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The Ten Best Filming Locations in London | Location Agency Blog | 1st Option

The Ten Best Filming Locations in London

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Some unmissable spots for a film shoot across the Capital

Although us Londoners might take one of the world’s most iconic cities for granted, there’s nothing quite like seeing the capital on the big screen. Getting to experience the city through the lens of film or on the cinema screen can give you the much-needed reminder as to why you fell in love with London in the first place. There’s no denying, London has provided the filming locations for some of the most famous movies on the planet, including Harry Potter, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Trainspotting, The Da Vinci Code and The King’s Speech, to name a few. So if you’re a director, location scout, filmmaker or simply on the hunt for the best filming locations, London is undoubtedly the place to be. 1st Option has compiled a handy list of some of the best places to consider for your upcoming shoot.

If you want to avoid the hassle of securing a permit to film in a public place, renting out a location home is a great option. They guarantee privacy, flexibility, they look fantastic and offer all the facilities you could need. Read on to discover great filming locations in London, including parks, neighbourhoods, historic buildings and location homes, recommended by top photographers, bloggers and London location managers. 

Buckingham Palace

If you’re feeling regal, try your luck at making Buckingham Palace your filming location. As one of the last remaining royal palaces in the world and the official home of the Queen, it’s notoriously hard to secure a permit to be able to film. If you’re not feeling extraordinarily brave, you can enquire about just shooting the exterior areas. Such as The Mall, Birdcage Walk, Horse Guards Parade and St James Palace, according to Aspect Film and Video. The actual palace is rarely used on-screen, so producers have to get savvy about how to make it appear they’re in the grounds, reveals The Culture Trip.

Email film@royalparks.gsi.gov.uk or contact +44 (0)300 061 2111 for filming enquires. 

The view of Buckingham Palace from The Mall

Location home, Vertigo. 

Looking like something straight out of a Bond movie is location home Vertigo, a contemporary penthouse apartment situated in North London. This location is perfect for filming shoots due to its floor to ceiling windows throughout offering incredible panoramic views of London, which looks spectacular both day and night. 

Views of the London skyline from Vertigo

Trafalgar Square

Take a five minute stroll from Piccadilly Circus and you’ll find yourself in the tourist hotspot of Trafalgar Square. Loved by tourists and directors alike, the historic Trafalgar Square is also a famous filming location for numerous blockbusters and hit films thanks to its fountains and architecture. The square’s iconic features have attracted major films such as Captain America: The First Avenger and the latest Wonder Woman.

For permits, you can contact the Greater London Authority for the main square, Westminster City Council for the surrounding area and The National Gallery for the paved passageway between the gallery and Sainsbury Wing.

The iconic Trafalgar Square

Rylett Studios.

Rylett Studios is a West London filming location studio that provides unlimited amounts of natural light, thanks to its bright, airy design and vaulted glass ceilings throughout. Boasting a neutral, slick interior space allows a filmmaker to transform it into whatever you desire for your shoot. 

The contemporary kitchen space at Rylett Studios

The Natural History Museum

There’s an air of mystery and intrigue that hangs over The Natural History Museum. The location boasts Victorian architecture, secret corridors, ancient artefacts and historical libraries. Because of this, it has been featured in films such as The Mummy and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. If you’re after a filming location packed full of history and charm, contact the museum directly for permits. 

The fabulous vaulted entrance hall at The National History Museum

Location home, Ambleside. 

Nothing screams luxury quite like location home, Ambleside. Based outside of London in Hatfield, it’s well worth the journey. This sprawling, luxurious mansion features an interior heavy on white, marble and crystal. Thrown in is a grand entrance hall, substantial reception rooms, oriental-style garden and a Marbella inspired pool for good measure.

The deco-inspired entrance hall at Ambleside

Camden

Described by Culture Trip as the prime example of regeneration, Camden has managed to maintain its gritty and arty reputation over the years. As a result, Camden Market attracts the subcultures of London, making this North London spot a visual feast for the eyes. Make Camden your next filming location by capturing the bustling, busy market, working canal, eccentric characters and vibrant Culture. 

To secure a permit to film, contact info@camdenfilmoffice.co.uk or call 0207 620 0391.

A view of the quirky and arty Camden High Street

Studio East

Some would argue that Studio East is a filmmakers heaven. An uber-cool East London converted studio space that once was a car workshop. With enough exposed brick to fill a lifetime, the studio offers copious amounts of space and a considerable selection of unusual, playful props to add life to your filming shoot. 

Some of the many props and backdrops available at Studio East

The Tube 

Public transport and especially the tube, can make for a great location when it comes to filming. The London Underground, like many other London landmarks, is iconic. You’ll never be short of tubes to film on, because of the city’s many lines and routes. Take your pick from the Northern Line, Victoria Line, Hammersmith and City, Central Line, or more. According to Aspect, The London Underground has featured in numerous blockbuster films, including Thor: The Dark World and Skyfall. 

For filming enquiries, call +44 (0)20 3054 3039 or email redroutefilming@tfl.-gov.uk. 

The London Underground

Location home, Taylors.

If you’re after a family home to film in, look no further than Taylors. The location has an open plan contemporary living space, cinema room and double tennis courts. It’ll tick every box you need. Plus, it’s only a hop and a skip away in West London. 

The modern, open-plan kitchen at Taylors