Home England 7 Recognizable Sites in Pop Culture and Film in London

7 Recognizable Sites in Pop Culture and Film in London

by AIFS Abroad
AIFS Study Abroad in London student poses at Platform 9 3/4 at the beginning of her study abroad experience.

Sure, it may not appear in as much pop culture as, say, Los Angeles or New York, but due to its unmistakable character, when a scene is in London, you can very much tell. Visiting places featured in pop culture is a great way to explore the city. Fill your camera roll with some of London’s most iconic locations from movies, TV shows and even classic literature.

Here are some of the most recognizable places in London if you’re a fan of pop culture (Warning: spoilers ahead!): 

The Black Prince – Kingsman 

If you’ve seen the posh-accented action Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), you’re probably familiar with this pub. It’s where Colin Firth as “Galahad” comes to recruit Eggsy into a private intelligence service called the Kingsman. While there, a bar brawl ensues, where Galahad all but destroys the bar in the process. Luckily, the tables and glasses have been restored, and it’s a great place to stop in after a long day at your London internship for some fish and chips. 

Old Royal Naval College – Various 

The heart of Maritime Greenwich, this marvel has appeared in countless movies due to its distinctively British architecture. In fact, it’s one of the most popular film locations in London, and arguably the world. You may have seen the college in everything from Les Misérables, Thor: The Dark World, Patriot Games, Shanghai Knights, The Mummy Returns, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and of course, The King’s Speech

Old Royal Navy College, London
Old Royal Navy College

The Blue Door – Notting Hill 

One of the most beloved romantic comedies sent in the city, much of what you see in the movie Notting Hill is still along Portobello Road, including the Portobello Road Market and the Rosemead Gardens. It’s also home to one of the most iconic scenes in the movie, “The Blue Door,” the door where travel writer William Thacker opens to reveal hundreds of reporters at his doorstep, vying for a chance to capture an image and his famous lover Anna Scott. 

Notting Hill, London
Notting Hill

Les Amabassadeurs – Dr. No (James Bond)

The most quotable line in the series was said for the first time in the first film here. Sean Connery as the intrepid, steely-eyed 007 attends the casino and plays a round of baccarat chemin de fer against his lovely female lead, Sylvia Trench. When asked who he is, he responds cooly, “Bond. James Bond”. And for die hard Beatle fans, the casino is also where band filmed scenes from A Hard Day’s Night.

Trafalgar Square, London
Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square – Various

Historically, this public square in Westminster is meant to commemorate the 1805 British naval victory over Napoleon in Cape Trafalgar, but anglophiles might recognize the location from the Swinging London days of the 1960s, where it was featured in films such as The Avengers (not the one you’re thinking of), Casino Royale (not the Daniel Craig movie), and the original Doctor Who TV series. It’s also known for being where several scenes of the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four take place. 

South Bank, London
South Bank, London

South Bank — Various 

Perhaps due it being one of the city’s entertainment hubs, this district has been the setting of over 70 films, including About Time and James Bond’s Spectre. It’s also the host of London’s Festival of Love, so naturally many rom-coms are shot there, including the holiday classic Love Actually. 

King's Cross Station, London
King’s Cross Station

King’s Cross Station – Harry Potter 

It would be forbidden to not mention perhaps one of the most iconic spots in London, Platform 9 ¾. Even if you’re just a casual fan of the movies and books, you must take a picture with Harry’s cart already halfway through the wall, with Hedwig dutifully in his cage. You can find it, well, between Platforms 9 and 10 of course. Then afterwards make sure you check out the Harry Potter London store next door, designed to look like Ollivander’s wand shop. 

Study abroad or intern abroad in London, where pop culture lovers will be chuffed to bits! 

If you love the way London looks in scenes from pop culture, you’ll love it even more in real life! AIFS Abroad offers study abroad and international internship programs in the England’s capital city. With inclusions such as tuition, housing, insurance, excursions and activities, on-site staff, and emergency support, you’ll have a stress-free global education experience. Ready to step into your favorite movies and TV shows? 

Pin image: Buildings of Notting Hill neighborhood in London, England with text overlay "Recognizable Sites in Pop Culture and Film in London:
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