Immortalized in the 1999 romantic comedy of the same name, Notting Hill is a popular West London neighborhood and is at the top of many visitors’ wish lists. Today, the area is beloved for its rainbow-hued houses, for the lively market that takes place on Portobello Road, and for the Notting Hill Carnival: a London summer highlight.
Diverse Notting Hill is one of London’s most popular and picturesque neighborhoods, packed with rarefied, Victorian terrace houses; filled with lively markets, pubs, and restaurants; and home to a thriving Caribbean community. Notting Hill was put on the international map following the now-classic 1999 romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, and these days tourists flock to the area to spot filming locations, from the antiques market on Portobello Road to the blue door at 280 Westbourne Park Road. Other local highlights include historical movie theaters, centuries-old pubs, and unusual museums.
Beyond self-led explorations, there are numerous ways to get to know Notting Hill better. Hop-on hop-off bus tours provide neighborhood overviews, while themed walking tours (from antique crawls to music-themed itineraries) spotlight different aspects of the area.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A number of famous figures once lived in Notting Hill, ranging from George Orwell to Blur’s Damon Albarn.
- Quirky area highlights include the Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising; the flower-covered Churchill Arms pub; and the plushly appointed Electric Cinema.
- The most popular Portobello Road market days are Fridays and Saturdays; it’s less crowded during the week.
How to Get There
Notting Hill is served by several different Tube stations, including Notting Hill Gate (accessible by the Circle, District, and Central lines) and Ladbroke Grove (on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines). Numerous bus routes traverse the area, including the 27, 28, 31, 52, 70, 94, 148, 328, and 452. Notting Hill is also accessible on foot, by car, or by bike.
When to Get There
Notting Hill is worth visiting all year round. If you wish to browse the antiques stalls on Portobello Road, avoid visiting on Sundays, when the market closed. The area is at its liveliest at the end of August, when the Notting Hill Carnival is held.
The Notting Hill Carnival
Held annually on the holiday weekend at the end of August, the Notting Hill Carnival has been a London tradition since 1966. Now among the largest such festivals in Europe, it’s a thrilling celebration of Caribbean music, costumes, food, and culture.