We’ve all read the lists of 101 films to see before you die. But have you ever stopped to think about the locations where these movies were filmed? London contains many great spots – from parks to pubs to famous landmarks – that will ring a few bells from trips to the cinema. So grab yourself a Zones 1-6 Travelcard and let us show you London on film!
Cross Westminster Bridge from the south side of the river and you’ll be following in the footsteps of Jim (Cillian Murphy) in 28 Days Later. After waking from a coma, Jim finds himself in an abandoned Westminster. The opposite will be true as you make your way past the throngs of tourists snapping photos of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Props to director Danny Boyle for managing to temporarily suspend early morning traffic to film the scene. (Nearest Tube stop: Westminster)
Stroll around Maryon Park in Woolwich to relive Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic Sixties flick Blow-Up. The story follows Thomas (David Hemmings), a young photographer who unwittingly snaps something suspicious in the park. He later returns to find some students playing a bizarre game of mime tennis without any rackets. The park has hardly changed at all since the Swinging Sixties with the same hard tennis courts and children’s play area. Just remember to bring some rackets!
Lancaster Terrace, London W2 2TY
Combine your London trip with a cinematic stay at the Lancaster hotel. This luxury 4-star hotel is where Charlie (Michael Cain) goes to celebrate getting out of prison in cult British caper, The Italian Job. It’s still a great place to party, with two restaurants, views over Hyde Park and a short walk to the bright lights of Oxford Street. If that’s out of budget, try HotelClub for affordable London accommodation options. (Nearest Tube stop: Lancaster Gate)
73 Columbia Road, London E2 7RG
Grab a pint at The Royal Oak on Columbia Road, just like the boys in Guy Ritchie’s gangster flick Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Our lovable Cockneys pop into what appears to be a traditional British boozer for a ‘refreshing drink’ (pint). Only to be served flowery cocktails in a camp, Samoan-themed bar instead.
The real Royal Oak is not nearly as outrageous as in the film but does attract a colourful clientele due to its hip East London locale. It’s a gastro pub serving a mean roast dinner with the famous Columbia Road flower market on its doorstep every Sunday. (Nearest Tube stop: Old Street)
Eat like Bridget Jones at the yummy Borough Market in Southwark. In the book, Bridget (Renee Zellweger) lives in Notting Hill, but in the movie she’s relocated to a singleton flat right next to this foodie heaven. She can be seen trundling past the mouth-watering food stalls after bumping into Daniel (Hugh Grant) with ‘Laura from the New York office’. You may not bump into the lovely Bridget there, but you can sample delicious cured meats and cheeses from Thursday to Saturday. (Nearest Tube stop: London Bridge)