The list of James Bond movie locations reads somewhat like a guidebook, with location shoots in many far-flung destinations around the world. To celebrate the release of the latest Bond film and the 23rd in the series, Skyfall, we take a look back at the best Bond locations around the globe.
Jamaica is arguably the most significant and influential James Bond location in the world. After all, it was from his GoldenEye estate in Oracabessa that Ian Fleming wrote all of the James Bond novels, and the house also lent its name to the 1995 Bond film, the first with Pierce Brosnan in the title role. Now, the legacy of the famous character’s creator lives on, with the beachfront GoldenEye Resort, of which Fleming’s original house is a part. Jamaica was also the place where the James Bond movie magic began, with scenes from the first film Dr No, being filmed at the famous Dunn’s River Falls near Ochos Rios.
Who could forge the scene in the 1983 Bond film Octopussy, where our hero dresses himself as a crocodile and swims to the riverside lair of the title character, whom he suspects is involved in a smuggling operation. Octopussy’s floating place is located on Lake Pichhola in the Udaipur region of India. It’s actually a fully-operational hotel, so anyone can unleash their inner secret agent in one of the 83 opulent, custom-designed suites.
London, United Kingdom
Although it’s a far cry from the exotic sunny locales frequented by Bond and his bevvy of beautiful babes, the bright lights of London are synonymous with 007. There are a number of film location tours around London, and if you’re a true fan, opt for a private VIP experience. You’ll visit filming spots for such films as The World Is Not Enough, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, as well as the latest release, Skyfall. Optional extras include a vodka martini-making masterclass, a high-speed Thames boat ride, and the chance to meet actors and production members from the Bond film series. For those who can’t get enough of the high-tech, high-speed cars that are a trademark of all Bond films, be sure to head along to the Beaulieu Motor Museum in Hampshire. There’s a special Bond exhibition running until 2014.
Ko Khao Phing Kan, Thailand
Ko Khao Phing Kan is so strongly associated with the famous spy, that the island is colloquially known as ‘James Bond Island.’ The 1974 Bond movie, and one of the most famous in the series, The Man With a Golden Gun, was filmed around the island’s distinctive limestone cliffs, which provided the perfect villain’s hideaway. Ko Khao Phing Kan is part of the wider Phang Nga Bay area, comprising more than 100 small islands, many of which are huge rock formations rising from the emerald waters, forming strange shapes and leaning at seemingly impossible angles.
The Turkish capital is a favourite hangout of Agent 007, featuring in the latest (and some already proclaiming, the greatest) Bond flick Skyfall, as well as From Russia With Love and The World Is Not Enough. The rooftops of the city’s Grand Bazaar are set to become part of Bond folklore, as the setting for Skyfall’s opening motorcycle chase theme. While in town, be sure to also check out other iconic James Bond locations, such as the eerie underground Basilica Cistern, and the Hagia Sophia, a Christian cathedral and one of the most famous buildings in the city.
Japan took centre stage in the fifth James Bond outing, You Only Live Twice. Amongst the most memorable locations in all 007 history was the Shinmoedake volcano, which provided the backdrop for a hideout. Although Shinmoedake has since become active and can no longer be scaled from the outside, it can still be viewed from a distance. Other iconic Japanese locales include the majestic Himeji Castle, a 17th century fortress and the site of James Bond’s ninja training school. You Only Live Twice was also filmed at Tokyo’s New Otani hotel and the nearby Kirishima National Park, and guided tours are available, taking die-hard fans to all of Tokyo’s Bond hotpots.
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