From bikini clad bodies on idyllic beaches to cruising around Monaco, special agent James Bond has it all. As noticeable as the beautiful women that surround him are the exceptional filming locations of the 007 movies. Although most of the locations make it look as though Bond is on a constant luxury holiday, well, he does play roulette a lot so maybe that’s how he affords it. With the 23rd Bond instalment, Skyfall, breaking box office records on its opening weekend our much-loved, well-travelled agent is saving the world again, at home and abroad.
Skyfall opens with an exhilarating chase over the rooftops of magnificent Istanbul. The city’s bustling streets are duly depicted and the colourful markets are shown to host a collision between two speeding cars. Likewise are the scenic views of the city from the rooftops – only noticeable however in the background as the viewer’s full focus is on Bond careering over the rooftops on a motorbike. Nevertheless, as a fan will know, Bond travels across the world on less than ordinary city breaks, in contrasting scenes of death defying stunts, car chases to relaxing in the only way 007 knows how in stunning locations which set each scene perfectly.
Beaches, babes and danger
Setting the bar in the beginning and, even to this day seen as one of the most iconic scenes in the James Bond series, comes from the 1962 film Dr No. Set predominantly in Jamaica the film sees Bond travel to a mysterious island to defeat the evil Dr No. Nonetheless the scene that is most famed in the film depicts the beautiful Honey Ryder, played by Ursula Andress, stepping out of the ocean. Undoubtedly, each 007 film can be seen as an action packed, although somewhat unrealistic trailer for international tourist boards. Dr No takes a stunning tour of Jamaica from Blue Mountain to Kingston to Montego Bay, allowing a timeless capture of 1960s paradise.
In the 1980s The Living Daylights (1987) sees Timothy Dalton travelling to Morocco and Austria. With the majority set between the two countries Bond travels to Austria and again to Afghanistan, to stop the evil Soviet arms dealer aiming to spark a world war. Equally in Die Another Day featuring Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry Bond is off on another one of his terribly dangerous luxury beach holidays. The streets of Cuba are in fact set in Cádiz in Andalucía, Spain. It could be said that the scene in which Halle Berry gracefully exits the water does but mimic that of Honey Ryder’s in Dr No – showing that sun-kissed beaches draw the attention of both Mr Bond and the film’s director.
The not so luxurious places…
Although our country doesn’t boast soft, sandy, sun-kissed beaches or weather that does not often warrant swimwear, the James Bond movies are, quite rightly so, distinctly British. The action-packed Bond series undoubtedly show the rest of the world that making and drinking tea is not what the British just do best. Thus, the 007 films tend to show the British landscape at its finest, from an Aston Martin speeding through a quaint English village to a hovercraft darting along the shores of Hampshire. One of the most famous British sets is in Amberley, located within West Sussex. The Sussex chalk pits lay the setting for the climax of A View to a Kill (1985), in which Bond, (Roger Moore), defeats the evil Zorin (Christopher Walken). Similarly Skyfall takes viewers into the heart of London with many scenes taking place in the city centre, the London underground tube network and outside the city including Surrey and Scotland, as 007 defends MI6.
From Russia (With Love), to Italy, from Jamaica to Scotland, James Bond is one of the most travelled characters in cinematic history. The exceptional film locations famed for boasting stunning views are a strong characteristic of every Bond film to date. With the Bond films providing probably one of the most expensive trailers for travel ever, the only thing visitors will miss at these destinations is the drama and perhaps the women.