There are many things that make the British capital city and one of them, we would argue, is how beautiful it is.  Now you might not think it, if you arrive on a grey, rainy day (although some might argue that it’s this kind of weather that gives London its charm).  But when the sun is shining…wow, London is just gorgeous!

That’s why so many of the world’s movies and tv shows are filmed here…and not just at the ‘famous’ spots - Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, the RIver Thames, chic Notting Hill, hipster Brick Lane and eclectic Camden town…but also in Hampstead!

Yes, our beloved neighbourhood has also been made famous a fair few times over the years on the screen.  Today, we’re looking at some of the productions that were filmed in our lovely north London ‘village’.  Which ones have you seen -and how many Hanpstead locations do you recognise?

1. Hampstead (2017)

    Inspired and based upon the true story of the ‘Hampstead Hermit’ Harry Hallowes, this lovely romantic comedy stars Dianne Keaton as a kooky silver-haired widow living in Hampstead who befriends a local tramp living in a makeshift tent near her home.  In her attempts to help him save his humble dwelling she falls in love with him…but will their romance last?

    Look carefully as you watch this feel-good movie and you’ll see shots of both Hampstead Village and Hampstead Heath - although locations such as Highgate Cemetery (not far from our neck of the woods)  and Cliveden House (an Italianate mansion in Buckinghamshire, once owned by the Astor family) are also featured.  

    2. 101 Dalmatians (1996)

    After the fabulous 1960’s Disney movie about two lovable black and white spotted dogs and their pups, it was hard to imagine that any sequel could match up.  But the 1996 version of One Hundred and One Dalmatians remake pushed all the right buttons, with none other than the talented Glenn Close brought in for the role of the wicked Cruella De Vil (along with her sidekick, Jasper - played by British superstar Hugh Laurie).

    It’s the house of Cruella that’s set in Hampstead - a large, detached neo-Tudor mansion named Sarum Chase, set on West Heath Road. It’s a very grand building (of which Hampstead has many) and is actually a Grade II listed property, built in 1932 and used as a home and studio by the artist Frank O’Salisbury.

    3. After Life (2019-2022)

    The smash-hit dramedy ‘After Life’ which was both written and starred in by Ricky Gervais, who plays Tony, a nice guy turned misanthrope since the untimely death of his wife Lisa.  Touching, sympathetic and honest at every moment, we watch him ‘going through the motions’ as he tries to cope with deep depression and sometimes complete despair in his daily life.  Lucky he has a dog named Brandy to keep him going…

    In the series, Tony lives in a village called Tanbury but the exterior shots of his house were filmed on the Vale of Health, and there are also lots of shots of Tony walking Brandy on Hampstead Heath, north London’s ‘green lung’. The show’s compassionate portrayal of mental health made it a huge hit and, subsequently, a wooden bench (where Tony sometimes sat) was commemorated in the area, inscribed with the words ‘Hope is Everything’.

    4. Notes on a Scandal (2006)

    This British psychological drama staring two of the Grande Dames of the stage and screen, Judy Dench and Cate Blanchett, follows the story of two teachers at a London school who become good friends, before things take an unexpected turn when once learns a secret about the other.  With its intricate plot and high drama, it really is a film to keep you on the edge of your seat.

    Notes on a Scandal was filmed in several locations in north London, including the Holloway Road, Crouch End and Hampstead.  Look out for the scene where the two women are sitting on a bench, with fantastic views looking down - that’s Parliament Hill, one of the capital’s highest points and a popular place to stroll and fly kites on windy days!


    5. Notting Hill (1999)

    Who can forget the film Notting Hill, the classic ‘girls meets boy’ rom-com with its loveable characters of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts (playing William Thacker, a humble bookstore owner and Anna Scott, a famous film star who comes to town from Hollywood).  A chance encounter brings the two together in what seems to be an improbable romance - but will their love survive in view of their very different backgrounds?

    The smash-hit movie wasn’t just set in west London though.  As well as the famous Portobello Road (where there’s a real bookshop, that was filmed), Golborne Road and the Coronet Cinema, there’s a great scene set in the grounds of Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath, where William overhears Anna talking about him in a less than kind manner!

    6. Dance with a Stranger (1985)

      Retracing the life of the last woman to be hanged in Britain for the murder of her lover, this stormy drama starring Miranda Richardson and Ruper Everett, is set against the backdrop of late 1950’s London, where social class meant everything and a sexual obsession between a working-class woman and upper-class man is doomed to failure.

      With stellar performances by the two, portraying the emotional highs and lows of an abusive relationship between Ruth Ellis and David Blakely, Dance with a Stranger was filmed in Sussex and in London.   Ruth Ellis actually shot her lover dead at the Magdala Tavern on South Hill Park in Hampstead and you can pop in there for a drink as it’s been lovingly renovated!

      If you’re coming to London and need a place to stay, then why consider our comfortable guest accommodation? Set in leafy Hampstead, arguably one of the capital’s most beautiful areas, La Gaffe Hotel Hampstead we’re family-owned and family-run and really go the extra mile to make you feel at home.

      We’re just three minutes walk from Hampstead tube (on the Northern line) and then it’s a fifteen minute tube ride into the city centre, so you get both the charming ‘village’ feel of our neighbourhood and the opportunity to enjoy some ‘bright lights, big city’ atmosphere too.

      Feel free to contact us by email or phone or by clicking here to book a room directly.  We look forward to welcoming you.