A woman playing reggae songs on her ukulele, tourists buying artisan bread, a market trader selling bags as vibrant as the colour of her dreadlocks, and a Dad giving his son a piggyback through the streets. These are just some of the characters you’ll find when you take a trip to Portobello Road market.
London is often described as a melting pot of people, and there’s no greater place where these worlds collide than Portobello Road market.
Portobello Road Market, Where Life Never Stands Still
Like many others, I visited the world’s largest antique market, to see if it lived up to the hype. I was joined by thousands of tourists who came to mix and mingle, shop and mooch around the thousands of stalls on offer.
Not far from Notting Hill, Portobello Road market has its own distinctive vibe. It’s a destination in itself, a place you can lose an afternoon to, or longer.
Something for everyone
One of my favourite photos taken, is a man’s kind of man on his Harley with people mingling in the background. Look closely and you’ll see them taking photos of people in Alice in Wonderland costumes! It’s the perfect snapshot of its unpredictable charm.
There really is something for everyone here.
There’s new goods and second-hand goods, antiques ranging from vintage cameras to bespoke silverware, and all sorts of tiffin that you wonder might have belonged to the Rolling Stones at some point!
Fashion is big and you can pick up a bargain from a new designer, or bag a rare vintage item from a bygone era. Head to ‘Westway’ for the ‘fashion market’.
If anything, this is a great place to bring the kids as they marvel at goods before their time and run off when they see the Nutella stand. Yum!
Portobello Market Food
Speaking of which, street food here is good. Fresh fruit and vegetable stalls are plentiful and there’s lots of juices and coffee shops, one that really stood out is ‘Jake’s Vegan Shakes’. Around Globorne Road there’s lots of restaurants and street food stands, serving everything from Ghanaian to Ethiopian cuisine.
For something perhaps more mainstream, the Hummingbird Bakery (133 Portobello Road) has become a huge tourist attraction, offering cupcakes and tea – very British! Of course, I couldn’t forget the Electric Diner and Cinema (191 Portobello Road), for an afternoon of dining and viewing pleasure.
Believe the hype!
So, did Portobello Road market live up to its hype? Judging by the number of cupcakes and fresh juice’s I had, let alone the unexpected pieces of camera kit I stumbled across, it’s safe to say – yes!
When to come?
Portobello Market opening times vary. It is open six days a week, as follows:
Monday to Wednesday: 9am – 6pm
Thursday: 9am to 1pm
Friday (antique stalls): 9am to 7pm
Click here for a map of Portobello Road market. The full address is: Portobello Road, London, W1.
The nearest tube to Portobello Road market is Ladbroke Grove, but you can also walk from Westbourne Park and Notting Hill Gate, which take a bit longer.
All details correct at time of going to press
I hope you liked this photo documentary/guide to Portobello Road Market. If you are visiting London in the last week of August, do not miss the Notting Hill Carnival which is the biggest street party in Europe. Here is a similar photo documentary guide to the Notting Hill Carnival.
If you have been to the Portobello Road Market, share your experience for the benefit of other readers in the comments section.
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