London is iconic for many reasons: culture, architecture, and just its general atmosphere, to name a few. It’s been seen on the big screen numerous times throughout the years. There are numerous personas in London that lend itself to film. We’ll be exploring some of these personas here through the lens of a selection of the some of the most popular films and movie franchises in cinema history.
The most popular English hero of all, super spy and Mi6 employee, James Bond, might just be the most obvious connection to the capital. The HQ, with its offices based on the Thames, is often seen in the ongoing series of movies featuring the character created by Ian Fleming some decades ago. One of the more famous scenes featured Pierce Brosnan in a Thames speedboat chase in the World is Not Enough. In another famous scene from the Bond franchise saw Daniel Craig in Skyfall as he stood on a central London rooftop with some of the more famous iconic London sights around him, including the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben.
The magical world of Harry Potter is based in London. Fans of the famous J.K. Rowling movies might recognise some of the buildings that frequently feature in a number of the scenes. Outside Scotland Yard, you’ll see where the Ministry of Magic was filmed. The street shots from Diagon Alley were a combination of Leadenhall Market and Brough Market, even though they aren’t at all close. Platform 9 ¾, which can be seen at Kings Cross, is a portal that transports us into a magical world where the Hogwarts Express is signposted in the actual station. You can even have your photo taken next to it. There are plenty of other Harry Potter-themed locations around London, such as the Warner Brothers Studio Tour.
Women have a place in their hearts for this iconic female character. With no shortage of laughs and romance-based drama, Bridget Hones is the adorable character from Helen Fielding. While Bridget’s flat was based in Holland Park in the novels, it relocated to South of the river from the movie. Fans will recognise her front door next to Bedale Street’s Globe pub if they ever paid a visit to Borough Market. They may also recall the scene where Daniel and Darcy smash through a Greek restaurant after a bare-knuckled fight. That promise is now Bedales wine merchant just around the corner in the marketplace.
Quite possibly one of the 90’s best pop-culture films. Notting Hill, featuring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, guides you through London through the eyes of thirty-somethings. Grant’s tiny house with its blue door is located at 280 Westbourne Park. Since the movie, however, the owners have not only given it a different colour but changed the entire facade. The travel bookstore in which he worked is at 13-15 Blenheim Crescent. Taking a different approach to the aforementioned house, the bookstore revels in its movie stardom, to the point that it’s now called Notting Hill Bookshop in a tribute to the film.