England

England excl London

If you want to see locations used in most of the Bond films, from Dr. No (1962) to SPECTRE (2015), come visit the English countryside. Join me on a fabulous trip and see places like Nene Valley, Stoke Park Golf Club, Chalfont Park House, Ascot and Oxford. Rent your car and go location hunting in James Bond's home country.

Below is a summary of the full story Another Time, Another Place, as featured fully in the travel guide.
After several exciting journeys to the sunny sides of the world, we decided to travel to James Bond’s home country, England. This proved to be not only equally exciting, but very recommendable as well. Apart from the famous Pinewood Studios, lots of small and large scenes were filmed around London, and we decided to pay the English countryside a visit to find out what’s left of 007’s filming location history.

The English history is as old as possible and historic buildings and other remains are virtually on every street corner. The marvellous Windsor Castle, visible from the M4 motorway, is such a place for instance. All the historic sites are well kept and recognizable from the brown road signs and should be easy to find. One historic site in particular you should not forget to visit: Stonehenge. Although not a Bond location, you are fairly close to it and should always try to find a way to fit a visit into your travel schedule. From London take the M3 motorway towards Southampton and once you have passed Basingstoke turn on to the A303 towards Amesbury. It might take you 1,5 hours to get there from London, but the highly impressive, mysterious scenery is well worth the trip.
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Exploring outer-London West

We decided to camp in the small town of Marlow, along the river Thames, some 30 kilometres west of London. Although surrounded by the maze of highways around England’s capital, Marlow is a lovely and serene starting point. The impressive surrounding countryside area has in fact been used to film Ian Fleming’s non-Bond classic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Another good reason to visit Marlow is because James Bond went here in 1969 to visit his boss, M.

Another nearby filming site is in Hurley, a small, sleepy town just south of Marlow. It is not exactly a major location, but a small scene was filmed here for From Russia With Love, on July 26th 1963. The scene were 007 is having a countryside picnic with Sylvia Trench (in her last appearance), was filmed here on the southern bank of the Thames, close to the locks.

Some 15 kilometres west of Marlow and Hurley, you can find the even smaller town of Stonor. Be careful when blinking your eyes; you have passed it before you know! When driving on the road leading through town, you will eventually pass the entrance gate to Stonor House, a marvellous countryside estate, quietly located between the hills. This location was used in The Living Daylights as the MI6 headquarters where Koskov thanks Bond for his successful defection, right before he is kidnapped.

When you have the time, you might want to consider going even more west, all the way to Oxford. The city itself is a joy to visit, and strolling through the narrow streets is a pleasant experience. The old and beautiful colleges are as imposing as you can imagine, and through the years served as filming locations for many films. The introduction of 007 in Tomorrow Never Dies was also filmed here, at Brasenose College and partially at New College.

Another location, close to Oxford, is the highly popular Waddesdon Manor. Although only used for interior shots, the French-style chateau featured in Kevin McClory's Thunderball remake Never say never again. The SPECTRE meeting was filmed here.

A search for the remains of James Bond’s most notorious encounter leads us to one of the three richest postal codes in England: Stoke Poges. Situated in the heart of Buckinghamshire, the town has beautiful lawns and marvellous houses. Because of the proximity of Pinewood Studios, the EON filmmakers frequently visited this area and filmed scenes here for Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only and Tomorrow Never Dies. When entering the town, follow the signs “Stoke Park Club” and finally to “Stoke Poges Church”.
This church is in fact St. Giles Church, a medieval church with a more than familiar cemetery. Here, in For Your Eyes Only, Bond visited the grave of his wife, Tracy, who had been shot by Irma Bunt in On Her Majesty’s secret service.

From the church and even better from the path around it, you have a magnificent view of one of 007’s best known filming locations: Stoke Park Club. The posh Clubhouse, a mixture of dazzling white stone, steps and terraces, has a lake in front and imposing trees in the surrounding park and the estate has a recorded history of more than 900 years. When sold to the Crown, in 1581, Queen Elisabeth lived there until 1603, in the original Manor House (part of which can still be seen today).
Dirk Kloosterboer (l) and Martijn Mulder visiting Stoke Park
Stonor House, as seen in The Living Daylights (1987)
John Penn (who’s family founded Pennsylvania and got hold of Stoke Park as part of the compensation given by the new Commonwealth for the loss of their lands in this American state) spent much of his fortune on building a new mansion (the current Clubhouse), landscape and monuments at Stoke Park. It continued to be used as private residence until 1908, when ‘Pa’ Lane Jackson purchased Stoke Park and turned it into Britain’s ultimate country club, Stoke Park Club.

James Bond had his first eye-to-eye encounter with Auric Goldfinger on these same grounds, leaving us with the most famous golf game in cinematic history. It was this game that started Sean Connery’s lifelong love for the golf sport. Even today, Connery claims that playing golf is more important to him than acting...and he still is a member of Stoke Park Club, together with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli.

Moving towards London, only a stone throw away from Stoke Poges, you will find another frequently visited area: Black Park. Black Park is a beautiful large, forest-like park, just behind the Pinewood Studios, and because of its location, proved to be a great low-budget place to film and prepare for small scenes. The park is best known for being the setting of the Goldfinger Aston Martin car chase. All scenes for this spectacular chase were filmed at night in Black Park and in the alleys between the various studio buildings. The park is open all day for a nice stroll through its wide paths and you can even find a visitor centre, located at the park’s most western entrance.

When you walk or drive your car around Black Park, at a certain moment you will pass the famous entrance gate to one of the world’s best known film studios: Pinewood. Officially located in a town called Iver Heath, Pinewood has been the home of James Bond since the beginning in 1962, and it has been so ever since. Only Moonraker (Pinewood only used for model shots), Licence to Kill (Mexican Churabusco Studios were used), GoldenEye (Pinewood being unavailable, a new studio was built at Leavesden Aerodrome) and Tomorrow Never Dies (In Pinewood’s available free space, only Carver’s stealth ship could be constructed. With EON’s new Leavesden Studios also occupied, once again a new studio was built, this time in Frogmore, St. Albans) had been (partially) filmed elsewhere.

For obvious reasons, over the years various scenes have been filmed in and around Pinewood, therefore making it a true Bond location: In From Russia With Love, the pre-credit’s renaissance garden was filmed around the main administrations building. The building itself also featured in the film, as SPECTRE’s headquarters. As mentioned earlier, in Goldfinger part of the DB5 chase was filmed in the narrow studio alleys and the statue Oddjob beheaded wasn’t located at Stoke Park, but in the same garden around Pinewood’s administrations building.

Leaving Pinewood behind you drive north towards St. Albans (M25). Take the exit in the direction of Amersham (A413). After 5 kilometres of motorway, you will come upon a roundabout. Turn to the right (3/4) and immediately another right. You are now on the small road leading to Chalfont Park, and the last house on the left is Chalfont Park House, an old manor house used as Shrublands in Thunderball. While all the interior scenes were filmed at Pinewood, the house is visible in the night scene with the ambulance and the scene in which Bond departs from Shrublands. Although nowadays situated in a totally different environment (Chalfont Park can hardly be called a ‘park’ anymore) and being turned into a modern luxurious resort, Chalfont Park House kept its recognizable façade, and thanks to this architectural effort, the house will remain to be a Bond location and is still worth visiting.

When you are ready for some real RAF action, return to the A40 towards London. One of the next exits is the A4180, turn to the left to Ruislip. On your left is RAF Northolt, an air force base, nowadays also in use for some commercial flights. EON has a longstanding relationship with the Royal Air Force and has very often made use of their bases. RAF Northolt is probably the most famous of all, and has been used in Goldfinger, Thunderball, Octopussy and in The World Is Not Enough.

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This and much more can be found in the chapter 'Another time, another place' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007

Connected hotels:

Stoke Park

Stoke Poges, UK

Luton Hoo

Luton, UK
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