Your One Stop Guide to the Best Things to do in Notting Hill

colorful homes of Lancaster Road in Notting Hill

Easily one of the most colorful and awe-worthy neighborhoods in London has been popular with tourists over the years for its colorful facades, antique shops, cafes, and markets. Check out all the best things to do in Notting Hill for your next trip to London to help you plan your trip.

We pick out what to do in Notting Hill for any traveler looking to explore this eclectic and multicultural neighborhood that has become one of the most valuable neighborhoods to own real estate at in the city.

Wander aimlessly through the famous Notting Hill pastel houses, munch your way through the different cafes and restaurants, shop until you drop at the famous Portobello Market, and find one picture-perfect spot after another in this enchanting neighborhood.

Check out our guide to all the best things to do in Notting Hill to inspire you for your next trip.

Also be sure to check out our 3-day itinerary for London for more great ideas as well as our guide to the best things to do in East London.

Table of Contents
    1. A Brief Background of Notting Hill
    2. What to do in Notting Hill
    3. Getting to Notting Hill
    4. Where to Stay in Notting Hill


A Brief Background of Notting Hill

pink houses in Notting Hill London

Located in Kensington and Chelsea, this neighborhood wasn’t always the picture perfect and affluent neighborhood you see today.

While this neighborhood has been closely tied with artists from the late 1800s, the beautiful Victorian homes you see today were once a home to Caribbean immigrants and community through much of the 20th century because it was very affordable. There were many property owners who exploited the immigrants who lived here and ran the properties like slum lords with undesirable living conditions.

This is also the famous location of the Notting Hill race riots of 1958 before the area was gentrified in the 21st century and became one of the most desirable and most expensive neighborhoods to live in the city where you’ll find high-end shopping and eateries.

Many know of Notting Hill from Hollywood pop culture references and filming locations in many cult classic films like Notting Hill and Love Actually with some of the biggest stars on the screen as well as the pastel colorful homes and the famous Notting Hill Carnival festival that takes place annually to pay homage to the Caribbean community that once lived here.

This article does a good job exploring the past and present of Notting Hill if you want to learn more about the history of this neighborhood before your visit.

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What to do in Notting Hill

Portobello Market

Portobello Market in Notting Hill London

Easily one of the top things to do in Notting Hill is visit the Portobello Market along Portobello Green, Westbourne Grove, and the Antiques Arcades 6 days a week where you can shop for the freshest produce, antiques, vintage items, fashion items, and food!

This is definitely what to do in Notting Hill if you’re visiting on a Saturday, the best day of the market and the busiest and full of fun finds along the colorful homes and pastel houses of Notting Hill.

The market is open on everyday except for Sundays with the best days to visit being Fridays and Saturdays.

Hours for Notting Hill Portobello Market

Monday – Wednesday 9 am – 6 pm

Thursday 9 am – 1 pm

Friday – Saturday 9 am – 6 pm

Churchill Arms

people gathering around the flowery Churchill Arms Bar in London

Another pick for one of the best things to do in Notting Hill, London is visit the incredible and flower-covered Churchill Arms pub. This is definitely what to do in Notting Hill if you’re visiting in the spring and summer when you can witness the exquisite flower displays on the exterior of the building where they spend an annual of 25,000 GBP on their flowers!

If you happen to be visiting in the winter you’re not completely out of luck, the winter also has an exciting and extravagant Christmas display.

Besides being an incredible Notting Hill photo location, this pub was named after Winston Churchill after WWII that you’ll find as an ongoing theme both inside and outside the pub.

Stop for a drink, even if its crowded you can stand outside with the locals enjoying your brew or eat at the Thai restaurant inside. We were surprised that this cuisine was being served here as well as it seems a bit random, but this is said to be the first London pub with a Thai restaurant.

Biscuiteers Boutique & Icing Café

man sitting at Biscuiteers Bakery and Icing Shop in London

This next thing to do in Notting Hill feels straight out of a storybook or fairytale. The Biscuiteers Boutique & Icing Café has to be one of the most adorable and picturesque cafes in all of London.

The adorable café with the amazing black and white façade serves up a range of biscuits, cakes, tarts, macaroons, drinks and all things to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Want to be a better baker? Try out their Icing School for an unforgettable experience and the perfect idea for what to do in Notting Hill for those looking to be more artsy with their sweets in the kitchen!

This best thing to do in Notting Hill is also a great spot to enjoy afternoon tea from 11 am – 4 pm, be sure to book in advance if you want to enjoy this experience in this quaint café!

Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising

Are you a huge fan of branding and packaging like myself? If so, you will want to check out this next best thing to do in Notting Hill! The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising is a mecca advertising through the 1900s to today from some of the world’s most well-known brands.

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Walk through the Tunnel of Time and the museum’s exhibits with over 12,000 pieces in their collection of branding, packaging, and advertising with everything from fashion to home goods, to toys.

Don’t miss their gift shop either, if you’re looking for a fun souvenir from London this is a great place to get it! A top choice for what to do in Notting Hill for design nerds and aficionados.

Notting Hill Movie House

Megan taking a photo of the Notting Hill HouseRemember the iconic romance movie from 1999 starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts? Yep, the name is the same as the neighborhood and one of the most popular things to do in Notting Hill is spot the famous blue door that was Hugh Grant’s home in the movie.

You can find that famous blue door at 280 Westbourne Park. What’s even more fun is this was the actual door to the home of the movie’s writer Richard Curtis. While filming of this home only took place on the exterior of the door, the rest was done on a set.

This door became so popular with tourists it was donated and auctioned off and painted black. So it won’t appear just like it was in the movie but the current owners have repainted just the door blue to pay homage to the cult classic film.

This is definitely what to do in Notting Hill if you’re a film location seeker and movie buff!

Find all the Colorful Homes in Notting Hill

Megan by the pastel row of homes in Notting Hill London

Easily one of the best and most popular things to do in Notting Hill, London is find the rows of colorful and beautiful brightly painted homes that are an Instagrammers dream come true. Street after street you’ll find the most picturesque Notting Hill pastel houses and cotton candy colors.

Here are some of the best spots to quickly find rows of colorful homes, but we highly recommend just spending more time wandering yourself to discover some clusters of brightly colored houses that are a bit off the regular tourist radar for some different perspectives of the neighborhood.

Courtesy Reminder: While this is a very photogenic area and taking photos is what to do in Notting Hill for just about any visitor please remember and be mindful that people do live here. Be respectful and do not get too close or climb the steps up to the doorways. You wouldn’t want strangers getting too close to your house, please be respectful to this neighborhood and its residents as well.

Lancaster Road

Colorful homes on Lancaster Road in Notting HillThis is where you can find the rich and vibrant jewel tone row of homes that are a popular Notting Hill photo location and some of the most instagrammable spots in London.

Denbigh Terrace

colorful houses on Denbigh Terrace in Notting Hill in LondonAnother great spot for Notting Hill pastel houses and brightly colored homes and what to do in Notting Hill if you’re looking for more great photo locations.

Westbourne Park Road

colorful row of homes on Westbourne Park Road in Notting HillProbably my favorite row of Notting Hill pastel houses because all the homes are so lightly colored and the street is the perfect place to snap a great photo.

Lansdowne & Elgin Cress Roads

Colorful homes of Elgin Road in Notting Hill LondonThis is what I called the pastel parade as we wandered off the regular path on our way to the Museum of Brands. This is a fun detour route to take as you won’t find many tourists this way and more picture-perfect homes to ooh and ahh over as you pass by.

Portobello Road

Colorful buildings on Portobello Road in LondonWe couldn’t fail to mention that some of the prime Notting Hill pastel houses and best things to do in Notting Hill are the colorful row of buildings on Portobello Road. Take a turn down by Alice’s for another amazing perspective of these vibrant buildings!

All the Streets of White Homes

pretty row of homes in Notting Hill LondonWhile the colorful homes are quite pretty, we found the rows of blank white homes to be just as beautiful! I don’t remember the exact location where we took our photo but you can find these white rows of home all over Notting Hill as well.

St Luke’s Mews

St Lukes Mews in Notting Hill LondonEasily one of the cutest streets in the city and another top thing to do in Notting Hill is visiting St Luke’s Mews.

While you’ll find beautiful homes cover this entire stretch and a gorgeous hot pink house, this spot is also home to one of the most famous filming scenes from the Christmas cult classic Love Actually.

You can find the door where Mark declares his love to Juliet at house number 27, which is the pretty pink house on the street that everyone wants to get their photo at.

Note that the pink house asks for a 1 GBP donation for each person who takes a photo in front of their door, their sign says they donate it to charity. If you’re going to take a photo at someone’s house and they request something so little, just do it!

The mews are actually homes that were popular in the 17th – 18th centuries where the lower level of the house was used as a horse stable and the upper levels were where you lived. You can notice the design of this if you look closely at the homes!

Alice’s Antiques

Alices Antiques in Notting Hill LondonOne of the unmissable shops and things to do in Notting Hill is visit Alice’s. This inviting antique shop is full of vintage finds and wonders with the most adorable exterior façade.

Inside you’ll find all sorts of goodies and fun finds, be sure to check out this awesome fun spot at 86 Portobello Road. This is also a great location to get a photo of the colorful row of buildings on Portobello Road!

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The Distillery

Portobello Road Gin exterior in Notting HillA trip to London wouldn’t be complete without a gin cocktail at one of the most famous gin establishments in the city serving up the world renowned Portobello Road Gin.

Inside this inviting distillery, you’ll find four floors where you can sit down and relax while having a gin cocktail or tasting in the Ginstitute, the Resting Room, or the Gintonica. Each room is curated and designed differently and the perfectly cool spot to enjoy a drink and even snap a photo.

Better yet, this is what to do in Notting Hill if you’re also looking for a great place to stay as there is accommodation here.

Endless Photo Locations

Scott walking across pink house in St Lukes Mews in LondonThe best things to do in Notting Hill are just exploring and finding all the photogenic gems around every corner of this enchanting neighborhood. It’s seriously full of one picture-perfect spot after another and is any photographers playground.

Even their Salvation Army is photogenic as well as their restaurants, shops, and cinema. This neighborhood really does inspire creativity with its bright colors every which direction and funky and eclectic shops.

Notting Hill Carnival

One of the most famous attractions and things to do in Notting Hill is attend the Notting Hill Carnival celebrated each year for two days in August.

This carnival has been taking place since the 1960s and is considered one of the world’s largest street festivals celebrated and led by the British West Indian community and attracting over 2 million visitors each year!

It’s hard to imagine Notting Hill anymore colorful than it already is, but during Carnival it’s even more vibrant with the tropical and Caribbean flare of the Carnival attire.

Electric Cinema

Want to rest your feet after exploring all the best things to do in Notting Hill or perhaps you came on a rainy day. Check out the Electric Cinema for a cool movie experience in one of the oldest movie theaters in Britain.

The retro-style theater offers extra cozy seating on couches with tables facing the big screen. There aren’t many movie theaters like this in the world, so be sure to check it out.

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Getting to Notting Hill

Ukai restaurant on Portobello Road in LondonExploring what to do in Notting Hill couldn’t be easier with the Tube. There are three stations you can access Notting Hill by:

Notting Hill Gate (Central Line/District Line/Circle Line)

Westbourne Park Station (Hammersmith Line/Circle Line)

Ladbroke Grove Station (Hammersmith Line/Circle Line)

Exploring what to do in Notting Hill by bus is also an easy option. There are many routes coming to Notting Hill via Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill Gate.

You also have the options of popular rideshare apps and the city taxis as well.

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Where to Stay in Notting Hill

lady walking dog in colorful street in London

Want to get to know the neighborhood more in depth while exploring all the best things to do in Notting Hill? We recommend staying in Notting Hill as this is one of the most desirable and expensive neighborhoods to live in London and a great place to explore the city from during your trip.

$$ The Distillery

One of the best locations for where to stay while exploring all the best things to do in Notting Hill is in the heart of the neighborhood right on Portobello Road in the Distillery. Enjoy a gin cocktail by day and by night stay in their stylish boutique rooms with amazing views.

Better yet, the rooms are great rates given the prime location and stylish rooms.

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$$$ The Portobello Hotel

This gorgeous hotel is the perfect place to explore what to do in Notting Hill and make you feel more than a tourist and more like a local in this upscale neighborhood. This gorgeous boutique hotel has individually designed and styled vibrant rooms that look straight out of a Wes Anderson film.

Better yet, you’re less than a 10-minute walk to the Portobello Market. We warn you, once you see photos of this place you’ll want to stay longer than your vacation.

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$$$$ The Laslett

Located in 5 connected gorgeous Victorian houses, this hotel is the perfect place to stay to explore all the best Notting Hill attractions in the heart of the neighborhood. This luxury property is located right next to the Notting Hill Gate tube station and a walking distance away to all the great attractions nearby.

The cosmopolitan rooms are decorated with sophisticated style with each room featuring original artwork. Don’t miss dining out on the beautiful courtyard during your stay and enjoy the finer things in life while staying at this upscale option.

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Be sure to check out more amazing spots in London if you’re visiting in the spring (or anytime!)

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things to do in Notting Hill