An alternative way to visit the city is just move on the ‘tracks’ of the movies that were shot in London and discover some places in the capital less visited by tourists, but that have now entered the collective imagination.
“Notting Hill” the movie takes its name from the neighbourhood where it was set and it’s a romantic comedy with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.
The travel library in which the protagonist works was found in the film at number 142 of Portobello Road, where today there is a shoe shop.
To inspire the authors, however, was the real travel library The Travel Bookshop, a few hundred meters away.
The blue door of the protagonist's flat (now black because the original was sold for charity) is on Westbourn Park Road.
Hugh Grant became an international star with “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” with Andie MacDowell.
The film was also filmed in London and in the surrounding counties of Surrey and Buckinghamshire.
The church where Charles, at the end of the film, gets married is Smithfield in London city centre.
One of the final scenes of the “Da Vinci Code,” based on the homonymous bestseller by Dan Brown, was set in Westminster Abbey.
“Closer,” the film by Julia Roberts, was filmed in the National Portrait Gallery restaurant, which boasts a splendid view of the city skyline. In this film one can also see Sea Life, the London Aquarium, and St. Paul's Cathedral. One can see Greenwich and its Old Royal Naval College, during the riot scenes in the epic musical “Les Miserables” and the hilarious scene at the beginning of the famous movie “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
From my research, I found out that the College is also present in the exciting “Gulliver's Travels.” From red telephone booths to double-decker buses to the Tower Bridge and the Big Ben, the city's icons appear in many films filmed in the capital such as “28 Days Later” and “James Bond Skyfall.”
In the apocalyptic scenario of “28 Days later,” a horror film, the protagonist Jim walks down the street through a completely deserted Westminster Bridge to the Big Ben and the Parliament Building.
I wish I knew how it was possible to film a scene like that because these places are usually crowded with people!
The famous London Skyline has appeared in film numbers and is home to famous palaces. The Tower Bridge is a landmark present in many films such as “Fast and the Furious,” “Mission Impossible,” “Tomb Raider” and “The Mummy Returns.”
Bridget Jones was here too and in a scene from the film “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” you can see the girl crossing the turret bridge.
Trafalgar Square, as one of the most popular symbols in the world, has repeatedly been the location of numerous films and TV shows including “Captain America” and the final episode of the American television series “Ugly Betty.”
The famous London underground, our dear Tube, has been featured in numerous films, including “About Time” and “Love Actually.”
The Tube also plays a key role in Gwyneth Paltrow's film “Sliding Doors” because her fate depends on her timing in taking the next train.
During the movie “The Bourne Ultimatum,” some scenes were filmed in the Charing Cross Tube station, while for “James Bond Skyfall” the shots were filmed at various locations throughout the London Tube system.
Although most of these films are perhaps American and not British Cinema, I do recommend watching them to feel a bit more in ‘London mode.’