Planning Your Own James Bond Tour of London

Get ready for explosions, gadgets, and a killer soundtrack because Bond is back. The worldwide release of Spectre is upon us and Agent 007 is tearing up the Big Smoke. The quintessentially British hero is no stranger to London locales and a number of iconic Bond scenes have been filmed in England’s capital. Read below to discover the best places to visit on an exciting James Bond tour of London.

Vauxhall Bridge

Secret_Intelligence_Service_building_-_Vauxhall_Cross_-_Vauxhall_-_London_-_from_Millbank_24042004
Secret Intelligence Service Building – Vauxhall Cross by: Tagishsimon (CC)

Witness the nucleus of the British Secret Intelligence Service, and James Bond’s employer, from the Vauxhall Bridge. The century-old construction overlooks the MI6 headquarters, an oddly distinctive building for a secretive organization, featuring over 60 different roof areas, two moats, and an untold number of underground tunnels. Several buildings have assumed the role of MI6 HQ in the Bond movies, but an accurate model appears in The World is Not Enough and we get a glimpse of the real thing in Skyfall. No spoilers here, but it plays a major part in Spectre, too.

Brompton Cemetery

Brompton Cemetery, near Earl's Court by: Malc McDonald (CC)
Brompton Cemetery, near Earl’s Court by: Malc McDonald (CC)

Remember the opulent Russian church where Natalya hides in Goldeneye? Well, the exterior shots were actually filmed some 1,750 miles away from St. Petersburg in one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries. Though it is home to around 35,000 monuments, you won’t have much trouble spotting the iconic chapel that features in the Pierce Brosnan movie. Feel free to wander around and take in the Gothic splendor or visit on a Sunday for a guided tour.

The Barbican Centre

A panorama of the Barbican Complex by: BentleyCoon (CC)
A panorama of the Barbican Complex by: BentleyCoon (CC)

This renowned arts center moonlights as the Secret Intelligence Service building—at least in Quantum of Solace, that is. The imposing structure does a surprisingly good job of acting as an impenetrable fortress of secret knowledge. In real life, it houses theaters, a symphony hall, and cinemas. Exhibits are held here regularly so allow time to pop inside on your James Bond tour of London.

Whitehall

Old War Office, Whitehall by: Paul Gillet (CC)
Old War Office, Whitehall by: Paul Gillet (CC)

The center of Her Majesty’s Government, it comes as no surprise that James Bond (Daniel Craig) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) were seen lurking around Whitehall this summer. The Spectre crew was spotted filming outside a number of important government offices, including the Treasury and Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Whitehall’s Old War Office is another MI6-HQ pretender, appearing in Octopussy, License to Kill, and A View to a Kill. You can expect some crucial scenes to take place around this prestigious zip code in the latest Craig film, so stroll around the complex, admire the neoclassical architecture, and play Bond.

Reform Club

Reform Club, London, Lobby by: alexander williams (CC)
Reform Club, London, Lobby by: alexander williams (CC)

Always wanted to order a martini (shaken not stirred) at Blades? While that prestigious gentlemen’s club may be confined to the realms of fiction, the Reform Club provides a good real-life substitute. Designed by one of the most renowned architects of the era, Charles Barry, the private members’ clubhouse was completed in 1841 and today an impressive art collection accompanies its plush furnishings. It appeared as Blades in the fencing scene of Die Another Day and as the hallway of the Foreign Office in Quantum of Solace. When the club first opened, you had to have pledged support for the Great Reform Act of 1832 to enter. No such oaths are required today but a strict dress code is enforced, so look sharp.

Stoke Park Spa

Aerial Shot of the Mansion and Repton Bridge by Durkc (CC)
Aerial Shot of the Mansion and Repton Bridge by: Durkc (CC)

Though not technically in London, this Bond site provides a nice excuse to take a trip into Buckinghamshire, just a short journey away. Treat yourself to a Stoke Park Spa package and enjoy access to the salubrious grounds of Stoke Park Hotel, where Bond and Goldfinger played 18 holes. The famous spa, set on a 1,000-year-old estate, offers the kind of luxury a Bond villain would expect, with a heated swimming pool, marble steam rooms, a tropical aquarium, and tennis courts.

The City with a License to Thrill

A trip to these English attractions allows you to live out your Bond dreams. You’ll leave with fantastic memories along with some fun snapshots in spots where famous scenes have taken place. Click on the link below for access to Inspirock’s James Bond itinerary:

Rosanna

Rosanna is a Londoner, born, bred, and based, but her wanderlust has led her to many far-flung places. She's visited over thirty countries and recently spent four months exploring the Caucasus region.
Rosanna