I've not managed a visit to Portobello Rd Market before. I seem to always be arriving or leaving on a Saturday or not being in London on a Saturday at all. I made sure this time I got it right.
I read up about it a bit last night to work out the best place to start, what not to miss, and what time I should go. http://www.portobellomarket.org/. I've read things in the past in guide books that say to get there really early (like 7am!) but this website said otherwise. In the end I decided I'd start walking at 8.30am.
When I got there some of the stalls weren't set up yet so I'd guess 7am would be a bit of a waste of time. I didn't go into the shops as I figured that was something you could do on another day. I planned to be out of there before it got too crowded. I started at Chepstow Villas and turned back just past the Westway overpass. It was the first section that interested me the most - the antique traders.
What a colourful street. Even many of the buildings were painted in bright colours. I kept wandering off down side streets to photograph the gorgeous buildings.
There were so many interesting things to look at but I didn't want to buy anything because we just don't have storage. In the end I did buy 3 sets of mounted vintage cigarette cards... chickens for me... pigs for mum... cats for Lynne. I figured I'll be taking my laptop home when we go and they can just go in the laptop case too. I found a whole shelf of tartanware (bit too pricey), a clothing shop that had the walls lined with old sewing machines (I couldn't get a photo to do it justice because the clothes were in the way), kiddies hats with crazy faces, Paddington bears (which made me think of Kate), a stallholder selling nothing but printers trays and letters, and tulips galore. There were dozens of food stalls just starting to cook for the day and by the time I was back to the beginning the crowds were just pouring in. There were London cabs crowding the corner where the market begins and the road leading down from Notting Hill Gate tube station was just a seething mass. I was glad I'd finished!!
Right after lunch I went to the cinema to see "I Give it a Year". Bit of light hearted comedy. Then it was back to the hotel to do a load of washing (save me filling that water tank). I thoroughly enjoyed today.