The world-famous Portobello market is a must for anyone who enjoys a bit of retail therapy.
For more than 150 years, the market in the west of London has been attracting visitors from around the globe who are looking for a unique shopping experience on the streets of London.
On its busiest day of the week – Saturdays- there can be more than 2,000 stalls selling a wide variety of things from food to classic antiques.
However, it is more than just a large market, Portobello market has a great atmosphere and is an enjoyable way to experience the multi-culturalism of the UK capital.
The market is open from Monday to Saturday, but the day you come will play a role in what is available to buy. From Monday to Wednesday the market will be open from 9am until 6pm, with largely fresh produce on sale.
It is worth remembering that Thursdays are half-days and the market shuts up by 1pm.
But on Fridays and Saturdays, the market extends its opening hours and is open until 7pm. If you are looking for the antique stores then you need to visit on Saturdays. It is worth getting there before the opening time of 9am if you are interested in grabbing a good deal and want to avoid the large crowds.
The layout of Portobello Market means that it actually appears more like several markets all connected together and stretching for over a mile.
It is worth doing some research before arriving so you know where to head depending on what you are looking for.
Starting at the Notting Hill Tube end, between Chepstow Villas and Elgin Crescent is where the antique sellers can be found from numerous eras.
The section between Elgin Crescent and Talbot Road is home to a large number of sellers with fresh produce on sale – including fruit and vegetables, bread, cakes, fish and cheese. There will be many lovely items you have never seen before and plenty of choice if you are hoping to pick up a few things for a late breakfast or early lunch.
Moving towards Westway, the market becomes more like a traditional market seen in many areas of the UK, with stalls selling toys, batteries and other modern new goods.
However, this then makes way for the Fashion Market, which includes many vintage items as well as one-off designs from up-and-coming names. Over the years, many key designers have started their careers selling items from such stalls and you could be in line to grab a future design classic.
The final stretch of the market covers Westway to Golborne Road and is dedicated solely to second-hand goods, ranging from books, DVDs and to electronic goods.
Travelling to the market
There are two London Underground stations close to Portobello Market and you can opt for either Ladbroke Grove, which is on the Hammersmith and City lines or Notting Hill Gate, which is on the Central, Circle and District lines. Beware they can get very crowded on Fridays and Saturdays so make sure you are prepared.
If you fancy walking to the market, then Paddington Station is around 25 minutes away by foot. There are also a number of buses which stop at, along or near the market – services include 7,12, 23, 27, 28, 31, 52, 70, 94, 328 and 452.