Holland Park to Meanwhile Gardens: Discovering One of London’s Most Scenic Places

Hello there! Thanks for joining me on my next adventure across London! Today’s walk begins in one of London’s prettiest places, Holland Park. From there I take a trip through Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market, before ending at Meanwhile Gardens and its lovely riverside view!

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Holland Park to Meanwhile Gardens

My journey begins in affluent and fashionable Holland Park located in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea.

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Entrance to Holland Park

The park is 22 hectares (54 acres) and opened to the public in 1952. From a woodland to fountains to gardens, Holland Park has it all!

The park used to be part of Holland House, a Jacobean mansion which was built between 1605 and 1608 for Sir Walter Cope. It was named after its second owner, the Earl of Holland, and during the 19th Century it became a hub for political and literacy activity. Over the years the building was altered, but in 1940 it was gutted by a fire as a result of a bomb during World War 2. The houses last private owner was the 6th Earl of Ilchester, until in 1952 it was bought by the London County Council.

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Holland House
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Holland House
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Part of Holland House in the Distance

Within the park sits a statue of English politician Lord Holland which was erected in 1926, and was the work of Victorian painter-sculptor, G.F. Watts, with help from J.E. Boeham.

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Lord Holland Statue

A walk through the grounds you pass many lovely gardens.

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Holland Park Gardens
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Holland Park Gardens

A statue donated by ‘The Friends of Holland Park’ in 1986 also sits within the gardens.

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The Friends of Holland Park Statue

One of my favourite features within the park is this stunning water fountain! You can’t beat the sound of trickling water!

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Holland Park Gardens
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Water Fountain within Holland Park

When you go through Holland Park it’s like being in a fairytale story, with its magical gardens, trees and water fountains!

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Pretty Holland Park

Another one of Holland Park’s distinctive and amazing features is the Japanese Garden, Kyoto Garden which has been there since 1991. The garden was installed as part of the Japan Festival in 1991 which celebrated the centenary of the Japan Society in Britain. It was built by the Kyoto Chamber of Commerce and presented to the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea as a gift to commemorate the long-lasting friendship between Great Britain and Japan. And when you walk through it, you feel in such as pleasant peace of mind.

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Kyoto Gardens
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Kyoto Gardens
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Kyoto Gardens
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Kyoto Gardens

One of the gardens many wonders is this incredible waterfall!

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Kyoto Gardens Waterfall
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Koi Carp in the Gardens Waters
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Kyoto Gardens
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Kyoto Gardens

After being in perhaps one of the most relaxing and therapeutic places in London, my walk takes me past the colorful and scenic houses of Notting Hill.

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Houses of Notting Hill
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Houses of Notting Hill

My next stop is Portobello Road Market which has been present in the area for nearly 300 years and is one of the world’s most iconic and famous markets. The name ‘Portobello’ derives from Porto Bello Farm which was built in the area. Also the name Porto Bello itself derives from the town of Porto Bello in Panama which had been captured by the British from the Spanish in 1739 as part of the War of Jenkins’ Ear.

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Portobello Road Market

During the 18th and 19th centuries Portobello Road was just a lane that connected Notting Hill and Kensal Green. With the neighbouring Paddington area being dedicated to residential developments, shops and markets began to spring up in Portobello to accommodate the residents.

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Portobello Road Market

With more residential developments occurring in Portobello Road, local working class residents found employment in the area as domestic servants, labourers and other unskilled jobs.

Up until the 1940s Portobello Road Market only sold food and other essentials, but more ‘rag and bone’ men began to sell items and other bric-a-bac and antiques. It’s now antiques that Portobello Road Market is best known for with Saturday’s being its main day of trading.

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Portobello Road Market

Despite the market suffering a lack of investment during the 20th Century, the late 1980s saw the market go under a significant amount of gentrification. From being a run-down and shabby working class area, it transformed to a more affluent, fashionable and desirable place to be and live in.

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Nowadays with it being a more wealthy area, in addition to second-hand goods, antiques, household essentials, and food, the younger residents have brought vintage clothing and a more cutting edge appeal to the market.

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Portobello Road Market

It’s time to continue my walk onto my final destination of Meanwhile Gardens, but on my way I came across this really cool collection of drawings!

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Fiona Hawthorne’s Artwork

This wall of art celebrates 150 years of Portobello & Golborne Markets and the installation was by artist Fiona Hawthorne. All the artwork was commissioned by the borough of Kensington & Chelsea and with the support of Instituto Espanol Vicente Canada Blanch, the art will remain public on the wall.

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Fiona Hawthorne’s Artwork

All the sketches from Fiona Hawthorne illustrate what life is like within the Portobello and Golborne area during July 2015 and capture the rare, dynamic energy of Portobello Market and Golborne Road. These wonderful pieces of art definitely encapsulates the stalls, traders, characters, and moments perfectly!

My final destination is Meanwhile Gardens which is a community garden near Ladbroke Grove established in 1976, with the Regent’s Canal floating beside it.

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Meanwhile Gardens

A walk outside the gardens takes you along the riverside and to this beautiful stretch of water! If you continue to walk you eventually end up at Little Venice, and from there you can enjoy one of my previous walks – Little Venice to Abbey Road!

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Regent’s Canal
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Regent’s Canal
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Regent’s Canal

Well it has been a truly lovely walk where I’ve seen perhaps one of the most picturesque and peaceful places that London has to offer in Holland Park. As well as other hotspots of Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market. Thanks for reading and I hope you had fun following my journey! You can catch me on TwitterInstagram and Facebook, and don’t forget to sign up to my blog too!

I’ll see you soon for another walk through London!

Sources: (not the food sauces)

All photos taken by London Wlogger. © Copyright 2017

History of Holland Park – Parks and Gardens

History of Holland Park – British History Online

Information about Holland Park – TimeOut London

History of Portobello Road Market – Portobello Road Market

Information about Meanwhile Gardens – Garden Visit