Love Actually Tour
The Love Actually Tour is a tour of the filming locations used in the 2003 film Love Actually directed by Richard Curtis. As so of the locations depicted in the film were not actually filmed there we have used the implied location and not the actually set. While it is possible to visit most of the sites on this tour in one trip, some of the side stories take you outside of London and venture into France, so if you are bent on following the tour please be sure to have your passport ready.
In 2003 Love, Actually is all around. Directed by Richard Curtis of Notting Hill fame, the film brings together a myriad of interconnected people all experiencing, looking for and losing love. Set in beautiful London, England with parts in France, and Portugal and the United States, Love Actually was the romcom of the holiday season.
The movie opens and closes at Heathrow Airport, starting with Hugh Grant's voiceover reassuring us of the ubiquity of warm, fuzzy feelings. While the opening doesn't set up any of the characters that will be introduced in the film, the setting is key as we conclude all of the stories back at the airport.
Whiteleys, Queensway, London, W2 4YN
This is a London romcom, so we get the inevitable establishing shots of the city. The galleried atrium, decked out for Christmas, is that of Whiteley’s, the vast Bayswater department store.
Selfridges, 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB, United Kingdom Oxford Street, an inexplicably crowded shopping hell, is expensive to close down on a weekday, or open up on a Sunday, it”s rarely been seen on screen, though it’s featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy – but the magic name of Richard Curtis coaxed Selfridges & Co, 400 Oxford Street, W1, to open its doors for filming.
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA, United Kingdom The central court of Somerset House in the Strand, saw sterling service as a movie location over the years (GoldenEye, Sleepy Hollow etc) when it was a rather dull parking lot. Since the building’s renovation, it has been transformed into a pleasant fountain court and, in winter, a skating rink, which is how it appears in the film’s opening montage.
2a Blenheim Road, Turnham Green, W4 over in West London, was home to writer Jamie Bennett (Colin Firth), where he discovers his girlfriend in bed with his brother before fleeing to Portugal to work on his new novel and meet the future Mrs Bennett.
Notting Hill-North Kensington, The recording studio, where Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) records his cheesy Christmas record, is Westway Studios, Ladbroke Grove in Notting Hill. His record company office is unmistakably City Hall, the London Assembly Building on the South Bank alongside Tower Bridge.
The ‘South Bank’ gallery run by Mark (Andrew Lincoln) isn't on the South bank at all, of course. It was an empty office – now a solicitors – at 26-27 Great Sutton Street, in Clerkenwell – which was Hugh Grant's neighbourhood in About A Boy.
Queen’s Walk is the path running alongside the south ban of the River Thames. On Gabriel’s Wharf, in front of the Riviera Restaurant, 56 Upper Ground, you’ll find the bench on which Daniel (Liam Neeson), during a heart-to-heart chat, discovers that his distracted son (Thomas Sangster) is – actually – in love.
Along the walk is the Oxo Tower Wharf complex, home to Mark, where he embarrassingly leaves Juliet (Keira Knightley) with the wedding video. He exits the flat by the rear entrance of the wharf building on Barge House Street, through the courtyard to Oxo Tower Wharf itself.
The Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) and Natalie (Martine McCutcheon) attend a school concert at Elliott School, Pullman Gardens, Putney, southwest London.
The church in which Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) marries Juliet to the unexpected strains of All You Need Is Love, is the Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, in the exclusive Mayfair district. Daniel buries his wife at St Paul’s Church, Rectory Grove , in Clapham SW4, south of the Thames.
The PM searches for Natalie in ‘the dodgy end of Wandsworth’, though it's really 102 Poplar Road, Herne Hill that he eventually finds her. And, in these days of strict security, 10 Downing Street was a set built in the studio at Shepperton Studio.
The radio studio, where Billy Mack reveals that his record is crap and that Britney Spears was a lousy shag, is Heat Radio, Mappin House, 4 Winsley Street, London W1.
And, finally for those journeying away from London, the ‘Portuguese’ restaurant, where writer Jamie finally declares his love for Aurelia (Lucia Moniz) is Le Bar de la Marine, 15 Quai de Rive Neuve, 13007 Marseille, France.