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All The Notebook filming locations in Charleston, South Carolina

Simon Calder’s Travel

Walking through the cobbled streets of Charleston on a summer’s night as a warm breeze gently sways palm trees against a midnight sky, it’s easy to see how this city became home to one of Hollywood’s greatest love stories.

Two decades ago, film producers came to South Carolina to scout locations for a new film based on the novel The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. With its historic mansions, beautifully preserved architecture and horse-drawn carriages slowly clopping through the city streets, they fell for Charleston and settled on it as the setting for the fictional town of Seabrook, South Carolina, where the majority of Allie and Noah’s love story takes place (although the novel itself was actually set in the real town of New Bern, North Carolina).

The film debuted on June 25, 2004, propelling Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams to stardom and cementing itself as a cultural touchstone in the public consciousness.

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Charleston’s history is not without controversy – the city was once the slave trade capital of North America, acting as a key port for the movement of enslaved people from West Africa. But the city has taken strides to face up to its troubled past – the excellent International African American Museum helps to tell the story – and has grown into one of the most popular tourst destinations in the south of the USA, with charming hotels, a thriving restaurant scene and rows of boutique stores.

And fans of The Notebook can experience all this while visiting locations that, 20 years on, are still easily recognisable from the movie. These are the 12 that are worth a look both in and ariound the city – some are private residences and you won’t be able to enter, while others welcome visitors and have fully embraced their Notebook fame.

The Admiral’s House (and the Old Navy Base)

Address: 1100 Navy Way, North Charleston

The balcony at Admiral’s House was part of Allie’s dream house
The balcony at Admiral’s House was part of Allie’s dream house (Annabel Grossman for The Independent)

Built in 1905, the Admiral’s House was used for several interior shots of The Notebook, including the scene where Allie paints on the balcony – it’s the “white house with blue shutters and a room overlooking the river” and the “big old porch that wraps around the entire house” of her dreams. Downstairs, the blue room was used for a scene in the old people’s home…

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