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August 23, 2010
Where To Live In London: Notting Hill
Of all the central west London areas, Notting Hill is perhaps has the most internationally recognisable name. Aside from popular film bearing its name, Notting Hill is known for the flamboyant and festive Notting Hill Carnival held at the end of August every year. Notting Hill as an area has slightly amorphous borders. It is effectively the area extending east and west from Ladbroke Grove between Holland Park Ave to the south and Westway to the north.
Notting Hill is well loved by many for having a unique character. It is diverse, relaxed, stylish and bohemian. The buildings there do not have the same prestigious uniformity as they do in Mayfair or Knightsbridge and can vary from white stucco row houses to the brightly coloured houses of Portobello road, to larger blocks of flats. Those who don’t identify Notting Hill with the film or Carnival think of the antique shops of Portobello Market on Portobello Road, which attracts countless visitors every week.
Notting Hill is much like London as a whole, in the sense that it is a mixture of many different forces. There is still a strong Caribbean presence in the area, from when many immigrated there in the 1950s. This is concentrated toward the northern end, near Ladbroke Grove Station. To the south is the more gentrified area which has become popular with artsy residents and families wanting to find leafy space and private gardens. To the southeast are the tourists, centred around Portobello Market, which provide the classic London experience.
The north-south split also carries over with regards to transport, as Notting Hill Gate is well connected to the Central, Circle and District (albeit Edgeware Road branch) Lines whilst Ladbroke Grove station is on the less helpful Hammersmith and City line and Circle line addition. Prices in the area vary as much as the population and the architecture do, but on the whole will sell for around £1100 to £1300 per square foot.
The most attractive properties in the area are those at the centre of Notting Hill, on Lansdowne Crescent, Elgin Crescent and Blenheim Crescent, where houses will sell for around £2000 per sq ft, with some of the nicest reaching up to £2600. These properties benefit from beautiful private gardens and classic West London row house design. They also thread the difficult needle of location in avoiding the less inviting northern boundary and always frustrating stream of tourists on Portobello road. For those looking to have a nice centrally located home and private garden but may want to avoid the feel of Mayfair and Kensington, Notting Hill offers a wonderful location with a unique atmosphere.