Magical moments in London
Adding a touch of magic to London’s busy streets, many scenes from the quintessentially British film franchise Harry Potter were shot in the UK’s capital. In the City of London, its beautiful red and gold storefronts of Leadenhall Market were transformed into the bustling shopping district of Diagon Alley. King's Cross Station served as the gateway to the Hogwarts Express while Great Scotland Yard, a 20-minute walk from Brown’s Hotel, became the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Visit London Zoo and you may well suppress a smile as you recall the scene in which Dudley Dursley gets stuck in the reptile house.
Linked to Britain’s best-known fictional spy – Bond, James Bond – London frequently makes an appearance in his films. Notable landmarks you can visit, hot on the heels of 007, include the Old War Office on Whitehall, the M16 building on Albert Embankment, Somerset House and the National Gallery (sit in Room 34 and contemplate Turner’s painting of HMS Temeraire to be in Bond’s exact spot). Worth a visit for its excellent arts programme, the Barbican Centre appeared in Quantum of Solace and was destroyed in Skyfall while 2015’s Spectre brought us to Bond’s own flat, at 1 Stanley Gardens in Notting Hill.
While you’re in west London you can recreate scenes from Notting Hill around this charming corner of the city. Famously, the colourful neighbourhood serves as a backdrop to many of the shots, including the bustling Portobello Road, where William Thacker’s travel bookshop lies, as well as the iconic blue door at 280 Westbourne Park Road. Less well-known are the film’s scenes captured at the picturesque Kenwood House, a historic mansion located on Hampstead Heath. You can easily spend a day wandering the glorious parkland or exploring the great house and admiring the artwork and stately rooms on display.