Hello! I will be in London for a few days in September (this will not be my first time) and was wondering if spending some time at the Portobello Road market is worth it on a Saturday? I have heard great things and love to go to markets, etc. but was just wondering the opinion of those that have been. I only have a couple of days there but going to this market has always been on my "list" of things to check out and have yet to get around to it. Thanks!
We have been to this market several times and really enjoy it. We are into hunting antiques, so this has been a good place for us to go. Antiques can be quite expensive there. The last time we were there, it was on a Saturday (in May), and it was VERY crowded. Shoulder-to-shoulder people - kept us from enjoying it quite as much as we had at other times.
If it's always been on your list then do it and take it off you list. You can spend as much or as little time there as you want and you'll soon figure out which it is to be. I've also been there many times and it's always fun.
If you're into antiques definitely visit Portobello. When I was in London last month I had a blast at the Sunday morning Spitalfields and nearby Brick lane markets.
Thanks very much! I will check it out!
You may wish to check out the Shop Portobello website, a traders' guide to market stalls & independent shops, and/or the local Council's pages about the markets on Visit Kensington and Chelsea to plan your visit. We highly recommend going inside the antiques arcades that line one side of Portobello Road from Chepstow Villas to Lonsdale Road. Depending on weather, the street market in this section can get very crowded by 10 or 11am. For a respite from fellow tourists and to get an idea of what Portobello Road used to be like 'back in the day', head all the way north to Golborne Road, which retains a funky and eclectic atmosphere. BBC Food & Farming Award winners for Best Street Food, the Moroccan Soup Stand, can be found outside Marrakech butchers near Wornington Road. Golborne Road is near the Ladbroke Grove Tube station on the Hammersmith & City and Circle Lines. Enjoy your visit & follow @rbkc_markets on Twitter for the latest news & information!
Wow this information is wonderful! Thanks Mark!
Show up just after daybreak when the trade does to get a jump on the crowd. I don't know if they wait for an open time...but cash usually talks.
Everyone might not be set up yet...but you might get dibs on something that is sure to be gone when the tourists get there. Look up the other Street Markets. The street vendors often rotate to other venues throughout the week. If you are looking for actual antiques; shop some of the malls...dealers often don't bring their good stuff to the street. You can find many fun and funky things if you are there early enough.
If you love to go to markets, it is definitely worth spending time there if you have already been to London and crossed off some of the other big "must sees" on your list in the past. Even if you aren't looking for serious antiques, there are other things that might catch your attention. I bought some great jewelry while I was at Portobello Road Market and I still get dozens of compliments from other women who want to know where I got these necklaces from, and every time I put one on I remember that day (so great souvenir and was very easy to pack as they took barely any space in my bag). And do agree with previous poster to check out some of the food stalls. I had some of the best street food I have ever had, anywhere, at Portobello. So even if you don't buy anything, it's worth going just to get some lunch and walk around and look over the wares each merchant has laid out. Camden Lock was also a pretty good market. But if I was going back for only a couple days and had to choose one to revisit, I would go back to Portobello.
Thanks everyone for all of this great information!