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A walk down Portobello
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At first sight, Portobello can seem like one long mile of hustle and bustle, yet it's worth taking a little pause for thought to discover what made Portobello Market and Notting Hill the world-famous destination it is today. Allow up to two hours on a busy day, and be sure to take a well-earned tea or coffee break.

A walk down Portobello A walk down Portobello

A walk down Portobello
On arrival at the tube station, Notting Hill Gate looks ordinary. Yet beyond the 1960s development, the real Notting Hill begins to gloriously unfold. Walk to Pembridge Road and turn left on to the Portobello Road.

A walk down Portobello
You'll be immediately greeted by The Sun In Splendour, Notting Hill's oldest pub. On a sunny day, its secret garden is the perfect setting for a pint of English ale or a plate of pre-Portobello fish and chips.

A walk down Portobello
The first clue to the contrasts ahead lies at 22 Portobello Road. A small, blue painted cottage on the right where, in 1933, author George Orwell lived and gathered material for his classic Down and Out in Paris and London.

A walk down Portobello
100 yards further across Chepstow Villas comes first sight of the Antiques Market: rows of mid-Victorian shops, which in 1864 were laid out abutting both sides of the original twisting Portobello farm track.

A walk down Portobello
To the right is Alice's, a Portobello landmark, run by the same rag-and-bone family who were a key element behind the establishment of the Antiques Market in 1948. Nearby Denbigh Mews featured in the 1960s film The Italian Job.

A walk down Portobello
On the left are many of the original antique arcades: Roger's, Arbras, Chelsea and Geoffrey Van and on the right the Good Fairy. Here you'll find both professionals and amateurs also selling vintage clothing and film and pop memorabilia.

A walk down Portobello
Pass Sam and Sam's Art Deco shop at 135 and in between all the bustle is The Portobello Gold pub, branded 'Bill Clintons local' after the US President popped in for a pint in 2000. Rumour has it he left without paying...

A walk down Portobello
Near number 113 lies a collection of stalls, in what was the under-chamber of the Bijou Theatre, where Laurence Olivier made his stage debut in 1925. Later a cinema, the entrance to the 20th Century Theatre is around the corner.

A walk down Portobello
Back towards Portobello Road, across the junction is the Earl of Lonsdale, known as the 'prime freak pub of all time' in the 1960s. This hippy hangout numbered Jimi Hendrix and Syd Barrett among its legendary congregation.

A walk down Portobello
Vernon Yard and the Admiral Vernon Antiques Market are named after Admiral 'Old Grog' Vernon, who captured the Spanish colony of Puerto Bello in 1739. Mr Adams, owner of Barley Farm, patriotically renamed it Portobello to commemorate the victory.

A walk down Portobello
Women pioneered antiques on Portobello Road and June Aylward - who established the first antique shop - is commemorated with a blue plaque here.

A walk down Portobello
Nearby are two fabulous arcades: Harris's and The Red Lion. Here, a warren of interconnecting passages set stalls of birthstone brooches next to porcelain pottery, alongside a notable coin dealer who's worked here since the market opened.

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