Hunkering down at home this winter? No need to leave the house to go sightseeing in London. Get your dose of the capital on screen with these films and TV shows set in London, all currently available on Netflix.
PADDINGTON: If you've not see the first caper film starring the Peruvian ursine, where have you been? We've seen everyone from tiny tots to our 80-year-old Nan chuckling at his exploits as he arrives in the capital, moves in with the Brown family in Notting Hill, and defeats evil taxidermist Nicole Kidman. London locations to look out for include the pastel houses of Chalcot Street in Primrose Hill, and the Natural History Museum. No sign of Paddington 2 on Netflix yet , but we're hoping it'll make an appearance before Paddington 3 is released in 2023.
ENOLA HOLMES: Not all of this Sherlock Holmes spin-off — which follows his younger sister Enola as she searches for her mother — is set in London. But Greenwich, Spitalfields, Chancery Lane and King's College London all feature. Don't be fooled by those East End scenes though — they were filmed at Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire.
THE LADY IN THE VAN: Rated 12, so more suitable for teenagers upwards, The Lady In The Van stars Maggie Smith as a homeless woman living in her van outside the Camden home of writer Alan Bennett. It's a true story, and was filmed in Gloucester Crescent, where the story really unfolded.
LOVE ACTUALLY: Hugh Grant dancing to Girls Aloud. Alan Rickman cheating on Emma Thompson. Martin Freeman and Joanna Page meeting on a porno set. Thomas Brodie-Sangster jumping an airport security gate to declare his love for his classmate. Love it or loathe it, Love Actually has been embedded in the national conscious as a Christmas classic, and takes place largely (though not exclusively) in London. Heathrow, South Bank, St Luke's Mews in Notting Hill, Grosvenor Chapel in Mayfair and Selfridge's are among the capital's appearances on the screen. And yes, we've seen it dozens of times, but we still swoon at the Christmas tree being carried over Waterloo Bridge in the opening credits.
NOTTING HILL: While we're on a Richard Curtis theme, his 1999 film about a hopeless bookseller and an international film star is also available, with cameo appearances from the eponymous Notting Hill, and The Ritz hotel, among others.
ABOUT A BOY: Hugh Grant strikes again, in the 2002 film of Nick Hornby's 1998 novel, co-starring with a young Nicholas Hoult. Much of the action was filmed around Clerkenwell, with BFI Imax, parts of Notting Hill and Maida Vale also getting an airing.
LAST CHRISTMAS: A relatively new addition that was released in 2019 to mixed reviews, Last Christmas is based on the songs of George Michael. Emilia Clarke plays a Christmas retail worker who meets a mysterious man (Henry Golding). There's plenty of London to ogle, including a false shop front in Covent Garden, Electric Avenue, the Noel Coward Theatre, Cecil Court, Lombard Street, Regent Street and Embankment.
TV shows set in London
The Crown, Sherlock and Bodyguard are among the London-set shows on Netflix which we've already told you about (though do note that not everything on that list, from April 2020, is still available now, such is the transient nature of streaming services). Here are a couple of others which have since come to our attention:
BRIDGERTON: This Regency drama following the social season in London was huge last Christmas — though be warned, the protracted sex scenes mean this isn't one for a family viewing session. Downton Abbey it ain't. Greenwich, Hampton Court and, surprisingly, Hackney Empire, all make appearances. Here's our guide to London's Bridgerton filming locations.
WHITE TEETH: Zadie Smith's novel White Teeth was made into a Channel 4 drama in 2002, and has now been recycled onto Netflix. The four-part series follows three families over a period of 20 years in a multicultural area of north-west London. Willesden and Cricklewood get plenty of air time, alongside Caribbean and Indian locations.
Got an appetite for more?
ANTHONY BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN - LONDON: The late, great American chef and documentary presenter brought his TV show Parts Unknown to London for a 2016 episode (season 8, episode 5), shortly after the Brexit referendum. Restaurants visited include St John's in Barbican, Peppers & Spice Caribbean restaurant in Dalston and Rochelle Canteen in Shoreditch.
SOMEBODY FEED PHIL, SEASON 3 - LONDON: For an entirely different foodie travel show about London, watch producer-turned presenter Phil Rosenthal explore London via his stomach. The episode begins with him emerging gleefully from Fortnum & Mason with his favourite biscuits, before struggling to open the packet. His other culinary forays include visiting Ken's Fish Bar in Dulwich with Jay Rayner, Borough Market, and Dishoom in Kensington.
Yes, yes, we know. We've missed your favourite. Tell us about it in the comments below.