London experience.
Preparation for Visiting Notting Hill London
Things to do in Notting Hill: When to Visit
The Notting Hill Carnival is held over two days – on the August bank holiday Monday and the preceding Sunday. Portobello Road market is on every week with the general market on Monday – Thursday, while the antique market starts on Friday and the main day to visit with the market in full bloom is Saturday. The markets opens at 09:00am and if you want to avoid big crowds then you should aim to arrive early.
Things to do in Notting Hill: How Long
You should reserve at least two hours to spend at Notting Hill. Stroll along the half-mile stretch of Portobello Road and explore the many market stalls. You can also sit down for a coffee at one of the many fashionable restaurants and cafes for a spot of people watching on a busy, market day. Finally, don’t forget to make a small diversion at Westbourne Park Road to see the famous blue door.
Things to do in Notting Hill: Attire
It’s a very fashionable West London district, part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, so be prepared to see many well-dressed Londoners going about their day-to-day life. The market, however, is very diverse and welcomes people from all over London and beyond. For a day out strolling the streets and enjoying the market, simply wear something comfortable.
What to See in Notting Hill
Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market is one of the main attractions of the area. Not only is it one of the most popular markets in London, every Saturday it’s also the biggest antique market in the world. People come from all over the globe to walk the half-mile stretch and see what kind of bargains they can find. Unfortunately, these days good deals are hard to come by but you’ll still find some wonderful treasures none-the-less.
Notting Hill Carnival
The Carnival is a star attraction of London every August. If you’re visiting at that time of year, then the Carnival needs to be right up there on your list of things to do in Notting Hill. This is when over two million people descend upon Notting Hill for a two-day street party, celebrating London’s diversity and Caribbean culture. Amazingly, Notting Hill Carnival is actually the world’s second biggest carnival after Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval! Sunday is classed as Family Day, while the real party is on Monday when things get a little crazy. In other words, it’s definitely not one to be missed.
Notting Hill film locations
For all film lovers, there are many film locations to be found in the area. Starting with the infamous blue door, which can be found on 280 Westbourne Park Road. The little travel bookshop location is 142 Portobello Road, however it was based off the real book shop at 13 Blenheim Crescent. Then there’s the Rosmead Gardens where William (Hugh Grant) and Anna (Julia Roberts) shared their “Whoops-a-daisy!” moment.
Where to stay in Notting Hill London
Garden Court Hotel
If you want to stay in the heart of West London without the price tag, this family-run hotel is the perfect solution. Garden Court Hotel offers an excellent location, good value for money, bright and modern rooms in addition to great service.
This boutique hotel is found in the heart of Notting Hill and offers wonderfully themed rooms such as the Japanese Water Garden. Portobello Hotel has also built a bit of a celebrity status, hosting the likes of Johnny Depp, Kate Moss and Alice Cooper over the years.
Amenities: Bar, coffee shop, restaurant, 24-hour room service, Laundry service, Concierge services, Free continental breakfast and free wifi
Recommended for: Couples, business travelers, families, solo travelers
Address: 22 Stanley Gardens, London W11 2NG
Named after the original founder of Notting Hill Carnival, The Laslett is a modern and luxurious boutique hotel which occupies five beautiful Victorian townhouses. Moreover, it really brings the legacy of its neighbourhood to life.
Amenities: Free wifi, Restaurant and bar/lounge, Library, Free newspapers in the lobby, bar, room service
Recommended for: Couples, business travelers, groups, families, solo travelers
Address: 8 Pembridge Gardens, Notting Hill, London W2 4D
Things to do in Notting Hill London
An opportunity to visit the Electric Cinema should not be missed. This independent cinema is one of the oldest working cinemas in Britain and also has the most impressive decor to boot! So grab a wine from the bar, pull up a foot stool and get cosy under the cashmere blanket.
Address: 191 Portobello Rd, London W11 2ED, UK
Notting Hill Taxi Tour in London
Jump in an iconic London Black Cab and get driven around Notting Hill for your very own 75-minute private tour. There’s seldom anyone with more knowledge on the quirks of London than Black Cab drivers, and it’s an experience within itself to chat to them about the city.
Address: Pick up wherever you specify
Notting Hill Tour
This walking tour of Notting Hill will show you everything this chic urban oasis has on offer. From Portobello Road to the famous street carnival, music studios and film locations – you’ll benefit from local insider knowledge that most visitors don’t have when visiting the area.
Address: Sun in Splendour, 7 Portobello Road, London W11 3DA
How to get to the Notting Hill
Access Notting Hill by air
Notting Hill is easily accessible from London’s biggest airport Heathrow, which is a 35 minute taxi or alternatively, a 40 minute tube ride.
Access Notting Hill by car
Street parking aronud Notting Hill is rare and mostly reserved for residents and permit holders. However, there are some paid car parks in the vicinity.
Access Notting Hill by Train & Bus
Notting Hill is easily reached by London’s Underground Network. You can access Portobello Road from Notting Hill Gate station on the Central, District and Circle lines, which is a 10 minute walk from the south end of the market. Go to Getting Around London – a dedicated article for using London public transportation for more tips!
What to eat in Notting Hill
Attached to one of London’s most popular independent cinemas, Electric Diner’s Americana-style menu and atmosphere make it a great destination for a quick bite.
Address: Electric Diner, 191 Portobello Road, London W11 2ED
This Spanish gem in the heart of Portobello Market serves good value tapas and paellas with a relaxed vibe. Tables are sprawled across the pavement outside so it’s especially popular in summer.