Visitors from far and wide will often explore the many wonders and attractions of the English capital with a certain sense of deja vu; and who can really blame them, as many of the city’s iconic landmarks and locales have been immortalised on the silver screen for decades.
Travellers from around the world have been soaking up images of the city for as long as they can remember, and it’s not just those famous places like Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Westminster that have seen the moviegoing public catch a glimpse of London’s rich history.
Indeed, filmgoers have been entranced by locations as varied as London’s coffee shops to train stations, with all manner of special places shot across the city and immortalised on the big screen.
As a result, here we have a look at some of the city’s fantastic cinematic locations that many might not realise are found in London, so sit back, relax and enjoy a London cinema history lesson. Here goes!
University College London
Address: Gower Street, Kings Cross, London WC1E 6BT
One of the UK’s most high-profile and prestigious seats of higher education, University College London (UCL) is renowned not only for its excellence in educating the next generation of top professionals and leaders, it also plays host to regular shoots by some of the world’s top movie makers.
From small independent offerings to the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, UCL has seen them all. Some of the standout credits that UCL can boast include 1999’s Eyes Wide Shut with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, as well as 2000’s Gladiator, 2005’s Batman Begins and 2008’s The Dark Knight, to name but a few.
Address: Fulham Road, London SW10 9UG
The gothic architecture and imposing ambience of Brompton Cemetery has been enticing film-makers for decades to this wonderful London locale, with its elaborate Victorian gravestones and buildings the perfect backdrop to many genres.
A perfect location for all manner of productions, offering a sombre vista for thrillers, period dramas and even romantic comedies down the years. Its credits include 2003’s Bond spoof Johnny English, the 1995 actual Bond adventure Golden Eye and many more movies besides.
Address: 26 Wenlock Road, London N1 7TA
Famous for providing the titular public house in the 2013 comedy The World’s End, the Wenlock Arms offers a taste of Hollywood in the heart of London for anyone who loves a crisp pint and a packet of pork scratchings.
Chosen for its ambience as a traditional British pub, the Wenlock Arms is a great place to grab a bite to eat and chat with the locals. It features in the film as the fifth destination on the ultimate 12-bar pub crawl and is named as ‘The Good Companions’ – a fitting title for such a welcoming public house.
Address: 34 St John Street, London EC1M
Many visitors might be forgiven for simply walking past this unassuming London locale, but behind the doors of the Farmiloe Building lies a wealth of London cinema history.
Located in the heart of Smithfield and not much to look at from the outside, passing through the doors into the Farmiloe Building opens up a world of cinema heritage that visitors will love.
Everything from Robert Downey Junior’s reimagining of Sherlock Holmes through to scenes for the escape of the Joker from police custody in The Dark Knight were all shot here, with many a memorable scene witnessed at the property over the years.
Address: 171 Strand, London WC2R 1EP
It could be any Tube station on the London Underground, but Aldwych Station should have a special place in the heart of all moviegoers.
Used as a location in all manner of genre of films down the years, the generic Underground nature of the place helped to make it a perfect choice for directors hoping to include this form of transport in their movies.
Credits associated with Aldwych Station include Superman IV, The Krays, Patriot Games, V for Vendetta, Atonement, 28 Weeks Later, Mr Selfridge and many more.
Address: Notting Hill, W11 London
What more needs to be said about this iconic London destination than simply its name, Notting Hill was one of the biggest Hollywood rom-coms of the late 1990s and starred arguably some of the biggest heartthrobs on the planet at the time, in the form of Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
Visitors can wander through the streets and many attractions of the area and see many of the sights that were made famous in the movie. Everything from the area’s popular markets to its annual Carnival are fantastic places and events to explore for lovers of the film.
St Sepulchre’s Chapel
Address: Holborn Viaduct, London EC1A 2DQ
One of the most memorable scenes from the 2013 musical Hollywood Blockbuster Les Miserables was filmed in London – at the beautiful and inspiring St Sepulchre’s Chapel.
The location is used as the blue-ceilinged Gothic chapel in which the film’s protagonist Jean Valjean resolves to take this opportunity to turn his life around.
Based on the acclaimed 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, Les Mis wowed crowds of West End theatre goers for years before its turn on the silver screen and lovers of the film should definitely head to this impressive attraction.
Address: 17-19 Regency Street, Westminster, London SW1P 4BY
Opened in 1946, the Regency Cafe has built quite a following among cinema buffs over the years, having featured in many great films during its long and interesting history.
Credits for this popular London eatery and location have included Layer Cake and Brighton Rock as well as Pride. It also has served as a primary location for the shooting of many television series, including Judge John Deed, Rescue Me and London Spy.
Named in 2013 as the fifth best restaurant in London by users of the online social ratings tool Yelp!, the Regency Cafe also offers fabulous food and drink that film-lovers will not want to miss during their visit.
Old Royal Naval College
Address: King William Walk, London SE10 9NN
One of the most iconic and impressive locations that lovers of the movies will no doubt recognise bit could probably never pinpoint, the Old Royal Naval College is simply a joy to behold.
Having featured in such blockbuster movies as The Pirates of the Caribbean; On Stranger Tides, the aforementioned Les Miserables and Cinderella, the vast halls and entrance ways of the college provide a stunning backdrop to any scene and help in the creation of a fabulous atmosphere of authenticity that lends credence to any period production.
Address: Estate Office House, Hatfield AL9 5NQ
A stunning and impressive property located just outside of central London, Hatfield house has built up quite a collection of massive blockbusters that have shot scenes either in its rooms or grounds during its long and varied history.
However, visitors planning a trip to this glorious country house might recognise the place from such movies as 2005’s remake of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp, Batman Begins, Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie from 2001, 2011’s Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – part 2, the King’s Speech from 2010 and many, many more.