The James Bond Franchise is the second-longest running British film series (second only to the Carry On films which have around 30/32 films under their belt) but will surely eventually take the title as they show no signs of stopping. The city of London itself has always been one of the biggest playgrounds for the Bond films as they do have the highest budgets of any other British film series and make good use of it every time. However, the majority of the locations are in a studio of course, or in the home counties such as Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire. To keep things simple, I’m going to focus on well known James Bond Locations in London itself (by no means all of them) that you can still see today (as the London of Dr No (1962) unfortunately no longer exists).
James Bond Locations in London
SIS Building, as seen from Goldeneye (1995) onwards
I honestly thought this building was 100% fake and it took loads of convincing to prove me otherwise. I see pictures of it and it just looks like a graphic design, then I see models of it on display at the Bond in Motion exhibition and that cements it’s fake-ness further. Then I read it’s called the SIS building (i.e. the British Secret Intelligence Service otherwise known as MI6) and I think someone’s having a good joke on Wikipedia. Nope, it exists and it is the SIS building, otherwise known as MI6. And in the most recent films it is also MI6’s HQ. Lol. Gotta give points to Bond for it’s verisimilitude. The building is also right on the banks of the River Thames which has featured in loads of Bond films.
Parliament Square as seen on Skyfall (2012)
Parliament Square is one of those places you just know you’ve seen a thousand times even if it’s never been in real life (I think it was in Parks and Recreation of all things). In James Bond, it’s most famous for being a location in Skyfall where Bond and Silva have a car chase through it like they’re just looking for an ASBO.
Buckingham Palace as seen on Die Another Day (2002)
Of course one of the most famous Palaces in the world was bound to feature on a Bond film sooner or later, after all Bond serves at Her Majesty’s pleasure, hope she doesn’t mind him parachuting over her house whenever he fancies.
Millennium Dome as seen on The World is Not Enough (1999)
An absolute shocker of an entertainment venue when it was launched at the turn of the millennium, now the much more successful O2 arena and a key component of the Eastenders opening title map, this hideousness of a building had the great opportunity of being a Bond film when Bond chases a girl to the Dome and the whole thing ends in a blaze.
Somerset House as seen on Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Somerset house and it’s Courtyard is in an area of London called the Strand, kinda near Covent Garden, otherwise known as a good place to go ice skating near Christmas or watch films outside in August. Though this location would be easily identifiable by any Londoner, it’s never played itself in any film. It stood in for St Petersburg in Goldeneye and as the Ministry of Defence building in Tomorrow Never Dies.
Les Ambassadeurs Club as seen on Dr No (1962)
Thankfully one London location from classic Bond definitely still exists in the original location, though it’s probably had a coat of paint since the early 60s and you’d have to have a fat wallet to get in. Les Ambassadeurs stands in for Le Cercle, a very exclusive casino for those with the means.
Do you know any James Bond Film Locations in London (city centre!) that I’ve missed?