Notting Hill may be best known abroad for its namesake rom-com, but its true story is even more compelling. Once notorious throughout England for the 1958 race riots described in Colin MacInnes' novel Absolute Beginners, Notting Hill now hosts Europe's largest multi-cultural gathering: the Notting Hill Carnival. Originating from Afro-Caribbean traditions, the annual event is now a proud expression of "Black British" identity. Stretching from Great Western Road through Westbourne Grove to Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill features shops and restaurants representing over 20 nationalities. Some consider Notting Hill the culinary heart of London, especially the half-mile stretch from the stalls of Portobello Market and the gourmet delis along Elgin Crescent. Nearby are the Turkish Baths of Porchester Centre, Middle Eastern cafés along Queensway and the Greek Orthodox cathedral of St. Sophia on Moscow Road. To the south are the stuccoed houses and garden squares of Holland Park, where summer opera plays in the ruins of a Jacobean mansion.
Getting Around London
The best way to get around London is using public transportation and taxis. Poor parking availability and legendary traffic makes driving tricky, and Americans may find it challenging to drive on the opposite side or the car and road. Gatwick Express is the fastest train service from Gatwick to Central London. Trains run daily directly into London Victoria train and tube station starting at 4:35 a.m. and 5:20 a.m., then run every 15 minutes from 5:50 a.m. until 12:35 a.m. with the last trains leaving at 12:50 a.m. and 1:35 a.m. Fares: 1st Class £26 (Single), £50 (Return); Express Class £17.90 (Single), £30.80 (Return). Heathrow Express is the fastest train service from Heathrow to Paddington Station. Trains run from 5 a.m. until midnight from Heathrow. The standard single fare is £20 and standard return costs £34.
Nearby Airports
  • London Heathrow Airport-LHR
  • Gatwick Airport-LGW
Airport Taxis
  • £45-£83-Heathrow to Central London, depending on time, tariff, and traffic
  • £78-£98-Gatwick to Central London, depending on time, tariff, and traffic
Things to Do and See Near Notthing Hill
  • London Eye
  • British Museum
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower of London
  • Tate Modern
  • London Zoo
  • Natural History Museum
  • Tower Bridge
  • Westminster Abbey
  • Hyde Park
  • London Bridge
  • Globe Theatre
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Saatchi Gallery
  • St Paul's Cathedral
  • Marylebone
  • Middle Temple
  • Covent Garden
  • Palace of Westminster