great places to visit off the beaten path.
Just off Covent Garden, behind the London Transport Museum, is the London Film Museum. Occupying the former flower cellars associated with Covent Garden’s early years, this state of art facility was opened two years ago. While exhibits will change over time, the current James Bond exhibit, titled ‘Bond in Motion’, demonstrates the strength this institution has in bringing meaningful and significant film related exhibitions to London.
History: Original created in 2008 as the Movieum, the museum was previously located in the County Hall building. Its purpose is to support the British film industry and the talent within it. In 2010 the group changed its name to the London Film Museum to better communicate its purpose and mission. In 2012 the museum moved into its new facilities just off Covent Garden. The museum is the only one of its kind in Britain. Prior exhibits have focused on Ray Harryhausen and Charlie Chaplin.
Bond in Motion: The current exhibit is open throughout 2014 and is the largest collection of James Bond vehicles ever assembled for display in London. There are no replica vehicles on display – all have been used in filming the various installments. From Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce, to the submersible Lotus, to current Aston Martins – there is something here for everyone. While the range of cars is broad and essentially complete across all films, there is also a wide range of other vehicles, including Little Nellie (gyrocopter), motorcycles, the jetpack, and many others.
A significant range of scale models, story boards and props are also on display. It was particularly pleasing to see the scale model of the DB5 that was destroyed in Skyfall – dispelling any concerns that a real DB5 was shot up!
Many of the items are on loan from EON Productions or the Ian Fleming Foundation; however, the musuem does own some of the items as part of its permanent collection. As a James Bond fan (who isn’t ), the exhibit met expectations on all levels.
Visiting: The museum is open daily from 10-6 (10-7 Sat). Admission fees apply and tickets can be bought online in advance or at the door. There are both a cafe and a gift shop on site.
Location: 45 Wellington St, London, WC2E 7BN
Closest Tube: Covent Garden, Leicester Sq or Charing Cross.