Portobello Market – A London Market That’s Extremely Popular with Tourists:
It may be crowded and a little chaotic on weekends, but London’s Portobello Market is a fun place to visit, especially for visitors who love wondering through street markets.
Portobello Market is of course one of the most famous street markets in the world. Located in West London, the market takes up most of Portobello Road. And, Portobello Road itself runs through the trendy area of Notting Hill which has been made more famous by the movie of the same name.
For those who enjoy shopping and bargain-hunting, Portobello Market stretches for almost two miles so you could spend a whole day here. And, even if you’re not looking to buy anything, the market is worth visiting to experience the cheerful and bustling atmosphere.
Portobello Market is actually set up in several distinct sections:
- the area from Chepstow Villas to Elgin Crescent is mostly antiques
- from Elgin Crescent to Talbot Road is the fruit and vegetable section
- from Talbot Road to Westway are the new goods
- from Westway to Goldbourne Road is the second-hand goods area
- the fashion market is spread out throughout the market.
Food at Portobello Market
There are plenty of stalls and shops selling food and drinks such as paella, “exceptional sausages” at Banger Bros., fresh juice at the Portobello Juice Bar, burgers, noodles, sandwiches, sweet pancakes, etc. so visiting Portobello Market also allows you to sample some of the market treats. I enjoyed watching the paella stall holder cooking up huge batches of paella and by the time we passed him on our return trip, he had totally sold out all the huge pans of paella.
If you prefer to sit down for a rest and meal, there are also many pubs and restaurants on Portobello Road and off some of the side streets. The entrance to some of these may be hidden behind the market stalls, so do take a look behind the stalls as well.
Market Place History
The Portobello Market area has some interesting history attached to it. Originally a farm area, it was named after Puerto Bello in the Caribbean in memory of Admiral Vernon who captured the town in 1739. When you come across pubs like Portobello Gold and Portobello Star, these are references to the old seafaring days. One of the Antiques Arcades is named after Admiral Vernon.
We arrived quite late in the afternoon and already some stalls had packed up for the day. Still there was enough going on in the market to give us a sense of what a bustling place it must be when it’s in full flight. We didn’t come to shop, but still managed to buy some nice T-shirts from a shop. Tony was quite embarrassed when I asked the guy for a discount for three T-shirts. But, I did get £5.00 off! As we were due to meet friends for dinner, I had to fight off the temptation to taste some of that seafood paella.
Portobello Market is accessible by the Tube (Central Line, Circle Line and District Line). Get off at Notting Hill Gate Station and follow the crowd.
09:00 – 18:00 Mon. to Wed.
09:00 – 13:00 Thurs.
09:00 – 19:00 Fri. and Sat.
Closed on Sunday.
Portobello Road, London Map: