A Guide to Taylor Swift’s Favorite London Locations

A Guide to Taylor Swift’s Favorite London Locations

Taylor Swift’s record breaking Era’s Tour has been pleasing fans across Europe. But there’s one city that the pop star has referenced time and time again across her discography. The first noteworthy time SwiftTIME’s 2023 Person of the Yearmentioned London in her music was back in 2012, when she released the song “Come Back… Be Here” on the deluxe version of her album Red. The song recounts the musician’s struggles dating someone who is frequently jet setting around the world, including London.

But it was just the beginning of Swift’s appreciation of the city. In late 2016, she reportedly began dating actor Joe Alwyn, who grew up in North London. Their relationship, which would go on to span six years, is believed to have inspired several songs across her discography and is widely considered to be the basis of her seventh studio album, Lover.

As the Eras Tour finally lands in London, here’s your very own Swift x London tour guide, highlighting the spots mentioned across her catalog of music.

North London

Highgate

The highgate neighborhood is a residential area in north London. In the song “London Boy,” Swift says her lover, presumed to be Alwyn, took her “back to Highgate” and introduced her to his friends.

In Victorian times, Highgate was known as a distinct village separate from London, but in modern times as the city has grown, the location has become encompassed into the metropolitan area. It is perhaps best known for Highgate village, a collection of Georgian shops and pubs. The village is located at the top of Highgate Hill, and provides picturesque views of central London. The neighborhood is also home to the Victorian Highgate Cemetery, where notable figures from history and literature like philosopher Karl Marx and novelist George Elliot are buried. 

Hampstead Heath 

Hampstead Heath, referred to as “the Heath” in Swift’s music, is among the largest parks in London, sprawling across over 800 acres. It includes several large hills and views of the London skyline. Beyond its mention in Swift’s songs “London Boy” and “So Long, London,” it has also played a prominent role in many famous works of popular culture. Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula is partially set in Hampstead Heath and the area was featured prominently in the 2017 film Hampstead, starring Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson.

Camden Market

Camden Market is mentioned in the lyrics to the song “London Boy,” when Swift sings about enjoying “walking Camden Market in the afternoon.” The area, known for being a tourist hot spot, is composed of six separate smaller markets and has stands that sell clothing, crafts, and various delicacies. The market is officially open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., local time, seven days a week, with the weekends being the busiest time, but some brick and mortar stores in the area may be open later.

The surrounding neighborhood of Camden Town is also known for its rock music scene and vintage clothing markets. The neighborhood features an iconic statue of the late British singer Amy Winehouse, who famously frequented the area. 

West London

The West End

The West End is also mentioned in “London Boy,” as Swift sings “I love high tea, stories from uni, and the West End.” It is one of London’s most famous areas, and is especially known for its theater scene and entertainment venues.

For musical theater fans, top musicals put on shows in the area most nights a week. Tourists can also stop to see prominent art exhibitions at the National Gallery and The Royal Academy of Arts. 

Swift visited the West End as recently as June 2024, when she attended the show Cabaret starring her friend Cara Delevingne at a theater called Kit Kat Club, according to ELLE magazine.  

Louis V on Bond Street

A photograph of the Louis Vuitton store on Bond Street in London, which Taylor Swift sings about in her song “London Boy.”Anna Gordon–TIME

In one of Swift’s most specific lyrics in “London Boy,” she refers to a famous Louis Vuitton store on Bond Street—home to many luxury stores in central London. She tells her lover, presumed to be Alwyn, that the place he takes her to doesn’t have to be “Louis V on Bond Street” to emphasize that luxury is not important to her. The street is actually considered part of the West End, so Swift fans can visit two places from her song at the same time. 

South London

The Black Dog

The Black Dog is a pub in Vauxhall, an area which is also home to TIME’s London workspace. The pub is mentioned in Swift’s song “The Black Dog” on her most recent album, The Tortured Poet’s Department. The phrase “the black dog” is a euphemism for depression. In the song, Swift sings about a former partner who shared his location with the pop star on his phone. After the break up, he forgot to turn off the location sharing feature on his phone, allowing Swift to watch him walk into The Black Dog pub. 

Brixton

The south London neighborhood of Brixton, which Swift mentions in her song “London Boy,” is known for musical heritage. When mentioning the area, Swift sings that she enjoys “nights in Brixton, Shoreditch in the afternoon.” Brixton has a large Afro-Caribbean population and is also considered to be the home of the U.K. ‘s drill music, a subgenre of gangsta rap music.

Visitors to Brixton may also want to check out Brixton Market and the birthplace of pop icon David Bowie, who was born and raised in Brixton. 

East London

Hackney

Hackney is a neighborhood in the northeast area of London and is home to the famous London Fields park. Swift mentions the neighborhood in “London Boy” as an alternative to the fancier parts of London like Bond Street, singing: “So please show me Hackney, doesn’t have to be Louis V up on Bond Street, just wanna be with you.” Hackney has lots of vibrant street art and is also home to the Hackney Museum, which explores the history of immigration in the city.

Shoreditch

Boxpark ShoreditchA photograph of Boxpark, popular pop-up mall in the Shoreditch neighborhood of London. Taylor Swift sings about Shoreditch in her song “London Boy.” Anna Gordon–TIME

Shoreditch is a trendy neighborhood in east London, where visitors can enjoy lots of vintage shops, street art, and local music. Swift mentions that she loved visiting the neighborhood in the afternoons in “London Boy,” but the area is vibrant throughout the evenings as well, especially on the weekends. Visitors may want to check out the nearby Brick Lane and Boxpark, which have lots of dining and shopping options. 

https://time.com/6990179/taylor-swift-london-locations-guide/

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