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A very potted tour around Hampstead film locations

15 April 2020

Hampstead

A very potted tour around Hampstead film locations

Take a walk around Hampstead and Hampstead Heath and you will constantly come across locations that are somehow familiar even if you are sure you have never visited them before. The likelihood is you’ll have spotted them in a film as Hampstead and The Heath have long been hugely popular with location agencies. From horror to romance to comedy and even an entire eponymous film dedicated to the world-famous neighbourhood, Hampstead is always ready for its close up.

We put together some of the locations you might have spotted over the years on screen for a fun tour to help blow away the isolation cobwebs and start planning your next trip. In the meantime, why not catch up on some of the more cheerful and romantic film offerings in preparation for your exploration of Hampstead’s film locations…

Hampstead…The Movie

There’s barely a scene in the film that doesn’t feature a famous Hampstead landmark, from the opening shots along the High Street and down Flask Walk, the whole film is fabulous paean to London’s most famous urban village. Follow in Diane Keaton’s footsteps and enjoy lunch at Villa Bianca or pop into Oxfam on Gayton Road where her character volunteered. Stroll over West Heath and cross over West Heath Road to Reddington Road where her character lives.

Whilst on West Heath Road you might also spot Cruella de Vil’s mansion from 101 Dalmatians, Sarum Chase, which sits imposingly on the corner of Platt’s Lane and West Heath Road.

Back to Hampstead and next we can head down the High Street to South End Green to the Hampstead Ponds location where Brendan Gleeson’s character performs his ablutions. Hampstead Ponds is strictly for swimming in real life! Finally, a romp over the Heath from there will take you to Kenwood, possibly one of Hampstead’s most famous film and TV locations. Enjoy a restorative coffee and cake in their lovely Brew House café in the old kitchen wing.

Kenwood House deserves a special mention

Notting Hill, 101 Dalmatians, Sense and Sensibility and Belle are just a few of the films that have used this beautiful and historic Hampstead house and stunning gardens as a film location over the years. When you visit it’s easy to see why! In fact Belle was inspired by the 1779 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray, at Kenwood House, commissioned by their great-uncle, William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield. William Murray retired to Kenwood, which he bought in 1754 and had remodelled by Robert Adam in 1764. The film tells the story of how he and his wife brought up Belle at Kenwood, the daughter of Mansfield's nephew, born into slavery.

Hampstead Heath…or is it?

Hampstead Heath appears both as itself and beautifully depicts a variety of scenic, heaths in many films, like Mansfield Park, where Kenwood also makes a ubiquitous appearance. In Notes on a Scandal, the bench from which Judy Dench’s character sits on top of Parliament Hill Fields to admire the spectacular London skyline has a starring role and you can sit there and admire the view in real life. In Hampstead, the Heath gets top billing pretty much as itself making it easy to spot some of the locations as you stroll around. While you may recognise East Heath Street and the East Heath from one of the grizzly scenes in An American Werewolf in London.  

Old Hampstead Town Hall

The romance of Hampstead lends itself perfectly to the ever popular romcom. Gregory’s Girl and Four Weddings and a Funeral, both used the Old Town Hall to shoot wedding scenes, making the steps of the Old Hampstead Town Hall instantly recognisable. Now the home of WAC Arts, you can still star in your own version of Four Weddings (almost) as you can hire rooms in the venue to celebrate your wedding even though you can no longer be married there.

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As the health of our owners, customers and employees remains our priority, all sales suites are now closed. If you would like to find out more about living at PegasusLife’s two Hampstead developments, Belle Vue and No. 79 Fitzjohn’s Avenue, and enjoying all the neighbourhood has to offer, please call 020 7980 8721 (Belle Vue) or 020 7980 8741 (No 79. Fitzjohns). Alternatively, you can email [email protected] or [email protected]