I have become a total charity shop (also known as Op Shops for my fellow Aussies) convert over the last few years of living in London. Hopping from one of these little shops to another is also one of my favourite ways to explore a new city when travelling (I’m thinking mainly of in the UK and Europe just from personal experience so far). It’s so fun seeing what the local style is like and they are usually located either in the city centre if in some great little local neighbourhood. Case in point, Helsinki in Finland. I actually did a whole separate blog on just this a little while ago so definitely check that out as well if you enjoy this post. You can find it here.
Having lived in London for a few years now I’ve done the literal leg work to find my favourite charity shops around town. And I’ve found some total gems along the way that now sit very happily in my wardrobe.
So. Many. Good. Shops. So many good charity shops in Notting Hill. I rarely leave without finding something and honestly I’ve gotten to the point where I bring an extra tote bag with me now in anticipation!
I’d suggest starting at Notting Hill Gate which has a tube station that’s on the Central, Circle and District lines. It’s also a bus hub so hopefully it doesn’t take you more than the seemingly unavoidable ‘London40’ minutes to get to.
Honestly even the walk from the station is lovely. take your time strolling up Pembridge Road and then Portobello Road, the streets are quaint and lined with pretty houses, shops and coffee shops. Once the street market starts vendors selling all manner of antiques and trinkets spill out of the shop fronts with their colourful facades.
But first. Before shopping we need to fuel up right? Stroll down to Portobello Road and stop by Buvette London (just off the high street on Blenheim Crescent) for brunch or even just coffee and a sweet snack. The cafe decor shows its French roots with an option to sit at the bar and a beautiful pressed metal ceiling. The eggs are delicious too!
Wander back to Portobello Road and you’ll find clustered together a British Red Cross Shop and a Cancer Research Shop, while tucked just off to the side on Elgin Crescent check out Mary’s Living & Giving Shop For Save the Children and the Farah Charity Shop. Farah shops are really under rated in my opinion, lots of great finds to be had. Just the other day my friend found a beautiful butter soft stripped Ganni knit for £25! A little further up the road pop into the Royal Trinity Hospice shop (on the corner with Westbourne Park Road) and the Vision Foundation shop.
If energy is starting to flag pay a visit to Buns from Home on Talbot Road. The best yeasty snacks. Hands down my favourite pastry shop in London. Started during the pandemic from the founders home and now serving up drool worthy sweet and savoury buns. You can also find them on Instagram at @bunsfromhome if you want to drool over their new creations which they share every week.
Notting Hill isn’t just for charity shops either. One of the best markets I’ve found in London is tucked away at the end of Portobello Road under the rail line. Not to be confused with the Portobello Road Market (which is the more trinket/antique and food market along the main street) the one I’m talking about is called The Portobello Green Market and you can find more information here. Friday hosts a vintage market, Saturday is fashion, and Sunday is all flea market. I have a few stalls that I religiously head back to to check out their new items. I’ve even seen people lining up in the mornings waiting for their favourite stall owners to turn up. Hot tip, bring some cash though, stall owners don’t always take cards and even better, then you can try barter.
One more little find before I wrap up. Before you head back home you might want to pop into the Royal Trinity Hospice shop on Bayswater Road (between Notting Hill Gate Underground and Kensington Palace Gardens). I could have tried in half the shop and had to get a beautiful navy pure silk oversized blazer and five pretty little cut crystal or glass wine glasses which for £20 is quite the bargain in my eyes.
Turns out I have more details to share than I anticipated so I’m going to separate posts for my other favourite London neighbourhood (and beyond) charity shops. Keep an eye out for future posts I have planned about High Street Kensington, South Kensington and Chelsea and Victoria/Pimlico and Belgravia. I think I also have to share my newfound knowledge of the Oxford scene too after visiting now a few times. If you’d like me to do any other London neighbourhood too let me know on the comments!