A walking tour of Notting Hill's colourful past
Beneath the gentrification of North Kensington and the image portrayed in the films of Hugh Grant lies a much more interesting story; the areas vibrant past beats any kind of fiction.
From the early 50s this was London's Bohemian quarter, West Indian & Irish immigrants and the indigenous working class of Notting Dale mixed with artists, musicians and writers, all attracted by cheap rents and the freedoms that a neglected area provided. Slummers would use the local clubs and Shebeens for vicarious thrills. In 1958 there were race riots and Oswald Moseley attempted a political comeback. All this led to the founding of the famous Notting Hill carnival.
In the 60s and 70s the Portobello Road became London's answer to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury as the hippy counterculture moved in. The end of the 70s saw the punk movement gain a foothold in the area.
More recent times have seen the area gentrified and now few people can afford to live there but the area still holds onto its roots with a busy street market, the carnival lives on,Notting Hill still attracts countless visitors all year round.
Race Riots, Rent Racketeers, Slums, Iconic tower blocks, Hawkwind, Marley, The Beatles film locations,The Front Line, Hippies, Governments brought to their knees, The Clash and of course the Westway that slashes through the manor. This tour has it all and more! See you down there,Just turn up on the day, only £15
Goes ahead whatever the weather
The Westway may cut straight through North Kensington but Aidan ties it all together again with interwoven stories of music, film, politics, social unrest and struggle, civil engineering, food, crime, and more. You'll inevitably find some way in which the story of this area is part of your story (for me it was seeing where many favourite musicians lived, ate, and performed) and learn a lot too! If you've seen the galleries and Big Ben already I thoroughly recommend doing this next time you are in London!
Aidan runs a comprehensive, humorous and detailed tour, throughout which he shows many period photos for then and now, on the spot comparisons of the streets and the individuals who contributed to the areas rich and vibrant history.
The area has changed so much within the last 50 years and with it the social and physical history of the place, colourfully narrated as we travelled from point to point.
Aidan is a natural guide with an enthusiasm and depth of knowledge that is impressive. A thoroughly enjoyable and absorbing 2.5hrs..!
Many thanks, recommended.
An excellent walk & talk with Aidan. Aidan was very pleasant, polite & professional. He introduced himself to us and asked each one of us our names which I thought was very courteous and friendly. He was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the history of the Westbourne Park area and was very happy and willing to answer questions. I have already recommended Aidan to a couple of friends.
Fantastic walk around The Grove, Portabello and the omnipresent Westway. Aidan weaves the potted history of an area he knows intimately and laces aspects of social history and local legendary events with first hand reminisces told in his own inimitable style. Music (punk, hippy counter-culture and the various points in-between), film locations, key locations of West Indian culture (including The Carnival) and political downfalls all enhance Aidan’s highly entertaining 2hour+ walk around a fascinating area of London Town. If you want to experience the true feel of London then this is the walk for you!
A very cold (sub zero) day, thank goodness that the Westway walk was so interesting that I forgot about the temperature.
Aidan knows his subject and is able to hold the interest of the audience.
I thoroughly recommend this tour. Even though I know the area very well, aidan had lots of information to share.
Planned for two hours and got a lot more than that.
Really interesting, Aidan knows his stuff and it's great to be led around by a knowledgeable enthusiast. London covers its tracks very quickly and it's fascinating to know what came before. Will go to another and would recommend.
Brilliant tour. A fun and informative afternoon. Highly recommended. Thanks Aidan! Looking at the area through new eyes now!!! X
Aidan is very knowledgeable and entertaining I discovered so much trough the tour ,considering that I lived in the area for 5 years ,very interesting I loved every minutes , highly recommended
Very interesting and engaging tour.
Did the Westway Walk with Aidan on Sunday 23rd August and found it very enjoyable; the tour guide was knowledgeable, engaging and funny
The price is a bargain and the tour length just right
Will be doing his Movies, Mayhem & Murder walk around Finsbury Park next
We had a great tour informative and fun. I've lived in the area for 10 years i now have a greater appreciation for what had happened in Notting Hill and its many varied residents.