London is filled with James Bond locations


His dangerous adventures have taken James Bond to all four corners of the world. Since most of his missions begin with a briefing by his boss M in London, we decided to pay a visit to the British capital and find out as much as possible about its Bond-related locations. And there are many, as the map here shows, from most of the Bond films, from 1962's Dr. No to 2015's SPECTRE. They're scattered all over the city, but all fairly easy to reach by Underground.

Below you can read a small part of the story Hometown of James Bond, as featured in full in the travel guide.
The Romans were the first who conquered the Celtic fortress “Londinium”. Within a short time the city became an important centre of trade and administration. It lost its significance for a long time after the withdrawal of the Romans in the 5th century. That only changed in 1066 when William the Conqueror was crowned in Westminster Abbey. Two times (in 1348 and 1665) the Plague struck and decimated the population. In the age of the seafarers, London became an important port because of its new trade relations to America and other parts of the world. The population increased even faster in the 19th century. The problems of the industrial revolution are vividly described in the novels of Charles Dickens. While the First World War affected London very little, it suffered immensely in World War II. The German air raids (1940/41) claimed more than10.000 lives. After the war the city maintained its economic strength. It now houses the second most important stock exchange of the world (after New York).The total population of London is now more than 7 million inhabitants.

In more than forty years of Bond filming a lot of scenes have been shot in London. Sometimes they are only snapshots (Malaysia House or Old War Office at Trafalgar Square as a facade for “Universal Export”), in other cases London locations doubled for other places in the world. Since the locations are not related to each other by one certain film, we are going to simply stroll through the city from east to west.
What is now the O2 Arena, used to be known as the Millennium Dome and featured in The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Somerset House, a grand 18th century building, is a thriving cultural centre for London and is home to the magnificent collections of the Courtauld Institute Gallery, Gilbert Collection and Hermitage Rooms. The launch of the Safran Fountain Court in August 2000 transformed the Courtyard from a hidden car park into one of the most vibrant public spaces in the British capital. The design of the fountains is based on a geometric pattern of fifty-five computer controlled, vertical jets which emerge directly from the granite surface of the Courtyard. At the north western corner of the square the scene from GoldenEye was filmed where CIA man Jack Wade “repairs” his old Russian jalopy with a sledgehammer.

There are two train stations in London which are of special interest for us film freaks. First there is St Pancras Station in the suburb of the same name. On Platform 5 the tiny scene was filmed where Natalya arrives in St Petersburg in GoldenEye. For the first film of the Harry-Potter-series the scenes where Harry catches the train Hogwarts Express, were filmed at the nearby Kings Cross Station. In the movie the steam train leaves from the fictitious Platform 9¾ and takes the students to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In reality it was staged on Platform 4.
The real MI6 HQ can be seen in many of the later Bond films
The chapel of West Brompton Cemetery, as can be seen in GoldenEye (1995)
In GoldenEye Natalya has a meeting with her former colleague Boris in the church “Our Lady of Smolensk” in St Petersburg. While her approach to the church was shot at the Chapel of West Brompton Cemetery, close to Earl's Court, the interior scenes were filmed in St Sophia Church in Moscow Road in the London suburb Bayswater. Despite its location in Moscow Road it is not a Russian Orthodox Church but a Greek Orthodox one. The first Greek Orthodox Community was established in London in the 1670s. In 1877 they built the magnificent Church of the Divine Wisdom (St Sophia). You have access to the church on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before noon and at the vesper service at 5pm on Saturdays. The vestibule is decorated with elaborate, Byzantine mosaics. Walking down the middle aisle of the church under the big iron cross you are, like Natalya, immediately affected by its gloomy, eerie atmosphere.


This and much more can be found in the chapter 'Hometown of James Bond' in ON THE TRACKS OF 007

Connected hotels:

The Langham

London, England

Four Seasons

Canary Wharf, London, UK
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