This post is for a fab day trip idea, to Notting Hill, coming up to Camden and nipping down to Kings Cross. Which is perfect if at the end of the day, you’re planning on leaving London via Kings Cross or Euston.
Notting Hill is iconic for its beauty, and deservedly so. It’s coloured houses, large impressive white mansions, cute mews’, fab capacity for people watching, quirky shops and multi restaurants have the wow factor that you have no doubt already seen: if not in person, then online. It can make the weekends there hectic though, and I would say if it’s possible to go on a weekday, try that, as (depending what you like, and the timeframe you have) it wasn’t particularly relaxing on this Saturday morning, especially around Portobello market! It felt more like a rugby scrum at times haha, When ever you go though, it’s going to be beautiful and picture worthy, and worth getting off the “beaten track” to explore side streets independently.
Here’s what we did:
Arrived at Notting Hill around 10.30am: the place was already heaving, especially as you get closer to Portobello Road and the market! We already knew of a couple of streets we wanted to see- they are about a 10-12 minute walk from Notting Hill tube station.
1.St Lukes Mews. This is the street in Love Actually where that chap knocks on Keira Knightly door and tells her how beautiful she is and how much he loves her (whilst his best friend and her husband are upstairs!) You know, the super cute and swoonsome bit (and if you agree with me and take these things seriously, the totally out of order bit- haha)? The house in question has a equally cute sign on it, suggesting £1.00 for photos per person, which is donated to a local charity. We were happy to give it- the karma police were also mentioned and we didn’t want to take our chances! And for such an adorable house and lovely photos- well worth it!
2. Lancaster Road. We initially found the houses to be a bit dark and not like the images we had previously seen on Instagram (heavily edited to make it look like a pastel dream- it isn’t!) , but I do love how this purple and blue photo turned out.
To be fair, we also had a lot of scaffolding when we went, which I realise even more so now after seeing photos a friend has taken of very cute multiple coloured houses on the street. As its close to St Luke’s Mews, its still worth a visit, and hopefully the scaffolding will be cleared when you go, so you can get the kind of other cute multi coloured stripe pictures that my friend has!
3. Portobello Road– The market refers to itself as the worlds largest antique market, but sells plenty of other things including takeaway food, fruit and veg, and attracts a ton of visitors.
If you have the patience of an angel, (not me!) do go on the weekend but otherwise the market runs from Monday-Saturday (http://www.portobelloroad.co.uk/category/discover/) and so, it might be more enjoyable to see it on an alternative weekday if you can.
4. Additional posing for random pictures, by random peoples cars, because: why the devil not!
Notting Hill has all the picture worthy houses/floral displays and cute cars you need!
4. Little Venice: take the canal boat from here to Camden Lock
Take the tube as we did from Notting Hill station, to Paddington via the Circle line and walk from there.
Taking a canal boat from Little Venice to Camden has been on my “must do” list for some time. Alternatively, walking the route from Little Venice to Camden is meant to be spectacular. Little Venice is like being abroad to be honest: and the area around it, like Warwick Avenue, is just gorgeous, especially in the sunshine.
If you don’t fancy or are not able to walk the canal route from Little Venice to Camden, the canal boat is a great and relaxing option. We used http://www.jasons.co.uk/booking.php and were super glad we booked ahead.
We turned up 30 minutes early as advised, around 2pm, and joined a long queue. It was 27 degrees in London, and many people had the same idea of a nice cool canal boat trip along London’s old canals. We were so lucky to have booked as it meant we got a seat, got to board first, and weren’t turned away. You don’t have to pay to book online: but for all the afore mentioned, I highly recommend it. We loved the commentary on board (eccentric but quite funny guy!) and enjoyed taking in more of London’s greenery.
5. Drink, Shop, Do: an independent coffee/cocktail/activity shop, Kings Cross
We travelled via Chalk Farm, the closest tube station to Camden Market, down to Kings Cross on the Northern line. It’s not far on the tube- 10/12 minutes approx.
A five minute walk from the station, across York Way and at the bottom of Caledonian Road, is a place I was introduced to many moons ago and love returning to. Recently I had a 3 year hiatus, and then promptly returned twice in a matter of weeks. A happy me!
I love its high ceilings, girlie setting, luscious looking afternoon teas and the seriously good cake they offer. Plus they do random and super fun workshops (Neon life drawing anyone?), serve alcohol and cocktails as well as tea, and the staff are super friendly. It’s a very welcome place to relax at the end of a day out, or at any part of your day! The only thing is, being so damn wonderful, they do get rather busy, and they don’t take bookings at the weekend. Not a reason not to go, just expect to wait if arriving at busy times.
I totally adore them and independent coffee/drink shops like them, bringing sparkle to London and a fab challenge to the uniformity of the Costas and Starbucks around- check them out here: https://www.drinkshopdo.co.uk/whats-on
And at the end of it all, you’re super close to Kings Cross tube, or a 5-7 minute bus ride to Euston. Perfect!
These are some of my favourite London areas- I have many more to come!
Many of the photographs used in this post were taken by my extremely talented friend Helen Perry. I’d love it if you took a look at her website too, for more beautiful examples of her work: https://christianahelenperry.wordpress.com/
If you found this post useful, or have anything you’d like to ask or add, I’d love to hear from you! x