Before I moved to London, I associated the city with its major monuments. Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral were the first things I thought of when the word “London” came to mind. But ever since I moved here, I’ve come to appreciate the city’s more subtle highlights. In particular, the mews.

Kynance Mews in London

Mews are narrow little streets, usually lined with cobblestones, that run behind or perpendicular to main roads in London. Historically, they were where carriage houses and horse stables were located before cars became mainstream. But ever since the horses moved out, the mews have been become some of the most coveted (and expensive) places to live in London.

Kynance Mews in London

And with good reason. They’re relatively quiet, and the houses tend to be spacious by London standards (and come with garages, a rarity in parking-starved London). But above all, mews are popular because they’re pretty. Very pretty.

Queen's Gate Mews in London

I’ve spent the last few months exploring many of the mews streets in west London, from Notting Hill to Kensington and Chelsea. Some of the most picturesque mews in the city are here, and I’ve spent many afternoons wandering down them to see what’s there.

Kynance Mews in London

One of my favorites is Stanhope Mews, a little street right by the Gloucester Road tube station in South Kensington. Its houses are always fronted by brightly colored flowers, and I can’t get enough of the cobblestones.

Stanhope Mews in London

Another great mews in London is Queen’s Gate Mews, also off Gloucester Road. I love the sunny buildings and little iron balconies, not to mention The Queen’s Arms pub at the end.

Pub on Queen's Gate Mews in London

Just down the street is Kynance Mews, one of the prettiest in all of London. On one side of Kensington‘s Launceston Place, its ivy covered houses and secret staircase leading up to a local church make it one of the best in the neighborhood. On the other side of Launceston Place, its beautiful arches always make me feel like I’m stepping through a portal into a storybook land.

Kynance Mews in London

Up in Notting Hill, there are more mews to discover. I wandered into Simon Close one day while walking down Portobello Road, and came across the prettiest robin’s egg blue house with red roses growing outside.

Mews House in London

Not far from there, Colville Mews is home to not only houses, but also shops and the Museum of Brands. I love the exterior of Temperley London, which is painted like a Union flag.

Temperley London Shop

There are a lot more mews in London, some of which hide historic blue plaques and sunny benches, others of which are great places to take a deep breath and enjoy an escape from the urban chaos. They may not be the London Eye or Tower Bridge, but they make London just as beautiful as their less subtle counterparts.

Mews in London

Do you have a favorite London mews? I would love to hear your recommendations!

66 comments on “Lady in the Mews”

  1. Awww what a lovely collection! I love finding little streets and corners but I never realised which ones were mews so I have to say you’ve changed the way I look at them. Thank you

  2. I love London Mews, specially when you discover them by chance! Such a lovely surprise… I don’t remember the name but we visited some lovely ones near Moxton Street in Marylebone.
    Thanks for sharing this! I’m looking forward to my next London getaway!
    xx,
    E.

  3. You know what?! I didn’t know the meaning of mews, but then I saw you explained it in your article. I am very fond of wandering, especially in the old-fashioned alleys. London is such a charming city and exploring its mewses should be even better! Love your pictures! I remember I had a similar experience in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan, India) – I wandered its Golden fort’s alleys and it was all so colorful and pretty.

  4. Lovely photos. My favourite is Codrington Mews off Ladbroke Grove. It’s not a walk through mews as it has a wall at the end, but the cobbled street and the way they’ve planted loads of colourful flowers at the end is just gorgeous (and I used to spend a lot of time there as friends lived there!)

    rosie xx

  5. I love these! I have put them on my “must see” list for my extended stay in London coming up soon! (the list keeps getting longer and longer….) I enjoyed Holland Park Mews but I must say the ones you pictured are much prettier. I enjoy your blog so much – thank you for doing this for us!!!

  6. Gee, just walked past the Queens Gate and Stanhope mews last week! Another cute one is in front of the K&K George Hotel (on Templeton Place) off of Earl’s Court Rd. Believe it’s called Spear Mews.

  7. I think you’ve touched on a great point here – London can often be overshadowed by the huge buildings and feats of architecture, but it’s these hidden away little mewses that capture London’s quintessentially English vibe. It helps that the home owners appreciate them as much as we do and keep them prettily adorned with flowers too. A tour of London’s mewses would be a great alternative way to see the city.

  8. Wonderful post! Thank you. Mews have been one of the things that surprised me as well when I moved to London. They are charming! Some weeks a go I had a meeting in Waterloo and the office was located in a beautiful area back to the station, Theed Street SE1 8ST. It looks Like a small quiet village in the center of the city.

  9. you need to check out Bathurst Mews near Paddington Station. It’s one of the few ones that still have a working stable in them and the mews is lined with olive trees (in big potted plants, of course) Such a lovely place! I must say living in a mews is one of the best decisions we have ever made πŸ˜€

  10. Hi! I love reading your blog! I just found a vacation rental listed in the Mews. After reading your article I am excited to possibly staying there for a week visit from California. Do you think this is a good area? They say the tube is close by. We love the authentic feel of the place!

  11. I lived in London for one year and a half and I really miss the Mewes. In my opinion this lovely houses are one of London’s best things. They are pretty and cute, and also very quiet. Also not so many tourists discover them so they are like a treasure. πŸ™‚

    I love walking around the small streets where they’re located admiring the colors, the flowers and thinking who is the lucky people living there.:)

    Love your post! xx from Barcelona!

  12. A great post! Over the past couple of years we have been building an online database of London Mews and always love it when other people share the same passion for the beautiful London backstreets as we do.

  13. Ah this is brilliant! Top result when I googles “best London mews”. Very happy I’m not the only one! One of my favourites is Holland Park Mews – for a top day out hit Holland Park tube, walk to the park via Holland Park Mews then end up at Leighton House Museum. Bliss.

    Thanks for the write-up…David (from previous post) do you have that database available publicly?!

    Paul M

  14. I love this post πŸ™‚ I’ve linked to it in my blog post going up tomorrow all about how to find the prettiest mews in London! Hope that’s okay – spreading your inspiration πŸ™‚

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