Tourist traps: Check out these must-visit movie locations in London
London’s rich history is impossible to deny, and its film history can be just as plentiful. Newcomers can wander the streets with London Attraction Maps and feel Deja-vu over all the locations they recognize from films. Here are some of our favorite spots where London plays a starring role.
No list of London’s movie locations can be complete without the iconic spot where bookshop owner William Thacker (Hugh Grant) meets Hollywood actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). The film credits of the tony neighborhood don’t end there. Dozens of films and shows feature Notting Hill, including the Paddington series, The Italian Job, and The Walking Dead.
High points for any film lover’s trip include Portobello Road, home to the world-famous market. Continue just off Portobello Road to 13-15 Blenheim Crescent, where you can find the site of the Travel Bookshop the store in the movie is based upon. Sadly, the original shop has closed, citing rising rental costs, but the location is still photo-worthy.
Notting Hill lovers shouldn’t skip a trip to Coronet Cinema, where Thacker sadly watched Scott in a sci-fi movie. Now known as The Print Room at the Coronet, it is a short walk from the underground station.
Located on the edge of the financial district of Central London, Leadenhall Market is best known as the site of Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter film. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider fans will recognize the streets as the title character zooms through them on her bike while leaving the auction house.
A covered market with cobblestone streets and both vehicular and pedestrian traffic, Leadenhall is one of the oldest markets in London. Harry Potter fans can walk through the lovely covered pathways, replicating Harry and Hagrid’s trip through Diagon Alley to the blue door that leads to the Leaky Cauldron. Muggles will see it as an optician located at 42 Bull’s Head Passage.
Old Royal Naval College
Right up there as one of the most popular filming locations in the world, Londoners can find the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) on the south bank of the River Thames in Greenwich. Boasting such impressive credits as Cinderella, The King’s Speech, The Duchess, The Queen, and Four Weddings and a Funeral, the ORNC is a must-see.
If you can plan your visit far enough in advance, try to catch the ORNC’s filming location tour, at which a guide can give you the scoop on all of its starring roles. If you prefer to tour the grounds on your own, grab a filming map so you don’t miss stops like The Painted Hall or King William Court.
Film aficionados don’t even have to walk through the doors to find cinematic history. The grounds at ORNC have served as the site of the climactic battle scene in Thor: The Dark World and held a giant elephant monument for Les Misérables.
Probably the only place in London that appears in more films than the ORNC is South Bank. Located in Central London, South Bank has been the backdrop for blockbusters, including Love Actually, Closer, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Harry Potter.
In addition to being a movie backdrop that rivals New York’s Central Park and Times Square in popularity, South Bank is home to some of the capital’s most popular attractions. Visitors can find the scenery from their favorite films as well as the London Eye, Tate Modern, and Globe Theatre.
While notably less glamorous than some of our above locations, London’s underground train transportation system has been featured in too many films for it to be left off this list. It’s both the oldest and arguably the most iconic public transportation systems in the world, and has served everything from Hollywood blockbusters to indie horror movies have filmed on the London Underground.
Notable films including Skyfall, Sliding Doors, 28 Days Later, Harry Potter, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Thor: The Dark World are just the beginning. Spots that bring us right back to our favorite films include Charing Cross, for both Thor: The Dark World and The Bourne Ultimatum.
King’s Cross Station makes us want to run right into the wall like our wizard friends from Harry Potter. Lastly, our trips to Embankment station always make us wonder if the London Underground can change our lives like in Sliding Doors.