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NOTTING HILL ;
Notting Hill is one of London’s most desirable and Instagrammable areas, with iconic pastel-coloured houses and a thriving market. You can find everything from world-famous events and restaurants, to cutting-edge theatres in Notting Hill. Perhaps you’ll even meet a film star in a travel book shop.
Notting Hill Gate is the main Tube station in the area and is served by the Central line, the District line and the Circle line. Alternatively, use Westbourne Park station or Ladbroke Grove station on the Hammersmith and City line and Circle line, then walk along Portobello Road towards Notting Hill Gate.
Every August Bank Holiday millions of people celebrate Europe’s biggest street festival – the Notting Hill Carnival. The carnival has a Caribbean festival theme, bringing a welcome splash of colour to west London. A huge parade of floats and performers runs along the Notting Hill Carnival route, filling the streets with intricate costumes, steel bands, marching bands, Calypso music and a variety of mouth-watering food.
It is recommended that you prepare yourself properly for the festivities as the carnival covers a wide area. Some stations are closed and some are disrupted during the carnival weekend so plan your journey in advance. Make sure you have a map of the carnival route, plus information about public toilets, bars, sound systems and medical centres.
It’s worth checking the London weather forecast ahead of the carnival too. Carry a pair of sunglasses, an umbrella and a bottle of water so you’ll always be ready.
The popular Notting Hill market is known as Portobello Market, so called because it runs along Portobello Road. Pay a visit to one of the best markets in London and you’ll discover something interesting to take home with you.
The Notting Hill movie, directed by Richard Curtis, was released in 1999. The romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant was a box office hit and Notting Hill became a popular place to visit as much of the film was shot in and around the area. Take the Notting Hill Film Tour to see some of the famous locations that were integral to the film, as well as learn about the history of the area.
Find more than 12,000 items that chart the evolution of consumer culture at The Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising, one of London’s quirkier museums. Notting Hill is also a fantastic place to find small, independent art galleries such as Salon Contemporary and Graffik – a gallery dedicated to urban art.
The crowning jewel in Notting Hill’s entertainment scene is The Gate Theatre which, despite its tiny size, has gained a global reputation for fostering a wealth of new theatrical talent. You can also see a fantastic mix of theatre, dance and concerts at The Print Room, an arts venue that has won many awards. For a diverse mix of comedy, literary and musical performances, check out The Tabernacle, which is also a bar and kitchen.
To see the latest movie releases in luxurious surrounds, The Electric Cinema on Portobello Road is well known for providing a comfy movie-going experience due to the plush sofas, footstools, side tables, and bar service provided.
As well as the impressive Notting Hill market days along Portobello Road, there are many more Notting Hill shopping opportunities to enjoy. Spend time browsing in Daylesford Organic for wholesome goods, or in The Hummingbird Bakery for delicious cakes; find your next great read at the Notting Hill Bookshop; and stock up on top cosmetic products and treatments at Space NK Apothecary.
Notting Hill’s convenient location close to Central London and the Westfield London shopping mall means it is one of the great places to stay in London. For a budget boutique hotel in Notting Hill, book at the London House Hotel or Garden Court Hotel. If you need a bit more space, try the Grand Plaza Serviced Apartments. For a peaceful sleep in a quiet garden square, stay at the Shaftesbury Premier London Notting Hill.
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