London's 5 Best Film & TV Locations


Written by Poppy Green
18 Sunday 18th March 2012

The recent sale of the house featured in the family blockbuster Home Alone for $1.58million (one million less than expected) got us all thinking about how cool it would be to live in a film location. Imagine thrusting your genitals about in your bedroom whilst tourists out the window attempt to get a windmill-free photo of your gaff. It’s a beautiful thought, but unfortunately only a pipedream for those of us without the cash to buy up these cinematic spots. London, however, is heaving with television and movie locations for you to go and visit. Whatever genre or quality of cinematic experience you prefer, there’s probably somewhere nearby for you to go and snap yourself beside. And then post it on Facebook and spend the next two days being dogged by notifications from people who hate/love the respective film featured in the photo.

The Inbetweeners Movie

You’re very lucky today boys and girls, because your esteemed author was actually featured in every teenagers default 4od choice, The Inbetweeners Movie. In the film the lads go on a trip to Magaluf where banter ensues to such an extent that everyone has a haemorrhage, and then everyone laughs at each other for getting all upset over a haemorrhage, and then someone gets a boner. Or something like that anyway, when I watched the film I was basically just keeping a look out for my own face in a montage. In this montage I am dancing like an idiot in a club in sunny Spain. Or am I? In fact, I can reveal that the mainly empty nightclub scenes in the film were shot in West London’s premier meeting place for the people you don’t want to meet – Liquid in Uxbridge. As glamorous as it looks, it actually smells like piss and stale cigarette smoke. The latter has apparently being hanging around since before the smoking ban. Inexplicable.

Do: Pull some shapes and fart in a girls face.

Don’t: Swallow a bag of narcotics and start twitching.




Cult comedy Spaced started the careers of cornetto-botherers Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright. Long before Michael Cera was 1-uping in Scott Pilgrim, and Pegg and Frost were lounging about in LA, this trio were standing outside this fantastically awkward looking house in Tufnell Park filming some establishing shots for their Channel 4 sitcom. What’s beautiful about this location is that the house is genuinely interesting. Unlike a lot of locations in central London (most of the latest Bond films have a scene or two tucked in around the tourist clogged streets of Westminter), this is a little bit more Suburban and out of the way, but definitely worth the trek for a look.

Do: Bring your dog and pretend he’s ‘Colin’.

Don’t: Attempt to ring the doorbell and ask Brian about his new art show.


Harry Potter

No matter how uncool you may consider the Harry Potter franchise, you’ve gotta admit that you’d fancy a peek down Diagon Alley if you had the chance. Therefore, instead of hiking to Kings Cross where you’ll be suffocated by sweaty tourists, try going to one of the two Leaky Cauldrons that London has to offer. For the original Philosopher’s Stone edition head to Leadenhall Market, and for the Azkaban version to Borough Market. The respective optician’s and florist may not be keen on you closing your eyes and crossing your fingers as you go over the threshold, but when you open your eyes to the damp dark interior of the Leaky Cauldron, who’ll be laughing then, eh?

Do: Bring a wand.

Don’t: Dress up. When you meet the actual wizards they’ll think you look ridiculous.


Black Books

The external shots for Graham Linehan and Dylan Moran's Black Books were shot at a real bookshop in Bloombury called Collinge & Clark, whose owners are now regularly harrassed by drunk and incoherent fans posing on their doorstep. It's hard to blame them when there's a tinge of Bernard Black lurking in all of us, wine bottle clutched to the chest. For a location that surprisingly provides an ounce of what you expect from the TV show (i.e, the opportunity to purchase books), you can't go far wrong with a trip to the UK's favourite home of misery and intoxication.

Do: Make wine lollies.

Don't: Not make wine lollies.


The King’s Speech

With four Oscars, seven Baftas and a thoroughly respectable subject matter, it’s hard to envision The King’s Speech was filmed anywhere untoward. However, last year it transpired that Lionel’s office has previously hosted some less kosher activities. Esteemed pornographers UK Naked Men hired out the room for use in their own cinematic ventures – and 33 Portland Place is available for you to hire too! Owned by an eccentric business man, and only a short walk or even shorter limo ride from Great Portland Street Station, this venue if frequented by celebrities having sordid and opulent parties. Ok, so maybe it’s not just as easy as the other locations to take a peek at, but if you become BFFs with Kate Moss or win the lottery you should be getting a private tour in no time.

Do: Have a fumble against that famous wallpaper.

Don’t: ... forget to go to the STI clinic afterwards.

Where's your favourite film or TV location in London? 

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