Going behind the scenes: What are London’s top film locations?

Something magical happens when we see familiar places from the big screen suddenly appear in real life. There’s a thrill in recognising that street corner from a spy chase, or that cosy pub where your favourite rom-com couple had their meet-cute. 

If you love spotting those cinematic gems hidden across London, you’re in the right place. We’re the same! And today, we’re here to share our finds with you for a film-location-spotting tour worthy of any film buff!

King’s Cross Station

King's Cross Station
Media credit to jessylee18

As seen in: Harry Potter, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and more

Location: Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9AL, United Kingdom

King’s Cross holds the key to unlocking the wizarding world for Harry Potter fans. Platform 9 ¾, made famous by a disappearing trolley and a dash of courage, is a permanent fixture at the station. 

Oh, and while this isn’t actually from a film, it’s another magical note worth mentioning: Boudica, the fierce warrior queen, was once said to have been buried between Platforms 9 and 10! 

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge
Media credit to paradisecitygal

As seen in: Sherlock Holmes, The Mummy Returns, and more

Location: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7403 3761

Website

This iconic landmark has a knack for stealing scenes, whether it’s hosting a thrilling double-decker bus chase in “The Mummy Returns” or setting the stage for a treasure hunt in “Paddington 2”.

But Tower Bridge isn’t content with just the big screen. It’s been in everything from iconic shows like “Doctor Who” to “Friends” (you know, when they came over for Ross’s wedding).  

Even music videos like One Direction’s “Midnight Memories” have used it, proving the timeless magnetism the bridge’s bascule-suspension design exerts on cameras. Don’t know what bascule-suspension means? See our article on the bridge to learn more!

Notting Hill

Notting Hill
Media credit to curlylizg

As seen in: Notting Hill, Love Actually, About Time and more

Location: West London, United Kingdom

Notting Hill? It’s not just where Hugh Grant made charming bumbling an art form. This corner of London is a set designer’s dream.

While a lot of people come here just to see that iconic blue door for a selfie, there are other things to do. Check out our guide to the area if you want to make the most of it!

Westminster

Westminster
Media credit to robertopieter

As seen in: James Bond, Harry Potter and more

Location: Central London, United Kingdom

This heart of the city boasts a historical pedigree that sets designers drooling. Think Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey – the sheer architectural drama is worthy of its own spotlight.

And if you love a good spy thriller, Westminster is your oyster. James Bond wouldn’t be caught dead without a thrilling sequence here. 

The area’s proximity to those imposing government buildings, like the Old War Office (aka MI6 in disguise), gives any espionage scene an undeniable authenticity.

St. Paul’s Cathedral

St. Paul's Cathedral
Media credit to joshuarcher_

As seen in: Lawrence of Arabia, Mary Poppins and more

Location: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, United Kingdom

Forget green screens, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a cinematic special effect in itself! This architectural marvel, designed by Sir Christopher Wren and completed in 1710, is a full-fledged movie star with a resume longer than a Sunday sermon.

For years, shots of the iconic dome have been used to tell people a film’s set in London. It’s been a visual anchor in countless films, from epics like “Lawrence of Arabia” to the world of “Mary Poppins” (remember the poignant “Feed the Birds” scene?).

Paddington Station

Paddington Station
Media credit to cdawsonmarch

As seen in: Paddington and more

Location: Praed St, London W2 1HU, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 345 711 4141

Website

Paddington Station is a portal to a world of marmalade-fueled mishaps and heartwarming adventures. Of course, we owe that magic to a certain bear from Darkest Peru.  

Michael Bond’s beloved Paddington Bear made this station his gateway to London, and the movies immortalised that sense of wonder and possibility.

The British Museum

The British Museum
Media from britishmuseum

As seen in: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and more

Location: Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom

Contact: +44 20 7323 8299

Website

As one of the best museums in London, this place is all about those grand staircases and the soaring dome of the Great Court. But here’s the thing, the British Museum isn’t just a pretty face… It’s got layers!

Remember “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb”? That’s the British Museum in all its whimsical glory, where exhibits suddenly spring to life and history turns into a hilarious adventure.

Canary Wharf tube station

Canary Wharf tube station
Media credit to erichti

As seen in: 28 Days Later, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and more

Location: Underground Ltd, Heron Quays Rd, London E14 4HJ, United Kingdom

Website

Remember those sleek, slightly sinister corridors in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”? That was Canary Wharf Station playing the part of a futuristic Imperial base – proof that those glass towers can moonlight as spaceships with the right lighting! 

But here’s where it gets exciting: Canary Wharf flips the script in a heartbeat.  Remember the desolate tube stations in  “28 Weeks Later”? That haunting, post-apocalyptic vibe was all here too! It just proves this place can go from a gleaming business hub to a chilling urban wasteland

Old Royal Naval College 

    Old Royal Naval College
    Media credit to livelavidatravel

    As seen in: Les Misérables, Pirates of the Caribbean and more 

    Location: Southeast London, United Kingdom

    Need a backdrop for those tear-jerking period pieces? The Old Royal Naval College is your go-to. It played revolutionary Paris in “Les Misérables” and hosted all the regal drama you could want in “The Crown”.  

    Those grand halls? They’re designed for sweeping ball gowns, tense political face-offs, and whispers of courtly gossip. 

    But wait, there’s more! Remember that crazy fight in “Thor: The Dark World” where superheroes were trashing an ancient palace? Yeah, that was the Old Royal Naval College too! 

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