Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd, Oliver Twist and James Bond. What do they have in common, besides a glittering career in Hollywood?
London, the city that’s rich in history and full of film-inspired tours.
Here’s our pick of five of the best “screenspiration” tours in London.
Location: Starts from Temple Underground Station
Nearest Tube Station: Temple
Harry Potter is one of the most famous literary figures of the past decade, and this walking tour and treasure hunt is great for kids who want to explore some of the places they’ve seen in the films. Best of all – it’s free!
Starting outside Temple station, the tour visits Australia House, which was used for filming the inside of Gringotts Bank, Leadenhall Market where Diagon Alley scenes were shot, Whitehall, which was the entrance to the Ministry of Magic, and of course Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station.
There are also a number of clues, quizzes, activities and points of interest along the way to keep children entertained throughout the tour.
Adults £29 / Children £16*
Duration: Approx. 1 hour
Location: Embankment Pier
Nearest Tube Station: Embankment
This particular Bond tour starts in a speedboat and recreates the thrill of those opening scenes from Pierce Brosnan’s The World Is Not Enough when 007 charges along the River Thames and ends up falling from a hot-air balloon onto the top of the O2 Arena, also known as the Millennium Dome.
From the boat, you’ll see many familiar London landmarks between Canary Wharf and Tower Bridge before the captain turns around, opens up the throttle and returns to the dock at high-speed, all to the backdrop of the famous Bond theme tune!
Along the way you will learn more about the world of MI5, Bond and a little about his creator, Ian Fleming. You’ll also pass MI6 headquarters along the way.
Location: Starts from Chancery Lane Underground Station
Nearest Tube Station: Chancery Lane
Charles Dickens is one of the UK’s most famous literary figures and several of his works have been brought to the screen, such as Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol.
Walk past the Old Curiosity Shop, which inspired a novel of the same name and London’s Inns of Court, which featured in Great Expectations.
After a stroll around what’s left of Dickensian London, pay a visit to the Charles Dickens Museum at Doughty Street, 10 minutes from Chancery Lane Tube Station. Entry costs £6 for adults and £3 for children.
Adults £6 / Children (under 16) £4
Location: 211b Baker Street
Nearest Tube Station: Baker Street
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective and his assistant, Dr. Watson, used to live at 221b Baker Street, where today a museum celebrates the fictional sleuth and his companion. Tours of the museum bring Holmes’ Victorian dwellings to life through exhibitions that give an insight into the detective and his brilliant mind.
You can visit the detective’s study and pose in his armchair for pictures and then read a multitude of handwritten notes from his published adventures and Holmes’ private papers. The third floor contains wax models, which replicate a number of scenes from the stories.
True fans of Sherlock Holmes may also wish to visit some of the locations used in the recent film adaptation, such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Brompton Cemetery, which is just off Finborough road, West Brompton.
Adults £22.50 / Children £16.50 – considerable savings are available by booking in advance online.
Location: Tooley Street, London
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge
The demon barber of Fleet Street was recently portrayed by Johnny Depp in a film directed by Tim Burton. One of the most notorious of London’s legends, Sweeney Todd remains a popular character for ghost walks, particularly around Halloween.
Visit Fleet Street, the former home of Todd’s barber shop, and then walk on to Bell Yard, where his accomplice Mrs Lovett used to turn his work into meat pies.
The Dungeon in London Bridge has an exhibit dedicated to Todd and his gruesome legacy. Mrs Lovett greets you at her infamous pie shop before you enter the barber’s shop itself and take a seat in one of the chairs. A combination of animatronics and binaural special effects make you feel as though Todd is right behind you, giving you a close shave – and the experience can seem frighteningly real!
*All prices are correct at the time of writing
This guest post was written by the team at travelsupermarket.com. They’re a travel comparison site and have nothing to gain by promoting any of the tours above (and nor does Cheap Weekend Breaks for that matter.) However, if you’re in London on one of these film tours and looking for a hotel, they obviously think you can find a good deal by browsing their collection of London hotels. Read the exciting disclosure policy here.