Welcome to Portobello Market, one of London’s most iconic and vibrant destinations. Nestled in the heart of Notting Hill, this bustling street market offers everything from antiques to fashion, food, and fresh produce. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned local, there’s always something new to discover.
History of Portobello Market: Portobello Road has its origins in the 19th century as a lane connecting two main roads. The market began its life as a fresh-food market in the 1800s. The antiques trade started in the late 1940s and 1950s, and the market has grown in size and reputation ever since. Its eclectic mix of stalls, shops, and street performers makes it a must-visit spot in London.
What to Expect:
- Antiques: If you’re an aficionado of rare finds, the Antiques section is a paradise. Dealers from all over the world come to display their wares here. From vintage jewelry, old prints, coins, and rare books to larger pieces of furniture, you’re sure to find something unique.
- Fashion: The Fashion Market offers a mix of vintage clothing, brand new designs from up-and-coming designers, and unique accessories. Whether you’re looking for a 1960s shift dress, a leather jacket, or a one-of-a-kind handcrafted necklace, Portobello has you covered.
- Fresh Produce: For those who appreciate farm-to-table, the fruit, vegetable, and fish stalls offer a diverse range of fresh produce.
- Food Stalls: Take a culinary journey around the world without leaving London. From Spanish paella, Moroccan tagines, to British pies, there’s something for every palate.
- New Goods: If you’re after brand new items, there’s a section of the market dedicated to this. Expect everything from everyday essentials to unique gift items.
- Music and Art: For the music lovers, there are stalls offering vintage vinyl records and CDs. Art enthusiasts can find paintings, prints, and posters from various local artists.
Opening Times: Portobello Market operates throughout the week, but not all sections are open every day.
- Monday-Wednesday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm – These days are quieter with fewer stalls, mainly consisting of fruit, vegetable, and some new goods.
- Thursday: 9:00 am to 1:00 pm – A half-day with a mix of fresh produce and some new goods stalls.
- Friday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm – The main day for antiques but you’ll also find a range of fashion, new goods, and fresh produce stalls.
- Saturday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm – The market’s busiest day. All sections are open: antiques, fashion, new goods, fresh produce, food stalls, and more. If you’re planning to visit on a Saturday, come early to avoid the biggest crowds.
- Sunday: Closed.
Tips for Visitors:
- Cash is King: While many stallholders now accept cards, it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand, especially if you’re after a bargain.
- Haggle with Grace: It’s a market tradition to haggle, but always do it with a smile and respect. If a price seems fair, don’t push too hard.
- Dress Comfortably: With so much to see and explore, wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothing.
- Keep an Eye on Your Belongings: Like all busy places, be aware of pickpockets.
- Take Breaks: There are numerous cafés, pubs, and eateries around. Take a break, have a cuppa, and soak in the ambience.
Getting There: Portobello Market is easily accessible by public transport. The nearest tube stations are Notting Hill Gate, Ladbroke Grove, and Westbourne Park. There are also several bus routes that will drop you close by.
In conclusion, Portobello Market is not just a shopping destination; it’s an experience. With its rich history, diverse range of offerings, and vibrant atmosphere, it promises memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re on the hunt for a rare antique, wanting to enjoy some global cuisine, or just soaking in the lively ambiance, Portobello has something for everyone. Enjoy your visit!