Notting Hill

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Rent a studio flat in London Notting Hill

Notting Hill is an area in London, England, close to the north-western corner of Kensington Gardens, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is a cosmopolitan district known as the location for the annual Notting Hill Carnival, and for being home to the Portobello Road Market.[1]

Very run-down until the 1980s, Notting Hill now has a contemporary reputation as an affluent and fashionable area;[2] known for attractive terraces of large Victorian townhouses, and high-end shopping and restaurants (particularly around Westbourne Grove and Clarendon Cross). A Daily Telegraph article in 2004 used the phrase the ‘Notting Hill Set[3] to refer to a group of emerging Conservative politicians, such as David Cameron and George Osborne, now respectively Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, who were once based in Notting Hill.

For much of the 20th century the large houses were subdivided into multi-occupancy rentals. Caribbean immigrants were drawn to the area in the 1950s, partly because of the cheap rents, but were exploited by slum landlords like Peter Rachman, and also became the target of white racist Teddy Boys in the 1958 Notting Hill race riots.

Since it was first developed in the 1820s, Notting Hill has had an association with artists and “alternative” culture.[4][5] There are also areas of deprivation to the north,[6] sometimes referred to as North Kensington, or Ladbroke Grove, from the name of the street.


The hill from which Notting Hill takes its name is still clearly visible, with its summit in the middle of Ladbroke Grove, at the junction with Kensington Park Gardens.

Notting Hill has no official boundaries, so definitions of which areas fall under Notting Hill vary. The postcode “W11″, centred on the Post Office in Westbourne Grove, near the junction with Denbigh Road, is the one most closely associated with Notting Hill, although the postcode immediately to the north, “W10″, covers that part of North Kensington which would fall within a broader definition. The local historian Florence Gladstone, in her much reprinted work “Notting Hill in Bygone Days” defines Notting Hill as the whole of that part of Kensington which is north of the road known as Notting Hill Gate.

Notting Hill therefore forms the major part of North Kensington, and is considered an alternative name;[24] though estate agents differentiate North Kensington as a distinct area including Notting Dale and the area east of Ladbroke Grove leading up to Harrow Road.[25] That part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea roughly encompassed by the electoral wards of Saint Charles, Golborne, Notting Barns, Colville, Norland, and Pembridge,[26] which is bounded on the north by Harrow Road and on the south by Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue, includes all areas known as Notting Hill, including Notting Barns,[27] the centre of the Notting Hill race riot.[28] David Cameron, leader of the Conservative Party, is known as part of the “Notting Hill Set”, though he states he lives in North Kensington.[23]

There are four tube stations in the area: Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove, Latimer Road and Notting Hill Gate. Ladbroke Grove tube station was called Notting Hill when it opened in 1864. The name was changed in 1919 to avoid confusion with the new Notting Hill Gate station.

Notting Hill is part of the parliamentary constituency of Kensington, represented by Conservative Sir Malcolm Rifkind.

Areas of Notting Hill

Ladbroke Grove

Main article: Ladbroke Grove

Ladbroke Grove is a road in the northern part of Notting Hill, stretching up to Kensal Green, straddling the W10 and W11 postal districts, and also the name of the immediate area surrounding the road. Ladbroke Grove tube station is on the road where it is crossed by Westway.

Notting Hill Gate

Main article: Notting Hill Gate

A turnpike gate was constructed at the foot of the hill on the main road from London to Uxbridge, now Oxford Street, Bayswater Road and Holland Park Avenue along this part of its route. The point at which the turnpike gate stood was known as Notting Hill Gate. The gate was there to stop people passing along the road without paying. The proceeds were applied towards the maintenance of this important road. The gate was removed in the 19th century and the high road was widened and straightened in the 1960s, involving the demolition of many buildings, the liking of two separate tube stations and the construction of two tower blocks.

Portobello Road

Portobello Road runs almost the entire length of Notting Hill from north to south. It runs parallel to Ladbroke Grove. It contains Portobello Road Market, one of London’s best known markets, containing an antique section and second-hand, fruit and veg and clothing stalls. The road was originally a lane leading to Portobello Farm in the north of Notting Hill.[29]

Westbourne Grove

Westbourne Grove is a retail road running across Notting Hill from Kensington Park Road in the west to Queensway in the east, crossing over Portobello Road. It was noted as “fashionable” and “up-and-coming” from the 1990s[30] since when it has attracted many designer label outlets as well as independent and chain retailers.[31]

The Notting Hill Carnival passes along the central part of Westbourne Grove.

North Kensington

North Kensington is the key neighbourhood of Notting Hill. It is where most of the violence of the race riots occurred, where the Notting Hill Carnival started and where most of the scenes in the film, Notting Hill were shot.

The area’s main transport hub, Ladbroke Grove tube station, was called Notting Hill from its opening in 1864 until 1919. The name was changed then to avoid confusion with the new Notting Hill Gate station. Ladbroke Grove is the area’s main thoroughfare.

Estate agents now call the super-rich area to the south Notting Hill when referring to Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park.

North Kensington was once well known for its slum housing.[citation needed]. However, North Kensington retains high levels of poverty and unemployment and a high-proportion of social housing for rent.

Waves of immigration to the area has occurred for at least a century, including, but certainly not limited to, people of Irish, Jewish, Caribbean, Spanish, and Moroccan extraction. This constant renewal of the population makes the area one of the most cosmopolitan in the world.

Residents from Notting Barns, one of the neighbourhoods in North Kensington, have set up their own community website,

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Notting Hill Carnival

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