Portobello Road is a street just to the north of Notting Hill Gate underground station and is now famous for its Market, which attracts many visitors to London. The market area is about 1,028 yards (940 m) long. The main market day for antiques is Saturday. However, there are also fruit and vegetable stalls in the market, which trade throughout the week and are located further north than the antique stalls.
The market began as a fresh-food market in the 19th century but antique dealers arrived in the late 1940s and 1950s. There are now a substantial number of them trading mainly on Saturday mornings. Nowadays this is reputably the largest antiques market in the UK.
Over the years the road has been used as a setting for many films and British television dramas. It became particularly notable as the setting for the 1999 film Notting Hill, with much of the filming taking place on the street. The famed blue door, however, no longer exists, having been sold.
The distinctiveness of Portobello Road does not rely solely on its market. A range of communities, who inhabit the street and the surrounding district, contributes to a cosmopolitan and energetic atmosphere – as do the many restaurants and pubs. The architecture plays a part too, as the road meanders and curves gracefully along most of its length, unlike the more formally planned layout of most of the nearby area. Mid- to late-Victorian terrace houses and shops predominate and are squeezed tightly into the available space, adding intimacy and a pleasing scale to the streetscape. The Friends of Portobello campaign seeks to preserve the street’s unique dynamic, as the potential arrival of big-brand chain stores threatens to destroy the local charm. Portobello Road is also home to the Grade II Electric Cinema, one of Britain’s oldest cinemas.
For further details about trading days and times go to www.portobelloroad.co.uk/the-market/
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