Top 7 Movies Set In London
As the captivating capital of England, it’s no surprise that London has been a brilliant movie set serving as the backdrop for many films over the years. London is often depicted as a place full of energy and dynamic character, painting it as a vibrant, international city with much to offer its residents. Its rich history, diverse populace, and endless opportunities for exploration paint it as an exciting and thriving metropolis. Whether you’re drawn to its world-class museums, bustling markets, verdant parks, or cutting-edge arts scene, living in London offers a unique experience that caters to an array of interests and lifestyles.
Moving To London from Abroad? Check out this guide on international moving.
It is, therefore, no surprise that many have been convinced to relocate here after watching these great movies set in London. Interwoven with romance, mystery, and the quintessential rom-com genre, not just films, a lot of global icons and musicians, too, have made people from other countries visit the city and experience the vibrant culture it plays host to.
Furthermore, if you’re considering relocating to London, we also offer advice and tips on the realities of life in this bustling metropolis. This includes exploring affordable housing options within the city, avoiding rental scams, and looking at excellent commuter towns just outside London if you’re seeking a balance between city and suburban living.
So, please sit back and join us on this cinematic journey as we explore modern London through the lens of these top 7 films. Along the way, we hope to enhance your appreciation of this wonderful city, whether you’re a movie buff, a prospective resident, or a curious traveller.
7 Popular Films Set in London
Starting off this list is a film named after one of London’s most iconic neighbourhoods – Notting Hill. This 1999 film tells the love story of a bookshop owner and a famous Hollywood actress.
Although the bookshop heavily featured in this film starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant does not exist, many other locations used are real and can be found in Notting Hill. These include Portobello Road Market, where you can find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to antiques and vintage clothes.
This film is also known for the iconic blue door, which was the entrance to William Thacker’s (Grant) flat. This blue door and the charming allure of Notting Hill might inspire you to search for rentals in London. While it’s a captivating locale, being mindful of potential rental scams is crucial.
To ensure a safe and secure house hunting experience in London, familiarise yourself with key ways to avoid rental scams, which we discuss in more depth in our comprehensive guide on How To Avoid Rental Scams in London.
Bridget Jones’s Diary
This next film is another romantic comedy set in London, where we follow the life of singleton Bridget Jones as she tries to find love.
The film, which stars Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant, is based on a book of the same name, was primarily filmed in London, and some of the locations used include Borough Market and several other locations in and around central London.
Bridget Jones’s Diary takes us on a delightful journey through various iconic locations in London. This might have you fantasising about living in the heart of the city, but the reality of city living isn’t always as glamorous. If the hustle and bustle of London feels overwhelming, you might want to consider the many fantastic commuter towns just outside of London.
However, if you truly wish to move within London, you’ll be glad to know that there are affordable options to suit a variety of budgets. Several neighbourhoods in the city offer a great balance of value and lifestyle, combining reasonable rental prices with accessibility to central London’s amenities and attractions. Careful research and planning can help you find these hidden gems, providing you with the unique charm of London living without the hefty price tag.
This classic Christmas film follows the lives of several different couples as they navigate their way through love and relationships in the lead-up to Christmas. Many scenes in the film were shot in and around some of London’s most popular tourist attractions, making it the perfect film to watch if you’re dreaming of a trip to the city.
Love, Actually also tells the story of Americans who have immigrated to London, weaving their narratives into the city’s rich tapestry of life. The film showcases various aspects of London, from its bustling streets and quaint neighbourhoods to its iconic landmarks and festive charm. As these characters experience life in this vibrant city, viewers get a taste of what it’s like to move to and live in London, adding an extra layer of realism and relatability to the film.
Several scenes were shot at popular locations such as the Heathrow Airport, Grosvenor Chapel, and 10 Downing Street, showcasing both London’s grandeur and everyday life. Additionally, the characters’ residences give viewers a peek into the different living arrangements available in the city, from upscale flats to cozy lofts.
The American characters’ experiences, ranging from romantic escapades to navigating cultural differences, highlight the unique experiences of expatriates in London. These portrayals may resonate with viewers considering a move to London, giving them a sense of what it could be like to establish a new life in this captivating city.
In essence, Love, Actually presents a love letter to London as much as it does to the holiday season and the complexities of relationships, making it a must-watch for those enchanted by the city’s unique blend of history, modernity, and multicultural charm.
The film is made up of an ensemble of predominantly British actors, including Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, and Rowan Atkinson.
Four Weddings And A Funeral
The 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral is one of the most iconic British films of all time. The romantic comedy, which follows a man on his journey towards finding love, and how his friends’ most important life events helped him get there, was shot in a number of different locations across London.
Aside from using London as a backdrop, the film also showcased every Londoner’s struggle. Did you see how much of a struggle hailing a ride was?!!
Note: We are aware of the overwhelming number of Hugh Grant films on this list. It is no surprise, though, given the fact that Mr. Grant seems to be a staple in all these movies that portray everyday London life.
The Harry Potter Franchise
Although most of the series is set in the Wizarding World, specifically Hogwarts, the first and last two instalments of the Harry Potter movies have our heroes spending a fair amount of time in good old London.
Kids and adults alike have dreamt of moving to London because of this franchise. The magic of Harry Potter has not only shown us the enchanting world of wizards and witches but also beautifully highlighted the charm of London.
Fans of the franchise will remember the dramatic scene from “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” where Death Eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge. Or perhaps they’ll recall Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” navigating their way through the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus, one of London’s most visited tourist destinations. And who could forget London Zoo, where Harry famously discovered his ability to talk to snakes?
Another iconic location is the King’s Cross Station, home to the fictional Platform 9 3/4, from where the Hogwarts Express departs. This location has become a significant attraction for Harry Potter fans visiting London, complete with a luggage trolley half-embedded in the wall and a dedicated Harry Potter shop.
Living in London would undoubtedly allow fans to visit these remarkable landmarks regularly, further immersing them in the magical world of Harry Potter. Additionally, the city itself provides a blend of historical elegance and modern dynamism that can make everyday life feel just as enchanting as the world depicted in the beloved series.
If you are moving with your kids, going on a tour around the city is only one of the many Activities To Do In London When You Have Kids.
Named after the iconic London train station, this 2014 film tells the story of a talking bear who comes to live with a family in London. In the film and its sequel (which unsurprisingly stars, you guessed it, Hugh Grant), Paddington the bear can be seen exploring some of London’s most famous landmarks and neighbourhoods.
Some landmarks you will see in the Paddington franchise are Buckingham Palace, the Natural History Museum, and the vibrant streets of Notting Hill.
Shaun of the Dead
This 2004 cult classic follows the story of Shaun, a man who is trying to get his life together as he deals with a zombie apocalypse that has suddenly overwhelmed London.
Although the entire film may not be the most realistic portrayal of London, it is still a great film to watch if you want to see some of the city’s most famous landmarks under attack.
The Realities of Relocating to London
Embarking on a new life in the vibrant city of London, much like in the cinema, can be the fulfilment of a dream. However, it’s critical to be aware of the real-world implications that come with such a move. The cost of living in London is substantially higher than in other UK cities, encompassing aspects like rent, groceries, transport, and leisure activities. Be prepared to budget accordingly.
Cultural variations can also be prominent, especially if you’re moving from abroad. London is a diverse, multicultural city with unique traditions and etiquette. Embrace this diversity, as it’s part of what makes residing in London such a rich and rewarding experience.
Finally, adjusting to the lifestyle changes when relocating to London can take a bit of time. The city is fast-paced and constantly buzzing, yet it’s also home to tranquil, charming neighbourhoods and serene parks where you can relax and unwind.
Top Tips for a Smooth London Move
To ensure a seamless transition when moving to London, start by hiring a reputable removals firm. Conduct thorough research well in advance and choose a firm with excellent customer reviews and a track record of punctual deliveries.
When packing, organise your belongings and label your boxes clearly. This will save you considerable time and stress when it comes to unpacking in your new London abode.
Regarding managing moving costs, remember to budget not only for the move itself but also for initial expenses such as a tenancy deposit, new furniture, and setting up utilities. You could also save by decluttering and selling unwanted items before the move – less luggage means less to transport.
Settling into Your New Life in London
Once you’ve arrived in London, take the time to familiarise yourself with your new neighbourhood. Locate your nearest grocery shop, chemist, and other essential amenities. It’s also a good idea to understand local transport options – London boasts an extensive public transport network, and getting to grips with it will make navigating the city much easier.
Try to get involved in local community events or join a club to meet new people. Whether you’re interested in sports, arts, food, or film, you’ll likely find a group in London that shares your passion.
Remember, settling into a new city takes time. Be patient with yourself and try to enjoy the journey. After all, you’re living your film-inspired dream in one of the most thrilling cities in the world.
By staying informed and planning meticulously, relocating to London can be an exciting and positive experience, mirroring the journey of your favourite film characters. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your own London adventure.
As you can see, there are a lot of great movies set in London. If you’re thinking of moving to the city or want to explore it through the eyes of some of your favourite characters, be sure to check out some of these films.
Meanwhile, if any of these London movies have inspired you to relocate to the city, be sure to check out our moving guides for a stress-free move! Moreover, remember to check out our London man and van partners and small removal companies to find movers who can help you move into your new home.