Literary Landmark: Portobello Road

London’s most lovable bear, Paddington, is hitting big screens across the globe. To celebrate in England’s capital, retrace the teddy’s wellie-wearing footsteps to Portobello Market.

Paddington—the protagonist of the popular children’s storybook series that started in 1958—came here to visit his friend’s shop, where the two enjoyed elevenses (tea, served with cake), and to pick up fruits and vegetables.

For more timeless treasures, visit on weekends, when antiques vendors set up stalls. Skip the kitschy Will and Kate tea towels and head to the pastel-painted terraces around the Vernon arcade, where sharp eyes can find pocket watches, porcelain, and rare jewelry.

Browse through time via Barbarella dresses, aging coin collections, and wiry tongue scrapers from when flushed pink palates were the height of sophistication.

This piece, written by Abigail King, first appeared in the December 2014 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine.

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  1. Abi
    United Kingdom
    February 10, 2015, 1:59 pm

    Oh do! There are so many Paddington Bear things around at the moment – make sure to go to Paddington Station itself too for some fun!

  2. Freja Larsen
    Odense, Denmark
    January 15, 2015, 4:21 am

    I love the Paddington Bear :) When I’m heading to London next week via I’ll certain go to Portobello Road!