My first wisteria season in London.
The first flower photo I took and uploaded on Instagram was of purple wisterias in Notting Hill around late May last year.
From that picture, I discovered that the wisteria season in the UK is from April to June every year (it might be different in other countries), when everyone goes nuts about these gorgeous purple vines and that there is this trend called #wisteriahysteria on Instagram. At that time, I only started to look at Instagram more seriously, focusing on travel photography than just selfie posts, so I missed the chance to take part in the wisteria game as it was already the end of the season, but I did make a promise to myself that in the following wisteria season, I would make my pay-back (LOL).
The wisteria season this year seems to be more beautiful than previous years, that’s what people say. I’ve been hunting for these purple walls anywhere I could in London. It is fun being a wisteria hunter. Sometimes wisterias are on the main road, which tend to quickly become Instafamous, but often enough, they really like to play hide and seek, and if you happen to discover them in “untouched” or less popular areas, you’re definitely the wisteria hero!
Today I will give you a
little guide on where to find wisterias around London from my personal experience. This tour will take you from the South to the North of London, through some of the best areas to admire wisterias.
Transport tips: I’d recommend using public transport i.e. underground and buses to travel between different districts. This tour also involves walking and maybe wandering – you can be flexible with the routes and do not have to stick to my entire plan here. Have fun!
Our starting point is Clapham Common Northside in Clapham, South West London. Once you get to the intersection between this road, Macaulay Road and Rookery Road, you’ll see a block of houses whose walls have some blooming wisterias on them. These wisteria walls are not really stand-out (probably because the flowers were just blooming when I was there, so if you get here when they have fully blossomed, do send me your photos 🤗), so you may need to get real close to see them clearly. I myself had to put my camera through the gates of these mansions to get the best shots!
Next, we’re heading to The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and going to spend some time in one of the most affluent areas in London and the whole Great Britain. Let’s see what wisterias look like on the most luxurious facades there.
Our first stop in Chelsea is St. Leonard’s Terrace. One of the first spots you’ll notice is the Instafamous wisteria house with a blue vintage car parked at the front. What a picture-perfect scene!
From the entrance of this house, turn right and keep going along the road and as we can see, the wisteria competition is going strong in the neighborhood.
From St. Leonard’s Terrace, it’s a 3-minute walk to Smith Terrace, which is a very pretty street with colored houses on both sides. Walk till end of the street and you should be able to see wisteria vines leaning against a white wall.
Keep walking towards the direction of Radnor Walk, turn left and then again walk to the very end of the street. A house covered in purple is waiting for you at the corner between Radnor Walk and Redburn Street.
Cheyne Place is only 5 minutes away by foot from here. This house is on the main road and right opposite to a Tesco Express store. Once I got there, I thought I might have been lost in a fairytale because of how dreamy this “cottage” looked.
This is probably the area with the most wisterias I’ve found myself. Kensington’s wisteria game is seriously no jokes (watch out, Chelsea!).
Go along Launceston Place in Kensington to admire the gorgeous white facades and their front gardens with all sorts of flowers, including vines of wisterias, of course.
As you’re already here, you won’t want to miss Kynance Mews cutting across the road (make sure you visit the whole mews, besides the purple wisterias, as the mews itself is already very picturesque!).
After taking thousands of photos of the mews (I know you will 😉), walk back to Launceston Place and head North towards Canning Place, where you’ll be able to admire one of the most popular wisteria houses on Instagram this season.
Now, may I introduce you to a hidden corner of Kensington that is full of wisterias yet not really discovered – Gordon Place (at least on Instagram). It’s only a 15-minute walk from Canning Place; there are multiple bus lines too but walking means you can take time to discover the area 😏
The wisteria-ish corner of Gordon Place is just opposite the Elephant and Castle pub. First thing you’ll notice before stepping into that little corner is a cute grey door to your right, which will probably have hyped you up by now.
Gordon Place is truly the King of beautiful flower mixtures.
Those cute doors and relaxing spaces at the front kept making me go “wow”.
From the Elephant and Castle pub, if you go to the main road, which is Holland Street, turn left then walk straight ahead for about 500ft until you see a small lane on your left called Carmel Court, there’s your reward:
Return to Holland Street and walk back into Gordon Place, here’s your chance to take the photos of the pretty hidden gems before turning around and walking till the end of Gordon Place (the other direction). Once you’re there, turn right to Campden Grove to see this:
This house is just near the main road, Kensington Church Street. Turn left to this street then walk for about 1 minute until you see Vicarage Gardens on your right (on the other side of the road). Have a little walk along this street and just enjoy the view there.
Head to Brunswick Gardens, which is only a few steps away.
Walk back to Kensington Church Street via Berkeley Gardens and go across the road to Bedford Gardens. You probably have heard about and/or visited this place before, since it’s been Instagrammed a lot lately.
Our next destination is Holland Park Mews in Holland Park. The wisterias here are quite humble yet more than enough for pretty captures.
Every house in the mews has one thing common: a stairway that leads to the balcony on the first floor, and there’s been a trend amongst residents in this mews to grow wisterias on the handrails, which make the mews look even prettier.
And we’re back to Notting Hill, which cannot be off any wisteria guides. It should take you about 5 minutes to walk from Holland Park Mews to Portland Road. House No. 44 is a beautiful facade with striking wisterias climbing on its main gate and white wall.
Continue walking towards Clarendon Road…
Head to Lansdowne Crescent (4-minute walk) and this is how your day will be made (again):
When I was in Elgin Crescent last time, this was the only wisteria photo I took, so if you get there and find more wisterias, feel free to share them with me 🙂
Now let’s walk towards Portobello Road Market and get something to eat before we continue our tour.
On the way out of the market, towards Notting Hill Gate tube station, you’ll find some purple walls on Portobello Road.
We shall stop at only one place in Marylebone, which is the junction between Dorset Street and Manchester Street.
Primrose Hill/Chalk Farm
This is also an area which I feel not many Instagrammers have hunted wisterias at so far. So go there before they do! LOL.
Chalcot Crescent is our first stop. If only there had not been cars parked in front of this house, it could have been a great shot 😒
How can you resist the charm of the only wisteria house on Berkley Road?
From Berkley Road, walk past Bridge Approach towards Provost Road. The houses there are super cute and at the end of this road that leads to Eton College Road, there’s a wisteria house.
Finally! The very last stop of our wisteria tour: Kentish Town.
Kentish Town is famous for the colored houses on Leverton Street and Falkland Street, which are exactly where wisterias are found. What’s better than colored houses? Colored houses with wisterias at the front!
There you have it! That was such a long tour, so if you’re not able to finish it in one day, do split time, read this guide again, have some rest and continue the next day. Although I call it “a wisteria hunt”, you have no competition really, just take your time and visit these spots one by one, or simply choose the ones you find most appealing and get on the road.
I hope you found this guide helpful and inspiring. There’re of course a lot more wisterias in other areas around London that I didn’t mention, so if you know where else wisterias are hiding, feel free to share!
Have an awesome wisteria season!
Text and photography by ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ
Visit https://www.instagram.com/julieythe1st/ for more of my travel photos.
If you would like to use my photos, please kindly contact me for permission.
Read my “London Spring Fever: Part 1” post here: https://julieythe1st.com/2017/03/28/london-spring-fever-part-1/.