Last Updated on 5th July 2019 by Sophie Nadeau
Is there anywhere in London more photogenic than Portobello Road Market? The antiques, the quaint candy-coloured houses, the quirky cafés… It’s a vintage lover’s dream! Situated in West London, it’s the perfect place to visit for a few hours, especially on a sunny day.
Exit the tube at Notting Hill Gate, cross the road and follow the signs to Portobello Road. Situated next to an ivy-clad building, opposite a pub and on an insignificant slab of wall, you’ll find the first ‘sign’ that you’re on the right track, i.e a plaque indicating that you are indeed on Portobello Road!
Carry on walking down the road and pops of colour spring out from the doors, windows, and the occasional flower border. This is not your typical London residential area, but a thriving area of commerce. After all, each weekend and throughout the week, over 1000 antique sellers and dealers flock to the area to sell vintage finds and historic wares.
Walk down the road and it won’t be long before you hear the familiar smells of open food stalls and the shouts of happy shoppers. Portobello Road Market is a great area to visit in London in each season. The area surrounding Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market is perfect for spring spotting in London.
Come summertime, it’s a wonderful place to stroll around, ice cream in one hand, camera in the other. Oh, and while you’re walking around, don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for vintage cars parked along the way. For those in search of a light bite to eat, there are plenty of Instagrammable cafés just steps away. For example, Biscuiteers serves the best biscuits in the area, while Farm Girl café boasts a menu selection of speciality coffees and smoothie bowls!
Portobello Road Market
Once you’ve made it around halfway down the road, shopfronts will start to pop up everywhere, and the noise levels will audibly rise. This lively street has been a hub of buying and selling for over one hundred and fifty years and may well be the most famous markets in the world. Although the ‘Portobello Road Market’ is technically only held on a Saturday, Portobello Road is open 24/7, 365 days a year. Therefore, there’s always a new gem to be found, or a tasty afternoon tea to be had.
Until 1850, Portobello Road was little more than a farming lane on the outskirts of London. However, when nearby stations were opened in the late 19th Century, vendors realized that it would be the perfect place to tout their wares to the many people passing through the area. By the 1950s, the Saturday market gained worldwide notoriety as the place to go if you wanted to find some great second-hand clothing or a rare antique at a good price.
Today, the market is best known for its wide selection of antiques, food products and clothing for all budgets. From budget chic to luxury, Portobello Road Market is home to the largest and most extensive collection of sellers and wares in the UK. Annually, tens of thousands of tourists flock to the area to see the iconic shop fronts and witness the cries of their vendors.