Notes on a Scandal, 2006
- Cate Blanchett
- Judi Dench
- Bill Nighy
- Andrew Simpson
- Anne-Marie Duff
- Philip Davis
- Juno Temple
- Julia McKenzie
- Tom Georgeson
- Michael Maloney
visit the film locations
Drink at: the Crown Tavern, 43 Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0EG (tel: 020.7253.4973)
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Barbara’s bench, overlooking the city: Parliament Hill Fields, London
Patrick Marber (who wrote the play Closer) adapts Zoe Heller’s novel, and the lovely Judi Dench gets the chance to play the spectacularly nasty Barbara Covett, a manipulative schoolteacher who exploits her younger colleague’s affair with an underage student.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: setting the scene: Archway Bridge, Archway Road, London
The film is set mainly around north London, established early on with a shot of Archway Bridge, over Archway Road, the main A1, which gives its name to the area. It’s dubbed Suicide Bridge and it’s not hard to see why.
The bench, on which Barbara sits overlooking the city skyline is on Parliament Hill, the southern stretch of Hampstead Heath above Gospel Oak.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Sheba sees Steven at ‘Braxton House’: Waxham, Mansfield Road, London
Below, in Gospel Oak itself, the ‘Braxton House Estate’ is Waxham, on Mansfield Road, NW3, opposite Estelle Road, where Sheba Hart (Cate Blanchett) sees smitten schoolboy Steven (Andrew Simpson). A little to the east, Mansfield Road becomes Gordon Hill Road and here you’ll find the railway bridge under which the pair furtively meet, alongside Gospel Oak Station. It’s alongside the deco apartment block featured in Venus, for which Peter O’Toole received his 2006 Oscar nomination.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Sheba furtively meets up with Steven: Gordon House Road, Gospel Oak, London
When things are getting out of hand, Sheba cycles furiously north on Highgate Road by Carkers Lane on her way to see Steven at his home in Gospel Oak.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Sheba races to see Steven at his home: Highgate Road, Gospel Oak, London
The school at which Sheba and Barbara teach is Islington Arts and Media School, Turle Road, off Tollington Park, Crouch End N4. It’s undergone extensive remodeling since the film was made.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Sheba’s smart home: Upper Park Road, Belsize Park, London
Sheba seems to be doing extremely well for a young teacher, living in the heart of celeb central, Belsize Park, the desirable neighbourhood between the muso-Gothiness of Camden Town and the upscale villagey enclave of Hampstead. Her home is 20 Upper Park Road, off Haverstock Hill.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Sheba spills the beans to Barbara at the ‘local’ pub: Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Close, Clerkenwell, London
Don’t be fooled into thinking that the bar she goes to with confidante Barbara and spills the beans about her affair is the Haverstock, the pub at the end of Upper Park Road (since reborn as Ballaro restaurant), as it appears to be.
Another location not in the area is the Shepherdess Cafe, 221 City Road, where Sheba and Barbara lunch with a work colleague. Incidentally, the cafe is alongside the famous Eagle pub, which is mentioned in the traditional children’s nursery rhyme: ‘Up and down the city road, in and out of the Eagle. That’s the way the money goes. Pop goes the Weasel’. The Eagle was the pub in which local tailors once pawned (or ‘popped’) their tailors’ irons (or ‘weasels’) behind the bar until payday.
Notes On A Scandal filming location: Barbara’s home: Wembury Road, Highgate, London
Barbara Covett herself lives a few minutes north of Archway Bridge, at 2 Wembury Road, off Archway Road in Highgate.