With its pastel-hued homes, designer boutiques and stunning garden squares, Notting Hill is undoubtedly one of the most stylish districts in London. Located within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, this artsy and bohemian neighbourhood has a warm, welcoming and eclectic atmosphere that certainly lives up to its portrayal on the silver screen. From the hustle and bustle of Portobello Road and all the fun of its annual street carnival to its upscale boutiques and hip café culture, Notting Hill attracts a well-heeled cosmopolitan crowd including a host of famous faces. Read on to discover why properties here get snapped up at lightning speed and people tend to stay in this vibrant area for decades.
Architecture and property
Property in Notting Hill is a mix of Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian and modern architecture, lining leafy streets, sweeping crescents and peaceful residential squares – the most exclusive of which offer access to coveted private gardens. Traditional stucco façades give properties in Notting Hill their distinctive character, with many painted in a variety of bright pastel hues.
As part of his grand vision for Notting Hill, architect Thomas Allason designed the streets around Ladbroke Grove in concentric circles, forming the beating heart of the area. To this day, properties near the Ladbroke Estate and Westbourne Grove get snapped up rapidly, so if you’re looking to buy in Notting Hill, consider connecting with our experienced local property search agents who have access to properties marketed both publicly and off-market.
The terraced homes that line Lansdowne Road and Stanley, Elgin and Blenheim Crescents are some of Notting Hill’s most desirable properties, while the semi-detached and detached homes along Pembridge Villas are some of the area’s largest. Mews houses, such as those found in Pembridge, St Luke’s and Horbury Mews are popular, while beautiful modern apartments can be found along St Luke’s Road and Westbourne Gardens.
Who lives here?
Notting Hill attracts an eclectic crowd, from celebrities, media and finance professionals who predominantly work in the West End, the City, Canary Wharf and Mayfair, to families seeking access to excellent schools and the tranquillity provided by the idyllic communal gardens.
Increasing numbers of young professionals are drawn into Notting Hill by its scenic streets, diverse eateries and vibrant cultural scene, and the local community is cosmopolitan and inclusive, with those working in antiques and the arts rubbing shoulders with those that have lived here for generations. Celebrities such as Stella McCartney, Robbie Williams and Damon Albarn have all called Notting Hill home, as have politicians David Cameron and George Osborne.
Notting Hill was developed in the 19th Century to provide housing for the growing London middle classes. At this time, the Ladbroke family owned much of the land in the district and several streets and locations in the area are named after the family.
During the 1960s and 70s, Notting Hill became a hub for Caribbean-influenced counter culture and a thriving blues music scene developed, attracting artists and musicians from around the world. This spirit remains to this day, and can be found in the many live music venues in the area.
Over the last 50 years, Notting Hill has transformed from an enclave of relatively dense social housing into one of London’s most sought-after hotspots, with residents paying price tags in the millions for a slice of its charming village feel.
Drinking and Dining
Notting Hill has an abundance of excellent eateries and is something of a hub for organic and plant-based dining. Core by Clare Smyth is an elegant three Michelin-starred restaurant with an emphasis on natural and sustainable food, while Farmacy is a fashionable, wellness-inspired eatery with a menu of seasonal plant-based specialties.
Tucked behind St Peter’s Church just a short walk from Notting Hill Gate Station is the original Farm Girl: a bright café for health-conscious brunches, smoothies and sandwiches. Or, if you’re looking for something more substantial, head to Assaggi on Chepstow Place for high-end Italian cuisine or Gold on Portobello Road for oysters and a pint.
For drinks, the highly-Instagrammable Beach Blanket Babylon is famed for its quirky boho-chic decor and classic cocktails with a twist, while The Distillery is a four-floor working distillery that’s home to the internationally-renowned Portobello Road Gin.
The first ever Ottolenghi opened its doors in Notting Hill in 2002, offering a range of colourful dishes and exquisite pâtisserie. A huge variety of fresh bread is on offer at Gail’s Bakery on Portobello Road, which also serves high quality coffee, breakfast and lunch.
Arts and culture
Notting Hill has long been a muse for artistic and cultural inspiration – Jimi Hendrix wrote Purple Haze here, Withnail & I was filmed in the area, and more recently some of the film Paddington was shot on Portobello Road.
Every August Bank Holiday, the quiet streets of Notting Hill come alive in a lavish parade of colourful costumes and thumping sound systems. Held every year since 1965, the Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe and an annual celebration of British Caribbean culture. Residents deal with the carnival in one of two ways: either packing up the car to get away for the weekend or by joining in with the party.
The Notting Hill Arts Club has a superb range of music and arts events, featuring everything from photographic exhibitions to electronic music nights. The area has two main cinemas, the Electric and The Gate, which show a combination of the latest blockbusters and international arthouse films. There are three theatres: The Tabernacle, The Coronet and The Gate, which is said to put on some of London’s most innovative performances.
Art lovers will enjoy perusing the galleries of Notting Hill, including The West Bank Gallery on Westbourne Grove, which has a collection of contemporary, urban and street art, and Maddox Gallery which sources cutting-edge art from internationally-acclaimed and emerging artists.
For families, Notting Hill Gate Library on Pembridge Square offers a wide range of books, CDs and DVDs and classes for all ages.
Notting Hill’s main shopping street is the famous Portobello Road. Even when it’s not teeming with tourists and vintage shoppers at its world-renowned market on Saturdays, the street is a veritable treasure trove of antique shops and quirky cafés just waiting to be discovered. Located just off Portobello Road, Rough Trade is one of the oldest vinyl record shops in the world, while the quaint Alice’s offers an eclectic assortment of antique and vintage furnishings, china, curios and toys.
The bohemian feel of Portobello Road is contrasted by the upscale boutiques and interior design shops found around Westbourne Grove. The presence of high-end stores such as Paul Smith and Matches Fashion, and a frisson of French boutiques including Sézane, Aimé, APC and Maje mean Notting Hill is one of the most stylish shopping destinations in London. New York interiors star Jonathan Adler is also here, along with Themes & Variations which sells a unique range of contemporary furniture. Europe’s largest shopping centre – Westfield London – is also only a short distance on the underground.
Notting Hill has a choice selection of elegant delis and enticing food stores, includingDaylesford Farmshop & Cafe, Provenance Village Butcher, Lidgates, and George’s Fisheries. The section of the market around Colville Terrace still has the feel of a traditional London market and a good range of fruit and vegetable stalls.
And last but not least, a photo in front of the blue door next to The Notting Hill Bookshop is obligatory for visitors and residents alike: made famous by the iconic 1999 film Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. The blue door was written into the script by director Richard Curtis, who once lived at this location. Other notable bookstores in the area include the nearby Books for Cooks and Lutyens & Rubinstein on Kensington Park Road.
Transport and Airports
Tube: Notting Hill Gate station is located on the border between Zones 1 and 2 on the Central, Circle and District lines. It’s just seven minutes to Oxford Circus on the Central line, while the Circle line will take you across London to Tower Hill in 25 minutes. There are four other tube stations in the area: Holland Park and Queensway (Central line), Bayswater (Circle and District lines) and Westbourne Park (Hammersmith and City line).
Overground: The nearest London Overground station is moments away at Shepherd’s Bush. Located in Zone 2, it runs regular services to Richmond to the west, Clapham Junction to the south, Canada Water to the east and Highbury & Islington to the north.
Bus: Useful commuter buses include the 7 to Oxford Circus, the 23 to Liverpool Street, the 52 to Victoria and the 452 to Vauxhall via Sloane Square.
Cycle: The 20-minute cycle from Notting Hill to Oxford Circus is a pretty one, running along the edge of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
Road: Located just four miles west of central London, Notting Hill is a 20-minute cab ride into town and a short drive from the A4, which leads to the M4 and the West of England in just half an hour. The Westway (A40) and M3 provide a route out of London and access to the M25 – the London Orbital Motorway.
National Rail: Notting Hill is close to Shepherd’s Bush and Paddington, both of which offer mainline train services across London and beyond.
Airports: Notting Hill Gate is only two tube stops to Paddington station, where you can pick up the Heathrow Express and be at the airport within 15 minutes. Alternatively, City Airport to the east is less than an hour’s cab ride away.
Schools and healthcare
The high quality of Notting Hill’s schools is a key reason so many families choose to relocate here – don’t hesitate to contact our professional team of relocation agents if you’re in need of support. Primary options include Colville, Avondale Park and Thomas Jones, while for older children there is Holland Park School and Kensington Aldridge Academy, which ensures families can stay in the area throughout their child’s school and sixth form years. Independent schools include Notting Hill Preparatory School, Wetherby Pre Preparatory School and Notting Hill and Ealing High School. Southbank International School, popular with international residents, can be found on Kensington Park Road.
For healthcare, Notting Hill Medical Centre is a high-standard local GP surgery, while the nearest major hospitals, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea and Hammersmith Hospital, are only a few minutes away.
In addition to Notting Hill’s charming communal gardens, residents have easy access to some of the city’s most stunning royal parks. Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park are a short walk away, where locals can visit the historic fountains and statues, swim in the Serpentine Lido, and take part in various sporting activities. To the south east of the district lies Holland Park, with a vibrant Ecology Centre and elegant Japanese garden.
Sports & Leisure
Fitness fans are well served by the many gyms and leisure facilities in Notting Hill, including Bodyism, Body West Works and a Virgin Active on Lancaster Road. There are also pilates studios dotted around the area, such as Form Studios and Heartcore, and almost too many yoga studios to mention.
The future of Notting Hill
The consistent demand for property in Notting Hill means the area is seeing increasing numbers of new developments. Many bedsits and hotels towards Bayswater are being sold off and converted into attractive period flats, while property west of Edgware Road is in huge demand, especially with developers.
Looking to move to Notting Hill?
Whether you are planning on buying a family home, pied-à-terre or investment property, looking for an attractive rental property or relocating for work or with family, our in-depth knowledge of Notting Hill’s fast-moving property scene takes the strain out of property search and helps put your mind at ease. Contact us today to find out how we can help.