If you love film – and love travelling – then London is the place to visit. Its vast array of notable landmarks have a variety of Hollywood connections, and you’d be surprised how many of your favourite movie moments are set in places you can actually visit.
We take a look at the top 25 London film locations, along with a cross section of cinemas to sate anybody’s lust for the big screen.
Platform 9¾, King’s Cross Station
Arguably the most visited movie location in London, King’s Cross Station have installed a permanent “Platform 9¾” sign and trolley for star-struck Harry Potter fans to pose with (plus an adjoining shop for those who want to look the part!). Platforms 4 and 5 were used for the making of the films.
The Crocker’s Folly Pub, St. John’s Wood
Fancy drinking like an Avenger? Chris Evans recruited his team at this gorgeous pub in 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, as well as drinking alone after a mission gone wrong. The establishment also featured in 2009 films Dorian Gray and An Education.
The South Bank, Westminster
Walking along the South Bank is a film education in itself! From there you can view the MI-6 Building, used in three Bond films (famously blown up in Skyfall). The bridges that line the river have featured in 28 Days Later (Westminster Bridge) and Guardians of the Galaxy (Millennium Bridge), while no less than The Silver Surfer attacked The London Eye during 2007’s Fantastic Four sequel.
Marylebone Train Station, Marylebone
What’s more British than The Beatles? The Fab Four tore across London in their 1964 film A Hard Day’s Night, with the opening scene set in Marylebone Station, “portraying” Liverpool Lime Street (although the station would play itself later in the film). A free and easy way for any fans of music or movies to watch in the footsteps of legends.
The Millennium Dome, Greenwich
Once a divisive addition to the London landscape, The Dome (now referred to as the O2 Arena) has become a popular part of London’s event scene, and made an entry into Bond history as part of The World Is Not Enough. In an extended sequence, Pierce Brosnan’s 007 embarks on a speedboat chase around the River Thames before sliding down the Dome’s roof (which visitors are able to climb in real life!).
Natural History Museum, Kensington
Tom Cruise also popped up at London’s famous Natural History Museum in 2017’s The Mummy, but the site is perhaps best known as the location for the finale of 2015’s Paddington, where the lovable bear and his family face off against the wicked taxidermist Millicent (Nicole Kidman).
Osterley Park and House, West London
The stately home, run by the UK’s National Trust and open to the public, became the interior of Wayne Manor in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, and is featured heavily in a scene where Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) attempts to rob Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale).
The Phoenix Cinema, North London
In 1994’s Interview with the Vampire, Brad Pitt’s Louis watches the sun rise for the first time in centuries via the medium of cinema. The auditorium he sits in is this charming independent cinema – well worth a visit regardless of its famous associations. Over 100 years old and boasting the best in art house cinema, it has also been used for the films My Week with Marilyn and the musical Nine.
Priory Church of St Bartholomew, City of London
This 12th-century church has a more impressive CV than most Hollywood actors, having appeared in the latest Transformers film, as well as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Shakespeare in Love, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and more. It was also notably the location for the fourth wedding in ‘90s smash hit Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Trafalgar Square, Westminster
As an active tourist spot, Trafalgar Square is rarely used as a location, but when it is open to filming, it’s often for something spectacular. The landmark recreated D-Day in the final scenes of Wonder Woman, while Tom Cruise landed in the square by helicopter in the opening of sci-fi blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow.
Flaxman Gallery, Greater London
Although Christopher Nolan’s Inception was set in Paris, The Flaxman Gallery at University College London is where Leonardo DiCaprio’s Cobb meets Ariadne (Ellen Page). The gallery is open to the public, although you’re unlikely to come across any “dream thieves”.
Waterloo Train Station, Lambeth
The busiest train station in the UK was the perfect spot for a clandestine meeting for Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) in The Bourne Ultimatum, where he guides a journalist (Paddy Considine) away from the trailing CIA agents. The station and its nearby bridge were also the focus of the 1940 Vivien Leigh film Waterloo Bridge.
BFI IMAX Cinema, Lambeth
Not a film location as such, but a truly awesome visit for any London movie fan. The IMAX cinema is the largest in the UK – and for a brief time the largest in Europe. As well as being an incredible sight to behold, the cinema has also played host to the premieres of The Dark Knight Rises, Pacific Rim and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and has held exhibitions of famous movie props.
Notting Hill, West London
Movie fans should find an easy connection here, as this vibrant neighbourhood has a Hugh Grant film named after it! The community has experienced a lot of change as a result of the film’s success, but for devotees of the 1999 rom-com, walking around the famous location is a must.
Churchill War Rooms, Westminster
This tourist attraction is movie history and world history rolled into one experience. Gary Oldman won an Oscar for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in 2017’s Darkest Hour, whose set was meticulously recreated from the actual war rooms the late Prime Minister used in the fight against Hitler’s forces.
Dulwich College, South East London
A surprise location for a typically “Hollywood” movie. The Harvard graduation scene from Legally Blonde was filmed in Dulwich College, as it was part of a reshoot not originally scheduled, and Reese Witherspoon had since relocated to England to make The Importance of Being Earnest.
Eagle-eyed Londoners noticed that Star Wars spin-off Rogue One features a scene filmed on the platform of Canary Wharf Underground Station, as Felicity Jones’ Jyn Erso infiltrated the Imperial Base. The production had to film in the early hours of the morning to avoid infuriating commuters!
All Star Lanes, Bayswater
This retro bowling alley may not be a widely known landmark, but their aesthetic was good enough for Nicolas Cage and Chloë Grace Moretz during a scene in 2010’s Kick-Ass, where the on-screen father and daughter go for dinner.
The Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington
The relative importance of the Royal Albert Hall in cinema depends entirely on your taste in movies. For cinema buffs, it’s the location of the thrilling finale of Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much starring James Stewart. For those who prefer their films a little more “fabulous”, however, it was the venue for the final show in cult classic Spice World.
Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Marvel Studios have a long history with the UK, with much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe being filmed at least partly on these shores. Most significantly, the finale of Thor: The Dark World took place at the Royal Naval College, with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings all doing battle at the decommissioned training facility. The site was also used for Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes.
Selfridges, Oxford Street
Another London landmark that’s rarely captured on film, Alan Rickman’s character bought a fairly important necklace at the famous department store in 2004’s Love Actually. The great Alfred Hitchcock had also used the exterior almost 70 years earlier in Sabotage.
Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, Leavesden
This is a bit of a cheat, as the film studio is actually about half an hour’s train ride from London Euston, but if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this is a must see. The tour provides a dazzling array of sets, props and costumes from the films, meaning you truly feel like you’ve stepped into the Wizarding World of JK Rowling’s creation.
33 Portland Place, Marylebone
The place where Colin Firth overcame his stammer in The King’s Speech is technically open to the public through its function as a posh event venue, and the unique architecture has seen it be used for everything from Agent Provocateur ads to Amy Winehouse’s video for “Rehab”.
Tate Modern, Bankside
The incredible modern art on display here is reason enough to venture down to the Tate Modern; film fans, however, may be interested to learn of the site’s movie connections. Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson met there in Woody Allen’s Match Point, while parts of the building have been visited by Bridget Jones, and used in dystopian drama Children of Men.
Curzon Soho Cinema
Based in the heart of London, this underground art house gem offers a unique way to experience cinema. With quirky surroundings and a focus on artier fare, there are regular Q&As with directors from around the world, and it has become a part of the fabric of London’s Soho neighbourhood.