Playing the role of a secret agent has never been easier.
If you are a fan of the Bond movies, you’ll know that London is at the heart of the franchise. This city is buzzing with activity, but if you want to explore a different side of London, check out these 007-themed activities, as recommended by British Airways. With the new movie Spectre showing in cinemas now, we’re pretty sure you’ll be inspired to embark on your own secret agent journey as well.
1. Follow in Bond’s footsteps
Walking tours are a great way to get around London, and with the James Bond Walking Tour, you get to visit more than 10 London locations featured in the 007 movies! Places you will see include the secret offices of James Bond’s London HQ, the streets of Whitehall where Daniel Craig ran through during the famous Skyfall (2012) chase scene, and even London’s oldest restaurant, Rules Restaurant, which is featured in Spectre (2015).
This two and a half hour walking tour is £12 (S$25.70) for adults, and £10 (S$21) for children.
2. Ride River Thames like a spy
If you are in London, you’ll no doubt be visiting River Thames, the longest river entirely in England. The Thames has also been featured in many Bond movies – including The World Is Not Enough (1999) and the new Spectre (2015) – and you too can feel like a spy as you buckle up for a rough ride along its choppy waters on a rib (rigid inflatable hull) boat. The Ultimate Spy Experience is a themed boat ride, complete with Bond theme music playing as you hurtle along from Embankment out to east London. Your guide will also regale you with fascinating anecdotes and true stories about the life and times of author Ian Fleming and the history of the British Secret Service during your adrenaline-fuelled ride on the biggest and fastest speedboat in the river.
For more information on the River Thames themed experiences, click here.
3. Race to see Bond’s cars
Want to get up close and personal with the trademark sleek Bond vehicles? You can view them at the ‘Bond In Motion’ exhibition at the London Film Museum. This is the largest display of genuine vehicles from the Bond movies ever – and it even features vehicles used in Spectre. Among the cars on show are the Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger (1964)’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III and the Lotus Esprit S1 sub from The Spy Who Loved Me (1977). The exhibit also features some of the stranger vehicles used on-screen, such as Bond’s Citroën 2CV and Crocodile Sub.
Tickets for the ‘Bond In Motion’ exhibit are £14.50 (S$31) for adults, £9.50 (S$20.35) for children aged 5 to 15 years old.
4. Suit up at Saville Row
The James Bond experience is not complete without donning a classic suit. Want to have a wardrobe of beautiful suits to choose from as well? You’re in luck in London, home of one of the world’s most famous bespoke tailoring strips on Mayfair’s historic Savile Row. Did you know that former Beatle Paul McCartney – who wrote the soundtrack to the Bond movie Live And Let Die (1973) – famously performed as part of the band’s last ever live performance on the roof of Apple Music at No. 3 Savile Row too? Soak in all this history as you get measured up for your own Bond-style outfit in one of the many boutiques here!
5. Visit the “shaken, not stirred” bar.
Dukes Bar in Mayfair’s Dukes Hotel was a favourite of Bond author Ian Fleming and is said to be where he found the inspiration for 007’s infamous “shaken, not stirred” catchphrase. Fans of the novel series would know that this phrase was featured in the 1957 book Diamonds Are Forever, but it wasn’t until Dr No (1962) that he uttered the phrase onscreen. Dukes even serve a special martini called the ‘Fleming 89’ in tribute to the author. Definitely a tipple you’ll want to try if you visit this place!
Dukes Bar is located at Dukes Hotel, 35 St James’s Pl, London SW1A 1NY, United Kingdom.
6. Drive an Aston Martin around Silverstone
Looking at the cars from the Bond movies might be exciting, but what if you want a chance to get behind the wheel yourself? Head an hour northeast of British Airways’ base at London Heathrow Terminal 5, and you get enjoy eight scintillating laps of the track in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage! Not only will you get to drive Bond’s car, but you’ll be putting the pedal to the metal around a real Formula One race track. Drivers must be over 21 and be between 5ft 2ins and 6ft 6ins (1.57m and 1.98m) tall.
Get the ultimate driving experience from £159.20 (S$341).
7. Visit the Spectre World Premiere venue at the Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall played host to the World Premiere of the new James Bond’s Spectre movie and you can visit the historic venue on your visit to London. There are six types of tours available, including a behind-the-scenes and afternoon tea, or you might be lucky enough to visit when a show is taking place. Recent star performances have included Eric Clapton, Russell Watson and The Beach Boys.
For more information, visit www.royalalberthall.com.
8. Walk across the O2 Arena roof…but don’t fall like Bond did
Remember when Pierce Brosnan’s Bond took a fall from a hot air balloon onto the roof of the O2 Arena in The World Is Not Enough (1999)? Visitors to the world’s most popular venue can enjoy 360 degree views by walking to the top of the iconic landmark. You can take in the stunning views and keep safe with boots, suit, harness and latch to connect yourself to a giant walkway. A guide will then take you up to the summit.
Tickets start at £28 for adults and children. Minimum age 10.
9. Go inside Bond’s Mi6 from Quantum of Solace
London’s Barbican is one of the city’s most prominent arts centres, and was briefly the new HQ for Mi6 in Quantum of Solace (2008). During the film, M and Tanner are seen walking out from what is supposed to the offices, which are actually located on the roof of the centre in Barbican Frobisher Crescent. Pose on the spot from the film to capture your own Bond moment, and while you are there, don’t forget to catch a show or an exhibition in the arts centre.
For more information, visit www.barbican.org.uk.
10. Marvel at the toys of the real James Bonds
The world of espionage and secret missions is not all fun and games. Go beyond the movies and check out the tools of the trade for real spies. London’s Imperial War Museum hosts a permanent exhibition showcasing the undercover world of espionage, covert operations and the work of Britain’s Special Forces. The show – called Secret War – features many previously classified objects on public display for the very first time including gadgets designed by real life Qs.
For more information on the exhibition, click here.
For more information on British Airways, visit ba.com.