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Portobello Road Market

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Portobello Road – which runs straight through the Notting Hill area – is home to one of the best-loved street markets in London.

This post provides information about when you can visit, how to get there, and the history of the marketplace.

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Which Days Are the Portobello Road Market Held On?

The Portobello Road Market is open every day of the week, so you can visit just about anytime you wish.

However, it should be noted that some shops such as the antiques and bric-a-brac stalls are only open on Saturdays.

This is arguably the best day of the week to visit as the market is in full swing.

The rest of the Portobello Road Market is open during the following hours in the summer and winter months:

Summer Months

  • 8 am-9 am to 5 pm - 6 pm

Winter Months

  • 9 am - 10 am to 4 pm - 5 pm

Thursdays

  • 9 am to 1 pm

Friday and Saturday

  • 8 am-9 am to 6 pm-7 pm

Painted buildings on Portobello Road. Source: Pixabay.com.

Occasionally antique dealers will open earlier on Saturdays, as this is typically the busiest day of the week for Portobello Road Market.

Friday is the second busiest day, so keep that in mind if you're trying to avoid large crowds.

For more information about when to come, check the Visit Portobello Road website.

London Travel Tips and Hacks


Where Is The Portobello Road Market?

This popular marketplace is located in West London about 1 mile west of Kensington Gardens.

There are many easy ways to get here using either the tube or the bus.

Map of Portobello Road Market from Google Maps.

  • Nearest Underground Stations:
    • Notting Hill Gate
    • Ladbroke Grove
    • Westbourne Park
  • Bus Routes:
    • 7, 12, 23, 27, 28, 21, 52, 70, 94, 328, 452

Market Layout

Much like Camden Market, Portobello Market is actually many markets in one, divided up by their locations and the specific goods they sell.

Chepstow Villas – Elgin Crescent

Antiques & Bric-A-Brac: This is the main attraction at Portobello Market, filled with antiques and 100’s of stalls, shops, and arcades to explore.

This part of the Market is closest to Notting Hill Underground Station.

A picture from a stall at the Portobello Road Market. Source: Pixabay.com

Elgin Crescent – Talbot Road

Fruit and Veg – Just past the antiques come the edible goods!

Fruit and vegetables are on display, but so are cakes, breads, cheese, and other fresh edible delights.

Talbot Road – Westway

New Goods – Here you will find stalls typical of other London market locations; clothing, cheap jewelry, books, and the like.

Westway Area

Fashion – Here are the vintage clothing shops, fashion accessories for sale, scarves, and bags as well as more tourist-oriented goods – think ‘I Love London’ shirts, etc.

Westway to Golborne Road

Second-Hand Items – This section of the market is dedicated entirely to the second-hand. Clothes, yes, but also household goods.


History of Portobello Market

Portobello Road itself can be traced back to the 16th century when it was known as Green’s Lane.

In 1740 a nearby farm was built, known as Portobello Farm (named after the Spanish-ruled, now Panamanian, town of Puerto Bello which was captured by Admiral Edward Vernon).

Portobello Farm was primarily open hayfields and orchards and by the second half of the 19th-century residential areas were growing up on either side of the farm – these areas are now Notting Hill and Paddington.

As the residential developments grew, the wealthy homeowners turned to Portobello Farm to provide agricultural goods.

Portobello Market came into existence around this time, initially selling fresh-foods.

The working-class residents of the area turned to Portobello Farm, and the surrounding area, for work and soon the area was rapidly expanding and booming with trade.

As the urban developments grew, Portobello Farm was swallowed up by concrete and buildings.

The last vestige of the original farm was finally paved over in 1864 and Ladbroke Grove Underground Station was built on top.

The fresh food market still persisted, however. By the mid-20th century, the market expanded and became known for its’ antique dealers, many of whom are still based here today.


What to Expect At Portobello Road Market

Today, Portobello Road thrives both financially and with tourist trade as home to one of the most famous markets in Europe.

It is the largest antique market in the entire United Kingdom, with over 1,000 dealers based here, and is one of the busiest tourist spots in London.

Portobello Road Market is primarily known for its second-hand clothes and antiques but is also a browsers paradise with shop after shop, corridors, and hallways absolutely choc-full of goods for sale.

Along with the shops are delicious food stalls, street performers, and musicians, all coming together in this mile-long explosion of colour, crowds, and goods.

In addition to drawing crowds who wish to shop, the market also draws in those who are fans of the 1999 film Notting Hill.

Starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the film is primarily based around Portobello Road. However, the famous blue door of the film no longer exists here.

About The Author

Margaret

An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries.
Updated: October 12th, 2021
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