This triumphant return to form sees Bond go back to his roots with some beautiful scenery including the Scottish Highlands and lots of London scenes which were very satisfying for this misty-eyed Brit living abroad! Before all that though, ‘Skyfall‘ starts off with Bond (Daniel Craig) and Eve (Naomie Harris) in Istanbul on the hunt for a stolen hard drive in a city which also appeared in two other 007 films; ‘From Russia With Love‘ (1963) and ‘The World Is Not Enough‘ (1999). Their pursuit of the assailant takes them through Eminonou Square and the Grand Bazaar (below) with the latter also featuring in the critically acclaimed ‘Argo‘ and the critically panned ‘Taken 2‘ last year. The chase continues on 500 miles south-east to Adana where the spectacular Varda Bridge sees Bond involved in a bout of fisticuffs on top of the moving train before M (Judi Dench) orders Eve to take the shot which results in him supposedly plummeting to his death 90 metres below.
M is driven to a meeting with Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes) at Willis Faber on 10 Trinity Square (below left) near the Tower of London. Only a limited part of the building is seen on screen but more of the building can be seen in ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider‘ (2000). On her return to MI6 at 85 Albert Embankment (below right) M witnesses it blowing up. This building was also used in ‘The World Is Not Enough‘.
Bond is alive and waiting for M at her home in Knightsbridge (below) which was actually the home of 007 composer John Barry who passed away a year prior to the films release. The address is 82 Cadogan Square and Sloane Square is just about the closest Underground station.
Not too far from here on 22 Ebury Street is a house which is worth a little detour if you’re in the area and it is a very important one for Bond fans. A little blue plaque on the buildings exterior tells us that it was the house of the man who created 007; Ian Fleming.
Bond is driven across the River Thames with the London Eye in the background. The car continues onto the secret MI6 underground facility which is actually Smithfield Car Park opposite the meat market.
Deemed to be fit again, Bond makes his way to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square where he meets up with the new Q (Ben Whishaw) in front of The Fighting Temeraire by JMW Turner. Of course photography is not permitted inside but one can always try and take a sneaky one with the worst usually being that you’ll be told off by one of the guards.
It’s Shanghai next for 007 and though the aerial shots are real the rooftop pool scene was actually filmed in London in Canary Wharf at the Virgin Active Classic Health Club.
Still in ‘Shanghai’ Bond follows hitman Patrice into a high-rise building but yet again its London and the Broadgate Tower at 201 Bishopsgate although its the entrance on Primrose Street which is seen.
The real Gunkanjima (formally known as Hashima) is used for the distant shots but the rest was all filmed on a set built back at Pinewood. Full details about this location, its history, how it was faked and how to get there can be read here.
Silva is captured and brought back to the UK but he soon manages to escape into the London Underground with Bond in pursuit of him between Temple and Embankment stations on the District and Circle Lines. There are only brief shots of those stations before Bond finally emerges at Westminster station and rushes to save ‘M’.
Bond’s journey takes him along Whitehall where he eventually ends up back at Trinity Square not that this is referenced. We are made to believe that this place, which is a couple of miles eastwards, is one of a handful of government buildings in the area.
Bond and M flee the carnage at the public enquiry and change cars at Parkside Industrial Estate on Arklow Road in Deptford. It probably doesn’t make too much sense that one of the garages there is home to the Aston Martin DB5 car from 1964′s ‘Goldfinger’ but it’s a nice nod to the past.
Bond decides to take M to Scotland to draw the villain Silva out into the open and though it is the real Highlands of Glencoe, the “Skyfall” childhood home of Bond was a set built on Hankley Common in Surrey which has also been used in ‘The World Is Not Enough‘ and ‘Die Another Day‘ (2002).
Back in London, Bond and Eve appear on top of the Department of Energy and Climate change at 55 Whitehall and the Old War Office building alongside it played the part of MI6 in ‘Octopussy‘ (1983), ‘A View To A Kill‘ (1985) and ‘License To Kill‘ (1989). Not surprisingly, its not possible for the general public to go up on the roof which is a shame as that would be one hell of a shot to recapture! Instead, one has to just settle for seeing the building from street level only.
See other James Bond filming locations by clicking on the places below: