Top Five Film-Inspired Tours in London

April 29, 2010

Ever been inspired to visit a location because you liked the look of it on a cinema screen? You’re not alone; a recent survey compiled by shows that almost one in five British travelers have been inspired to visit locations that they’ve seen in movies.

17% of travelers said they’ve been inspired to travel to particular destinations – including New York, Paris and London – after seeing those locations in film sets. Women were more likely to visit film inspired locations, with 20% of women admitting to being screenspired versus 14% of men. The under 20s were the most likely age group to make a film based trip.

From the brilliant mind of Sherlock Holmes to the suave and sophisticated spy James Bond, these characters have captivated fans for years. Film-inspired tours can help give fans an insight into their stories and origins, especially those movies based on adaptations from novels which obviously rely on imagination to set the scene!

Location tours in London, such as Notting Hill, Baker Street and the world famous Abbey Road studios, where the Beatles recorded many of their most famous songs, can be a great way of exploring the scenery and history of your favorite films, television shows and musicians.

London is one of the prime locations for film tourism, having given us some of the most memorable characters in film and literature, as well as acting as a backdrop for a number of cult classics.

Here is our pick of five of the best film character based experiences in London.

James Bond Boat Trip
Price: Adults £29 / Children £16*
Duration: Approx. 1 hour
Location: Embankment Pier
Nearest Tube Station: Embankment

The opening scenes of Pierce Brosnan’s outing as the famous double agent – The World Is Not Enough – show Bond engaged in a thrilling boat chase down the River Thames, evading a host of baddies before a dramatic confrontation in a hot-air balloon atop the O2 Arena (known then as the Millennium Dome)

Fans of Bond will get a real kick out of this particular tour, from your seat on the boat you’ll get a unique view of many familiar London landmarks, with the route taking you from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge. Along the way you will learn more about Bond – from his lifestyle, his many missions and gain an insight into the world of Bond’s character and his creator Ian Fleming.

Harry Potter Walks
Price: free
Location: Starts from Temple Underground Station
Nearest Tube Station: Temple

J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard has become one of the most familiar characters in British literature and film within the last decade. London is intrinsically linked with both the books and the movies, and there are a number of locations in and around London that have acted as backdrops to the blockbuster film adaptations.

Walking tours around these locations, such as this free tour, include treasure hunts and fun facts about Harry Potter locations, providing a fun and insightful experience for the whole family. Along the way you’ll find a number of treasure hunt clues, points of interest and quizzes to keep the kids entertained throughout the tour.

Starting outside Temple station, the tour takes you around several locations used in the films – such as Australia House (Gringotts Bank), Leadenhall Market (Diagon Alley), Whitehall (The Ministry of Magic) and Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station.

Platform 9 3/4 made famous by Harry Potter

Platform 9 3/4 made famous by Harry Potter

Follow the above link to download your free PDF, which gives more information about the tour, from the starting point outside Temple station to locations en-route to the finish at Kings Cross Station – where you can snap a photo at Platform 9¾.

Sweeney Todd at the London Dungeon
Price: Adults £22.50 / Children £16.50 – considerable savings are available by booking online in advance.
Location: Tooley Street, London
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge

The demon barber of Fleet Street is a popular character for London ghost walks, particularly around Halloween, and has been recently portrayed by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s movie musical about one of London’s most notorious and well known legends.

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon

The London Dungeon in London Bridge has an exhibit dedicated to Todd, where visitors are greeted by Mrs Lovett at her infamous pie shop, before taking a seat in one of the chairs of the infamous barber shop. Using animatronics and binaural special effects, visitors can experience the feeling as if Todd is right behind them giving them a close shave – which can feel scarily real!

These spooky walks lead you through the streets of Piccadilly and Fleet Street during which you can experience the shivers of Todd’s infamous barbershop. A short walk across the road will bring you to Bell Yard, just off Fleet Street, the former location of Miss Lovett’s pie shop, where his partner in crime helped dispose of his victims.

Sherlock Holmes Museum
Price: Adults £6 / Children (under 16) £4
Location: 211b Baker Street
Nearest Tube Station: Baker Street

One of the most famous literary detectives, Sherlock Holmes lived in a lodging house at 221b Baker Street, London, where you will now find a museum dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional sleuth and his companion, who acted as a narrator for most of the Holmes stories.

Tours of the museum help bring to life the simple splendour of Holmes’ Victorian dwellings, with exhibitions that help give an insight into his brilliant mind, the tools of his trade and a collection of wax character models that help recreate some of the scenes from the novels, all within the style of a Victorian study, located on the third floor of the museum.

Visitors can pose in Holmes’ armchair for pictures, see Dr Watson’s bedroom on the second floor and browse exhibits containing personal possessions, handwritten case notes from his published adventures and some of Holmes’ private papers.

True fans of Sherlock Holmes may also wish to visit some of the locations used in the recent movie adaptation. These include St Paul’s Cathedral, Brompton Cemetery, just off Finborough Road and West Brompton (nearest tube station is West Brompton) – all of which have featured in the latest movie adaptation.

Charles Dickens Walks
Price: free
Location: Starts from Chancery Lane Underground Station
Nearest Tube Station: Chancery Lane

Charles Dickens is one of the UK’s most famous authors, over the years many of his works have been adapted for television dramas, Hollywood movies and West End theatre shows, including world famous tales such as Bleak House, Little Dorrit and A Christmas Carol.

Dickensian walking tours allow fans to explore many of the locations around London that feature in his novels or have helped to influence his writing including the site of the original Old Curiosity Shop, Temple Bar (A Tale Of Two Cities) and Gray’s Inn (Great Expectations).

After a stroll round the landmarks of Dickensian London, pay a visit to the Charles Dickens Museum in Doughty Street (a 10 minute walk from Chancery Lane Tube Station) to learn more about Dickens and many of the characters from his works. Discover the origins and personalities of Pip and Ebenezer Scrooge and their roles within these old tales, whilst relaxing in the décor of a Victorian drawing room. Entry to the museum costs £6 for adults and £3 for children.

*All prices are correct at time of writing

Contributed by David Collins of the London Hotels team at

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3 Responses to Top Five Film-Inspired Tours in London

  1. Manjinder Singh on January 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Awesome article and nice pictures, I am regular visitor of this website, keep up the good work, and I will be a regular visitor for a very long time.

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  2. Nathan Heath on October 12, 2011 at 1:22 AM

    Theres actually alot more TV and Film related stuff in London. You didnt mention BBC Tours or the Harry Potter Bus Tour

    • John Traveler on October 22, 2011 at 4:52 AM

      You are right. There are many more things to do in London, but I restricted it to purely touristy things.

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