St Swithin’s Day: Where Was One Day Filmed?

By Olivia Emily

6 days ago

Let's take a look back at all the locations seen on screen


How are you celebrating St Swithin’s Day? 15 July is the day Emma Morley (Ambika Mod) and Dexter Mayhew (Leo Woodall) first met in David Nicholls’ novel One Day, now a swoon-worthy Netflix drama. Kicking off with their chance encounter, the series (and, of course, the novel is it based on) revisits Emma and Dexter every year on the anniversary of their first meeting, from 1988 all the way to the early 2000s. We watch the pair grow up and their relationship ebb and flow (…no spoilers), and it’s all backdropped by lovely scenery from London to Edinburgh. If you can’t face a rewatch, you might be wondering where One Day was filmed so you can relive the magic another way. Here are all of the filming locations to know, plus how to visit and recreate those dreamy hilltop scenes.

C&TH Guide To Responsible Tourism

A still from one day in Edinburgh

© Ludovic Robert/Netflix

Where Was One Day Filmed?

One Day was filmed in Edinburgh, London, Rome and Greece, with most of the action taking place in London. Filming kicked off in July 2022 and spanned until January 2023, packing in lots of locations – from student halls to family homes – and covering almost 20 years in Emma and Dexter’s lives.

One Day Filming Locations

Leo Woodall & Ambika Mod in One Day

© Ludovic Robert/Netflix

Edinburgh

One Day begins with the perfect meet-cute when Emma and Dexter bump into each other at their Graduation Ball. It’s the final night of their time at the University of Edinburgh, and a huge party is underway. These scenes were actually filmed in Edinburgh, staying true to David Nicholls’ beloved book, on which the series is based. The party was filmed at Edinburgh University’s Old College – hence the grand, neoclassical setting, which makes the perfect backdrop for the black tie suits and ball gowns donned by celebrating students.

Then Emma and Dexter leave the party and head to Emma’s house, which was filmed at a real house in Viewforth in south west Edinburgh. In the morning, they decide to climb Arthur’s Seat, a giant volcanic hill that overlooks the city. When they descend, they stroll through Holyrood Park. When they eventually part and Dexter realises he has no way of contacting Emma, he chases her up The Vennel Steps, an iconic spot that locals are very familiar with and fond of. If you fancy visiting, you’ll get a great view of Edinburgh Castle.

Can You Visit? Yes, you can visit Edinburgh, and a stroll through the Old Town will exude One Day vibes. It’s free to clamber up Arthur’s Seat, but make sure you wear a more sensible pair of shoes than Dexter does.

Read the C&TH Guide To Edinburgh

A still from One Day in Rome

© Ludovic Robert/Netflix

Where Was One Day Filmed In Rome?

While Emma tours British primary schools with her theatre troupe (no filming locations worthy of note here), Dexter is swanning around Italy on a gap year. In episode two, we meet him in Rome, Italy’s ancient capital city. We mainly see him strolling through the Trastevere Quarter and the Piazza del Biscione, but when he meets his mother at a hotel, we’re actually seeing two locations spliced together: the terrace, with its enviable panoramic view of the Rome sky, is at the Mater Terrae Restaurant, part of the real Bio Hotel Raphaël, while the entrance where Dex says ciao to his parents is the Hotel Campo de’ Fiori.

Can You Visit? Yes. The Bio Hotel Raphaël (Largo Febo, 2, 00186 Roma RM, Italy) is a chic Relais & Chateaux abode, with rooms setting you back around £280 per night. It’s a stone’s throw from the Pantheon and the Castel Sant Angelo, and the Vatican City is just across the River Tiber. If you’re just keen on the terrace, non-guests can book a table on the website, biohotelraphael.com. The Hotel Campo de’ Fiori (Via del Biscione, 6, 00186 Roma RM, Italy) is an eight minute walk south, with rooms priced around £130 per night. hotelcampodefiori.com

Ambika Mod as Emma & Leo Woodall as Dexter

© Teddy Cavendish/Netflix

Where Was One Day Filmed In London?

In episode three, both Emma and Dexter are living in London, with very different experiences of the city. Emma is grinding away at a low quality Mexican restaurant called Loco Caliente in Kentish Town (which was actually filmed at a disused pub in Hammersmith, called Old Suffolk Punch), while Dexter has a stylish new girlfriend called Naomi (Ella Rae-Smith) and the beginnings of a career in the media.

There’s one location that stands out in this episode, though: Primrose Hill, where Dexter and Emma meet for a picnic and while away a summer afternoon over a bottle of wine to mark two years of knowing each other. In this episode, the year is 1990, so the skyline looks very different than it does today, with St Paul’s Cathedral and the BT Tower (some of the London skyline’s smallest characters today) soaring above the low-level buildings.

Later in the series, the action returns to London on many occasions, picturing King’s Cross station and its long Underground tunnels, Vauxhall’s FIRE Nightclub (Vauxhall, S Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1RT) which doubles as a venue in Brixton, Charlton Lido (Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Rd, London SE18 4LX) where Emma frequently swims, and iconic London spot The Savoy Hotel (Strand, London WC2R 0EZ), where Dexter’s girlfriend Sylvie (Eleanor Tomlinson) engages in some illicit behaviour with a very glamorous backdrop.

But we mainly meet Emma and Dexter in restaurants – though not always as a duo. These include:

  • Forelli’s, where Emma goes on a date with Ian in episode five, which was filmed at the Adelphi Bar at American style steakhouse Smith & Wollensky (The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam St, London WC2N 6HT). smithandwollensky.co.uk
  • The Pacific, the celeb hangout Dexter takes Emma to in episode seven, which was filmed at St James’s famed Quaglino’s restaurant (16 Bury St, St. James’s, London SW1Y 6AJ). quaglinos-restaurant.co.uk
  • Maoz Soho (43 Old Compton St, London W1D 6HG) is the restaurant Dexter works in for his friend in episode 11.
  • Bella Roma, where Emma and Dexter eat pizza in episode 13, which was filmed at a real restaurant called Bella Roma in Lewisham (13 Lewis Grove, London SE13 6BG). bellaromalewisham.uk

Where Is Café Belleville?

Dexter’s cafe – a moody corner restaurant called Café Belleville – is a real cafe called La Maison in Highbury, London. It has experienced a serious uptick in visitors since the series dropped on Netflix. Better still, avid fans are planning a big meet up at the cafe on St Swithin’s Day (15 July) to honour the series. Read all about it here.

Can You Visit? Yes, you can find La Maison at 19 Calabria Rd, London N5 1JB. Stop by for a coffee and a croissant before or after a stroll around nearby Highbury Fields. lamaisonhighbury.co.uk

Leo Woodall and Ambika Mod in One Day

© Matt Towers/Netflix

Where Was One Day Filmed In Greece?

In episode four, Emma and Dexter decide to go on holiday together, island hopping in Greece. However, when they arrive at their first destination, they discuss simply staying in one spot for a week. The island we see is Paros, one of the Cyclades islands to the southeast of Greece’s mainland. Mainly, we see Parikia’s winding whitewashed streets, the capital and largest settlement of the island. But we also see a few of the island’s classic beaches, plus the harbour at Naousa, a fishing village in the north of Paros.

Can You Visit? Yes, and you’re likely to find many scenes similar to the ones seen in One Day, because Paros really epitomises the Greek backpacking experience: laidback restaurants, winding cobbled streets, and the baking sun on the beach.

Toby Stephens as Lionel

Toby Stephens as Lionel. © Matt Towers/Netflix

Benington Lordship, Hertfordshire

In episode nine, when Dexter meets the family of his new girlfriend Sylvie, they visit her stately family home. Filming took place at Benington Lordship, a Georgian manor house near Stevenage in Hertfordshire, with lush landscaped gardens.

Can You Visit? Because Benington Lordship (Benington, Stevenage SG2 7BS) is a private family home, visitors cannot step inside. However, the gardens are open to visitors on select dates throughout the year, and are especially popular in February, AKA snowdrops season. You can see the full list of open days for 2024 at historichouses.org

Ambika Mod plays Emma, Adam Loxley plays Graham, Amber Grappy plays Tilly

L-R: Ambika Mod plays Emma, Adam Loxley plays Graham, Amber Grappy plays Tilly. © Matt Towers/Netflix

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire

In episode 10 of One Day, we return to Hertfordshire, this time to a different stately home for the wedding of mutual friend Tilly (Amber Grappy): Hatfield House. This gorgeous Tudor mansion consists of a main house and the Old Palace, where Elizabeth I grew up. One Day was filmed in the Old Palace, including the tapestry lined Banqueting Hall, and the garden with its famous maze.

Can You Visit? Yes, you can visit Hatfield House (Great North Rd., Hatfield AL9 5HX), although only on specific days during the visiting season. Music fans should combine their visit with a summer music festival, with Folk By The Oak taking place here on 21 July 2024. hatfield-house.co.uk

Where Was One Day Filmed In Paris?

In episode 12, Dexter travels to Paris to visit Emma, who is living in the city for a research visit. They stroll the chic streets like locals towards Emma’s apartment, passing down Rue Pierre Semard and pausing for a chat on an iron bridge that crosses the Canal St Martin called Passerelle Emmanuelle Riva. They eventually arrive at Emma’s apartment, located on Rue des Gobelins in the 13th arrondissement, a residential neighbourhood on the left bank that was once a hub of the city’s tapestry makers, but is best known today for its Korean and Vietnamese restaurants, and the new fangled business district, Paris Rive Gauche.

Can You Visit? Yes, and for the full experience, get the Eurostar to Gare du Nord, the station closest to Emma and Dexter’s walk.

WATCH

All 14 episodes of One Day are streaming now on Netflix.

Leo Woodall and Eleanor Tomlinson in One Day.

Image courtesy of Netflix

Which Greek Island Was One Day Filmed At?

Episode four of One Day was filmed in Paros, one of the Cyclades islands to the southeast of Greece’s mainland. Specifically, we see Emma and Dexter strolling the winding streets of the island’s largest settlement, Parikia. But we also see plenty of the island’s beaches, plus the harbour at Naousa, a fishing village in the north of Paros.

Was One Day Actually Filmed In Edinburgh?

Yes, the first and last episodes of One Day were actually filmed in Edinburgh. It would be hard to replicate the city’s iconic ancient streets anywhere else. Specific spots include: Arthur’s Seat, Holyrood Park, The Vennel Steps, and Edinburgh University’s Old College.

What Hill Do They Climb In One Day?

The big hill Emma and Dexter climb up in episode one of One Day is Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, the peak of an ancient volcano situated to the east of the city in Holyrood Park. The highest point is 251 metres high. Visitors can follow popular trails to get there that are easy enough to clamber up – just make sure you wear the right shoes.