A Mary Poppins Returns Guide to London

Practically Perfect Places & Extraordinary Experiences

A Mary Poppins Guide to London, England
Photo: Kristina Makeeva/@hobopeeba (one of my favorite Instagrammers!)

To mark the return of everyone's favorite nanny – add a spoon full of sugar and some magic to your next London trip.

Discover iconic filming locations, extraordinary restaurants, practically perfect places, and vintage fashion shops in this Mary Poppins guide to London.

It was over 50 years ago since Disney's original Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews entered the screen, flying in with her parrot-headed umbrella and magical bag. The sequel, Mary Poppins Returns, now embodied by Emilie Blunt, premiered in December 2018.

Whether you've seen the movie or not, travel in Mary Poppins footsteps and discover a whimsical, magical, and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious side of London.

A Mary Poppins Guide to London, England, UK

Explore the Mary Poppins Returns Filming Locations

Mary Poppins Returns is like “a love letter to London.” The film is so Londony, featuring many of the city's famed landmarks as backdrops for key scenes – as well as quintessentially British streets, cobbled alleyways, secret courtyards, and the classic London fog.

Some of the most iconic Mary Poppins Returns filming locations include the magnificent St Pauls Cathedral, the monumental Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and Tower Bridge.

The Banks family's home street address, Cherry Tree Lane, is unfortunately not real – but there are plenty of streets that look just like the fictional street – particularly around Kensington.

Walk underneath the lovely London sky and explore the places for yourself. Or go on a guided walking tour. For behind-the-scenes stories, check out the new Brit Movies Mary Poppins Tour, launching in 2019. 

You can also stop by the house where it all began. The Australian-born author, P.L. Travers, spent most of her life in England and wrote a series of eight books about the magical nanny at 50 Smith Street in Chelsea. For insight into how the literary character was created, check out The Supercalifragilistic Tour with American Tour Guide.

St. Paul’s Cathedral | A Mary Poppins Returns Guide to London
Outside St. Paul's Cathedral – one of the filming locations in Mary Poppins Returns

Early each day to the steps of St. Paul’s” begins the famous song sung by Julie Andrews in the original film from 1964. This is what she was referring to St. Paul's Cathedral. One of London's most iconic buildings.

Check out both the exterior and interior – it's so impressive! And don't miss to climb the 528 steps to the top. The panorama views from the dome are so worth the climb.

Bank of England and the Royal Exchange, City of London
Royal Exchange and Bank of England

Check out Bambi's Mary Poppins Inspired Street Art by Neal’s Yard

Neal’s Yard | A Mary Poppins Guide to London
The colorful and hidden Neal's Yard in London

Bambi street art - Lady Di as Mary Poppins in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden, London, UK
Lady Di as Mary Poppins in Neal's Yard, Covent Garden

Another Mary Poppins' location in London can, very conveniently, be found just before you enter the hidden magical courtyard that is Neal's Yard in Convent Garden.

The famous street artist Bambi (also called ‘the female Banksy') has decorated the wall to the entrance with a mural that pays tribute to Princess Diana. The piece is called ‘Be As Naughty As You Want,' and presents Diana as Mary Poppins, being carried into the sky by her magical umbrella, watched by Princess Charlotte and Prince George.


Read also: A Weekend in Bath: A 48-hour itinerary


MARY POPPINS' INSPIRED SHOPPING 

James Smith & Sons

James Smith & Sons Umbrella Shop in London, Great Britain
James Smith & Sons Umbrellas

What would a Mary Poppins' trip to London be without a magical umbrella in your hand? The most magical umbrellas in London can be found in the Victorian shop James Smith & Sons Umbrellas on the corner of New Oxford Street.

Unchanged for almost 190 years, this shop is like a giant step back in time, offering a huge range of distinctive, timelessly and classical high-end umbrellas, walking sticks and canes. There are eye-catching wooden handles, depicting lion heads, cats, dogs, skulls, fox heads, carved jaguars – and a whole jungle of other animals and forms.

Even if these umbrellas can't guarantee you the ability to fly, they sure are pretty to look at.


The Revival Retro Boutique & Atelier Millinery

The Revival Retro Boutique | A Mary Poppins Guide to London
The Revival Retro Boutique & Atelier Millinery

To copy Mary Poppins iconic silhouette from head to toe, pop into The Revival Retro Boutique. This fabulous store is filled with flattering clothing inspired by the by the golden '20s, the elegant designs of the '30s, the feminine tailoring of the '40s and the powerful silhouettes of the '50s. 

There are so many gorgeous twirl-friendly coats, figure-flattering dresses, fabulous shoes and cute accessories such as bow ties, jewelry, vintage brooches, and retro handbags.

Under the same roof is also Atelier Millinery where you can find a vast selection of gorgeous hats to add some personality to your style.

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK

Theatrical Cocktails at Milestone Hotel
Head-turning cocktails at The Milestone Hotel

Afternoon Tea at Milestone Hotel
“A Spoonful of Sugar” Afternoon Tea at The Milestone Hotel

Afternoon Tea & Cocktails at The Milestone Hotel

Located in the heart of picture-perfect Kensington is the award-winning five-star The Milestone Hotel & Residences. Even though their Mary Poppins Returns inspired afternoon tea, and hotel stay is not available anymore, there's plenty of reasons to pop in for a traditional afternoon tea with delicate finger sandwiches, warm freshly baked scones with cream and home-made jam, and a selection of pastries including tartlets, cupcakes, chocolate éclairs, and macarons. 

The warm and welcoming atmosphere, elegant furnishing, open fireplace and views across to Kensington garden is the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon.

Or, if you're in the mood for cocktails – check out the Milestones whimsical cocktail bar with head-turning drinks – like The Carousel and Smoked Old Fashioned. Cheers!

Afternoon tea at Milestone Hotel
The Park Lounge – Afternoon tea at the Milestone Hotel

Milestone Hotel in London
A Christmas-decorated entrance to the Milestone Hotel in London

Have a cupcake at Peggy Porschen's Cakes 

Peggy Porschen Cakes, London | Instagram-worthy spots in London
So Instagrammable desserts at Peggy Porschen

To add a spoon full of sugar (or two) to your London trip, you should definitely visit Peggy Porschen. This gorgeous café near Victoria station is one of the prettiest I've ever visited.

It's everything from the cotton-candy pink exterior to the extraordinaire cupcakes, pastries, cookies, sweets, and hot drinks. It seems like everything is made to be Instagrammed.

It's no surprise that this award-winning cake designer also has attracted customers like Kate Moss, Madonna, Stella McCartney, Elton John – and even members of the Royal Family.