Location focus: London

London is one of the most iconic cities in the world known for being a melting pot of diversity, language, and culture. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that it is one of the top filming locations in the world. Not just for its studios, such as Pinewood: the home of some of the biggest movies of all time including the ‘James Bond’ franchise, it has also hosted legendary directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick and David Lean. A few of London’s other studios include: Leavesden Studios where ‘Harry Potter’ was filmed; Elstree studios which was home to ‘Paddington’ and ‘The Crown’ and 3 Mills Studios which is the Cities biggest studio set in a 10- acre historical and picturesque island site.

The city itself offers numerous incredible locations leaving filmmakers spoilt for choice. Just look at some of the examples below:

  • Tower Bridge: Possibly one of the most iconic bridges in the world. This recognisable landmark has provided the background for numerous films including:Fast and Furious 6, Mission Impossible, Tomb Raider, The Mummy Returns and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Fun Fact: it is rumoured that the American Millionaire William Randolph Hearst, accidentally bought London Bridge thinking he was buying the far more famous Tower Bridge to ship back to America, though we don’t believe everything we hear!

  • South Bank: the perfect spot alongside the Thames, showcasing the London Eye, Millennium Bridge, OXO Tower and the Tate Modern. Due to its ever changing skyline, it is one of the Cities most popular sites for filming, with movies such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World and Fast and Furious 6 shooting scenes here.

  • The Tube: Whilst it couldn’t be described as most Londoner’s favourite place – ‘hell hath no fury’ like anyone stuck on the Central line in summer – it has however proven to be a really popular filming location. Movies featuring the tube and tube stations include: About Time, Love Actually, Sliding Doors as well as The Bourne Ultimatum and with its natural backdrops and cityscapes, iconic Studios, attractive tax incentives and now world famous post-production houses and VFX studios, there really is no surprise as to why the film industry is booming here.


So, if you are considering London as your next filming location here are some tips you might find useful:

To film in public spaces:

  • Don’t forget to get permission from the appropriate local authority/ council if you plan on filming on any public land/ buildings/ roads/parking. Click here for further guidance from the UK screen agencies .

  • Police co-operation is needed for any filming on public highways, use of special effects especially explosives and fire arms. If you plan on using replicas, permission is still needed to portray any uniformed police officers/ vehicles.

  • Written permission is needed to film inside a shop or restaurant and showing branding/ trademarks.

  • Permission is not needed for passers-by if you feature their faces in a film. Under UK law, the copyright of film shot in a public place resides with the filmmaker.

  • Find out more here.

Want to hear from us via our newsletter?

Sign up here