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London Top 5 James Bond Experiences

  • 13 Oct 2015

Each month we ask a London expert to give us their Top 5 for the best in the capital's shopping, dining, nightlife and more. The new Bond move Spectre hits our screens this month. We asked London journalist and Bond aficionado Phil Boucher to get out his Walther PPK and dust off his licence to kill.

© 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.,

© 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Danjaq, LLC and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved

1. Bond In Motion Exhibition

What's it like? Get close to Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom, the submersible Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and Bond's iconic Aston Martin DB5. It's not just the cars either: Little Nellie the gyrocopter from You Only Live Twice and Pierce Brosnan's jet pack from Die Another Day are also on view, plus wet bikes, speedboats, Tuk Tuks - and a crocodile from Live and Let Die!

Who goes there?
Bond fans come here from all over the world.

Why I love it:
It's the largest collection of Bond vehicles ever assembled in London. Fantastic.

How to find it:
45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BN. 020 78364913

2. London Rib Voyages

What's it like? An adrenaline-fuelled 50-minute ride from the MI6 building to Canary Wharf, taking in the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral. The tour guides are all stand-up comedians with a vast knowledge of London's history – and all the Bond sites along the river. Better still, they play Bond music as you hurtle down the Thames at 30 knots! 

Who goes there? Thrill seekers looking for a white-knuckle ride that Bond himself would be proud of.

Why I Love It:
The tour takes you close to the MI6 building – home of the real-life M.

How to find it:
Boarding Gate One, The London Eye, Millennium Pier, SE1 7PB. 020 79288933

3. Dukes Bar

What's it like? Classic, refined and dangerously cosy, this velvet-draped bar rests in a hidden courtyard in bustling St James's. Drinking a martini here is something of a ritual: a white-jacketed waiter wheels a small table carrying deep-frozen gin or vodka to your seat. A small dash of vermouth and Amalfi lemon oil is added to your glass before the wickedly strong martini is shaken, not stirred. Perfect.

Who goes there? Diplomats and businessmen - and maybe the odd secret agent too?

Why I Love It: Dukes was Ian Fleming's local bar and inspired the "shaken, not stirred" line.

How to find it: 35 St James's Pl, SW1A 1NY. 020 74914840. Dress code smart, casual.

4. Charing Cross Station Tour

What's it like? A haunting glimpse of London's subterranean world via a patchwork of disused Jubilee Line platforms lying silent under the Strand and Trafalgar Square.

Who goes there? Londoners and tourists alike love it for its ability to turn the Tube into a museum piece. It's hugely popular. Nearby Aldwych - which closed in 1994 and inspired Q's workshop in Die Another Day - is a good alternative if you can't get tickets.

Why I Love It: Daniel Craig chased Javier Bardem through Charing Cross in Skyfall – with Craig sliding down the escalators.
How to find it: Tickets from the London Transport Museum, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BB. 0207 379 6344

5. Silver Cane Walking Tour

What's it like? Ian Fleming was a millionaire’s son and passed on his expensive tastes to 007. This walking tour immerses you in Bond's exclusive Mayfair and St James lifestyle, from the cars, the tailoring and the handguns, to the aftershave.

Who goes there? Those who want to know the real Ian Fleming – and the real James Bond.

Why I Love It: He may be famous for driving an Aston Martin, but the literary James Bond preferred a Bentley purchased in Mayfair.

How to find it: Simon Rodway's tour is private hire only – cost £180 - and can be booked on 07720715295. It is one of the top 5 literary tours in the world.

 
For everything Bond see the official 007 website

2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc

© 2015 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Danjaq, LLC and Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved

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