Notting Hill Area Overview
Notting Hill is a vibrant, upmarket area of West London; a fashionable and highly desirable area to live in. With its large Victorian villas, hip cafes and bars and a convivial atmosphere, there’s no doubt that this is a classy place to be. However, it was not always like this. Just 100 years ago, this was considered one of the worst areas of London – but there really is no visible trace of this impoverished heritage today. In fact, it is the living area of choice for the rich and famous, and some of its more notable residents include Stella McCartney, Robbie Williams and Claudia Schiffer.
Notting Hill is a safe and quiet neighbourhood which attracts both young families and successful professionals. It is very well connected to the rest of London via the Central, Circle and District lines and also within walking distance of some beautiful open spaces, such as Kensington Gardens and Holland Park.
Once you walk away from the main throng of Notting Hill Gate and enter the heart of the community, it’s an elegant network of streets, with stuccoed Victorian buildings, and some wonderful restaurants, pubs, cafes and shops.
Shopping is undoubtedly a favourite Notting Hill pastime. There are boutique stores along Westbourne Grove, Ledbury Road and of course Portobello Road, with its famous market. There are also countless antique shops and second hand stores dotted around, selling books, CDs and posters and other retro curios.
The area is perhaps most famous for what takes place on the August bank holiday weekend. Notting Hill Carnival is the second largest street festival in the world, after Rio. The carnival initially began as a response to the race riots in 1959; since then it has evolved to become the huge event we know today – a colourful 3-mile parade, accompanied by Caribbean music, lots of food and drink stalls and crowds that flock from far and wide to join the festivities.