London offers a diverse culture of cinema. From action films to zombie flicks and everything in between, there’s a location for every movie lover. Classics such as A Clockwork Orange were filmed on its very streets. Landmarks like the Big Ben help set the scene.
Looking to visit the city of the queen? Get outside of the theater and into the streets. Map out your tour of London by recreating the scenes of these 12 films with tourist spots included.
1. Near Tower Bridge – An American Werewolf in London (1981)
What better film to start with than one with London in the title? Set the tone for your trip with the haunting Near Tower Bridge featured in An American Werewolf in London. The scene at Near Tower involves a beastly encounter with some tramps, but the only thing you’ll meet here are the massive views of the city. Spy London hotels close by.
2. Big Ben – Trainspotting (1996)
Trainspotting features several rapid-fire montages meant to echo the addled lifestyle of a drug addict. Many of the scenes feature standard London tourist spots such as the Big Ben. This massive clock tower is an iconic part of the cityscape. Find plenty of photo ops at the attached House of Parliament building as well.
3. Borough Market – Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)
The Borough Market is adjacent to the heroine’s flat in the romantic comedy Bridget Jones’ Diary. Shop the independent stalls for food and crafts. Visit the Globe Pub, the current business in place of Bridget’s actual flat featured in the film.
4. Westminster Bridge – 28 Days Later (2002)
Survey the rest of the city from Westminster Bridge featured in 28 Days Later. This bustling bridge is a far cry from the desolate stretch of street in the post-apocalyptic zombie flick. Take in the River Thames on your lazy stroll, safe and away from the walking dead.
5. Abbey Road – A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
Although Abbey Road wasn’t prominently featured in the film A Hard Day’s Night, you can still channel some creative energy. The Beatles spent much of their time at the infamous Abbey Road Studios reviewing the movie’s script. Technically, the road itself was caught on film for their album by the same name.
6. London Zoo – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
We find the London Zoo, specifically the Reptile House, in the wizardly world of Harry Potter. The Sorcerer’s Stone frames this 1926 building as the magical home of a speaking snake. The Zoo itself has the whimsical feel of an otherworldly city, but you won’t find the animals feasting on Butter Beer. Cast a spell on your kids for an hour or two at this family friendly location.
7. London, Various Locations – Spice World (1997)
It’s a girl’s world, London just lives in it. Take the drive of divas when you tour the city by the streets. It’s hard to name just one location from the musical miscellany pictured in Spice World, so why not hop aboard a double-decker bus and tour like the Spice Girls.
8. Trafalgar Square – Love Actually (2003)
Want to take a break? Have a seat next to one of the fountains at Trafalgar Square. Enjoy the romantic landmark area featured in Love Actually. From the buildings’ stunning stonework to the elegantly aged statues, you’re sure to get swept off your feet while you take a moment to relax.
9. Admiralty Arch – Children of Men (2006)
When you’ve finished your break, find the North-East point of the Admiralty Arch. This elaborate building is the center of the war-torn square in the film Children of Men. Observe the ornate architecture that’s muted by the gloomy hues on screen. The walk from Trafalgar Square reveals an excellent view of the Buckingham Palace.
10. Regent Street – Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Regent Street is the perfect place to do the S-word: shop. This major shopping district sets one of the final scenes for the seedy cult classic, Eyes Wide Shut. The dark streets of this strange thrillers key scene may look a bit different in the day. However, if you’re looking for something a little creepy, this may not be the place. Your hopes of hauling all your bags on “the tube” is the only underground fantasy you’ll find here.
11. Chelsea – A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Wander from the main roads and into the neighborhoods of Chelsea. The classic character, Alex, of A Clockwork Orange, wanders through the streets of Chelsea in search of the old ultra-violence. Specifically, he visits the basement of the modern-style Chelsea Drugstore. Unfortunately, the storefront is now home to a McDonalds, but you can still wander the streets in search of mischief – and maybe even get fries with it.
12. Coronet Cinema – Notting Hill (1999)
If you’re looking for a truly meta trip, visit the Coronet Cinema featured in Notting Hill. The theatre was formerly a playhouse opened in 1898. This two-screen cinema has been lovingly restored to its current state. Naturally, this beloved romantic comedy – Notting Hill – had to make a date with this location, especially since it’s local to the film’s own title town.
If you’re looking for travel experience, there’s no better queue to follow than the scripts of your favorite films. Find your mark off camera on your next vacation. Want a complete map of London’s film locations? Explore more here. Visit London today to step on the sets the classics.
What are the number one London-based films on your list? Share your picks in the comments below.