Each spring, as the city’s streets burst into life with pink blossom and colourful tulips, Londoners eagerly await the start of the perfect purple phenomenon: wisteria hysteria. Discover the best places to see wisteria in London in this guide.
Wisteria in London is a beautiful sight. Each year, the lilac flowers begin to bloom across the city, bringing the streets to life. The season usually begins mid-to-late April depending on the weather conditions and lasts for a few weeks.
The first few blooms were spotted over the May bank holiday which means the 2021 London wisteria season is officially here.
I lived in London for 6 years and spent a lot of time hunting down the best wisteria spots. It’s a magical yet fleeting season, so I’ve put together a complete walking guide to help you find the prettiest wisteria in London whilst it lasts.
THE BEST PLACES TO SEE WISTERIA IN LONDON
Here are the prettiest, most instagrammable spots to see the wisteria in London. Most of these spots are close to one another so I’ve ordered them to give you the best walking route. At the end of this article you’ll find a map with all of these locations to help you plan out your day.
1. Lansdowne Crescent
Lansdowne Crescent is lined with the iconic white townhouses that South Kensington is known for. It’s not as quaint as some of the other streets on this list, but it’s still a fabulous spot to see the wisteria in London. There’s a big wisteria plant between buildings 29 and 30 which reaches all the way to the top of the building.
2. Horbury Mews
London is home to numerous mews streets. Built in the 18th and 19th century, these little streets were used as service lanes to large mansions and townhouses. They were lined with rows of carriage houses. The ground floor was used as a stable for the horses whilst the upper floor provided accommodation for the coachmen and servants.
Part of Kensington’s ‘Ladbroke’ Conservation Area, Horbury Mews is a very pretty mews street and one of the best places to see wisteria in London. At the back of the pastel-coloured courtyard, you can see the wisteria climbing over the brick work. Unfortunately I’ve always been either too early or too late to see it in full bloom.
3. Campden Hill Road
Wander up Camden Hill Road and you’ll find one of London’s underrated wisteria spots. There is a pretty row of pastel-coloured houses, one of which is covered in a lovely wisteria plant. The combination of the lilac petals and the pastel houses makes for some lovely photos!
4. Bedford Gardens
When you think of wisteria in London, there’s probably one particular spot that comes to mind; the house with the pastel pink door at Bedford Gardens. Home to one of the most well-established wisteria trees in London, the building is covered in an abundance of wisteria which stretches over three floors.
If that wasn’t enough to attract photographers from all over the country, it also has a pretty pink door which is framed perfectly by the purple flowers.
5. Campden Grove
Once you’ve finished admiring the beautiful Bedford Gardens, continue to 1 Campden Grove. This quaint townhouse has wisteria blooming across the balcony railing and on the garden wall.
6. Gordon Place
The start of Gordon Place begins halfway along Campden Grove. Walk to the end of the street and you’ll find a quiet, tree-lined pedestrianised cul-de-sac, and some pretty wisteria covered houses.
Number 42 has a lovely lilac door which is framed by a wisteria arch. At the end of the walkway is number 62 which has a bright pink door and a balcony draped in wisteria. Please be respectful if you wander down to see it as this is a residential area. Be quick with your photos and don’t linger long.
7. Abingdon Road
This is one of my favourite places to admire the wisteria in London. There are lots of wisteria plants along the road so if you visit at the right time you’ll see the purple flowers crawling up the buildings. Number 107 has a pretty wisteria archway over the front path, whilst its neighbour, 109, has wisteria draping along the windows and black railings.
8. Victoria Grove
I stumbled across this picturesque street by chance a few years ago whilst looking for wisteria in London. It might not have an abundance of wisteria but a few of the houses have wisteria growing up their pergolas which is a pretty sight. The contrast of the lilac petals and the black and white buildings creates a lovely backdrop for photos.
9. Kynance Mews
Kynance Mews is another quintessential mews street. Divided by Launceston Place, the street is split into two sections, both with their own stone archway. The best wisteria lies on the western side where, for a couple of weeks, one house is covered in a lilac wall of petals each spring.
The cobbled street and mews-style houses are very picturesque, but just remember the residents when you’re taking photos in front of their homes.
10. Ensor Mews
Ensor Mews is not only one of the most picturesque mews I’ve come across, but it’s also one of the best spots to see wisteria in London at the beginning of May. It contains Georgian and Victorian Terraces which were built between 1840 and 1880.
11. Elm Place
This may be one of the cutest spots to see the wisteria in London. There are about five houses covered in the purple flower along this street. The buildings have lovely brick work and pale blue pastel doors which looks lovely when the wisteria is in full bloom.
12. Selwood Place
Selwood Place is just around the corner from Elm Place. At the end of the road you’ll see a gorgeous wisteria plant growing up 12A which is definitely worth checking out on this walking tour.
13. Park Walk
This street is lined with beautiful brick buildings with colourful front doors. There are also several lovely wisteria plants growing up the buildings.
One particular house has become a popular spot for photographers and has a spectacular wisteria tree. Each year the owners of number 23 pick an annual charity to support and visitors can donate if they wish.
14. Astell Street
Not too far from Park Walk lies another wisteria hot spot – Astell Street. There is a large wisteria plant which has grown so big that it acts as a purple curtain over the house. When it’s in full bloom it’s an impressive sight!
15. Radnor Walk
Continue on to Radnor Walk and look out for number 4. This end terrace has a huge wisteria plant growing up the side and onto the balcony.
16. St Leonards Terrace
St Leonards Terrace may be one of the prettiest wisteria displays in London. Set back from the street, these houses are covered in wisteria which sweeps over the fences and gates and climbs up the balcony and pergolas.
Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, actually lived in one of these 18th-century houses during his time in London.
17. Christchurch Street
This small and peaceful square surrounds an old church. With its cute houses and iconic lampposts, Christchurch Street is an instagrammable spot all year round. A few houses have wisteria plants draped over their doorways which adds even more charm to the street.
18. Cheyne Walk
Located near the riverside, Cheyne Walk is a wonderful spot for a peaceful walk at any time of year, but especially during London’s wisteria season. There are a cluster of houses with wisteria vines entwined around wrought iron railings and creeping up balconies.
The road is separated by Albert Bridge so make sure you explore both sides. Keep an eye out for some of the lilac doors which match the wisteria!
OTHER SPOTS TO SEE THE WISTERIA IN LONDON
Whilst Chelsea, South Kensington and Notting Hill have an abundance of wisteria, here are some other places where you can find the lilac flowers:
- Peckham Rye Park
- Primrose Hill
- Hampstead Heath
- Eastcote Gardens (Hillingdon)
- Eltham Palace
PLANNING YOUR WISTERIA ADVENTURE
You’ll find all of the places listed in this article on my map below. To save this map, click on the star on the right hand side of the title. This will save the map to “Your Places” in the Google Maps so you refer back to it when you’re out and about.
Wisteria hysteria tips and etiquette
Go early to avoid the crowds and the harsh mid-day lighting which can make it difficult to capture the lovely colour of the wisteria.
Remember that many of these locations are in quiet residential areas. As much as we all want to enjoy the wisteria, please be respectful when taking photos of people’s houses. Don’t trespass on someone’s property or block pavements when taking photos. If you are venturing into the road to get photos, make sure you check for cars and cyclists and move quickly so you don’t hold up traffic.
I hope this guide was helpful and inspires you to get out and find the wisteria in London. If you’re looking for more things to do in and around London this summer, have a look at the following UK guides:
- Where to find London’s prettiest streets
- 5 Ideas for a girls getaway
- Everything you need to know to hike the Seven Sisters
If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.