London. Big Ben, Sherlock Holmes, and a plethora of pub crawls await you here. There are more over 8 million people in the city, making it the most populated municipality in Europe, as well as a fun location to live. For decades, filmmakers have been inviting you to fall in love with London by showing you its many facets. For those of you who’ve always wanted to visit London, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite London-based movies that will make your mouth water.
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1. Notting Hill
Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts feature in this romantic comedy from the late 1990s. Bookshop owner Will (Hugh) and movie star Anna (Roberts) meet by chance in the film, which is named after the fashionable London neighborhood of the same name. They fall in love, break up, then rediscover each other again. It’s a wild ride.
Just be sure to visit the world-famous Portabella Road, where you can shop for souvenirs and food at one of the world’s largest street markets, or catch a movie at the Coronet Cinema, where Will watches Anna’s sci-fi film. Nobu Restaurant, UCI Empire Cinema in Leicester Square, or the Zen Garden at The Hempstead Hempel Hotel are all places of interest.
2. Hard Days Night
Check out A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles’ comedy and pseudo-documentary, if you ever wondered what Beatlemania looked like in real life. You’ll see Paul, John, and the rest of the gang walking about the city in quest of some peace and quiet.
Ringo takes us on a stroll down the Thames embankment, including the Putney Towpath, for an educational look at the river’s geography. Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, Marylebone Station, or the Garrison Room at Les Ambassadeurs Club are just a few of the places you may imagine yourself in London. And congrats if you were able to identify all of the Beatles song titles!
Peter, a former professional tennis player who is currently in a slump, is played by Paul Bettany. Before he meets Lizzie (Kirsten Dunst), a young American woman competing in the women’s tennis tournament at Wimbledon. If Bettany and Dunst’s chemistry isn’t enough to entice tennis fans, the film’s footage of the 2003 Championships is sure to please.
Check out the London Eye and Kensington Gardens for other filming sites; make a wish at the fountain in Kensington Gardens; or stroll Charles Street, where Peter hands out a window in one scene. In addition, the film includes some beautiful panoramic vistas of London that are sure to pique your interest in a trip to the city.
With Clive Owen, Jude Law and Natalie Portman, this is our second Julia Roberts film. True love or whatever they think is true love is pursued by a bunch of attractive London citizens who adore and harm each other. You’ll see a lot of London’s streets, as well as a glimpse of the River Thames. After some computer-savvy Dan (Law) fiddling, Anna (Roberts) and Larry (Owen) meet at the infamous spot. County Hall’s County Hall housed the London Aquarium.
We also get to see some of Bloomsbury’s Southampton Place, the Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel, and the West End’s Theatre Royal, once known as Drury Lane. Natalie Portman and Jude Law will also be on display in this film, so it’s an all-around win-win situation!
5. This Year’s Love
An disclosure is made at their wedding reception: Hannah, the newlywed bride, has been secretly having an affair with her best friend’s husband, Danny (Richard Armitage), who is the spouse of her best friend.
Several of their friends and acquaintances, all yearning for love and a sense of meaning in their life, are also affected by the tragedy. In Camden Town, a bohemian enclave in northwest London, this group of thirtysomethings meanders through the streets and stores. To get a taste of what life is like in Camden Town if you’re planning a longer stay in the area, this is a wonderful film to watch. It was at least that way in the late 1990s.
6. Mary Poppins
A magical umbrella transports England’s most practically perfect nanny to London at the outset of this epic children’s film. This film’s sets were believable enough to convey children of all ages to the home of the ever-falling London Bridge, even though none of the film was shot in London.
In Mary Poppins, Julie Andrews portrays Mary with her Cockney companion, Bert, a multi-talented performer (Dick Van Dyke). Even if you’ve been taking care of yourself for twenty years, Mary Poppins makes you wish you had an English nanny. In spite of the fact that the film doesn’t provide you a chance to jump inside a screever’s picture, you’ll be exposed to some British culture, such the classic fox hunt, afternoon tea, or even going to fly a kite.
7. Sliding Doors
Actress Gwyneth Paltrow plays a lady who can transform her personal and professional futures merely by snagging a specific train. Helen’s (Paltrow) life is shown from both the inside and outside of the sliding door throughout the film. Waterloo, Bank, and Fulham Broadway Tube Stations all make cameos in this film, giving us a greater understanding of the “Tube,” as Londoners refer to it.
Fatboy’s Diner, where Helen and James’ first date takes place, is located at Trinity Bouy Wharf. Sliding Doors fans can visit Helen’s apartment at 39 Leinster Square, Anna’s flat at 29 Primrose Gardens in Belsize Park or even Bertorelli’s Restaurant, where Gwyneth Paltrow’s character gets a job, if they so desire.
8. Love Actually
I only see Love Actually once a year at Christmas, but if you want to get a better sense of London during the winter months, this is the film for you. Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson feature in this holiday-themed romantic comedy that chronicles the stories of numerous Londoners who find themselves in or out of love.
At the Pullman Gardens, the Elliot School, Peter and Juliet’s wedding takes place (spoiler alert!). It’s my apologies! Grosvenor Chapel on South Audley Street hosts the event. Additionally, the film shows the Chelsea Bridge, Oxford Street, Hyde Park, Tate Modern, and Canary Wharf as other areas of interest. What’s the point?
9. Bridget Jones’ Diary
Finally, a film for every lady who has finally chosen to quit smoking and drinking, as well as falling for b*****ds: Bridget Jones, like everyone else, is trying to better herself, but she’s having a hard time with life’s obstacles (including charming, but not always nice, guys). As a Singleton, she gives you a glimpse of London for the TV dinner, one-person crowd.
Although the movie travels across England, several sequences were filmed in London, including scenes at the Royal Courts of Justice and Liverpool Street Station. One of the most popular attractions in London is Picadilly Circus with its theaters and shops and neon signage. This is Hugh Grant’s third entry on this list, and Bridget’s boss happens to be Mr. London himself, Hugh Grant. Perhaps he’s a good excuse to visit London after all. That is up to you!
No list of London-based films would be complete without a mention of James Bond. In the most recent installment, Skyfall, Bond’s devotion to M is put to the ultimate test. In Skyfall, Daniel Craig as 007 and Javier Bardem as Silva present us a view of London through the eyes of Mr. Bond, with concealed passageways, long free falls, and more.
The new, secret entrance to MI6’s Holborn offices may be found on Great Suffolk Street. Bond and Silva have a thrilling pursuit scene in Parliament Square if you visit the Broadgate Tower or Parliament Hill. Check out Ten Trinity Square or Primrose Street to see where Bond visited one of his hitmen. The British Secret Intelligence Service’s headquarters, the SIS Building, can be visited as well!
It’s easy to see why so many films have hailed this vibrant town, which offers free museums, a plethora of parks, chic hotels, excellent shopping, a variety of economical markets, and more. Just make sure you visit soon!