London is noted for its plentiful iconic scenery, with a mixture of old and new which makes the city one of the most famous in the world. This distinctiveness has also made London a hugely popular destination for film-makers, with a stunning skyline and lots to see and do.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at six major landmarks which have been featured in film and television.
- South Bank
London’s South Bank is one of the busiest cultural centres in the city, with two miles of arts and entertainment venues, as well as regular events throughout the year. The area has become hugely popular with both locals and visitors alike, thanks to the hive of activity it offers while staying at luxury hotels in London UK.
Some of the key destinations to explore in this area include the Tate Modern, home to contemporary art and exhibitions, the Southbank Centre, a major hub of creativity, and the National Theatre, which champions emerging and established theatrical talent. The area first began to develop its creative credentials after the Second World War, with a celebration of British life entitled the ‘Festival of Britain’. This led to the creation of The Royal Festival Hall.
One of the most significant structures to be found in this district is the London Eye, an enormous Ferris wheel which provides daily trips as a fantastic way to see the London skyline from a unique vantage point. Millennium Bridge is another popular London landmark featured in numerous productions. The South Bank has had a starring role in films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World and Fast & Furious 6.
- Tower Bridge
Another of the city’s most iconic spaces, Tower Bridge has featured in plenty of great films over the years, including everything from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason to The Mummy Returns, Mission Impossible and Tomb Raider. The bridge provides a fantastic backdrop for dramatic scenes and acts as an instant signifier that the action is taking place in London.
If you’re eager to see the bridge for yourself, then planning a visit during your stay at the Montcalm Marble Arch Hotel is highly recommended. Pedestrians can walk along the bridge itself, but it’s also possible to get closer to the bridge on one of London’s many boat tours along the Thames. Visitor attractions at Tower Bridge also include the opportunity to see the walkways and steam engine room for yourself, transforming this popular London mainstay into a great event for anyone staying locally. More than 40,000 people cross the bridge every day, and this Victorian-era structure now even has a glass viewing platform where visitors can see the city below their feet.
- Notting Hill
Most commonly associated with the famous Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts film of the same name, Notting Hill is a popular destination for visitors to London, with lots to see and do in the local area. The film also took in various other London locations, but much of the action took place in and around this trendy, vibrant part of the city.
Portobello Road and its iconic market featured in key scenes, ensuring that Notting Hill was cleverly kept front and centre of this popular British classic. While staying at luxury hotels in Hyde Park, you’ll be within easy reach of the area to carry out your own exploration of some of the destinations used in the film.
- Trafalgar Square
It’s impossible to compile a list of London film locations without mentioning Trafalgar Square, which is one of the most recognisable areas in the city. It’s also featured in countless feature films and TV series, including everything from Captain America to Edge of the St Trinians series. For film fans eager to explore a key location, there’s lots to see in and around Trafalgar Square, including monuments such as Nelson’s Column and the enormous bronze Trafalgar Square Lions. The area is also surrounded by galleries and tourist attractions, helping to provide a great addition to your film locations tour.
- Buckingham Palace
Perhaps the most famous palace on earth, Buckingham Palace is the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II, and has also played a pivotal role in a huge selection of films and TV series. As both an instantly recognisable London icon and a lavish structure in its own right, it’s no wonder film-makers have spent decades finding ways to ensure a shot of the palace makes the final cut.
The palace first started life as a house, built as the London residence of the Earl of Mulgrave in 1703. It was later purchased by the Royal Family and recreated as a centre for both home life and state duties. During the summer months, anyone eager to see the palace for themselves can check out the stunning State Rooms, which open to the public for just a short while each year.
- Kings Cross Station
Last but not least, no list of London film locations is complete without a mention of one of the most famous amongst contemporary film fans. Kings Cross Station provides the space where Platform 9 ¾ departed in the Harry Potter series, and the station has honoured this legacy by providing a space perfect for taking a few souvenir photos, with a sign and even a trolley you can pretend to push through the wall.
Nearby you will also find the Harry Potter Shop, which offers a wide variety of Potter-themed memorabilia and has been designed to closely resemble the wand shop in the series. This is a great destination for families and young children, thanks to the delightful way the station has helped to bring the Harry Potter stories to life – but it provides a great stop on your tour of London film locations for all ages.