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Sunday June 23rd 2024

10 famous film locations in London

The next five top film locations and, yes, there's Harry Potter, The Da Vinci Code and Paddington.

6   |   PADDINGTON (2014)

The antique store from Paddington, Notting Hill, London

Alice's Antiques, 86 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 (tube: Notting Hill Gate)

Paddington Station, after which the main character is named, is just too obvious to include here as a location. Nevertheless, if you loved the film, you'll want to visit the station – but be aware that the charming little tea shop was simply mocked up for the film. Don't miss the station's nearby statue of the little Peruvian bear, though.

So let's head off again to Portobello Road to find the antiques shop of Mr Gruber (Jim Broadbent), which is the famous Alice's Antiques in Notting Hill. Apart from the change of name, the store looks every bit as eccentric as it does in the film.

FUN FACT: Although the platforms seen in the film are the real Paddington Station, the frontage seen in the film is that of Marylebone Station, which is much more photogenic.

Paddington (2014)


Harry Potter at King's Cross Station, London

King's Cross Station, London NW1 (tube: King's Cross)

How long could we go without mentioning Harry Potter and one of London's most famous screen landmarks?

Yes, the Hogwarts Express departs from the obviously non-existent Platform 9 3/4 (the scenes were filmed between the real Platforms 4 and 5). If you're determined to get a photo, you'll need a valid travel ticket to access the platforms.

So to prevent these busy platforms becoming clogged with Potterheads, a special photo-op has been set up in the station's new Western Concourse, where you'll find a shopping trolley embedded into the wall – alongside the Harry Potter Shop.

FUN FACT: Just as Marylebone's frontage stands in for Paddington, the elaborate Victorian neo-Gothic exterior of St Pancras Station nearby stands in for the more severe King's Cross in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

8   |   THE LONG GOOD FRIDAY (1980)

The Savoy Hotel, Strand, London

The Savoy Hotel, 1 Savoy Hill, Strand, London WC2 (tube: Charing Cross)

The Savoy Hotel on the Strand has many claims to fame – as a byword for luxury naturally, but it also houses the Savoy Theatre, the original home of Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

For fans of an undisputed classic of Eighties British cinema, its gleaming art deco entrance will always be the place where too-cocky gang boss Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) distractedly jumps into the wrong car – resulting in that unforgettable final sequence.

FUN FACT: Unusually, in Savoy Court, the little entrance road off the Strand, traffic is required to drive on the right. Not that it would have helped Harold Shand in the least.

The Long Good Friday (1980)

9   |   SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019)

Waterloo Station, London

West Upper Walkway, Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, London SE1 (tube: Tower Hill)

When the kids from 'Midtown High' embark on a European vacation, their stopover in London naturally includes Tower Bridge, where most of the film's last act is played out (NOT London Bridge, which is a different thing altogether).

Despite its appearance, the bridge is not an ancient monument but a skin of neo-Gothic stone cladding disguising a metal-framed structure that was state-of-the-art technology when the bridge was built at the end of the 19th Century.

It's a bascule bridge – the road is split and the two halves can be raised to allow the passage of tall ships. Visit those often barely-noticed Upper Walkways high above the road, with terrific views of the River and the City and glass floor panels for those irresistible shots of your feet hovering over the road and river traffic below.

FUN FACT: The Bridge's Victorian machinery is still in use and the bridge is raised about twice a day (check for Bridge Lift Times). If you're interested in the inner workings (they are quite fascinating), the innards of the Bridge are open to visit on the Tower Bridge Tour.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

10   |   THE DA VINCI CODE (2006)

Temple Church, London

Temple Church, Temple, London EC4 (tube: Temple)

No, we're not including the more famous Westminster Abbey (those scenes were actually filmed in Lincoln Cathedral anyway), but the little Temple Church, where Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) realises that the recumbent stone carvings are not tombs but effigies.

The church really was built for the Knights Templar and its unusual shape is meant to reflect that of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Temple Church is tucked away in the quiet enclave of Temple, off the western end of Fleet Street in the City of London. You can see the effigies yourself, though it's best to check ahead for opening times. To find it, look for those tiny, easily missed, alleyways on the south side of Fleet Street.

FUN FACT: Middle Temple crops up again on-screen in the Step a Little Light Fantastic number from Mary Poppins Returns.

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

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