Since Ian Fleming created James Bond in 1953, the world’s most famous spy has certainly been around the globe a fair few times. From relaxing on idyllic tropical beaches to skiing down snowy mountain peaks and chasing through bustling world-class cities, James Bond has seen and done it all.
To celebrate the long-awaited release of No Time to Die, the latest 007 film due out in cinemas on September 30th, Musement takes a look at some of the James Bond franchise’s most iconic filming locations. Follow in the footsteps of Bond and visit some of these emblematic destinations for yourself.
As it is home to Her Majesty’s Secret Service, London features in every single Bond movie. While you may not be able to enter 10 Downing Street or MI6 headquarters, the city is home to plenty of other places where you can follow in Bond’s footsteps. Over the course of his London adventures, the spy ends up at Somerset House, the MI6 Vauxhall Cross building on the banks of the River Thames, the National Gallery, St Pancras Station, Westminster Bridge and many more iconic locations. One thing is for certain, Bond will be returning to the capital for No Time to Die with Whitehall and Hammersmith both rumoured to feature.
Other English filming locations include Oxford’s Brasenose College which featured in Tomorrow Never Dies and Cornwall’s Eden Project which featured in Die Another Day.
As Bond has Scottish heritage, Scotland and its magnificent Highlands regularly appear in the 007 movies. While the wild and rugged Glen Coe and Glen Etive looked absolutely astounding in Skyfall, the serene and secluded Eilean Donan Castle was just as impressive in The World Is Not Enough. Bond is set to return to the Scottish Highlands in the latest release, where we will see two 4x4s in a highspeed chase through the beautiful Cairngorms National Park.
Possibly one of the most memorable chase scenes in Bond history, 1979’s Moonraker sees 007 evade two assailants by navigating a gondola through Venice’s beautiful canals. The famous spy returns to Venice for Casino Royale but not before heading to the snowy slopes of the glitzy Cortina d’Ampezzo in For Your Eyes Only. Having popped up in Italy some 25 times or so, you could almost travel around the whole country simply following his adventures.
In the upcoming movie, expect to see much more of Italy. Matera, well known for its cave dwellings carved into the mountainside, will be the location of another high-speed car chase. Gravina, famous for its stunning two-level Roman bridge, and Sapri train station are also set to feature.
No Time to Die will kick off with Bond enjoying his retirement at Sir Ian Fleming’s once owned property in Jamaica on the GoldenEye estate. And whilst the new Bond movie is said to begin in Jamaica, it won’t be the first time that 007 has wound up on the dreamy tropical island. In fact, the secret agent’s first movie outing took place in Ocho Rios for 1962’s Dr No. The idyllic beach, luxury resort, and Bond Girl love interest all set the tone for one of the most successful franchises in history.
One of the best scenes from Skyfall takes place in the vibrant Turkish city of Istanbul. Bond races across the roof of Istanbul‘s Grand Bazaar and through the souk’s narrow streets in hot pursuit of yet another baddie. Lined with a staggering array of shops, stalls, cafes, and restaurants, the Grand Bazaar is just one of the many attractions graced by Bond in the bustling Turkish city. The Hagia Sophia and the Basilica Cistern feature in From Russia with Love, whilst the Maiden’s Tower features in The World Is Not Enough
Another iconic James Bond filming location is Thailand’s Khao Phing Kan where, amongst the serene and secluded scenery, the villain Scaramanga built his base and dazzling hall of mirrors in The Man With The Golden Gun. With a Thai kickboxing match, luxury hotel stays and a thrilling boat chase all taking place in Bangkok, the nation’s capital is also not to be missed out on by Bond fans.
Wales’ stunning landscape, national parks, mountains and coastline have provided the perfect backdrop to a number of James Bond scenes over the years. Snowdonia National Park has featured in three of the action films: From Russia with Love (1963), The World is Not Enough (1999) and Quantum of Solace (2008). And let’s not forget the glorious Penbryn Beach, which featured in the final scene of Die Another Day (2002).