How to Find the Secret Mews of London for Your Perfect Instagram

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I’m so excited to share with you the finest hidden gems ever – the secret mews of London!

There is nothing, I repeat nothing, more “hidden gem” than the mews of London: These se quiet and quaint rows of houses, miraculously peaceful in one of the world’s largest cities.

Recently, I spent the morning wandering Notting Hill after a canceled appointment, and for the first time in all my trips to London, I found where those quaint instagrams come from. You know the ones I’m talking about… the pale pink doors, the rows of pastel houses, the wooden flower baskets and empty cobbled roads. It turns out, the secret mews of London were under my nose that whole time, I just needed to know where to look!

If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

 

Okay, okay, okay first of all… what the heck is a “mews”??? Trust me, I felt the same for so long…like, did they name it after a kitten noise because all mews have to be cute? (Debatable). Mews is a British term for a row of stables…but nowadays is more like a small alleyway behind larger city roads. Apparently there was a “picturesque movement” (lol) in the 19th century when most of these houses were refurbished…and my instagram ain’t complaining.

Mews of London: St. Luke’s Mews 

AKA where they shot Love Actually. I completely randomly stumbled across this little oasis in Notting Hill, and only after posting a photo online did I realize this is where some of Love Actually is filmed!

If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram


If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram
If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

Mews of London: Notting Hill Mews

The quaint-ness isn’t reserved to St. Luke’s Mews!

If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagramIf you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

Mews of London: Ennismore Garden Mews

This one is in Knightsbridge near some lovely gardens.

If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

 

How to find the secret mews of London

Honestly? I loved just exploring. Wandering until I stumbled across a secret mew, hiding behind some draping ivy. You’ll need to go to a more residential neighborhood, probably on the west side of London (there are lots of polished-up secret mews in the posher neighborhoods of Notting Hill or Kensington, once you get off the main touristy roads). Look for small side streets, they may at first appear just like alleys. They often run parallel to the main roads.

If, however, you travel with a mission, I’ve found some great resources to guide your secret mew-hunting:

  • This vintagey looking book from Amazon, titled ‘The Mews of London: A Guide to the Hidden Byways of London’s Past’
  • This directory of all the mews in London (334!) from a real estate website…complete with photos.
  • This post by A Lady in London which names some of her favorite mews in west London.
  • This post by Mandy from Emm in London about the prettiest mews in Knightsbridge and Belgravia neighborhoods [her blog is now closed for new posts 🙁 ].
  • This post by Laura of Sometime Traveller listing a few cute mews around London.
  • This instagram dedicated to all the mews of London.

Related: A Complete Guide to Frome England: An Easy Day Trip From London

I loved exploring the secret mews of London…hidden gems in the truest sense of the word! I couldn’t help imagining myself living in one of them… locking my bike outside my turquoise painted door, eating breakfast outdoors in the summer in the peaceful cobbled yard, chattering with neighbors or having barbecues in the summer. And of course enjoying my billion dollar paycheck at the end of each month 😉

Sarah xx

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If you are looking for the quintessential Instagram photo of London you are looking for the mews of London. I'm so excited to share with you how to find the finest hidden gems ever - the secret mews of London! Including St Luke's Mews where Love Actually was filmed. #london #londontravel #travel #londonmews #londoninstagram

 




Thanks to Polly from Follow Your Sunshine, Emma from Adventures of a London Kiwi, Angie from SilverSpoon London, and Tiff at a girl and her passport for hosting this month’s travel linkup. You can join by writing your own post on the theme “hidden gems” and linking it up through any of their blogs.

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68 Responses

  1. You hit me right on the head because places like this are totally me thing. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know about the word “mew” until I hit one in New York last December (pretty similar to the ones in here). Another reason to visit London! #WanderlustWednesday

  2. Such pretty pics! I remember looking up the meaning of “mews” when I first moved to London, it confused me too 😉

    Also, French fries should be allowed everywhere. It’s the only way you’re gonna survive a megabus ?

  3. What a gorgeous post!!! Your photos are really lovely and yes, it’s a lovely area. I’m sorry I made you use a sad face!! I’d like to say I’ll be back at the end of the year but for now am enjoying having a bit more time on my hands.

  4. This is SO charming. <3 Seriously, I really want to visit London and I love your photos. We have these things called hofjes here in the Netherlands, but they're a bit different (although beautiful too). I have meant to find a few more of them…so maybe I will. 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Thank you so much!!! These photos are absolutely delightful. I love how you can find such wuaint and peaceful places in such a large city like London. And the best part is that I had never even heard of the mews before. Thanks!

  6. Oh goodness I just want to go to London now! This was a super helpful post – definitely saving it for my next trip 🙂

  7. I am OBSESSED with London and I’m now itching to find these secret mews! I loved Notting Hill when I visited in October, it’s just such an incredibly beautiful neighbourhood. Thank you for opening my eyes to the existence of these hidden gems!

    1. YES please do!!! Yes it is such a great neighborhood, but it often feels too touristy for me which is why I don’t go there very often – I literally saw a guy who had to come out on his porch and yell at people taking selfies all over his property!! So the mews are a great balance of that Notting Hill vibe but a little more peaceful aha

  8. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing these hidden gems. I think it is so cool that you happened to stumble upon where Love Actually is filmed. What an amazing adventure.

  9. What hidden gems. Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous as well! This makes me want to visit London again!

  10. Such a cute idea for a guide! Kynance Mews in South Kensington will always be my favorite 🙂

  11. I am absolutely stashing this for my next visit. SO DAMN PRETTY! haha. I would LOVE to explore this area so thank you so much for sharing! You photos are gorgeous!

  12. You should totally do a walking tour showing people around the secret mews! I sooooo wish I’d done this when I lived in London! So cute and quaint!

  13. Sarah! Love this one. Wish I had it before I was in London in September. We have a lot on Dublin too…perhaps I should scope out the best ones we have. xx Morgan

  14. Probably my favorite post in this month’s link-up – I ADORE the mews in London! I’m always too shy to take pics (and then regret not taking any) because I’m paranoid that someone’s going to walk out at any second and catch me snapping away at their front door … I but I suppose they’re used to it!

    1. The highest praise!!! Hahaha, thank you Jaime!! Yes…. there were some SUPER awkward (/hilarious because it didn’t happen to me haha) moments in Notting Hill, where people were doing full-out model shoots on someone’s steps, and this poor guy came out of the house nextdoor and yelled for them to get off private property aha. It was legitimately like watching someone shoo the pigeons from their porch!! I didn’t feel that paranoid in the mews, though, as they were completely empty (and I didn’t actually go onto private property like a criminal hahaha).

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Oh hey! I’m Sarah, the writer behind Endless Distances. When I’m not here, spilling all my gluten free travel and wellness travel tips, you can… find me on the floor at parties petting the dog.

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