Free Walking Tour of Notting Hill Movie Locations
Just like Brett wouldn't have been satisfied leaving London without a visit to Wimbledon, I did not want to miss Notting Hill. After all, the neighborhood is the namesake for one of my favorite romantic comedy movies and, as it turns out, most of the Notting Hill movie was filmed there. Brett took the lead here and did an awesome job putting together this walking tour of the neighborhood. We made a morning date out of it (with Eleanor in tow of course). It was so nice to have him plan this out and just get to be along for the ride. He found a lot of the tips from About Travel, but I'll do what I can to add to the experience.
Since Notting Hill is simply a neighborhood in London, it's very easy to get to. We took the green line to the Notting Hill Gate stop. It was only about 4 stops from where we were staying.
Stop #1: Coronet Cinema
The first stop on the tour was to Coronet Cinema. This is where William (Hugh Grant) watches the film Helix, starring Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), after she breaks his heart for the 2nd time. Even though the Coronet still functions as a theater, we did not go in (although I am sure it's pretty cool inside). The cinema was built in 1898 and started showing films in 1916. In 2014, it was purchased by a live theater group who renovated the smaller theater for live performances, but still plans to show movies in the larger theater.
Stop #2: Rosmead Gardens
How can you have a walking tour of Notting Hill without a stop by the secret garden? The second stop on our tour was a walk by the gate where William attempts to climb the fence and proclaims "whoopsidaisies" twice when he slips. Funny thing is, the English people we met actually do say whoopsidaisy! We couldn't see much past the gate and debated if the garden was the one we were standing in front of or the one across the street, but in the end decided we were right. It's interesting how different things look in the movies!
From the Coronet Cinema, continue walking down Notting Hill Gate toward the Holland Park tube station. At Holland Park station, turn right onto Lansdowne Road. Rosmead Road is the sixth street on the left. The garden will be on the right side of the street from this direction and you'll be walking downhill. In the movie they are walking from the other direction.
Stop #3: Bella & Max's House
This is where William brings Anna to his little sister's birthday dinner party. The inside of the house was filmed elsewhere, but the scene as they leave the house is in Notting Hill and surprisingly close to Rosmead Gardens. The movie clip below is the part leading up to finding the secret garden.
From Rosmead Gardens: Go back on Rosmead Road and turn left onto Lansdowne Road. House number 91 will be on your left.
Stop #4: Portobello Road Market
Another integral part of the movie is the Portobello Road location. It's the setting for the opening scene of the movie, where William's business (The Travel Book Co.) is located, where he bumps into Anna after buying coffee and orange juice, and next to his "house with the blue door". Unfortunately we had to take our walking tour on a Saturday and Portobello Road was packed. Actually, packed is an understatement. It was wall-to-wall people and merchant stalls for as far as the eye could see.
The scene below is one of my favorite. It's a portrayal of a full year's time as William walks down Portobello Road.
From Bella & Max's House: Continue down Lansdowne Road and turn left onto Ladbroke Grove. Turn right at Elgin Crescent and turn right onto Portobello Road (second on the right). If it's the weekend, you can't miss it.
Stop #5: The Travel Bookshop
The next 3 stops are all very easy as they are within very close proximity to where you entered Portobello Road. The travel bookshop is William's business and where he meets Anna for the first time. She buys a "boring book about Egypt" from him and witnesses William's cool composure when dealing with a would-be thief.
The travel bookshop is now a gift shop by the name of "Notting Hill". The exterior painting and signage are similar in style to the Travel Book Co. in the movie so you will easily be able to spot it on the street. Only the exterior shots were filmed here so there is no need to go in unless you want to purchase some souvenirs.
From Portobello Road: When you arrive at Portobello Road for stop #4, turn right and head toward 142 Portobello Road. The location used for William Thacker's Travel Book Co. will be on your left.
Stop #6: The (famous) Blue Door
This might be the single most famous location of the Notting Hill film and was the home of writer Richard Curtis at the time he wrote the screenplay. It is said he derived his inspiration while laying awake at night and liked "the idea of a very normal person going out with an unbelievably famous person and how that impinges on their lives". You see this door referenced in the movie several times. It's in the opening monologue, the scene when William runs into Anna (see the next spot on the tour below), and when the paparazzi show up at his door.
When we visited it was pretty crowded, but everyone took turns with photos and we had to wait for just a few minutes. However, there were some passers-by who did not understand why people were crowded around the door. I guess not everyone likes Notting Hill so much.
Stop #7: Coffee Shop
Not really that interesting of a stop, but we happened to grab a quick bite at the chain coffee shop next to where William bought the orange juice that he spilled on Anna. It really is just across the corner from the "house with the blue door" without the use of movie magic.
That's where we stopped our walking tour. There are a couple other places listed in the About Travel walking tour if you are interested.
Places we skipped: The Tattoo Parlor, Tony’s Restaurant, and the actual Travel Book Co. Unfortunately, we did not have time for all of the stops, but for those who have the time here's where you can find the final three filming locations/points of interest.
The Tattoo Parlor:
This is shown in William's opening monologue about his life in Notting Hill. You see a man exiting the parlor with a tattoo on his arm that says "I love Ken".
Photo courtesy of Eli Horne
The tattoo parlour is located at 201 Portobello Road, but a quick search on Google Maps says this shop is now closed.
All of William's close friends gather here toward the end of the movie after he has rejected Anna. It's here that Spike talks some sense into him and they decide to go get the girl.
Photo courtesy of Laura Porter
Tony's Restaurant is actually an arts and gift shop called Portfolio. It is located at 105 Golborne Road, at the junction with Bevington Road.
The Actual Travel Bookshop:
You might be surprised to learn that there actually was a travel bookshop that inspired part of the Notting Hill film. However, the shop was not located on Portobello Road. Unfortunately, the shop closed it's doors in 2011 when the owner's children did not wish to carry on the family business.
Photo courtesy of Yukino Miyazawa
The Travel Bookshop was located at 13-15 Blenheim Crescent, just off Portobello.
Since I find myself quoting the movie from time to time, I was thrilled at the chance to see these places in person and now watching the movie will be even more special. Thanks to Brett for a great date and awesome walking tour of Notting Hill!
Don't forget to pin this for later so you can easily remember all of the stops on our FREE Walking tour of the Notting Hill Move Locations.