One of the coolest free things to do in London is to visit the film locations that have appeared on the big screen over the years. Take a break from searching Central London hotels with triple rooms to check out the best London film locations that you can visit for free!
London King’s Cross
There are many filming locations for the popular Harry Potter film series. Many of these do carry an admission fee – such as ZSL London Zoo and the Studio Tour. However, you can visit Platform 9 ¾ at London King’s Cross Station. It is free to pose with the luggage trolley as it merges into the platform wall. This spot gets busy so we recommend making the journey early from Hotel Bayswater Inn.
The 1999 blockbuster starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant was filmed in the West London neighbourhood of Notting Hill. You will recognise the streets but film buffs should make a beeline for the Notting Hill Bookshop as well as the Blue Door at 280 Westbourne Park Road. The former is the shop where William met Anna and the Blue Door is his house. You can visit the neighbourhood for free but we recommend treating yourself to breakfast in Bayswater London while you’re in this area.
Old Royal Naval College
The majestic Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich has made several appearances on the silver screen. You may recognise the Georgian facade from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Thor: The Dark World, Les Miserables, and The Crown Netflix series. Greenwich in general makes for a terrific family day out.
Buckingham Palace is not only a typical filming location but it’s also one of the ultimate landmarks to visit at least once. James Bond Die Another Day is one film that received authorisation to film there – for one day only. However, due to limited access, many films are actually filmed elsewhere and then edited to look as though they were filmed at the Queen’s official London residence and office. Book a hotel near Buckingham Palace so that you can visit early to avoid the crowds.
Postman’s Park is a lesser-known filming location and attraction in the City of London. The park featured in Closer where Natalie Portman and Jude Law’s characters met. Portman’s character introduces herself as “Alice Ayers” although the name is in fact borrowed from the memorial in the park. This is a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to save others. The park is named as it was frequented by workers at the old General Post Office during their lunch break. If you stay at the Hotel Bayswater Inn we recommend making the effort to visit as it’s utterly serene.
Paddington Station was used as the setting for the 2014 film Paddington about a Peruvian bear who finds home with the kindly Brown family. You can visit the iconic station itself and track down a bronze of the loveable bear. If you’re travelling to London with children in town, Paddington and its surroundings offer fantastic Central London hotels with triple rooms.