Seeing the streets of my old home London again in Kingsman: The Secret Service inspired me to create a list of my 5 favourite films shot on location in London…
5. James Bond: Skyfall (2012)
After all, the galleries (both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, which are right next to each other) are one of my favourite and most visited places in London ever. I've spent ages there looking at ages of beautiful art.
There are two good reasons for every London visitor should to check out the two National Galleries: a) because they are so centrally located just next to Trafalgar Square and b) because they have free entrance!
4. Notting Hill (1999)
A true classic! Julia Roberts playing a world-famous actress meets a small independent bookshop owner (Hugh Grant), who seems to be the only one in the world who doesn't know that she is world-famous.
The film about this posh part of London most likely gave the tourism industry a big boost. Rightfully so. Those white Victorian houses (and small antique shops) are very beautiful indeed.
For the true London experience, Portobello Market and Notting Hill are always worth a visit. And if you want to feel like you're in the Caribbean, but can't afford to go that far right now, just head to the Notting Hill Carnival, which takes places every year during the UK bank holiday weekend at the end of August.
3. Bend It Like Beckham (2002)
The biggest dream of Jess (Parminder Nagra), the main character of the film, is to play in a girls' football team. She befriends Jules (Keira Knightley) and they both fancy their football coach with the sexy Irish accent (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).
Jess' traditional Indian parents are of course totally against all this "football nonsense".
A lot of the filming took place in Hounslow in West London. It's an area close to Heathrow Airport with a large community of British people with Indian roots.
The girls' football team also embarks on a trip to Hamburg, Germany, for an important match (and a heated night out…). I think all that multiculturalism captures London's spirit really well… and is super funny, too!
2. Bridget Jones' Diary (2001)
Another classic! Whenever I it had been raining and there were some big puddles and I was near one of those red double-decker buses, I thought of Bridget (Renée Zellweger). And about the fact I didn't want to end up totally soaked like her.
But then she stumbled into Mr. Darcy's (Colin Firth) arms of course, so maybe it wouldn't have been so bad after all? In any case, Bridget Jones is a London institution! Even though the actress is actually American…
Read my film review of the newest addition to the family of 3 films – Bridget Jones Baby (2016)
1. Notes on a Scandal (2006)
This is one of my all-time favourites with the marvellous Dame Judi Dench and equally amazing Cate Blanchett as teachers and a cheeky 15-year-old working class pupil (Andrew Simpson) who managers to seduce his art teacher Sheba Hart (Blanchett).
But by fulfilling the ultimate student's dream of sleeping with his hot teacher, he caused every teacher's biggest nightmare for Sheba… What makes it even worse is that Sheba also has to negotiate with her possessive colleague Barbara (Dench) to not spill her raunchy secret…
The film itself shows a different side of London than that most tourists will now. The glittering posh parts like Notting Hill are not so much on display (except for the grand house that Blanchett's character lives in as she is pretty posh by birth).
Instead it shows us a lot of council estate, a run-down state schools and North London's biggest park Hampstead Heath! I found the exact bench that Dench and Blanchett sat on and enjoyed the view over London's City when they needed a break from teaching. Splendid indeed!
Read my whole film review of Notes on a Scandal.
What are your favourite London films? Let me know in the comments below!