Notting Hill is the well-to-do area north of Kensington and Chelsea. It evolved during the Middle Ages as an area of agriculture but got swallowed up in London’s relentless expansion. By 1830 the village had vanished altogether, and a fresh influx of immigrants in the 1950s saw it grow in size.
London’s world-famous Notting Hill Carnival takes place every year on the Sunday and Monday of the August Bank Holiday. It is a Caribbean street festival with floats and entertainment. You’ll get steel bands, feather-boa costumes, heart-pounding reggae and a crowd of thousands. It is reputedly the world’s second-largest street carnival behind Rio de Janeiro.
It was started up in the 1960s when race-relations between the regulars and the immigrant community had hit an all-time low. A major race riot ensued, and steps were taken to improve the mood.
Portobello Road gained it’s fame with a Saturday morning market (near the junction Westbourne Grove). It is reportedly the largest antiques fair in the world – with over 1,500 traders on any given day.
There is a broad range of goods on display – from cheap and cheerful knick-knacks, right up to items costing many thousands of pounds. Some of the most expensive antiques in the whole of London can be found in the Portobello Road Market.