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Top 5 Film Locations in London

23 July 2015 | Alice Westoby

We may be a bit biased, but we think London is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, so no wonder Hollywood has used our fair city as the backdrop to many a blockbuster film. Here’s our run down of the top 5 places to visit in London to recreate some of those classic scenes…

Leadenhall Market

Many have come from far and wide to visit the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studios and stand in Diagon Alley outside Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes! But did you know that in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) when Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley for the first time, it is none other than the City of London’s Leadenhall Market? It’s also one of the locations of the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (2009), a film synonymous with the death of Heath Ledger in 2008 who died a third of the way through filming, but did actually film the scenes that took place there.

The Old Royal Naval College

Perhaps the most in demand place in London by Hollywood for its picturesque 17th Century architecture, you may recognise its impressive façade from many a period drama such as The Duchess (2008) and Dorian Dray (2009). However, arguably the most famous scene shot here from any film is that in Les Miserables (2012) where the all star cast take to the barricades and sing Boubil and Schönberg’s Do You Hear The People Sing?  The barricades and Elephant of the Bastille were built to scale at the Naval College and filmed in a mere 3 days due to the fact that it was a London 2012 Olympic Site – that’s pretty impressive!

For more information about visiting the Old Royal Naval College, visit their website.

Borough Market

One of the largest and oldest food markets in London, Borough Market and its surrounding pubs is one of the most ‘fashionable’ places to buy food in town, the number of films shot here is also a growing trend and the list is getting impressively grand! Fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001) might notice that Bridget’s flat is situated above the Globe Pub located in the market. Also, Guy Ritchie enthusiasts may recognise, tucked away in the corner of the market, the gang’s hideout from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) complete with green exterior as it is in the film.

For more information about Borough Market, visit their website.

British Museum

One of the most imposing buildings in London, it’s no wonder the British Museum has attracted film crews from around the world, most aptly, the cast and crew of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014) in which a number of museum exhibits come to life and can be seen running through the Great Court. It’s also the new home for Imhotep, the notorious mummy in The Mummy Returns (2001). After watching it, we wouldn’t want to be in the Egyptian exhibition after dark, especially with their collection of ancient preserved mummies.

For more information about visiting the British Museum, visit their website.

Hampton Court Palace

Head out of town slightly towards Richmond-upon-Thames and you’ll reach Hampton Court Palace, which was famously the home of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey before he fell out of favour of the King. However, perhaps less famously, Hampton Court Palace gardens stood in as the Buckingham Palace gardens in the recent film The Theory of Everything, the Steven Hawking biopic starring Eddie Redmayne. It also stands in for St James’s Palace in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011). So take a trip to Hampton Court, and you’ll feel like you’re visiting three historic royal palaces for one, well, according to Hollywood you are...

For more information about visiting Hampton Court Palace, visit their website.

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