Filming in London: The City Behind Many Cinematic Masterpieces

London is a beautiful city; regarded across the globe as a significant capital, known for its bustling streets, booming business, and vintage red phone boxes, it is no wonder that the city is often selected by filmmakers to host a collection of the world’s best actors for some of the best movies throughout history.

From artificial studio sets to the real, authentic beauty of London, the city has set the scenery for some iconic films over the years, so if you’re planning a visit and think of yourself as a film fanatic, here is a small collection of some of the best shooting spots in the UK capital, with some examples of some incredible scenes to which they set the background.

Leavesden Studios in Watford, London

Naturally, for sci-fi films, war films, or any other film that requires more dangerous or high-maintenance production than just a beautiful, bustling street, the Leavesden Studio, owned by the acclaimed Warner Bros., is a perfect location for high-budget media productions. Having hosted Sherlock Holmes and Sleepy Hollow, amongst other classics, the studio is ripe for blockbusters.

More recently, the brand-new sound stages and accompanying LED rooms that were added to the studio were utilized by none other than the cast of the Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon. Critically acclaimed, the show has been making waves in the film industry since its release earlier this year. So, even if you struggle to keep up with the interconnected, slightly messed up family tree of the Targaryen name (this is nicely cleared up with ExpressVPNs illustrative diagram on the matter), you can make up for it by splashing your knowledge regarding the whereabouts of their shooting locations. One might say that the indoor studio is perfect for the cold weather that is fast approaching – ‘winter is coming’, after all.

Kings Cross Station

Needing no introduction to UK citizens who are (or should be!) well accustomed to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the Kings Cross Station in London is a location permeating through the imagination of the young generations raised on these stories, whether they know it or not. Famed by J.K Rowling’s spin on the station, Kings Cross appears across several of the movies in what is widely regarded as the biggest film franchise to come out of the UK.

If you do plan on visiting, make sure you bring your owl, your wand, and definitely your trolley full of equipment for the year at Hogwarts. And, while it may look fantastical in the films, the wardens would probably prefer if you didn’t run at the walls of the station between platforms nine and 10 at full speed; I’m sure they’ve heard and seen it all by now, having seen over 20 years worth of Potter-heads try the trend. Seriously, though, while the real magic may be contained within the pages of her books, an incredible insight into the inspiration behind the wizarding world that Rowling creates can be gained by seeing this location, so it’s definitely worth a visit for fans of the franchise.


Westminster Bridge

As one of the most recognizable locations in the UK, let alone London, this bridge has appeared in a multitude of TV and film throughout its existence. Notably, it has seen the likes of Doctor Who and his accomplice Rose in Season one – who are joined by an alien UFO later on in the series, too. Perhaps its most famous feature came in Daniel Craig’s venture onto the big screen, as reported in this article on Mayfair London. Briefly stepping away from the most luxurious casinos in the world, Bond finds himself on Westminster bridge in Spectre; a helicopter crashes into the bridge in an epic action scene embodying the cut-throat nature of the film and complemented by the beautiful backdrop of London (which gets only slightly pulverised during the film).

To narrow such an iconic, stunning city down to three locations is far from extensive and far-reaching, omitting dozens of awesome spots across the city. However, limited to the confinements of an article and not a one-thousand-page brochure, this snapshot of London is a great starting point to get an understanding of the city’s representation in film throughout time – if you’re in the area, be sure to check these out.