Free Weekend? Walk through classic North London movie locations

View North London Film Location Walk in a larger map Who needs Hollywood when you’ve got all the glitz and …

View North London Film Location Walk in a larger map

Who needs Hollywood when you’ve got all the glitz and glamour of, well, North London? As we all know you can’t take much of a stroll round this neck of the woods without tripping over film locations (we’ve had Peter O’Toole, Judi Dench and Gregory Peck delivering their lines to camera round our way, to name but a few). So, if you have a couple of hours to spare this weekend, take a walking tour of classic North London spots forever immortalised in film.

Start: Hampstead Heath
Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1974)
Many of the scenes in which King Arthur and his rabble are running about in fields and woodlands were filmed up on Hampstead Heath. Potentially even the scenes with those most shrubbery-obsessed of knights, The Knights Who Say Ni.


Parliament Hill
Notes On A Scandal (2006)
Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett bond and bicker in this modern classic about a young art teacher who has a brief fling with one of her young Irish male pupils. Classic lines include: ‘you don’t realise how beautiful you are, Miss.’

Nevertheless, there’s one scene where Dame Dench herself and Cate Blanchett have a heart-to-heart on a bench overlooking our fair city, and it’s just up on the lower slopes of Parliament Hill, so give your thighs a work-out and climb up there next.

Near the Lido
The Omen (1976)
Also somewhere up on Parliament Hill, is the spot where darling little Damien is taken for a picnic by his unsuspecting parents before he really gets into the full, demonic swing of things. Head south past the Hampstead Heath Lido towards Gospel Oak overground station.

Heathview Apartments, near Gospel Oak station
Venus (2006)
Venus is a cracker of a local film. Virtually the whole thing was filmed on location, from the Cabin Cafe on Holmes Road, to Peter O’ Toole riding past Koko with a young Jodie Whitaker poking out of the sunroof. Heathview is where Leslie Philips character, the long-suffering Ian, resides.

Cabin Cafe, Holmes Road
Venus (2006)
And it’s here, in deepest West Kentish Town, that the Richard Griffiths character, with Leslie Philips and a marvellous Peter O’Toole, like to sit and make fun of each other in their curmudgeonly way.

Onwards now, down through Camden to Regents Park where the Open Air Theatre also stars in the movie. But even with these great credentials, the grand finale of the tour simply has to be…

Regents Park / London Zoo
Withnail and I (1987)
If anyone ever tries to tell you that Withnail isn’t one of the greatest films ever made, just shout ‘I demand to have some booze!‘ in their face and storm off. The emotional climax of the film happens beside the fence that separates London Zoo from Regents Park, where our hero delivers his final soliloquy.


This is box title
Even more walking time? Try these:

National Centre for Medical Research, Mill Hill
Batman Begins (2005)
The exterior of medical research centre was none other than Arkham Asylum in Batman Begins, home of the criminally insane.

Highbury Stadium, old Arsenal ground
Fever Pitch (1997)
Colin Firth balances his love life with his love affair with Arsenal. The old stadium is less than 500 metres from the site of the new one, just off Holloway Road.

Tottenham Court Road Tube Station
American Werewolf in London (1981)
David / The Werewolf attacks one of his victims in Tottenham Court Road station.

Here’s a Friday game if you have a free moment or two. Why not share with your fellow readers other local spots (perhaps even YouTube links?) immortalised on film? We’ll kick things off with one more: Mike Leigh’s quirky Happy-Go-Lucky, shot everywhere from KOKO to Camden High Street and Archway.

Words & Pics (non movie stills): Mark Williams


  • Show Comments

  • Dan

    A short detour for About a Boy filmed on Oseney Crescent?

  • dozenoaks

    Your missing one of the other locations for Batman Begins – UCL on Gower Street, which also features as ‘The Bank of England’ in Thunderbirds.

    And not a movie, but the flat in most recent incarnation of Sherlock was not on Baker street, but North Gower Street.

  • Daniel Solomons

    2004’s Enduring Love was all set in and around Kentish Town

    Daniel Craig’s house was on Leighton Road and Rhys Ifans sat on the climbing frame in the rain opposite (which I think is actually on Islip St).
    Bill Nighy’s house, with the distinctive yellow door, was on Patshull Road.

    If you’re really Kentish Geeky, you can spot the wrong turns and inefficient routes they used when applying “dramatic licence” to the driving scenes.

    • Mark

      Ah Enduring Love! So long since I’d seen it I forgot about it completely! Great film, from back when they used to make Daniel Craig act a bit rather than just pout and look moody.

  • Gavin Juniper

    Really love this. There’s a fantastic scene from the original Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy TV series filmed in South End Green. So if it’s rainy and you don’t fancy walking, buy the DVD and do it virtually. The old cinema is there but much else is unchanged. No traffic obviously, or Star-yucks coffee.

  • Sarah

    Hampstead Heath Ponds in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy!

    • Mark

      This one should definitely be part of the walk, it’s more or less on the route!

  • Katharine

    Truly, Madly Deeply – the Juliette Stevenson character lives in Highgate and there are scenes around Archway Bridge.

  • Katharine

    Oh, and High Hopes – much of it set around Kings Cross as it Used To Be. There was a ‘Made in Camden’ booklet put out by the council a while back with some unexpected ones in it.

  • Lucy Bridgers

    Scenes of a Sexual Nature (deceptive title): for lots of gorgeous views of Hampstead Heath.

  • Lucy Bridgers

    And another: Smiley swimming on Hampstead Heath in the recent film of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

  • Brian

    Richard Burton in Villain, partly filmed at the Assembly House in 1970:

    There’s a pic here of Burton and Liz Taylor with the pub’s managers:

  • Kentishtowner

    Surprised we haven’t had a mention for Primrose Hill yet. From Bridget Jones to The Tall Guy, (where Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson take endless walks, ahead of a most hillarious sex scene) it always seems to crop up, looking lovely.

    We’ve noticed that Regent’s Park’s website has this whole page dedicated to the movies shot there, some already mentioned, plus some more additions:

  • HW

    Also An American werewolf in London,
    Scene shot at the top of well Road