London is well known for being one of the most used film locations in the world. With many movies – whether set in the city or not – capitalising on the scenic streets and studios in London, it’s no surprise that there’s such a wide range of street tours inspired by famous films and characters.
On your stay at the luxury boutique hotels in London, you’ll find that the city centre is already like a movie set. There are restaurants near Paddington which you may give a try. With the beautiful array of skyscrapers and ancient cathedrals scattered across the skyline, it’s obvious why this 2-millennium old city has been the subject of so many films. Even if you don’t watch films often, you’ll undoubtedly recognise some of the main attractions, even if just from adverts!
If you’re a guest at the Devonshire Paddington and want to see the city like the stars do, then there are plentiful options for walking tours and sites to explore. Below are some of our top tips for city activities inspired by the movies.
London is a great city to enjoy walking tours, especially if you’re a film lover. With the South Bank, Westminster and warren of boroughs, walking tours are the perfect way for a movie lover to get acquainted with the city.
Bridget Jones Tour
The famous Bridget Jones film trilogy is set in London, and the guided tour offers a unique opportunity to see the likes of Borough Market, Tower Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral through the eyes of Renee Zelwegger’s iconic character.
Warner Brothers Studio Harry Potter Tour
Take a trip to Leavesden’s Warner Brother’s Studio to see a wide-ranging deep dive into the world of the Harry Potter films. The Harry Potter films are some of the 21st century’s best-loved British classics, and the tour of the Warner Brother’s Studio gives you a glimpse into the set and costume design, concepts and artwork lovingly weaved into the film.
The Crown Walking Tour of London
From Temple Tube Station to Buckingham Palace, the Crown walking tour gives you an insight into the filming locations and real-life attractions which inspired the hit Netflix show. The extensive tour will give you information into the making of the period TV show, as well as historical context to the riveting story of Queen Elizabeth II and her court.
James Bond Walking Tour
For this tour of London’s most famous secret agent, you’ll be whisked off to such venues as the National Gallery, Whitehall and even London’s oldest restaurant. With decades of history behind the franchise, there’s plenty to see on this walking (and one bus journey) tour of the city.
Sights to see from the movies
Walking tours might not be for everyone, especially if you’re with children or a group who may not be as enthusiastic about the world of wizardry or romcoms as you are. If this is the case, you may want to go solo on the cinema sights. Below are some of the key locations for some of the most famous London films.
The Greenwich Observatory sits on a hill in Greenwich Park and is a scenic spot in the city in and of itself. This Victorian era observatory is surrounded by vast green fields and has been used in films as varied as Thor: The Dark World and Jack Black’s Gulliver’s Travels. With the nearby Cutty Sark, Greenwich Park is one of the best spots in the city for a truly cinematic skyline of London.
The scenic Broadway Market and its surrounding canals have been used as the film set for many modern independent films. With the nearby bus depot often cordoned off for filming, the London Fields area has been the location for films as varied as Eastern Promises and On Chesil Beach. With the weekend food market and many independent shops, there’s more than enough to keep you occupied in this East London hidden gem.
From Harry Potter to Skyfall, Trafalgar Square has seen many film scenes staged under its magnificent column. A tourist attraction in and of itself, it’s no wonder that this square is often used as a shorthand for the city centre, the hustle, bustle and history all melding into some of the most memorable scenes in London film history.
From classic British horror movies to Hollywood Rom Coms, the London Underground system has seen cannibal killers, romantic kisses and suspenseful chase scenes all filmed within its 250-mile radius. Classic films staged in the tube include Creep, Sliding Doors and James Bond: Skyfall.
Duke of Albany Pub
This South East London pub is based in the trendy student area of New Cross and served as the climactic location of zom-romcom Shaun of the Dead. Renamed the Winchester in Edgar Wright’s breakout movie, the Albany may not be heaving with zombies on a Friday night, but it’s just as noisy and raucous!
From Harry Potter to An American Werewolf in London, this brightly lit West End Square has seen Dementors, Werewolves and plenty of upturned double decker buses line its street. Whilst you might not catch a film set on your visit, with nearby cinemas and theatres, you’re in the right place for entertainment.
Kings Cross Station
Home to Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾, North London’s Kings Cross Station doesn’t just act as an escape from the city, but an escape from the world of non-wizarding folk. The station even has its own memorial dedicated to the book and film series; a luggage trolley submerged in the wall where the mythical platform would be. This marks a great spot for selfies and photos of your trip.