I love a good rom com (so does Mr T occasionally, but he’ll never admit it, so don’t tell him I told you). You already know that one of our all-time favourite movies is ‘You’ve got Mail’. Last time we visited New York we took the opportunity to do our ‘You’ve got Mail movie locations tour’. Another favourite of ours is the 1999 movie ‘Notting Hill’ with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. As the title already suggests, it is set in London’s Notting Hill district. An area famous for Portobello Market, colourful houses, and Notting Hill carnival. And something that should not be missed on any London itinerary. So, next time you are heading to London, why not spend an hour or two on a self-guided Notting Hill movie locations tour.
Unlike some of my other London walking itineraries, this one is actually a fairly short one. With roundabout 2 miles (3 km), my entire Notting Hill movie locations tour can be walked in well under an hour. My advice would be to allow for a little more time, so that you can explore other corners of Notting Hill whilst you are there.
First time I worked in London during an internship (back in 1996, just after my A-Levels), the office was in Notting Hill. Just off Portobello Road. It was a hell of a commute as I was staying in Enfield at the time. Meaning even on a good day it was at least two hours door to door). But I didn’t mind. I loved the area.
Over the years, I spent less and less time there though. Living in North London or nowadays even north of London, Notting Hill was never a convenient location to get to for me. But whenever I do go back, I am reminded of just how much I adore the area. And if you are staying in Central London, getting to Notting Hill is easy, just hop on the Central or Circle Line and get off at Notting Hill Gate.
Which just happens to be our starting point for our tour.
A self-guided Notting Hill movie locations tour
As you come out of Notting Hill Gate station, the first Notting Hill movie location is just in front of you. At 103 Notting Hill Gate, you will find the Coronet Theatre. What started out life as a theatre was eventually transformed into a cinema until reverting to being a theatre a few years ago.
In the Notting Hill movie, you can see the beautiful interior of the then cinema, as William watches the Helix movie after splitting up with Anna. For our Notting Hill movie locations tour, you will have to do with the exterior only. But check their programme, maybe you can combine seeing a play and the interior later.
Head down Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park Avenue, until you get to Holland Park station (yes, you could have also hopped back on the Tube and gone one stop on the Central Line, but it probably would take longer to walk down to the platform and up again than it takes to just walk it above ground). Turn into Landsdowne Road (on the right) for our next two Notting Hill movie locations on this tour.
First up is Rosmead Gardens. The private communal garden that William and Anna sneak into on their way home after Honey’s birthday dinner at Bella + Max’s House.
Rosmead Gardens, along with Arundel Gardens and St John’s Gardens were designed in the 1800s to be enjoyed by the residents of the Ladbroke Estate. Unfortunately, that means we won’t be able to go into the garden for a little wander (and no, crawling over the fence isn’t an option. As romantic as that was in the film, in real life this is considered trespassing). Probably your only chance to visit Rosmead Gardens would be during the Open Garden Square Weekend, which is usually held in June.
Once you managed to peek over the fence and maybe snap a selfie at the gates, let’s continue with our Notting Hill movie locations tour.
Just around the corner, 91 Landsdowne Road is the location of Bella + Max’s house. In the movie it features a couple of times, but I guess most notable as the setting for William’s sister Honey’s birthday party, aka William + Anna’s first date.
Please be considerate when checking this Notting Hill movie location. After all, you are in a residential area and not everyone will love random tourists snooping around.
Next on our Notting Hill movie locations tour: Portobello Road
Probably the real star of the Notting Hill movie, Portobello Road (and Portobello Market) features regularly in the movie. After all, this is where William’s shop is located, where they first bump into each other (quite literally) and where William lives.
Head to the end of Landsdowne Road, turn right and left into Ladbroke Gardens and down Westbourne Grove. It is only a short walk to Portobello Road.
Portobello Road is probably most famous for its street market. If you want to experience Portobello Market in all its glory, Saturday is the best day for it, as this is the only day all parts of the market are open. I would strongly recommend you arrive early, as Portobello Market can get rather crowded around lunch time.
Next on our Notting Hill movie locations tour is William’s Travel Bookstore. Check it out at 142 Portobello Road. Hard to miss, it has a big poster of the Notting Hill movie in its window. But to be honest, the bookstore location is a little confusing. This is the location the Travel Bookstore is in the movie. But there is another Travel Bookstore a little further down around the corner (on Blenheim Crescent). This one does have a sign, claiming to be the original Travel Bookstore that inspired William’s store in the movie. As it is just around the corner, let’s go and check out both, just to be sure we get the right one.
Continue down Portobello Road, until you get to the junction of Westbourne Park Road.
Just next door to the Starbucks at 280 Westbourne Park Road is another iconic Notting Hill movie location that we can’t miss of our tour. The house where William lives with its iconic blue door.
The house used to belong to the Notting Hill screenwriter Richard Curtis, which is probably why they decided to use it as a filming location. I hate to be the bearer of bad news. It is only the exterior that you can see in the movie. All internal shots were actually filmed in the Shepperton Studios outside London.
Our Notting Hill movie locations tour will continue to follow Portobello Road for a while longer. 261 Portobello Road to your left is the Tattoo Parlour that features early in the movie (‘I love Ken’ tattoo anyone?).
The last stop in the area will be 105 Golborne Road (at the corner of Golborne Road and Bevington Road). Portfolio, nowadays a card and gift shop, features in Notting Hill as the location of Tony’s failing restaurant. Although I did walk there, I won’t share a photo. As it is currently a building site and all covered in scaffolding. Better luck next time I hope.
With this last movie location in the area done, you can either wander off and enjoy more of Notting Hill on your own or head to the nearest tube station (Ladbroke Grove) to get back towards central London. As we might be finished in the area, but not quite done with our Notting Hill movie locations tour. There are some more dotted around town.
Movie Locations outside Notting Hill
Whilst most of the movie takes place in Notting Hill, there are a couple of filming locations dotted in Central London as well. Unfortunately, these are so randomly placed, that it is hard to put them together as part of a Notting Hill movie locations tour. Instead, I will just list them, and if you happen to be in the area, go and have a quick look.
First up the Ritz.
The world-famous hotel down on Piccadilly where Anna (aka Mrs. Flintstone or Mrs. Pocahontas) is staying when in London.
In past years, I would have recommended heading there by bus, in an old Routemaster on route 9 from Hammersmith (to re-create the journey William takes when he heads to the Ritz for his ‘date’ with Anna, which turns out to be a press conference). Unfortunately, the old Routemaster busses don’t run any more.
And the Ritz isn’t the only Central London luxury hotel to feature in the movie.
The Savoy, located on Strand, is the setting of the final press conference, where William and Anna finally get together.
At the end of the movie, you see William accompany Anna to a movie premiere. This takes place at the Empire Theatre at Leicester Square (as so many movie premieres did back then).
Lastly, one of my favourite places in London (and one I haven’t actually been to in a very long time, so I really need to go there again at some point):
Up in Hampstead Heath, this 17th century stately home is where Anna films the Henry James movie and William overhears her dismissing him to one of her colleagues.
Located at the Northern edge of Hampstead Heath, it might be a bit of a track to go there just to tick it off your list of Notting Hill movie locations, but if you do have some time in London and fancy a wander through Hampstead Heath anyway (plus, fancy a lovely view over London), I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Kenwood House.
OK, there you have it. My Notting Hill movie locations tour. I hope you enjoyed it and your feet aren’t aching too much? If you fancy more walking tours through London, how about my ‘Best of London in three hours’ tour?
Tell me, did you enjoy Notting Hill? (Movie or location, I am equally nosy).