Exploring Film Shooting Sites in London

Films, they say, are the cheapest form of entertainment that even the common man finds within his reach, irrespective of his place of residence. As such, films are produced by most countries for their local and international audiences but Hollywood is way ahead of others in quality and technical brilliance. Great Britain also has a vibrant film industry that has produced some of the most popular film series such as James Bond 007 and Harry Potter. Many blockbuster films have been shot in the backdrop of London’s landmarks, historic architecture and cobblestone streets. People throughout the world love to see the iconic sites of Great Britain that are presented in the country’s popular films. As such, if you are visiting London, you can see for yourself these sites where films have been shot.

Somerset House: One of the most famous arts and cultural centres of London, this neo-classical building has a courtyard that features dancing fountains during the summer and the most glamorous ice skating rink of the world at its plaza during the winter. This has featured in the opening sequence of ‘Love Actually’, and in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’ it has been transformed to portray the Ministry of Defence whereas in ‘Golden Eye’ it has featured as a public square in St Petersburg.

Old Royal Naval College: The buildings of this World Heritage Site are architecturally excellent and many movies have been filmed here such as ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘Thor: The Dark World’, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ and ‘Sherlock Holmes’. The magnificent Painted Hall has featured in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’ in which Jack Sparrow is dragged through its grand foyer.

Canary Wharf: This business district, having the city’s tallest buildings, has featured in ‘The Bourne Supremacy’. 20 Canada Square is the site where the New Year’s Eve party was filmed in ‘Alfie’, whereas the Plateau Restaurant has featured in ‘Batman Begins’. Canary Wharf also features in ‘Fast and Furious 6’.

Hotels Near Hyde Park London are extremely popular both with tourists and business travellers coming to London, mainly because of their strategic location in the heart of the city, close to most attractions and other places of interest.

The EDF Energy London Eye: The London Eye offers spectacular views of London and the River Thames which can extend as far as Windsor Castle on a clear day. This iconic Ferris wheel has appeared in many films such as ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’, ‘Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ and in Austin Powers’ Goldmember and Wimbledon.

Piccadilly Circus: Many popular films have been shot in this popular plaza and shopping district in London’s West End such as ‘An American Werewolf in London’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason’ in which the famous Coca-Cola billboard blinks “Mark and Bridget are the real thing!”. The Criterion Restaurant is steeped in history having been set up in 1874 and having hosted many luminaries from Winston Churchill to H. G. Wells. It has featured in Russell Crowe’s ‘A Good Year and Batman: The Dark Knight’. The restaurant is utterly opulent, which was probably the reason why The Dark Knight’s billionaire/playboy, Bruce Wayne, wanted to buy the entire place.

Guests staying at Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel are able to enjoy luxurious rooms with best facilities and personalised services along with a superb location which is close to most places that they wish to visit.

Tower Bridge: One of London’s most recognisable landmarks, the iconic Tower Bridge offers spectacular views of the River Thames and has featured as the high-speed excursion backdrop in films such as ‘Mission: Impossible’, ‘The World is Not Enough’, ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, ‘Lara Craft: Tomb Raider’, and ‘Sherlock Holmes’.

King’s Cross: Harry Potter fans must be aware of this station which featured as the starting point of the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter books and films. If you wish to see the shooting location, you should go to the arched wall between Platforms 4 and 5. They can also check out the entrance to Platforms 9, 10 and 11 where they can find a trolley that disappears through a wall marked “Platform 9¾”. Warner Bros Studio Tour will provide glimpses into the scenes at movie sets like the Great Hall and Diagon Alley.

Westminster Abbey: Consecrated way back in 1065, this majestic abbey’s exterior can be recognised in ‘Da Vinci Code’ when Robert Langdon realises he misinterpreted the clue “A knight interred by A Pope” and goes to look for the tomb of Sir Isaac Newton. The interiors were shot in Lincoln Cathedral, which also featured as the interior in ‘The Young Victoria’.

Borough Market: This bustling foodie market has featured in ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, that were all filmed here.

St. Pancras International and St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel: Home to the Eurostar, shopping and dining places and Europe’s longest champagne bar, St Pancras International has featured in ‘I Give it a Year’. Its exterior has also been used as the King’s Cross Station because its facade is seen to be more impressive than the original site. Many films have also featured the attached St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel as it has an architecturally stunning grand staircase that has been used for the memorable scene in ‘Batman Begins’ when Batman comes down through the air. The legendary “Wannabe” music video by the Spice Girls also features the staircase.

Heathrow Airport London: Heathrow Airport has featured in two of the best scenes in ‘Love Actually’ and so it can be said that the moment you touch down in London, you will feel the movie magic all around you.

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