It might sound weird but I am a really big James Bond fan. When I was younger I watched all the films and I still go to the cinema every time a new one gets released. I’m certainly not immune to the franchise’s flaws, but it doesn’t stop me enjoying a bit of escapism.
The London Film Museum – not a place I’d ever been aware of, although it’s been in its present location in Covent Garden since 2012 – is currently dedicated to a Bond in Motion exhibition, showcasing many of the vehicles from the James Bond films. It’s been on for a while, but I’m glad I waited until now to go, as it now has a selection of vehicles from the latest film, Spectre. To be honest, the exhibition shows no sign of leaving, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it eventually contained vehicles from whichever Bond film comes next.
As you enter the exhibition you can see Little Nellie, the helicopter from You Only Live Twice, hanging from the ceiling. A small exhibition space on the mezzanine contains diagrams and other memorabilia, but its when you take the lift down to the basement that the exhibition proper really begins.
There are many, many vehicles on display: mostly, but not exclusively, cars. They span the whole half-century of Bond films. Some have damage that was caused by stunts used in filming.
Crocodile sub from Octopussy
Information panels explain the statistics relating to each vehicle: I confess I didn’t pay much attention to these. Of more interest were the short film clips demonstrating each car in action.
At the end of the exhibition there is a cafe and a small gift shop. You exit into Covent Garden, right beside the London Transport Museum. The cafe is open to all: it might be a good refreshment option if you’re passing through the area and all the cafes are really crowded.
Obviously, Bond in Motion is going to appeal more to those who love cars. I’m not one of those people, but it was nice to experience a bit of escapism and relive some of the fun moments from the Bond films. The exhibition is pretty pricey, but look out for offers: I got mine through Living Social.
Address: 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 7BN
Opening Hours: Daily 10am-6pm (except certain closure days advertised on website), open until 7pm on Saturdays
Prices: Adults £14.50, concessions £9.50; under 5s free