007 Travelogue: London (ENGLAND) 2022: “Headquarters and ministries”March 20, 2023
In order to read our London 007 Travel story from day one, click here
Bond locations of this 007 Travelogue:
The place where Bond meets M in “No Time to Die“
Madeleine Swann crosses the road and goes to her workplace in “No Time to Die“
Madeleine leaves Bond in “SPECTRE“
MI6 headquarters in older films
Bond parks an Aston Martin in “No Time to Die“
Skyscraper in Shanghai
Saturday 5 November 2022
It was a rainy morning in London, and we took a taxi to the “No Time to Die” filming location near Hammersmith Bridge where Bond (Daniel Craig) meets his boss M (Ralph Fiennes) on the Lower Mall. The local rowing club, which was just starting its training by the Thames river, made it slightly challenging to take our pictures. They were moving their multi-person boats back and forth in front of our filming location. In addition, there was quite a bit of rain. On the other hand, the boat crew can also be seen in the movie itself, so it’s no big deal.
When Tanner (Rory Kinnear) comes to meet Bond and M, The Rutland Arms pub can be seen behind him (Lower Mall 15).
We took the tube from here to Hyde Park and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, which was built in memory of the princess in 2004. We had also visited here during our first visit to London in 2010. Read more about that 007 Travelogue here.
We took the bus to Lock & Co. Hatters, which featured a Bond hat exhibition celebrating 60 years of Bond on the big screen. There were several wonderful hats and other props from Bond movies through the ages. More pictures from Lock & Co. Hatters show here.
On the way to the next destination, we came across an outdoor exhibition of old cars where the participants were also dressed in old-fashioned clothing. The nice event had a notable carnival atmosphere.
We drank slightly more special martinis at a Chutney Mary restaurant’s Pukka Bar at 73 St James Street.
The next “No Time to Die” location was the place where Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) crosses the street just before the horse procession. You can find the place if you cross The Mall street and walk towards the Duke of York monument. Madeleine then rushes to the stairs that take her to her workplace of in the psychiatric clinic. You can find the building by climbing up the stairs next to the statue and turning right. The interior scene where Madeleine meets Safin (Rami Malek), was therefore done at The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace.
The roads to Trafalgar Square were closed due to a large demonstration, and we photographed the arch of Admiralty Arch on The Mall which appears briefly in the 1967 Bond parody “Casino Royale“.
Next, the location of the “SPECTRE” movie, where Bond goes to meet M. In the film the building is the Hildebrand Safe House, located on the roof of 35 Spring Gardens, overlooking Trafalgar Square. Later, in front of the same place, Madeleine says goodbye to Bond.
On the corner of Trafalgar Square there is also the Malaysian Tourist Office, the exterior of which served as the headquarters of MI6 in “The Living Daylights” (1987).
We walked from Trafalgar Square towards Whitehall, where MI6 Headquarters was located in other 1980’s Bond movies.
On the same block there is also the place from “No Time to Die” where Bond parks his car and then walks to the real Ministry of Defence. (in “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) the Ministry of Defence is located at Somerset House). Filming in the direction of the Ministry of Defence was not allowed, and there were several policemen in front of it. We tried to look as inconspicuous as possible and to seem like harmless tourists who were only taking pictures of each other. While the authorities looked away, we snapped the pictures, like other Bond fans in that hallowed place. People nearby looked at us with understanding.
From the 1995 film “GoldenEye” on, MI6 HQ was located in its correct location in the films at 85 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall Cross. Through Pierce Brosnan‘s films to Daniel Craig’s “SPECTRE“, the house stood in place until it was destroyed when Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) blew it to the ground. (In reality, it’s still standing). More on that filming location here.
Next we took a taxi to Shanghai, China, which this time was actually located in London, unlike in the movie. We went to the skyscraper where Bond (Daniel Craig) follows the villain Patrice (Ola Rapace) in the movie “Skyfall” (2012). In reality, the house is Broadgate Tower, located at 201 Bishopsgate. The building’s security guard was strict, and according to his instructions, we were not allowed to enter the building. However, we were able to take pictures from outside through the glass doors. The security guard told us that he had visited Rovaniemi (Lapland, Finland) and that he liked his trip to the North Pole. He also helped us get a taxi, which was quite difficult to do on our own this time.
After returning to the hotel, Mika jogged to Bedford Square, where the new headquarters of the Two Zero’s Section is located in the 007 book “Seafire” (1994). Jonathan Cape (1879-1960), the original publisher of Ian Fleming‘s books, also lived in Bedford Square, at 30 Bedford Square. The “Tomorrow Never Dies” movie “after party” also took place there.
Pictured below is a house at 46 Bedford Square, could it be the new headquarters of the Two Zero’s Section…?
“The new headquarters of Bond’s Two Zero’s Section was a beautiful Georgian house in Bedford Square. It was a deceptively quiet place, only a three-minute brisk walk to busy Oxford Street, and his office looked out on the pleasing view of what had once been the homes of the well-to-do. There was a railed-off centerpiece of trees which aped the seasons, and had seen the area go through phases ranging from family opulence, through conversion to apartments, and lastly modification to offices.”
John Gardner: “Seafire” (1994)
The next day we visit e.g. knocking on Q’s home door. You can open the door here