MI6 HQ - Skyfall
The actual headquarters of MI6, also known as the SIS Building, is located on the banks of the Thames on Albert Embankment. It most famously plays itself in Sam Mendes’ third Bond film, right up until it gets spectacularly blown up by Silva (Javier Bardem) as an opening gambit to his ambitious and somewhat convoluted revenge scheme. Pretend you’re Daniel Craig by donning a dark overcoat and wandering across Vauxhall Bridge towards the famous green-glassed towers. You’ll just have to imagine the explosions.
Battersea Power Station – Children of Men, Richard III, The Dark Knight, etc.
This imposing landmark on the south side of the river has recently been redeveloped into high-end apartments, but in Alfonso Cuarón’s future dystopia, Children of Men, it’s the Ark of the Arts where the government stashes priceless cultural artefacts. Music fans will spot the flying pig in the scene as a nod to the building’s appearance on the cover of the Pink Floyd album Animals. It’s also been the setting for the battle scene in Richard Loncraine’s 1995 retelling of Richard III and played a burnt-out warehouse in Christopher Nolan’s second Batman epic, The Dark Knight. It also appeared twice in Monty Python’s surreal The Meaning of Life, in the “death by naked chase” and “find the fish” scenes.
Notting Hill – Notting Hill
Richard Curtis’s bookseller-meets-actress romcom was mostly filmed around the eponymous west London district, with a few other London landmarks (the Empire cinema in Leicester Square, The Ritz) popping up throughout the course of Anna and Will’s romance. Will’s famous blue door can be found at 280 Westbourne Park Road, while his bookshop was never actually a bookshop and is now a shoe shop at 142 Portobello Road. It’s easily spotted by the fact that the owners have cashed in on the location by calling it simply Notting Hill and even using the same font as the movie.
Borough ¬– Bridget Jones’ Diary
Bridget’s flat is located in Borough, not far from London Bridge, above The Globe pub on Bedale Street. If you have two admirers and want them to try and win you over with a recreation of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant’s fist fight, head to Bedale’s, which played the Greek restaurant in the film.
Kings Cross Station, Leadenhall Market – Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone
Platform 9¾ is probably one of London’s best-known and most popular film spots, with Potterites queuing up to take a picture running “through” the wall that leads to the platform for the Hogwarts Express. However, the actual spot used in the film is between platforms 4 and 5, not 9 and 10. The exterior of the station that appears in the film isn’t actually Kings Cross, but the rather more wizardy St Pancras station next door. If you’re after supplies for your first semester at Hogwarts, head to Leadenhall Market on Gracechurch Street near Bank, which was transformed into Diagon Alley for the film.
Garland Electronics, North Finchley – Shaun of the Dead
There are actually quite a few locations from Edgar Wright’s cult zom-romcom dotted around London. The newsagent where Shaun buys the Cornetto and the florist where he gets flowers for his mum are both in Hornsey, while the exterior shots of The Winchester pub were shot at 39 Monson Road in New Cross in south-east London. The electronics shop where Shaun worked is an actual electronics shop in real life too and can be found at 763 High Road in North Finchley. Steer clear of anyone who looks a little… peaky.
Finchley Nurseries Garden Centre – Hot Fuzz
Most of the second part of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy (the other two being Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End) takes place in the fictional town of Sandford, played in the movie by Wells, Somerset. However, the murder-by-shears that Simon Pegg’s Nicholas Angel witnesses in the garden centre was shot at Finchley Nurseries in Mill Hill, north London.
Westminster Bridge – 28 Days Later
The iconic and incredibly unsettling opening sequence takes in quite a few London landmarks, but it’s Cillian Murphy’s walk across a deserted Westminster Bridge that provides the most lasting image from Danny Boyle’s zombie classic. You might find it a little more crowded.
St Luke’s Mews – Love Actually
The debate will rage forever as to whether trying to steal your best mate’s wife via an elaborate series of cue cards is a) romantic or b) creepy as hell. If you’re more the former than the latter and want to declare your love to someone (married or not) via cue cards, you can find the doorstep Keira Knightley and Andrew Lincoln stood on in St Luke’s Mews in Notting Hill.
Carlton Vale, Kilburn – Withnail & I
“Throw yourselves into the road darling, you haven’t got a chance.” There are quite a few spots from Withnail & I around the capital, but the accident black spot where Richard E Grant’s Withnail hurls his iconic insult at a pedestrian can be found on Carlton Vale in north-west London.
Waterloo Station – The Bourne Ultimatum
A significant chunk of the action in the third Bourne film takes place in London, as Bourne attempts to connect with Paddy Considine’s Guardian journalist in order to uncover the mysteries of his true identity. The offices Paddy leaves en route to their meeting are the Thompson Reuters offices in Hatton Gardens, while the nerve-shredding scene where Bourne tries to help his contact evade pursuers takes place in Waterloo Station.
Chalcot Crescent, Primrose Hill – Paddington
Talk about landing on your feet! Paddington’s new home with the Brown family is on one of London’s most expensive streets in the super desirable neighbourhood of Primrose Hill. It’s a long, long way from the jungles of Peru.