Have you heard of the spy who loved London? James Bond is one of the coolest exports Britain has ever produced, but he’s not always off in Russia stopping a villain or seducing a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas.
Start by staying in accommodation near Hyde Park, to get yourself right at the heart of the action for the day of super-sleuthing ahead. Walk a leisurely distance from your hotel to find the author of the Bond books; Ian Fleming was born in this London district and has a famous heritage blue plaque at 22b Ebury Street.
Recreate a scene from Spectre by boarding a Thames Rocket boat and getting to speed along the river. It’s even the same route that Bond took! Thrill seekers young and old alike will love stepping into their hero’s shoes.
If you’re a Bond megafan, take a walking tour of the capital. This will provide you with some amazing insider knowledge and behind the scenes trivia of some of the most iconic James Bond actors like Sean Connery and Roger Moore, as well as letting you explore some of the government buildings where Bond has shared many an argument with M. You’ll even get to see the Old War Office Building in Whitehall—not only was it used by past governments, it’s been cast as MI6 HQ in three Bond films. The more recent Daniel Craig era of Bond, though, sees the location change to the Barbican arts venue.
Park Lane is where the city’s brightest stars come to see and be seen, so why not take in some film history as you stroll down the road? Les Ambassadeurs club here is actually where we first saw Bond for the first time, sitting down at the fake ‘Le Cercle’ casino in Dr. No.
The day isn’t over yet, as Bond has visited the English capital many times in his tenure as 007. He’s taken in time at the National Gallery, specifically the Sackler room where he meets Q in Skyfall. See if you can recreate the scene where Bond gets his new equipment and is grumpy that there’s no exploding pen to be found.
Finally, head to Victoria Square, where Ian Fleming finished the last twelve Bond books in only eleven years before he died in 1964. It’s located very close to our accommodation near Hyde Park, so it can be your last stop before heading back to your hotel for a quick chat with Miss Moneypenny—or to relax before your next mission.
If you’re in the mood to keep living like Bond, though, why not treat yourself to some luxury and book yourself space at the Paddington Court Executive Rooms? It’s what Bond would do—if he wasn’t being chased down the river Thames by a murderous flunkie of the bad guy who’s got the briefcase with the bomb inside it.
The next day can be taken up with the more normal sights in the films—like Westminster Abbey, City Hall, and, of course, the headquarters of MI5.