A Notting Hill Walk

Route & what to see


Notting Hill is known for a number of things; the huge Carnival that takes place on August Bank Holiday weekend, the Hugh Grant film and the Portobello Road with its market. Until 1864 there was still a Tollgate, on the site of the station (originally built in 1868). Gravel pits had been dug along present Notting Hill Gate and although this area was quite developed in 1841 lanes led northwards across fields to Notting Barn and Porto Bello Farms. What was to become the Ladbroke Grove estate was at this time the Hippodrome Racecourse and alongside this were the Potteries & Piggeries, notorious slum areas. Colourful terraces and interesting shops feature on this walk along with 4 cinema buildings. The busiest day is Saturday but there are some stalls on other days.

This 2 mile walk begins at Notting Hill Gate tube station and finishes at Holland Park tube station. A longer route is available [click here]

Exit onto the south side of Notting Hill Gate and go east turning into Kensington Church Street. Go right at Kensington Place, right at Jameson Street and left at Hillgate Place.
This area was developed in the 1850s but by 1861 most of the houses were in multiple occupation.

Go right at Hillgate Street
At the end is the Coronet, which built in 1898 as a theatre converted to a cinema 20 years later

Go right along Notting Hill Gate
On the right is the Gate Cinema

Cross into Pembridge Road
To the left in Kensington Park Road is the Kensington Temple and on an island opposite one of the 13 remaining cabmen's shelters. [
more info]

Continue along Pembridge Road and turn left into Portobello Road
Number 22 has a blue plaque to George Orwell. In Westbourne Grove to the left the building now an antiques centre was the 20th Century Cinema opened in 1866 as the Victoria Hall, later becoming the Bijou.

Continue along Portobello Road
The market began in the 1860/70s as a herb and horse-trading centre for local gypsies. There are antiques & collectables at the southern end, fruit & vegetables in the centre and new & second-hand goods at the northern end. Along on the left is the purpose built Electric Cinema of 1911. Notice the box office and tiled floor in the foyer.

Go left at Blenheim Crescent, left at Kensington Park Road then right along Elgin Crescent. Follow this through to Clarendon Road then cross this into Portland Road. Go ahead into Avondale Park.
Opened in 1892 this former area of slurry called 'the Ocean' was part of the notorious Piggeries as well as the location of tile kilns and brickfields.

Exit into Walmer Road further along where a tile kiln remains. Go to the right alongside the church of St Francis of Assisi (Pottery Lane) then first left along Penzance Place back into Portland Road.
Hippodrome Place on the left is a reminder of the Racecourse that once covered a large area here from 1837-42.

Go to the right here along Clarendon Cross, then right at Clarendon Road
To the left at the end of St John's Gardens is the church of 1845

Continue to the end of Clarendon Road and go left at Holland Park Avenue to the station.


london-footprints.co.uk 2011

There are Notting Hill walks in 'Walking London' by Andrew Duncan and 'Time Out Book of London Walks 2'
Historical Publications have produced an illustrated book 'Notting Hill & Holland Park Past' by Barbara Denny

[booklist] [walks list]