Planning a trip to one of the most exciting cities in the world?
I’ve lived in London for a while and there are so many things to try out and visit that you might need a lifetime to do all of them! But if you’re visiting soon, you should take a trip to one of its most popular neighborhoods: Notting Hill!
In this post, I will talk about all the best things to do in Notting Hill!
Stick around because I’ve prepared a list of some really exciting activities. During this virtual Notting Hill area guide we’re going to attend the famous market, see where some of the biggest Hollywood movies were shot (we all remember sweet Hugh Grant and the talented Julia Roberts in the iconic movie) and explore the colorful streets in Lancaster Road and Westbourne Grove!
Let’s hit the road!
- 1. Shop until you drop in Portobello Road Market
- 2. Go on a sightseeing walking tour
- 3. Take lots of pictures of the colorful houses
- 4. Have brunch in one of the many cafes
- 5. Visit the famous movie locations
- 6. Have a pint at one of the pubs in Notting Hill
- 7. Catch a movie at the Electric Cinema
- 8. Attend the Notting Hill Carnival
- 9. Learn new things at the museums and art galleries
- Practical Information about Notting Hill
- Frequently Asked Questions About Notting Hill
1. Shop until you drop in Portobello Road Market
Say hello to one of my favorite things to do in London and Notting Hill’s crown jewel:
I hope your purse is ready for what’s coming next because a trip to Portobello Market could cost you a few bucks! It’s not necessary, though (especially if you’re not as crazy about antiques or things in general as I am).
For anyone who isn’t familiar with this place: Portobello Market is situated all along Portobello Road, and its main part runs from Golborne Road to Westbourne Grove. Here you’ll find boutique shops, restaurants, cafes, and many stalls that sell different items from clothes, jewelry, antiques, and food.
What’s the best time to visit?
Saturday! Although the shops and restaurants are open throughout the week, you won’t find many stalls unless you come on Saturday.
There’s no end to the things you can buy here: super unique pieces of jewelry, vintage clothes, tacky souvenirs. The list can go on and on. I’ve been here a few times, and I never left empty-handed or with an empty stomach (the street food is so good!)
NOTE: During the week and on Sunday you will find most of the shops open and maybe a few stalls but if you want the “street market experience” I recommend coming on Saturday
PRO TIP: If you simply don’t enjoy the crowds but still want to enjoy the market in its full glory then I recommend coming super early (around 9 am when it opens)
2. Go on a sightseeing walking tour
Walking tours are the best way to discover places like Notting Hill. There are so many landmarks in this neighborhood that you can overlook, plus many hidden gems that only locals and people who’ve studied the area know about.
Here is a list of some super fun walking tours that you can take around Notting Hill:
- Notting Hill Walking Tour: Discover all the hidden gems in Notting Hill, London during a guided walking tour that will take you to visit the famous market and some other iconic spots
- Free Walking Tour of Bohemian Portobello: Learn more about the Bohemian side of this West London neighborhood during a tour. You’ll see places visited by stars like Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, and Mick Jagger
- Notting Hill Highlights Walking Tour: Check out all the important sites in Notting Hill, like the Portobello Road Market and more during this tour
3. Take lots of pictures of the colorful houses
Portobello Road Market may be the star of the show but let’s not forget about the stunning colorful houses that made Notting Hill so famous on social media (and around the world)!
If you have the chance of visiting the area more than once, you might feel as if a new place appeared out of the blue (that happened to me a few times), but that’s just because there are so many pretty houses here. You might end up spending a few hours just wandering around checking them out!
And what’s there to do during that time?
Take lots of pictures! Whether you’re doing it for memories, or maybe you’re super passionate about photography, there’s bound to be a short photo session with the pastel houses while you’re visiting Notting Hill.
To help you not waste too much time, I’ve compiled a list of the best streets that have colorful houses or that are super photogenic in Notting Hill:
- St Luke’s Mews: One of the most famous streets in London, which some people may recognize from the movie Love Actually (the scene where Andrew Lincoln declares his love silently for Keira Knightley)
- Farm Place / Hillgate Place: Right behind Notting Hill Gate station, you’ll find Farm Place street and the most beautiful pink colored home you’ll ever see
- Lancaster Road: Here you’ll find some stunning colorful houses painted in so many different colors plus the beautiful
- Portobello Road: It might be super hard to snap a picture here without having at least 20 tourists appear but hey it’s worth a try!
- Simon Close and Pencombe Mews Streets: Close to Notting Hill Underground station, these streets are filled with mews (a type of streets with houses that were used as stables or built to look like former stables). They look super cool!
- Westbourne Park Road and Lonsdale Road: More Victorian townhouses will make you want to rob a bank and buy one of them (seriously, is anyone up for that)
- Chepstow Villas Road: These white houses look so dreamy! Come here on a sunny day and take many pictures!
NOTE: Don’t forget that these are people’s homes, so be mindful when taking pictures. You don’t want to invade their privacy.
PRO TIP: Visit these streets in Notting Hill, London during the week time. You won’t find as many tourists, and sometimes the roads are even empty.
4. Have brunch in one of the many cafes
If there’s one thing that I know about London (there are more, but this is like my Ph.D.), it’s the cafes! During my time in the city, I’ve made it my mission to check out as many as possible. I feel bad for my savings account, but not so much because I’ve found some incredible places that now I can share with you.
(P.S. If you’re looking for a cafe to work in London, I also wrote a post specifically about that!)
If you eat with your eyes, go for a stroll along Westbourne Grove or Portobello Road, where you will find plenty of delicious options. But if you’re like me and want to plan ahead, here’s my list of the top cafes in Notting Hill where you can enjoy a cup of tea or a delicious brunch!
- Farm Girl Cafe: Flat white & brunch? Then head over to Farm Girl Cafe, one of the most popular cafes on Portobello Road, in Notting Hill, where the food tastes fantastic and the coffee will keep you energized for the whole day!
- Coffee Plant: I love trying different origins when I drink coffee, and this independent roastery with 25+ blends of organic coffee is one you shouldn’t miss!
- The Tin Shed: This place is so cozy! Their pastries are delicious, so grab a chair, order a cup of coffee, have something to eat, and rest for a bit. You’ve got many more things to do in Notting Hill.
- Tab x Tab: A minimalistic cafe in Westbourne Grove where the avocado tastes heavenly! The place has a cool design as well.
- Hummingbird Bakery: I know this is technically a bakery, but you can’t miss a quick brunch here. It’s going to be so sweet! Their cupcakes are so delicious!
5. Visit the famous movie locations
Are you excited to visit Notting Hill in West London?
I’m sure you are now but just wait until you read about all the famous movies shot here! Now you’ve got the chance to visit some of the movie locations where your favorite actor/actress was. If you want to visit more places in the UK where tv series or other movies were filmed, check out Cardiff!
The best way to see all the sights is to take a filming location walking tour, but if you want to have a DIY adventure, come along and let’s discover some famous locations that appeared in Hollywood pictures like the Notting Hill movie and Love Actually:
The Notting Hill bookshop – Notting Hill
Remember the Notting Hill bookshop that William Thacker (Hugh Grant) owns?
It’s actually a gift shop, although they got their inspiration from a real-life place that’s located on Blenheim Crescent street. Still, you should go there and snap a picture. Maybe you can find some souvenirs as well! The Notting Hill bookshop is located at 142 Portobello Road.
The blue door – Notting Hill
We can’t forget the scene in the Notting Hill movie when Hugh Grant’s character opens the famous blue door of his house to a crowd of paparazzi!
The house is located at 280 Westbourne Park Road, and apparently, the film’s screenwriter, Richard Curtis, lived here.
The Coronet Theatre – Notting Hill
The scene where the broken-hearted Will Thacker (Hugh Grant) watches a film with his big love Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) after separating was filmed at the Coronet Theatre.
St Luke’s Mews – Love Actually
Head over to St Luke’s Mews, one of the most famous streets in London!
This is where they shot the famous scene where Andrew Lincoln silently declares his love for Keira Knightley in Love Actually (*sobs while pulling up a tissue).
Alice’s – Paddington
We can’t forget Mr. Gruber’s antique shop in the Paddington movie!
The scenes were filmed in Alice’s antique store which is located on a corner at 86 Portobello Road.
6. Have a pint at one of the pubs in Notting Hill
What’s the best way to end a day of walking around in the Notting Hill area?
With a drink, of course!
Remember that feeling when you finally sit down after you’ve walked around for hours, admiring the iconic buildings of a new place you’re visiting? It’s so sweet! Luckily Notting Hill has so many unique pubs where you can drink something and just relax!
Let’s check them out:
- The Ginstitute – Located in the heart of Portobello Road, this is one of the best drinking establishments in Notting Hill, where you will learn all there is to know about gin! But in the meantime, you can just relax, taste different kinds of gin-based cocktails and even leave with your own personalize gin.
- The Castle Portobello – Are you a big fan of vintage pubs? Although this place was rebuilt a few times, it still reminds me of those old British bars. Come here to listen to live music and enjoy a cold one with your friends!
- The Earl of Lonsdale – Fancy some fish and chips or maybe a Sunday roast with your beer? Visit this cozy old pub in Notting Hill, London. It has a beer garden and an indoor fireplace as well.
- Churchill Arms – This pub is closer to Kensington, but the long walk is worth it! The outdoor design of this place is so cool! At first, I thought it was one of those fancy flower shops (silly me). Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street serves Thai food, a bit ironic if you think about it, but still, it’s a great place to stop for a drink and a quick bite.
- Portobello Star – Located on Portobello Road, this bar offers delicious cocktails and good music!
- Trailer Happiness – A retro bar that serves excellent cocktails and plays fantastic music! Stop by for a drink before heading back to your hotel.
7. Catch a movie at the Electric Cinema
I know this may sound like a random thing to do in Notting Hill but hear me out!
Electric Cinema is a Grade II* Listed building and one of the oldest working cinemas in the UK! I mean, it first opened in 1910 (that’s a really long time ago). If you’re a fan of historical buildings and movies, then I think you’ll love this place in London!
This cinema survived a bombing in World War I, but of course, it was rebuilt, and now it looks super fancy! But hey, we don’t mind that, right?
Who wouldn’t like to watch a movie while comfortably sitting in a leather armchair (with a cashmere blanket) or in a large sofa! There’s also a bar on-site so you can enjoy as many drinks as you want, and if you get hungry, the Electric Diner is located right next to the cinema and serves food until late.
So grab your friends or your partner and book a ticket for a movie at one of the best cinemas in London!
Price: From US$10 to US$66
8. Attend the Notting Hill Carnival
Are you looking for something unusual to do in Notting Hill? Do you like bright colors everywhere, delicious street food, and great music?
Yes, you’ve guessed! I’m talking about the Notting Hill Carnival, only one of the biggest festivals in London that usually takes place during the August bank holiday weekend, since 1966.
Whether you’re coming during that time, or maybe you want to attend the Notting Hill Carnival, and you’re planning the trip around this date, one thing is for sure: you’ll have the best time ever!
Be ready for a big turn up though, almost 2.5 million come to party and drink each year!
What to expect?
A great atmosphere and a massive parade of performers along the Notting Hill Carnival route! The festival kind of lasts 3 days. Sunday is a family day and then on Monday, the main carnival takes place. You’ll see many locals setting up sound systems and entrepreneurs getting ready for the big day, opening food stalls wherever they can.
9. Learn new things at the museums and art galleries
Can’t say you’ve been to one of London’s best areas without visiting at least one museum or art gallery right?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered:
9.1 Museum of Brands
Marketing lovers will have so much fun at Notting Hill’s best museum!
And not only them! If you’re interested in brands and their history, you’ll like it here as well, plus the exhibitions are so pleasing to the eyes!
The Museum of Brands is located in the Colville Mews, near Ladbroke Grove. Its collections showcase the history of consumer culture plus some of the best ads that captured our attention over the years.
It’s so cool to see what commercials looked like 100 years ago! The museum runs a permanent exhibition and some temporary ones as well.
Price: Adults £9 (£5 for children)
9.2 Graffik Gallery
Are you a fan of street art or urban art in general? Then pop by Graffik Gallery and check out the works of artists like Banksy, Dotmaster, and Stik.
Grab a coffee from the Farm Girl Cafe, and then visit the gallery for a few hours. All the pieces are so fascinating and you can arrange for private views if you want to see the works of late artists like Warhol and Basquiat.
|🤩 Range of activities:||Medium|
|💯 Top attraction:||Portobello Road Market|
|🖼️ Best museum:||Museum of Brands|
|🥁 Top outdoor activity:||Notting Hill Carnival|
|🏠 Unique attraction:||The colorful houses|
|☕ Best Cafe:||Farm Girl Cafe|
|🍺 Top pub:||The Ginstitute|
|🎥 Best movie location:||The Notting Hill Bookshop|
Practical Information about Notting Hill
Now that we’re done with all the things to do in Notting Hill, London, let’s see what other things you should keep in mind when visiting this area.
Where to stay in Notting Hill
I know most people look for accommodation in Central London (in that case, check out our post on where to stay in London), it might be more expensive but you won’t be using the tube as much, but maybe some of you want to stay in this magical neighborhood.
If so, here’s a list of the best hotel in the area:
Luxury (US$300 and up)
- The Laslett: Located less than 1 minute away from the Notting Hill Gate station, this fancy hotel has everything you need for a great stay in London! Enjoy a day of stuff to do in Notting Hill and then come back here, relax with a long bath or chill in your comfy bed.
- The Portobello Hotel: I love the vintage touches of this hotel! Everything from the furniture to the design looks amazing. Enjoy a delicious breakfast in the sitting room and then head out to explore Westbourne Grove. The accommodation is located only a 10 minutes walk to Ladbroke Grove station.
Mid Range (US$190 – US$300)
- Vancouver Studios: Jump from your bed straight to Portobello Road Market! This hotel is super close to all the attractions in the Notting Hill area and it has family rooms and a fitness center.
- Space ApartHotel: Relax on the balcony of your room in these super modern apartments that has a kitchen and free wifi. Plus, Lancaster Road is only a short walk away from the accommodation.
Budget (up to US$100)
- Ravna Gora: An affordable option for those of you who want to stay in Notting Hill, London. The accommodation has free wifi and rooms with a tv.
How to get to Notting Hill
Getting around Notting hill is fairly easy, the area is not so big so you can explore it on foot. However, if you’re staying in Central London you will need to get the tube or bus to get there.
From Marble Arch Station (Stop O) get the number 7 bus to Ladbroke Grove Station (Stop A). The journey will last 30 minutes.
From Victoria Station take the Circle Line to Edgare Road and stop at Notting Hill Gate. The tube journey is 12 minutes and from the station, you’ll have to walk 10 more minutes to get to Portobello Road
Alternatively you can also take the Hammersmith & City line to Westbourne Park Station or Ladbroke Grove Station, ride the tube for 30 minutes and then walk for 8 minutes to get to Portobello Road Market
If you get a cab from central London, you will get to Notting Hill in 30 minutes. The price will be between US$33 – US$41
See the main sites of London including Notting hill during this hop-on-hop-off tour of the city
Frequently Asked Questions About Notting Hill
🛍️ How do you spend a day in Notting Hill?
There are so many things to do in Notting Hill in a day! You can attend the Portobello Road Market, explore the colorful streets, look for hidden gems in the antique shops and end the day with a dinner at a fine dining restaurant.
💯 Is it worth visiting Notting Hill?
Yes, Notting Hill is one of London’s top neighborhoods for tourists. It has so many unique attractions, stunning street art, and cool boutique shops.
🤩 Is there anything in Notting Hill?
One of the main attractions in Notting Hill, London is the Portobello Road Market but there are other attractions as well, plus many locations where Hollywood movies were filmed.
🍹 What is there to do in Notting Hill at night?
At night you can explore the bars and pubs in Notting Hill. Churchill Arms, The Ginstitute, and the Resting Room are 3 great pubs where you can have a drink after a long day of things to do in Notting Hill.
What a fun trip! I hope this post helped you decide which are the top things to do in Notting Hill!
I’ve been to this neighborhood so many times and each visit was more special than the last one. Notting Hill really is one of those places where you can come back so many times and still discover something new!
Your trip in London will be so cool, of that I’m sure! If you have any questions about this area or any other suggestions of things to do in Notting Hill then leave me a comment below and I’ll make sure to answer it ASAP!
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