James Bond: 10 Places to follow in the footsteps of 007

The 25th movie on the most famous secret agent in the world is underway and it’s a good time to look back at some emblematic locations of previous movies to follow in the footsteps of the spy On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

James Bond Beach in Jamaica – Dr No.

Probably one of the most famous scenes in the history of the saga.  The beautiful Ursula Andress emerges from the water in a bikini and instantly becomes THE James Bond Girl.  A homage will be paid to her in the film Die Another Day with Halle Berry coming out of the water in the same way.  Renamed James bond Beach in honor of the movie shooting, the beach also has a bar called the Moonraker, another film title and a reference to the saga.

Himeji Castle in Japan – You Only Live Twice

The Himeji Castle in Japan is home to a ninja school run by Tiger Tanaka where James Bond (Sean Connery) goes in order to further his investigation into the hijacking of an American spacecraft.  Built in 1346, this building is the oldest of medieval Japon.  There used to be 84 doors leading into the castle, only 21 remain.

Piz Gloria in Switzerland – On Her Majesty's Secret Service

The exact location of this fanspot is the Piz Gloria restaurant at the top of the Schilthorn at Mürren.  It’s here that George Lazenby, in his one and only James Bond role, filmed most of the movie scenes.  First revolving restaurant in the world, it was built the same year as the movie was made, and was even partly financed by the production.  The name given to the restaurant in the film, Piz Gloria, has been conserved in homage to the British spy!

James Bond Island in Thailand – The Man with the Golden Gun et Tomorrow Never Dies

The real name being Khao Phing Kan, James Bond Island took on this new name following the making of The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974.  Before the film was released, the archipelago was rarely visited.  It’s quite recognizable by the rock which seems alone in the water, Ko Tapu.  According to legend, a fisherman saw a nail in his net that he threw several times in the sea.  Reappearing time after time, he took his sword and with all his strength cut it in two.  Half of the nail was flung violently into the sea, forming this rock.  Actually its name means “nail island”.

Tour Eiffel in Paris – A View To A Kill

As we mentioned in our Guide to Paris – 1000 cult locations in movies, series, music, comics novels after a high speed chase with James Bond, May Day (Grace Jones), throws herself off the Eiffel Tower with a parachute.  The actress really did the stunt without needing a double.  The fall, all of 3 meters, was buffered by cardboard boxes below.  

Hemingway's house in Key West, Florida – License to Kill

Two fanspots in one.  It’s the house of Ernest Hemingway, setting for the making of Licence to Kill with Timothy Dalton in the role of 007, obliged to flee from his MI6 colleagues while established here.  The American author wrote numerous novels in a studio set up on the second floor. 

Radio telescope in Arecibo, Porto Rico – GoldenEye

The Soviet firing system that we can see in the film is in reality the radio telescope in Arecibo.  This device was, until 2016, the largest single-aperture telescope in the world.  In fact it was here that the first picture of an asteroid was taken in 1989 and the first extra solar planets were discovered in 1990.

Jökulsarlon in Iceland – A View To A Kill et Die Another Day

The hotel complex of Gustav Graves (Toby Stephens), the diamond millionaire, is located near this Icelandic lake where 007 goes in order to impede Graves’ plans to dominate the world.  This is not the only film where this stretch of water has made a contribution as it also appeared in A View to A Kill, Batman Begins and Tomb Raider.

82 Cadogan Square, London, England – Skyfall

The head of MI6, M (Judi Dench), lives in this house.  It is to be found on a street known for being one of the most expensive residential streets in England.  Christopher Lee, who played Saroumane in Lord of the Rings and Count Dooku in Star Wars Episode II, lived in Cadogan Square.

MI6 headquarters, London, England – GoldenEye, The World is not Enough, Die Another Day, Skyfall, Spectre 

To finish off this Top 10 places to follow in the footsteps of the British spy, we’ll wind up of course with the MI6 headquarters.  This is the real home of the British secret service created in 1909.  The building was constructed in 1994 and still houses MI6 even though the edifice was destroyed in Specter.  The building staff were able to view a special on-site screening of Skyfall.

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