Poplar Road Love Actually

London’s top film locations: Auris at the Movies

Auris movies London

Are you a film lover? We certainly are at the Toyota UK Blog.

That’s why, to celebrate the Toyota Auris’s sponsorship of ITV Movies, we took an Auris Hybrid Touring Sports on a tour of the UK’s top film locations. Our trip spanned 1,300 miles over four days, taking in London, the Scottish Highlands and many places in between. We’ll be publishing the story and images from each day in a series of blog posts, so stay tuned to see the full set.

Photographer GF Williams was on hand to capture the car on location – read the ‘Getting the shot’ tips below to find out he created each image. We’ll also revealed exactly where each photo was taken so you can retrace our steps if you want to visit the locations.

But if you’re a real film buff, why not put your knowledge of the silver screen to the test by guessing each the film from the image?

Old Royal Naval College

Location one: The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9NN

Movies filmed here: There are plenty! Les Miserables, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Thor: The Dark World, The King’s Speech, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Dark Knight Rises, Sherlock Holmes, and Four Weddings and a Funeral to name but a few.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the stunning Old Royal Naval College was designed by Sir Christopher Wren and built between 1873 and 1712. Originally made to serve as the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, it was converted to a naval training base in 1873. It is now a cultural destination open to the public and parts of the buildings are leased to the Trinity College of Music.

The college has served as a filming location in many movies and TV shows, standing in for Paris in Les Misearables and playing a major part in the recently-released Marvel blockbuster Thor: The Dark World.

Getting the shot: “There wasn’t much to do here, it’s a great location and the light was great too. I shot at f7.1 to get both the car and background in focus. I brought out the side and front of the car in the edit, as they were in shadow.”

Shaun of the Dead The Winchester

Location two: 39 Monson Road, formerly The Duke of Albany pub, New Cross Gate, London, SE14 5EQ

Movies filmed here: Shaun of the Dead

Now redeveloped as private homes, the former Duke of Albany pub stood in for the Winchester Arms, the local in 2004 zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead. Slacker Shaun leads his friends to the pub to hide from the undead.

Getting the shot: “I went for a square crop to avoid the parked cars on each side, and added a gradient from the top to darken the sky as it was overpowering.”

Poplar Road Love Actually

Location three: Poplar Road, Herne Hill, London, SE24 0BP

Movies filmed here: Love Actually

A firm fixture on festive TV schedules 10 years after its release, Love Actually tells the story of nine interlinked relationships in the run-up to Christmas. Shot at many recognizable London locations, the film dropped in at Poplar Road in Herne Hill (described in the film as ‘the dodgy end of Wandsworth’) for a scene in which Prime Minister David (played by Hugh Grant) searches for Downing Street staff member and love interest Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), in a street where all the houses look identical.

Getting the shot: “We conveniently parked in front of a RAV4 for this, which hid the others parked on the road and kept the image Toyota-related. There’s not much to say apart from that, I didn’t have to edit this image at all as the setting worked nicely.”

Harry Potter Kings Cross

Location four: St Pancras Station, London, N19AL

Movies filmed here: Harry Potter

Although Harry Potter famously begins his journey to Hogwarts school from platform 9¾ of King’s Cross Station, the films actually used the neighbouring St Pancras Station as its splendid Victorian architecture outshines the real King’s Cross. A luggage trolley is now embedded into a wall of the real King’s Cross to form a Harry Potter attraction, but problems with crowding have seen it move inside the station to the western departures area.

Joined by the King’s Cross St Pancras underground stop, the stations combine to form one of the UK’s biggest transport hubs, serving the east, north-east, midlands and south-east, as well as Europe.

Getting the shot: “I had to wait at the crossroads for the car, but I wanted as much of the building as possible in the shot. We had to drive slowly to create some space for the car, which isn’t always easy in central London! I made the blues a bit brighter as the car was in the shade and looked a little dull.”

Notting Hill Westbourne Park Road

Location five: 280 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 1EH

Movies filmed here: Notting Hill

Our fifth London location, 280 Westbourne Park Road, remains a draw for rom-com lovers for its appearance in Notting Hill. The blue door (the adjacent pillars were also painted in the same colour in the film) was the entrance to Hugh Grant’s character William Thacker’s home. Its most memorable appearance comes when the paparazzi discover movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) is staying there, and Thacker’s housemate Spike (Rhys Ifans) poses for them in his grey Y-fronts.

Bonus fact: 280 Westbourne Park Road was once owned by the film’s director Richard Curtis.

Getting the shot: “Another very simple shot, there was little to do here. Again, I made the blues brighter to bring out the colour.”

Where did we head next? We’ll publish part two of our Auris at the Movies story very soon – be sure to check back.

See also:
Toyota Auris set for UK movie tour
Scotland’s top film locations: Auris at the Movies
Northern England’s top film locations: Auris at the Movies
Southern England’s top film locations: Auris at the Movies

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