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Notting Hill is one of London’s most enviable
In this blog, I’m going to share what I love about this area. Since most visitors base elsewhere in London and visit as a day trip, I’ll also share my itinerary for spending a day in Notting Hill.
From eclectic markets to delicious street food, cosy cafes and some of London’s most colourful houses, it’s an area not to miss!
The story of Notting Hill
This area of London, England has an interesting history. Nowadays, it’s one of London’s coolest
Rich people were attracted to the area in the 19th century thanks to newly-built terraced houses and communal gardens. And yes, a certain 1999 movie starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts didn’t hurt the area’s reputation either. Tourists from around the world love to come and see the movie locations!
Notting Hill is now an upmarket area, not to mention one of the most beautiful places in London. Although it’s busy, I love how it’s retained its old-fashioned charm and antique markets. There are plenty of things to do in Notting Hill whether you’re visiting for the first, fifth or tenth time.
Read next: the 10 most Instagrammable places in London
Things to do in Notting Hill
I’ll run through what to do in Notting Hill in chronological order so you can start your day in Notting Hill with breakfast and end with the pubs. I’ll through the best shops, markets and other activities along the way.
1. Eat breakfast at Farm Girl
Start your day in Notting Hill with a tasty breakfast or brunch; I’d recommend Farm Girl Cafe on Portobello Road. It’s one of the most popular cafes in the area so factor in time for queuing on weekends. My friend and I tucked into smoked salmon and avocado with rose lattes.
With dishes starting at £8.50, it’s not a cheap eat but not extortionate when you consider the neighbourhood. Breakfast dishes from around the world including huevos rancheros, green Turkish eggs, and kimchi scrambled eggs are served all day.
Order the chai latte or the liquid gold (tumeric) latte which come with cute pups stencilled into the foam.
2. Take a local-led walking tour
To suss out Notting Hill and learn about the area from a local, take a walking tour. This 2-hour Notting Hill highlights walking tour will show you the best markets, cafes and points of interest that tourists sometimes miss. If you’re travelling solo, tours are a great way to get in your own photos. Guides are usually happy to help!
3. Find colourful houses
The distinctive rainbow-coloured houses of Notting Hill bring abundant character to the area. Painted every colour from pink to yellow and baby blue, you’ll rarely find two the same shade. Here are some of the best places in Notting Hill to find them.
Note – be mindful that these are people’s homes. Don’t take photos of the locals or peer into their living rooms!
Farm Place / Hillgate Place
Other colourful house locations in Notting Hill include…
St Luke’s Mews
This gorgeous mews connects Basing Street and All Saints Road. It was featured in the Love Actually movie and has become a favourite with photographers visiting London.
If you don’t yet know the term ‘mews’, it means a small side street converted from stables. Although they were once basic accommodation for horses, they’re now gentrified and even expensive for humans!
Pro tip – check out MAM, a Vietnamese BBQ restaurant at the edge of the mews.
This is the place to see elaborate townhouses with 5+ floors and towering pillars flanking each door. Come rain or shine, there will be tourists snapping these houses.
This busy street at the heart of Notting Hill has countless colourful houses. While you won’t get a clear shot of you sauntering past with no one else in view, it’s a lovely place to glance upwards and admire the vibrant architecture.
4. Explore the shops
Browsing the shops is another of the best things to do in Notting Hill. There are countless boutiques and upmarket shops in Notting Hill selling everything from homeware to jewellery and trinkets.
John & Jessie
John & Jessie on Campden Street is an Instagram-friendly florist selling flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables. Head inside and have a browse.
Address: 131E Kensington Church St, London W8 7LP.
5. Shop at Portobello Market
This world-famous market on Portobello Road is easily one of the best street food markets in London. Here you can find trinkets, souvenirs, antiques and food.
In terms of food at Portobello Road Market, I’ve sampled fish ‘n’ chips, crepes, Chinese food and tasty cakes and doughnuts here (to name a few). You’ll also find fruit and veggies, deli goods, ice cream, other desserts, and street food from French to North African and Caribbean.
Portobello Road Market is busiest on Fridays and Saturdays with over 1,500 stalls to browse. Friday is antiques day and Saturday is the main day with a bit of everything. Some stalls will be there throughout the week, aside from Sunday when the stalls are gone but all the shops remain open.
Portobello market times:
– 9am-6pm, Mon-Weds
– 9am-1pm, Thurs
– 9am-7pm, Fri-Sat.
Getting to Portobello Market: The closest station is Ladbroke Grove on the Hammersmith and City line. Walking from Notting Hill Gate station will take 20 minutes.
6. Notting Hill Farmer’s Market
On the topic of food, don’t miss this West London hidden gem if you visit on a Saturday morning. Here you can shop milk, herbs, spices, veggies, pasta, pesto, honey and fruit and more, all locally sourced and supporting British farms and shops.
Where? The car park just behind Waterstones on Kensington Church Street, W11 3LQ.
7. Catch a film at Electric Cinema
Don’t miss Electric Cinema, one of the oldest cinemas in Britain. It opened in 1910, showing silent movies for its first 18 years.
Despite being bombed during World War I, it lived to tell the tale and eventually became Britain’s first Black cinema in 1993. Nowadays they show a whole range of films which you can browse and book on the website.
8. Take a walk in Holland Park
Just a 10-minute walk from Notting Hill
Even if you just have a day in Notting Hill, pay a visit to the Kyoto Gardens, gifted to the UK from Japan to celebrate friendship between the countries. Here, peacocks strut and a gentle waterfall
9. Tour the Notting Hill movie locations
For a fun activity in Notting Hill, take a rom-com walking tour with a local expert. See the famous blue door from Notting Hill as well as Juliet’s House in Love Actually (where the stalker character holds up letter boards) and get your ‘grams in the process!
Another location in Notting Hill for movie fans is Notting Hill Travel Bookshop (Blenheim Crescent) where Julia Roberts declared I’m just a girl! towards the end of the film. The shop is busy with tourists so visit early in the morning to tour this iconic location and buy a book to take home.
Snap Britain’s prettiest pub, The Churchill Arms
Visiting the Churchill Arms is one of the best things to do in Notting Hill, especially if you’re a photographer. In the summer, it’s decked out with wonderful flowers on the outside. During the winter, it’s covered with Christmas lights.
Several years ago, I used to work around the corner from this pub. Easily one of my favourite pubs in Kensington, it’s just as quirky and eye-catching inside with quirky antique clutter hanging from the ceiling.
11. Stop for pints and Thai food
If you’re wondering what to do in Notting Hill during the evening, there’s an excellent Thai restaurant in the Churchill Arm’s
The pub is open from midday to 11pm daily with food served until 9.30pm.
12. Notting Hill Carnival (August bank holiday weekend)
One of my favourite events in the UK is Notting Hill Carnival which takes place on the August bank holiday weekend each year.
For two days only, up to 2.5 million attendees celebrate the annual Caribbean carnival. From sound systems to live performers and a parade, the whole area comes alive with music and dancing. Although it’s very busy and hectic, it’s truly an event to add to your festival bucket list.
Also, if you’ve yet to try Caribbean food and sip Red Stripe, this is the place to do it!
Sunday is ‘family day’ and Monday is the main celebration… But, having been to both, I’d say they’re both as hectic and exciting as each other.
Day in Notting Hill itinerary
10am: Arrive and head to Farm Girl Cafe for brunch
11am: Take a walking tour of the colourful houses
1pm: Shop and eat at Portobello Road Market
2pm: Take a walk in Holland Park
4pm: Browse the shops and boutiques
7pm: Head for food and drinks at the Churchill Arms or another Notting Hill pub
9pm: Catch a film at Electric Cinema.
Getting to Notting Hill
By Tube (London Underground): Notting Hill Gate is the nearest tube station (on both the Central Line, Circle Line, and District Line). To arrive closer to Portobello Market, get off at Ladbroke Grove (on the Circle and Hammersmith & City). Just tap in and out at the barriers with your Oyster Card or contactless bank card.
Buses: Several buses service Notting Hill including the 27, 28, 52, 70 and 94. Use your Oyster Card or a contactless bank card to tap on (but don’t tap off or you’ll pay twice!).
Train: If you’re coming from another UK city, arrive into Paddington Station. It’s a 30-minute walk or 10-minute journey on the Hammersmith & City Line to Ladbroke Grove.
Hope you enjoyed these things to do in Notting Hill London!
If you have a better idea of what to do in Noting Hill, please give it a share!
Check out my other London posts:
- 23 popular London streets to visit
- Free things to do in Greenwich
- Camden travel guide
- Camden street art guide
- My guide to the best London food markets
- The 5 colourful streets in London you NEED to visit
- Self-guided Brick Lane London street art tour
- Top Instagrammable locations in London
- Guide to backpacking the UK on a budget
See you next time for more adventures,
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Visiting the UK?
These are my trusted resources…
Guidebooks – LP always get my seal of approval. Use the latest copy of Lonely Planet England.
Flights (international and domestic): I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.
Car hire – use Rentalcars.com to compare car rentals in the UK (and all around the world).
For UK trains, I use Trainline. The search feature allows you to compare prices, and they show live departure times on the website.
For buses, I use Busbud. It’s the only site that compares UK coaches and buses. Find London to Manchester journeys for £1!
Use Omio to compare trains and buses in one search. It’s so handy!
For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use Booking.com. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.com.
To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.
I use GetYourGuide for tours & activities when I don’t want to travel solo. The guides are knowledgeable and you can’t beat the prices. I also check Viator as they often have fun and unique offerings.
For food tours pairing travellers with passionate local chefs and foodies, check out EatWith.
Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.
For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.
Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!