Located in the Notting Hill district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Portobello Road serves as market selling various goods each day.

Antiques, second-hand clothing, fruits and vegetable are just some of the things you can find at the market.

Locals come here to enjoy the atmosphere.

Check various tours available in the area to get the most out of your time at Portobello Markets.

Book Tour 

Things to do and see on Portobello Road and Market

Antiques

Every Saturday, Portobello Road Market displays its impressive selection of antiquities.

Visitors are free to browse and pick from a variety of furniture, glassware, decorative objects, silver, toys and clothing.

The Portobello Road Market is the largest antique market in the UK, which makes it a prime tourist attraction and an ideal destination for a Saturday morning stroll.

Fruit & vegetables

The market does not only trade antiques, but also fruit and vegetables, albeit, on different days.

While the antique stalls can be found on Saturday, the other vendors are there during the week.

In fact, the Portobello Road Market started out as a fresh food market in the 1800s, only for the antiquity vendors to come along later, in the 1940s-1950s.

Entertainment 

The street retains a dynamic, energetic vibe, which is also intimate, as a result of the unique and beautiful Victorian architecture, with terrace houses and meandering streets.

At times, there’ll be street performers entertaining the crowd with their talents.

Portobello Road is popular for hosting the Portobello Film Festival every August.

It also has one of the oldest cinemas in Britain, Electric Cinema.

Restaurants and Pubs

While the market is the most well-known feature of Portobello Road, in recent years, it has acquired a certain cosmopolitan ambiance, mainly due to the communities.

There is a large selection of pubs and restaurants on the road.

A variety of food outlets are at your disposal, if you need a break from antique shopping.

You can have your pick from the large selection of hot or cold drinks, freshly cooked meals, street food or pastries,

How to get to Portobello Road Market

  • Bus – You can arrive at Portobello Road Market via buses 52, 452, 31, 94, 7, 27, 328, 12, 70, 23 and 28.
  • London Underground – The closest underground stations to Portobello Road are Notting Hill Gate, on the District, Circle and Central Lines; and Landbroke Grove, on the City and Hammersmith Lines.
  • Train – London Victoria is the closest station to Portobello Road Market.
  • Car – You can easily reach Portobello Road Market by car, as it is situated only 3 km west of Marble Arch.

History

Formerly known as Green’s Lane, Portobello Road was nothing more than a country path.

Green’s Lane then became Porto Bello Lane and Vernon Yard, adjacent to Portobello Road.

The Portobello Road we know today is a Victorian construction. Prior to 1850, it was just a country lane in an open field.

In the latter half of the 19th century, the road was slowly formed.

The rich stimulated economic development as they spent more time at the shops.

It provided employment for the working class including domestic servants, tradesmen, messengers and construction workers.

An order of nuns later bought the Portobello Farm.

Railways were installed and the rest of the area further developed, initiating development for the St Joseph’s Convent for the Dominican Order.

Around mid 20th century, the antique market began taking shape, as dealers and tradesmen set up their stalls.

They started to sell and trade old items and second-hand clothing.

Interesting Facts

  • Portobello Road lends its name to Muriel Sparks’ short story, The Portobello Road, which is about a murderer who was haunted by his victim and meets her at the Portobello Road. Her 1958 collection, The Go-away Bird and Other Stories includes this short story.
  • Dire Straits had a song about Portobello Road on their 1978 album, Communiqué. The Song was called Portobello Belle.
  • There is a board game called Portobello Market, inspired by this market.
  • Portobello Market served as the setting for Notting Hill, which was filmed here, on the street, in 1999.
  • The action in Paulo Coelho’s novel from 2007, The Witch of Portobello, also took place here.
  • The popular British children’s book series Paddington Bear, from Britain, created by Michael Bond, heavily features Portobello Market. Paddington Bear is the main character and Mr. Gruber, his friend, has a shop in which he sells antiques on the Portobello Road. Paddington visits Portobello Market every day.
  • A documentary called Portobello: Attack of the Clones was shown at Portobello Road’s own Electric Cinema in 2006. The short film was 20 minutes long.

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For all new cities, I go overboard on my itinerary, just to see every major attraction. Countries I've visited include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Cambodia, Japan and Thailand. Mostly Asian countries. Next target - Europe!