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Behind the scenes of Bond

By joyoftravel.ca news services

The premiere of SPECTRE in Canada is set for November 6, and as we turn to the latest film in the James Bond franchise, we retrace Bond and the rest of the cast's footsteps at iconic and historic film locations in Britain.

 

As in many Bond films before it, London looks set to play a central role in SPECTRE. The first image seen in the teaser trailer for the film is a shot of the capital, a panoramic sweeping scene that takes in the River Thames, an iconic red Routemaster bus crossing Vauxhall Bridge and, looming in the background, MI6 headquarters. Earlier this year, the SPECTRE cast and crew filmed dramatic scenes on the Thames, with Bond and Tanner (played by Daniel Craig and Rory Kinnear) spotted in a speedboat heading past MI6.

Along with MI6, it looks likely that London's most powerful buildings will feature in SPECTRE. M (played by Ralph Fiennes) was spotted during filming close to Big Ben, as the Houses of Parliament are shrouded in smoke, while Bond was also snapped scurrying down the steps of Westminster Bridge. Visit the Houses of Parliament for a guided tour to find out what makes this historic home of British politics so unique - 007 might not have time for it, but you can even take afternoon tea there. www.parliament.uk/visiting

From Westminster Bridge, descend those same steps Bond was spied running down, and take a stroll along the South Bank eastwards to another SPECTRE location. Also a powerful building with a river view, City Hall looks likely to feature in the movie; inside, its extraordinary helical walkway was photographed behind a SPECTRE clapperboard, ready to be filmed. The impressive building was designed by British architect Norman Foster and is the headquarters of the Greater London Authority - you can tour the building on selected days (www.london.gov.uk/city-hall). From there you can see - and walk over the top of - Tower Bridge. www.towerbridge.org.uk/tower-bridge-glass-floor

After chasing Bond through London, stop at Rules, in Covent Garden, the capital's oldest restaurant. Scenes were filmed at the historic eatery late one night, with M spotted prowling the pavement outside, umbrella in hand. The restaurant is accustomed to fame - it has featured in TV series Downton Abbey, novels by Charles Dickens, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh. Cosy up in a booth on a red velvet bench to enjoy sumptuous British dishes like classic Morecambe Bay potted shrimps, Rules' famous grouse and treacle sponge with custard. www.rules.co.uk

From Rules, it's a five-minute walk to the London Film Museum, for the chance to marvel at the incredible cars that have been used in Bond movies over more than five decades. The exhibition Bond in Motion brings together the largest official collection of original James Bond vehicles, including the iconic Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger's Rolls Royce Phantom III, as well as the memorable Lotus Esprit S1 submersible from The Spy Who Loved Me. The exhibition runs through to March 2016. http://londonfilmmuseum.com

Of course we can expect nothing short of spectacular for Bond's vehicle of choice in SPECTRE. Q reveals the Aston Martin DB10 in the movie's trailer and says it goes from 'zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds'. The car in question, made exclusively for the film, was filmed at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire - a film location in SPECTRE - alongside other amazing vehicles, including models from Porsche, Jaguar, Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Bentley. Blenheim Palace is used to getting the star treatment, and has featured in dozens of movies from Harry Potter to Cinderella. Go behind the scenes on a Lights, Camera, Action! tour of the splendid stately home. Blenheim Palace is around 90 minutes' drive from central London, or you can take one of the regular buses from Oxford city centre and arrive in 30 minutes. www.blenheimpalace.com

Want to drive an Aston Martin yourself? Book a Dynamic Driving Experience and drive current production Aston Martins on various tracks, including the hill route, the bowl, the city course and the mile straight. There are also Aston Martin driving opportunities available at various racing tracks in Britain; at Thruxton Motorsport Centre in Hampshire, south England, or Knockhill Racing Circuit in Dunfermline, south-east Scotland, for example. www.astonmartin.com/en/events/driving-courses, www.thruxtonracing.co.uk, www.knockhill.com

Five more top Bond locations for 007 fans

The Eden Project, Cornwall, south-west England

The 'biomes' - large domes that look like giant golf balls cut in half - certainly look like structures Bond might find himself in, and the interior does indeed feature as Gustav Graves' ice palace in Die Another Day, which featured Pierce Brosnan as Bond. The Eden Project doesn't hide an evil lair in real life, rather an impressive assortment of plant life and the largest indoor rainforest in the world. www.edenproject.com

Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire, south-east England

Remember when Oddjob decapitated the statue with his famous bowler hat in Goldfinger? That was at Stoke Park, a beautiful country house hotel just an hour's drive west out of London, in Buckinghamshire. Don't worry, there are statues intact to admire, and you can stay over and enjoy the property's lavish rooms, a sumptuous spa, and an 18-hole golf course. Bridget Jones' Diary and Layer Cake were also filmed at Stoke Park. www.stokepark.com

Eilean Donan Castle, western Highlands, Scotland

Rugged, imposing and perched on the water, you can understand why Eilean Donan was an impressive castle to potential intruders in its day - it's located at the point where three sea lochs meet, and sits majestically in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. It doubled as 'Castle Thane' in The World Is Not Enough, and you can make like Bond and pay a visit. www.eileandonancastle.com

Barbican, London

The Headquarters of MI6 changed when Daniel Craig took on the role of Bond - and the striking Barbican in London featured as the organisation's HQ. It's a fascinating quarter of London, with a totally unique design and what's more, it is home to one of the capital's best venues for music, theatre, art and cinema, simply known as The Barbican. www.barbican.org.uk

The O2 and the Thames, London

London's famous landmarks whizzed past Bond in the opening sequence of The World Is Not Enough, most notably the O2 in Greenwich, which was brand new then - nowadays, it's a fantastic music venue, and not only can you go inside to enjoy it, you can be like Bond and climb over it! Up At The O2 tickets are available to buy on the VisitBritain shop. www.visitbritainshop.com