Sunday 2 April 2023

London Film and TV locations on a Brompton

What seems like ages now, on Sunday 5th March, I joined a select band of cyclist who normally go on Friday night rides to the coast but occasionally have rather good themed rides on a Sunday. This ride was film and television locations in London. The meeting point is usually Hyde Park Corner but as the first location was near Borough Market - which gets rather busy - we met outside London Bridge. Like many cities across the world, London has been used for countless locations for film and television. There are so many that you could probably find a reference on almost every street corner of central London. 

Passing Barbican Tube Station I could not resist getting another one of Mark Wallinger's, 'Labyrinth' artworks photographed before heading to the meeting point. 

At London Bridge Station I printed off some tickets I had booked in advance and then got a coffee before joining the group. It was a very chilly morning and I had worn several layers. After a quick talk by Ross, our ride leader of many of these rides (and nocturnal ones to the coast), we headed off to our first location only a short distance away. 

The first location was 8 Bedale Street, Southwark. The door was used in Bridget Jones's Diary as the exterior to Bridget's flat. It was from this very door that Colin Firth and Hugh Grant started their famous 'fight' scene. 

Lots of Borough Market was used in the Harry Potter films. The exterior of Arthur Hooper's top windows stood in for Harry Potter's room. Not far from this is the location where the Knight Bus dropped Harry off.

10 Trinity Square has views overlooking the Thames. It was once the headquarters of the Port of London Authority but has been a posh hotel since 2017. Its exterior has been used many times for all sorts including Kavanagh QC, The Crown, Skyfall but perhaps the greatest of the lot, The Professionals. Towards the end of the opening credits, Bodie, Cowley and Doyle can be seen walking down the steps towards the camera, ready for action. 

Leadenhall Market has been used many times, Lara Croft and in Philosopher's Stone for the start of Hagrid and Harry's back-to-school shopping trip. 

St Paul's Cathedral has been used for many locations. Several Dr Who episodes, Thor, Mary Poppins, Mission Impossible and another Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales. commonly known as the Old Bailey sits on the former site of the infamous Newgate Gaol. It has lots of film and TV credits but its most recent being, A Very English Scandal starring Hugh Grant. 

Across the road is The Viaduct Tavern. It is believed that its cellars were once used as cells for Newgate Prison and as such are said to be haunted. 

The Hatton Garden area of London has many credits under its belt. The most recent being, The Hatton Garden Job that retells the real-life events where in 2015 the underground vaults of the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit Company was burgled. 

Freemasons' Hall in Queens Street has been a Masonic meeting point since 1775. It has been used many times in popular culture. Part of the film Assassins Creed was filmed there. It was the front of Thames House - home to MI5 - on Spooks and used many times in Agatha Christie's Poirot. Some good uses here but it was also used as the location for the music video for Westlifes cover of Mandy.

The area around Roupell Street is a conservation area and is a location that is almost frozen in time. It has been used countless times for all sorts of television programmes and films. These include Call the Midwife, Doctor Who, Mr Selfridge and as the street where the Kray twins lived in the film Legend.

The Regency Cafe opened in 1946 is always busy and if you are lucky enough to get a seat without waiting, it is well worth a visit. It has been used countless times as filming locations with television series such as Judge John Deed, Rescue Me and London Spy being a few.  Its film credentials include Layer Cake, Pride and Brighton Rock.

On June 22, 1969 Judy Garland was found dead in the bathroom of her house in Cadogan Lane, Belgravia.  The are no plagues or memorials to this as subsequent owners did not want the steady stream of fans paying it a visit. 

The last stop was St James's Palace. Built on orders from Henry VIII in the 1530s it has been a London residence for several members of the Royal family. It has been used as a stand in for filming scenes that are meant to be Buckingham Palace just up the road.  

Another entertaining cycle ride and as always many thanks to Ross for leading. (He really could do this professionally).

Until next time, stay safe out there people!

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