“Christmas is all around us…”
Ever since it first hit cinemas way back in 2003, Love Actually has become a classic Christmas movie just like Home Alone or Elf; watched by thousands every year – whether on TV, DVD or Netflix.
And as the bulk of the movie was filmed on location in London, it has become just as popular to gallivant around the UK’s chic capital to see all the very best Love Actually filming locations!
So… if you want to follow in everyone’s footsteps and are wondering “where was Love Actually filmed?” then we’ve listed some of the most iconic movie scenes below alongside info on how you can visit each location and what you can see when you get there.
Plus, at the end, we’ve also included directions for your very own self-guided Love Actually tour.
“So if you really love Christmas… come on and let it snow!”
Love Actually Filming Locations
Opening & Closing Scenes at Heathrow Airport
Which scene? Heathrow Airport is where all kinds of friends, families and couples meet and greet each other at the Arrivals Hall in both the opening and closing scenes of Love Actually. The Heathrow Terminal used in Love Actually was Terminal 1, which is now closed.
How to get there: If you’ve flown into London from overseas then you may have already seen Heathrow. If not, Heathrow is only around 16 miles from central London. We’d recommend catching the tube (via the Piccadilly Line), which takes 50-60 minutes (approx).
What you can see: Head to Terminal 2 to catch the arrivals of passengers from popular international airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. You can even pretend you’re waiting for someone… although don’t film or photograph random people you don’t know; that’s just weird.
When to visit: Any time; hoards of people are arriving at Heathrow every minute.
Opening Montage at Somerset House, Strand
Which scene? After the iconic airport scenes, Love Actually opens with a montage showing a few clips from places in London. One of these establishing shots is of Somerset House and its famous outdoor ice rink.
How to get there: Somerset House is in Strand (near Covent Garden and Embankment) and is just a quick five minute walk from the Temple underground station. You can get to Temple via the Circle and District lines.
What you can see: Somerset House is a stunning neo-classical building, which is so in keeping with other buildings you’ll see throughout London. It’s free to visit the courtyard and some parts of the house.
When to visit: Somerset House is open every day apart from Christmas Day. But if you want to see it when the ice rink takes over the courtyard (like in the movie) then come between mid-November and mid-January (exact dates are shown here).
View this post on Instagram
Peter & Juliet’s Wedding at Grosvenor Chapel, Mayfair
Which scene? Peter and Juliet’s wedding takes place in the very pretty Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair.
How to get there: Grosvenor Chapel is almost exactly halfway between the Bond Street and Green Park underground stations; both of which are on the Jubilee line. You can also access Bond Street via the Central line and Green Park via the Piccadilly and Victoria lines.
What you can see: As this is an official church, you’re more than welcome to wander around inside it to see where Peter and Juliet tied the knot.
When to visit: Any time the church is open. But remember to check their website so you can avoid playing the tourist during a service. Real-life weddings also take place here so avoid weekends when weddings are more likely.
Jamie’s Cheating Girlfriend at 2A Blenheim Road, Emlyn Gardens
Which scene? We first meet Jamie at his home when he’s saying goodbye to his sick-with-cold girlfriend. He’s actually off to Peter and Juliet’s wedding mentioned above; we later see him nip home after the wedding to check on his girlfriend. There he meets his brother and hears his girlfriend say those oh-so-fatal words: “Come on big boy! I want you at least twice before Jamie gets home!”
How to get there: Jamie’s flat is 2A Blenheim Road in Emlyn Gardens. The nearest underground station is Turnham Green, which is about a six minute walk away, and is on the District and Piccadilly lines.
What you can see: You’ll be able to see the outside of the house from the street, which looks just the same as it does in the movie with the cute white gate, red brick walls and house sign showing you’ve arrived at 2A The Studio.
When to visit: Any time.
Remember: This is someone’s home. Don’t be tempted to trespass or get in the way of local residents and cars in order to get the best Instagram photo.
Sam’s Heartache at Gabriel’s Wharf, South Bank
Which scene? Sam confesses his love (and the accompanying heartache) for a girl at his school to his stepdad. The movie clearly shows this lovable pair on a bench overlooking the Thames.
How to get there: You can either head to Waterloo, which is about a ten minute walk away, and connects to the Bakerloo, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City lines. Or walk along Waterloo Bridge from Temple (servicing the Circle and District lines), which takes about 15 minutes. (Note: Our Love Actually tour below recommends the latter as you would have probably been at Somerset House earlier in the day).
What you can see: The bench that Sam and his stepdad sit on.
When to visit: Any time.
Billy Mack’s Radio Watford Interview at Mappin House, Fitzrovia
Which scene? Billy Mack goes live on Radio Watford (probably a knock off from Radio 1) and says that Britney Spears was a “rubbish shag”.
How to get there: Mappin House is just off of Oxford Street and a four minute walk from Oxford Circus underground station, which services the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines.
What you can see: Sadly, there is no radio station in residence here anymore following a move by Bauer (owner of the Magic 105.4, Kiss, Kerrang! and Heat radio stations) in 2014. Today, Mappin House is home to conference rooms and co-working spaces. I wouldn’t make a special trip to come here but you might want to take a quick photo outside the building if you’re already in the area.
When to visit: Any time if you’re just here to see the outside of the building.
Harry’s Christmas Purchase at Selfridges, Marylebone
Which scene? The scene in Selfridges is Rowan Atkinson at his finest as an eccentric shop assistant helping Harry to wrap up the necklace he wants to buy for his secretary (ahem, rather than his wife!)
How to get there: Selfridges can be found in the la-de-da neighbourhood of Marylebone. Head to Bond Street underground station via either the Central or Jubilee lines, which is just a three minute walk away.
What you can see: Selfridges is an iconic symbol of London. Head inside to see shops and concession stands for all the big name designers and brands. The wood and glass display cabinets seen behind Rowan Atkinson in the movie are hard to miss in real life; last time we checked, they housed jewellery from Tiffany & Co.
When to visit: During store opening hours; check the Selfridges website for exact times. For the full Love Actually feeling, visit during the November and December Christmas rush.
Mark’s Music-Video-Esque Wander at Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank
Which scene? After Juliet discover’s Mark’s video of her wedding is actually just of her, he leaves her in his flat and takes a very music-video-esque wander along the river whilst Dido blasts out at full volume.
How to get there: Either head to Southwark underground station (Jubilee line) or walk along Blackfriars Bridge from Blackfriars underground station (Circle and District lines); both options take less than ten minutes to walk. (Note: This Love Actually filming location is close to Somerset House and Gabriel’s Wharf; check out our self-guided tour below so you can be sure you’re definitely seeing everything Love Actually-inspired in the area).
What you can see: You can follow Mark’s path from his flat through Oxo Tower Wharf and along the River Thames. It’s probably worth playing some Dido on full volume through your headphones as you do so.
When to visit: Any time; probably best to avoid weekends though as the shops and restaurants in this area are often heaving.
THAT Mark & Juliet Scene at 27 St Lukes Mews, Notting Hill
Which scene? Mark finally confesses his love for Juliet by holding up cards for her to read in THAT scene. This is probably the most iconic scene in the entire movie, which is also why this Love Actually filming location is also one of the most popular ones to visit.
How to get there: Juliet’s house is number 27 along the very pretty St Lukes Mews in Notting Hill. The nearest underground station is at Ladbroke Grove, which is on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines, and roughly a seven minute walk away.
What you can see: The whole of the St Lukes Mews street and the outside of Juliet’s house.
When to visit: Any time. Head here in December in the evening for the complete Love Actually feeling. Or come during ‘Wisteria Hysteria’ season like we did.
Remember: This is someone’s home – and people live all along St Lukes Mews. Don’t be tempted to pose too close to people’s houses as it’s just a bit rude. If you do take photos, number 27 has a sign outside asking for charity donations. As you can imagine, they have a lot of people coming to see their house throughout the year and are putting the money they collect to good use.
Don’t miss: The very Instagrammable Biscuiteers serving very delicious cookies is just around the corner from St Lukes Mews in the direction of Holland Park.
The Prime Minister’s Dodgy End of Wandsworth Escapade at 102 Poplar Road, Brixton
Which scene? The Prime Minister heads to the “dodgy end of Wandsworth” to find Natalie after she sends him a Christmas card declaring her love for him.
How to get there: Natalie’s house is not actually in Wandsworth; it’s 4.5 miles east of there near Brixton and Herne Hill. Her house is number 102 Poplar Road. The nearest underground station is Brixton, which is a twenty minute walk away and services the Victoria line. There’s also a Thameslink station nearby at Loughborough Junction.
What you can see: The outside of Natalie’s home and the very long street that our poor old Prime Minister had to ramble along in search of his future girlfriend.
When to visit: Any time.
Remember: People live all along Poplar Road. Don’t be tempted to trespass or get in the way of local residents and cars in order to get the best Instagram photo.
The Childrens’ Epic Christmas Show at Ark Putney Academy, Putney
Which scene? A whole bunch of characters (including the Prime Minister and Natalie) attend a school’s (might I add big-budget) Christmas show. We also see Sam and Joanna perform on stage too.
How to get there: Love Actually was filmed inside a real school, which was once called Elliott School and has since evolved into Ark Academy Putney. The nearest underground station is East Putney, which is about a twenty minute walk away.
What you can see: Most of the outside of the school.
When to visit: Any time; although you’ll probably want to avoid morning and afternoon drop off/pick up times on weekdays.
Bonus #1: Jamie’s Proposal at Le Bar de la Marine in Marseille, France
Remember the scene where Jamie proposes to Aurelia at the restaurant she works at in front of what looks like ALL her friends and family? #awks
Well, that restaurant is actually Le Bar de la Marine in Marseille, southern France.
You can eat there and see the balcony that Aurelia stands on as Jamie proposes to her – although reviews of the restaurant don’t give much away about what it’s actually like to eat there.
Bonus #2: Jamie’s French Cottage Getaway in Vidauban, France
When Jamie finds out that his girlfriend has been cheating on him with his brother, he escapes to a cottage in France.
Like many of you, we wanted to know where this cottage is in real life and is it as picturesque as it looks in the movie?
It wasn’t easy to find, but according to a number of websites (like this one!), the Love Actually cottage is in Vidauban. The house was for sale back in 2010 for £750,000; it turns out the lake they retrieve Jamie’s book pages from is in fact a private lake that the house backs onto.
Love Actually Tour of London: Self-Guided Tour & Map
This is NOT a Love Actually walking tour. As you probably know, London is a large city and so you’ll likely want to get around by tube and/or bus.
There are some locations that are within walking distance of each other; we’ll note when this is the case throughout the tour directions.
Author’s Note: Not all the Love Actually filming locations listed above have been included in our tour. We’ve purposefully left out a couple of locations that we feel aren’t worth making the trip to go and see, so do bear this in mind when following our tour or using the instructions to make your own.
1. Start at 2A Blenheim Road in Turnham Green and see Jamie’s house.
Nearest underground station: Turnham Green, District and Piccadilly lines.
We’ve started our Love Actually tour here, as otherwise, there would be a lot of toing and froing back on yourself to get to the other locations in this tour.
2. Next, head to 27 St Luke’s Mews to see Juliet’s house.
Nearest underground station: Ladbroke Grove, Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.
From 2A Blenheim Road, you’ll need to take the District line to Hammersmith and change to either the Circle line or Hammersmith & City line to get to Ladbroke Grove.
3. It’s now time for some jewellery shopping at Selfridges.
Nearest underground station: Bond Street, Central and Jubilee lines.
From St Luke’s Mews, walk to Notting Hill Gate and catch the Central line to Bond Street.
4. Walk to Grosvenor Chapel.
Grosvenor Chapel is a ten minute walk from Selfridges so no tube required, hooray!
5. Now head to the River Thames for your first of three riverside Love Actually locations.
Best underground station: Covent Garden, Piccadilly line.
Although Temple is closer to Somerset House than Covent Garden; if you’re coming straight from Grosvenor Chapel then this is the easiest route for you.
From Grosvenor Chapel, you’ll need to walk to Hyde Park Corner (roughly ten minutes) and catch the Piccadilly line to Covent Garden. From there, Somerset House (your first stop) is an eight minute walk away.
6. Walk to Gabriel’s Wharf to see Sam’s bench.
It’s a short 15 minute walk across Waterloo Bridge so no tube needed again.
7. Walk to Oxo Tower Wharf to follow in Mark’s footsteps.
Oxo Tower Wharf is a mere three minute walk from Gabriel’s Wharf, nice and easy!
8. Finish at 102 Poplar Road in Brixton and see Natalie’s house.
Nearest underground station: Brixton, Victoria line.
Nearest railway station: Loughborough Junction, Thameslink.
From Oxo Tower Wharf, you have a couple of options to get to Poplar Road (both of which take roughly the same amount of time).
Either head to Brixton via Morden and Stockwell (Northern then Victoria line) and walk for twenty minutes to 102 Poplar Road.
Or head to Loughborough Junction on a Thameslink train from Blackfriars.
And there you have it… some of the best Love Actually filming locations you can visit in real life alongside an example self-guided Love Actually tour you can head off on. We hope this was useful! Anything you want to add or ask questions about? Let us know in the comments below…
P.S. Some of the eagle-eyed among you might notice our blog about Love Actually filming locations doesn’t include seeing the Christmas tree at Whiteley’s Shopping Centre like some other blogs do. This is the same tree that appears towards the start of the movie stating that there’s five weeks until Christmas. Sadly, this shopping centre closed recently as it’s being converted into flats, which is why we’ve chosen to leave it out #sadface
Did you like this? Share it around now!