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Notting Hill, London

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Notting Hill enjoys such a prime spot on the London tourist map that they named a film after it. The 1999 Julia Roberts–Hugh Grant romantic comedy, where famous film star Anna Scott (Roberts) falls in love with humble bookstore owner William Thacker (Grant), takes a close look at the W11 postcode of West London.
In the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Notting Hill is known for the annual Notting Hill Carnival, the fashionable Portobello Road Market and the celebrity set who live there.

Notting Hill

Full of terraced Victorian townhouses, the area has a reputation for affluence, high-end shopping, restaurants and ‘Boho chic’ culture; it has had an association with artists and creative sorts ever since the 1820s. In 2004, the UK newspaper Daily Telegraph coined the phrase the ‘Notting Hill Set’ to refer to the up-and-coming Conservative leadership of David Cameron and George Osborne, who both live in the area.

The famous Portobello Road Market was one of the cornerstones of the 1960s Swinging London scene. The market runs almost the length of Notting Hill from north to south and is known for its antiques, second-hand goods and its fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables are sold on weekdays, along with second-hand goods on the Friday. Saturday is by far the busiest day with visitors from far and wide coming for the antiques market.

Notting Hill is also known for its annual street Carnival, the largest in Europe. Held on the last weekend in August, the event is led by members of the Caribbean community in Notting Hill and has attracted up to 1.5 million people in the past. Elaborate and vibrant costumes and Caribbean food stalls cover 20 miles in and around Notting Hill, while Caribbean music plays and revellers party.

House prices and rents are incredibly high in certain parts of Notting Hill; private gardens for residents are a feature of this exclusivity. North Kensington, however, has become a popular area for Irish, Jewish, Spanish and West Indian immigrants, among other nationalities, making it one of the most cosmopolitan areas in London with a strong cultural and class mix.
Notting Hill has also been featured in other films such as A Hard Day’s Night, Withnail & I, Quadrophenia and The Italian Job. You can sign up for walking tours around the area.

Don’t bother to look for Notting Hill’s famous blue door in Westbourne Park Road, however; while this masqueraded as Hugh Grant’s rather rundown flat in the film, it was actually writer/ producer and director Richard Curtis’ real front door. The house has since been sold and the distinctive blue door replaced.

Reach Notting Hill by travelling to Notting Hill Gate tube station on the Central, Circle and District Lines or take one of the many buses heading there (27,28,31,52,70,94,328).

 

 

 

 


 


 

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