Portobello Market – What You Need to Know

Portobello Market

What Is It?

The world’s largest antiques market and one of London’s best-loved landmarks.

With more than 1,000 traders, Portobello Market has the most extensive selection of antiques in the UK.

Does it sell anything else besides antiques?

Of course. While it specialises in antiques, Portobello attracts almost any kind of seller you can think of. On any given market day, you can expect to find stalls selling vintage clothes and accessories, collectibles, bric-a-brac, furniture, new fashion, as well as traditional market fare like fruits, vegetables and household goods.

Portobello Market

Where Is It?

Portobello Road (W11 2QB) forms the nucleus of the market, but you’ll also find stalls on some of the streets that branch off it.

So Portobello Market isn’t restricted to just Portobello Road?

That’s right. The market spills into the surrounding streets, but it’s all fairly well-organised so you shouldn’t get a fishmonger stinking up a neighbouring fashion stall.

The stretch between Chepstow Villas and Elgin Crescent is the main draw of the market, with its vibrant antiques section containing articles dating from BC up to the 1960s. Anything from glass and crystal to silver and books can be found here.

Fruit and vegetable stalls take up the space between Elgin Crescent and Talbot Road, along with a few stalls selling bread, cakes, fish and cheese.

Stalls selling new goods, such as cheap socks, toys and batteries occupy the pavement between Talbot Road and Westway.

Fashion sellers – flogging vintage bags, lace and fur coats can be found dotted around Portobello Road as well as in the Westway area.

Finally, second-hand goods like clothes and random car boot-esque items tend to sit between Westway and Golbourne Road.

When Is It open?

Opening times tend to shift with the seasons. In the summer, most stalls start to set up from 8am then begin packing away from 5pm. In the winter or in cases of bad weather, stalls can appear from 9am before winding down at 4pm.

In a typical week though, the market is open every day except Sunday.

The market typically closes on August bank holiday to make way for Notting Hill Carnival. Aside from Good Friday, there is no market on bank holidays.

Portobello Market

When Is the best time to visit?

Saturday is considered to be Portobello Market’s main day. This is when Portobello is firing on all cylinders, with the Antiques Arcade open and stalls filling Portobello Road and connecting streets.

When Is the worst time to visit?

Sunday. The permanent shops will be open as usual on a Sunday, but no street stalls are set up on this day. However, there may be some forecourt traders towards the southern end of Portobello Road, while Portobello Green holds a market selling vintage clothing and bric-a-brac.

The market only opens for the first half of the day on Thursdays with stalls closing around 1pm.

Also, while Saturday is the best day to visit, it’s not especially wise to drop by at the back-end of the day because many of the stalls are either winding down or have already packed-up and departed.

shoreditch street

What about these shops?

Portobello Road is home to a wide range of permanent shops that stick to regular opening hours, so you don’t have to be as conscious of time if you’re just bothered about the actual shops.

As with the market, the offering of shops is a mixed bag with everything from fashion designers (The Merchant), to record shops (Honest Jon’s), as well as vintage fashions (Dolly Diamond) and health and beauty (Cowshed).

How can I get there?

London’s Underground system – often referred to as ‘the Tube’ – is widely regarded as the cheapest and most convenient way of getting about the UK capital. That remains the case with Portobello Market because there is no shortage of Tube stations within walking distance.

The closest stations are Notting Hill Gate on the Central, Circle and District Lines, and Ladbroke Grove Station on the Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines.

Bus travellers can take the 31, 94, 148 and N207 to Notting Hill Gate – Hillgate Street (Stop D) before walking up Pembridge Road; Portobello Road is the third left.

Alternatively, other bus routes serving the market include 23, 52 and 452, alighting at Elgin Crescent (Stop PH).

If you plan on driving to Portobello Market, then aside from the limited on-street parking bays, you’ll be able to leave your car in one of the secure car parks on Bayswater Road, Silchester Road, Arthur Court or at the Westfield shopping centre.