Iconic Movies Filmed In London

Posted by admin on 2018-10-16

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Lights, camera, action! There’s no question that London is a cinematic city. From the lush, rolling countryside situated just outside of the bustling downtown area to the instantly recognizable city landmarks, like Big Ben, London has seen its fair share of movie fame.

Hundreds of movies have been filmed in our fair city, but a select few stand out from the crowd for truly highlighting London. Whether you are dying to snag a picture at Platform 9 ¾ (which you can do!) or you want to take in the colorful row homes made famous by Notting Hill, we’ve got your guide to movies filmed in London and where you can scout popular film locations in person. Check it out!

Notting Hill (1999)

Inarguably the most iconic movie filmed in London, Notting Hill was named after one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Featuring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant, the story follows the simple life of a charming bookshop owner who is forever changed when he meets the most famous film star in the world You are sure to fall head over heels in love with this classic romantic comedy. Notable film spots include Portobello Road, UCI Empire Cinema, the Ritz Hotel at 150 Piccadilly, the Lancaster Room at the Savoy Hotel, and the Kenwood House at Hampstead Heath.

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

A modern-day satire-spin on the classic “Dawn of the Dead”, this hilarious horror spoof is chock full of surprising jokes and plot twists. The remake loosely follows the gist of the original film, which is essentially a zombie apocalypse film but throws in a witty, cynical cast and a bit of dark humor for an unforgettable take on a classic. The entire movie was filmed in London and includes well-known locations like Park Royal Road, Highgate Finsbury Park, and The Duke of Albany Pub, which was renamed “The Winchester” for the film. You can even stop and grab a beer at the cast’s fictional favorite watering hole.  

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

What started as another run-of-the-mill scary movie has evolved into a cult classic among horror enthusiasts. An American Werewolf In London tells the story of two American students, Jack and David, who go backpacking across England. The duo is brutally attacked by a werewolf and only David survives the attack. As if losing his best friend isn’t traumatic enough, David is then plagued by the curse of the werewolf. The film won over the hearts of viewers and won several awards, including “Best Horror Film” and “Best Makeup”. The movie features several remote film locations in England and at several notable landmarks, like Trafalgar Square and Tottenham Court Road Station.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Elementary, my dear readers. Finding film locations in London from the Sherlock Holmes film is quite easy if you know where to look. The classic murder mystery series was brought to life in 2009 and features several notable city landmarks, including St. Bartholomew-The-Great church, Brompton Cemetery, and the Reform Club. A sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, was released later in 2011, which featured shots in Richmond Park, Hampton Court, and Hampton Court Palace.

Love, Actually (2003)

The snow-covered English countryside makes for a lovely backdrop of this iconic Christmas movie, which has become a holiday tradition for many. The heartwarming story follows the lives of eight couples as they navigate the trials and tribulations of love during the holiday season in London. The A-list cast includes popular stars like Colin Firth, Liam Neeson, Kiera Knightly, and Hugh Grant, and many of the movie filming spots are equally as impressive. Oxford Street, Whiteley’s department store, St. Christopher’s Place, and Westway Studios – to name a few.

28 Days Later (2003)

With 31 film award nominations and 10 wins, this horror film is anything but generic. The nightmare begins when a group of stubborn animal activists free a caged chimpanzee from a medical research lab, which spreads a mysterious and incurable disease throughout the city. The rest of the film follows a group of survivors as they search for sanctuary from the ravenous, infected population. Popular spots viewers might recognize in the film include the Westminster Bridge, the Piccadilly Circus fountain, St. Anne’s Church, Trafalgar Park, and Waverley Abbey.

101 Dalmatians (1996)

Puppies, puppies everywhere! The classic Disney film was transformed into a live action movie in 1996 and the new version did not disappoint. Though the ‘Gabriel Mews’ building in which the Dearly family resides was a fictitious address, many of the movie’s other film locations were well known London landmarks. Roger meets Anita when his pesky dog, Pongo, drags him across Trafalgar Square, which sparks their romance. Other notable film locations spotted throughout the movie include St. James’s Park and Buckingham Palace.

The King’s Speech (2010)

History buffs are sure to appreciate the classic landmarks highlighted in this 2010 drama. The movie highlights the friendship that forms between England’s Prince Albert and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue, as the two work to overcome Albert’s crippling stammer. The monarch is preparing to ascend the throne and must deliver a speech of confidence as he addresses his kingdom and embraces his new role. The award-winning movie featured several award-worthy locations, including Ely Cathedral, which was used to depict Westminster Abbey and Lancaster House, which was used to depict Buckingham Palace.

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Are you a fan of mystery and murder? If so, you’re probably familiar with Dan Brown’s wildly popular novel that was eventually transformed into a live-action movie, The Da Vinci Code. Featuring Tom Hanks as the lead, the movie was equally as popular among fans of the famed fiction writer. The plot takes an unsuspecting Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) on a wild goose chase to solve a mystery that will ultimately reveal an earth-shattering historical secret. Though much of the movie takes place in France, parts do take place in and were actually filmed in London. Movie spots to note include film locations at King’s College and the Temple Church.

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Another award-winning movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary follows a British woman determined to change her life for the better. As a New Year’s resolution, Bridget goes on a personal journey and quest to find love, which she documents in a personal diary. The all-star cast includes well-known favorites like Renee Zellweger, Gemma Jones, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant. London enthusiasts are sure to recognize several of the movie film spots, including Bridget’s flat at The Globe Tavern, Daniel’s apartment on Clink Street, and Mark’s famous kiss scene at the Royal Exchange in Cornhill.

V For Vendetta (2005)

Set in dystopian London after a world war, the city has devolved into a police state occupied by a fascist government. The movie follows a determined vigilante, known only as “V”, and his surprising sidekick, who use terrorist tactics to overthrow the evil oppressors. The movie features Natalie Portman as the female lead and Hugo Weaving as the mysterious “V”. Though the movie was filmed in several cities across Europe, several iconic London locations were included in the film to establish the city as the primary backdrop. Notable film spots include Bartholomew’s Church, Farrington Station, Trafalgar Square, and Parliament Square.

Mary Poppins (1964)

A true Disney classic, Mary Poppins is a major musical tradition for families across the globe. The movie features Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins, a vibrant nanny employed by a single father. Mary immediately becomes part of the family and uses music and adventure as a way to bring the children closer to their father. The movie has been nominated for 17 awards, 15 of which it won. St. Paul’s Cathedral is the most recognized location in the film and was made famous by a scene where Mary sings to the children about an old woman who feeds the birds outside of the church.

Harry Potter (Various)

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the London locations that can be easily spotted in the famous Harry Potter series. Diagon Alley, the bustling market filled with specialty shops and emporiums, is actually the famous (and quite stunning) Leadenhall Market. Platform 9 ¾ is found at Kings Cross Station and visitors can even take a picture with a half-hidden luggage trolley. Other notable locations highlighted in the films include The London Zoo, Piccadilly Circus, and several London bridges. These are just a few of the many London locations featured in Harry Potter movies, and rest assured that there are plenty of ways to embrace your inner child and reminisce about the popular series.

If you’re a true movie buff and you want to geek out over London’s cinematic history, book a movie tour! Several agencies throughout the city offer guided tours that explore some of London’s most popular film locations, including many of the landmarks mentioned above. A movie tour is also a fun and entertaining way to explore the city in a short amount of time.

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