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This is definitely not the "nice end" of Kensington! This is a rather neglected bit of the borough, with many tatty looking houses, large social housing estates, a dilapidated faded red painted railway bridge near Sainsbury's etc. It's such a shame that more effort can't be made by the council to smarten the area up to make it better for the residents, it definitely lacks the smart image of the rest of the borough. Latimer Road is a particular low point of the area. The whole of North Kensington needs a face lift, the area largely consists of big Council & Housing Trust housing estates, there is high unemployment & higher than average crime figures. The Dalgarno Estate has been labelled as one of the 10 worst in London by the Evening Standard with high levels of juvenile nuisance crime, although I can't say I've ever felt in any danger when I've visited there. Ladbroke Grove itself is not a place that you want to wander about late at night on your own as there are a number of winos and strange people that congregate round the tube station who can be threatening. I had my shopping kicked over by one of them for refusing to give him some money! Having said all that, Portobello Market is good & an interesting place to visit & the area is well served by buses (52, 7, 70, 295, 316, 23) The 70's are low floor buses which are great for the elderly, disabled & mums with buggies. Latimer Road & Ladbroke Grove stations on the Hammersmith & City Line are the only tube links, but it's relatively near to Notting Hill Gate (Central line) via a 52 bus. It is also much cheaper to live at the North end of Borough. There is a library on Ladbroke Grove & a wide range of shops on the Portobello Road. There is also a Sainsbury's served by all the buses which is very handy. If you are having trouble getting into work, then the North Kensington Opportunities Centre (NKOC) is a great place to visit for advice, help with CV's, grant s to do training courses, job notice boards etc. This is on Ladbroke Grove, Union Centre past the red bridge on the opposite side of the road to Sainsbury's. This is an area that definitely needs more cash investment to improve the housing, smarten up the streets & improve the outlook for the residents.
North Kensington is the poor relation of the rest of Kensington. It (or estate agents) like to pretend it is part of Notting Hill but it certainly is not. Indeed, Portobello Road (Notting Hill) does run through North Kensington but it is the end with grafitti sprayed boarded up doors as opposed to lovely whitewashed buildings. It is very well served by public transport, being close to Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park tube stations on the Hammersmith & City line. It has many bus routes going to the City, West End, Victoria, Clapham Junction, Acton and Willesdon, to name but a few destinations. There is a 24 hour Sainsburys on Ladbroke Grove and a Tesco Metro on Portobello Road. It contains Golborne Road market which is lively during the day and Trellick tower. It is not, however, a place you want to be out and about in after dark. The further North you go, you can find cheaper priced flats on certain council estates.