Finding things to do in London's stunning Notting Hill happen naturally once visitors wander off the rather unexciting High Street and onto the charming side streets. Hugh Grant's movie Notting Hill thrust the neighborhood and the antique market on Portobello Road, now heaving on Saturdays, into the spotlight. While the area may not be full of main stream attractions, it's worth getting a visit to get lost in local life.
Portobello Road Market, a mixture of antiques and souvenir tat, is open on Fridays and Saturdays while the shops behind the market stalls are also open weekdays. From Portobello Road continue onto upscale Westbourne Grove for boutique shopping, art galleries and independent restaurants.
Art house film buffs flock to Notting Hill's three independent cinemas: The Gate, The Electric and The Coronet. Nostalgics will relish a look back at daily English life at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising.
For two weeks in August the Notting Hill Carnival takes over the streets with parades, live music, Caribbean food and wild parties well into the wee hours as a celebration of the neighborhood's West Indian culture.
Nearby Notting Hill are three of London's largest green spaces. Holland Park attracts more of a local scene with children's playgrounds and sports ground while Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens is popular with tourists and locals alike.
For those seeking active things to do, the Westway Sports Centre has an indoor climbing wall with over 300 routes available for casual use or taking courses. Queens Ice and Bowl in the edgier Bayswater has a subterranean indoor ice rink and a modern bowling alley. Or try boutique bowling at All Star Lanes also in Bayswater for a retro American experience.
2 Lonsdale Road
21 Notting Hill Gate
Kensington and Chelsea
1 Various locations
The Stable Yard Holland Park Ilchester Place
6 Porchester Gardens
Retro American diner, bowling and lounge... read more
West Carriage Drive
1 Crowthorne Road