By Xander Brett, Travel Editor, & the Epigram Travel Team
The Croft Magazine // As Bristol's cinemas continue to fill, we turn to the locations of Bond 25. Havana may have actually been Buckinghamshire, but this was a typical globe-touring Bond production.
The Norwegian government reportedly gave 47m NOK (£4m) in tax breaks to help draw production here, and the country was the first location of filming, back in March 2019: only the second time it has featured in a Bond film, since a brief appearance as the location of a secret UN base in You Only Live Twice. Léa Seydoux, transformed to blonde beauty in white trousers as Madeleine Swann, hides out in the frozen wastes of Norway, speaking French but watching NRK. Her house is the location of the film’s terrifying opening scene when she is a child. That will be somewhat repeated later in the film to the next generation. Production returned in June to shoot a car chase just south of Kristiansand, over the Atlanterhavsveien bridge, and again that winter.
Italy’s elegance has long been a draw for the Bond franchise. Spectre includes a scene shot at St Peter’s Square in Rome, while scenes of From Russia with Love and Moonrakerwere shot in Venice… oh, and who could forget Casino Royale’s destruction of the city! The subsequent film, Quantum of Solace, starts during Siena’s palio, while parts of For Your Eyes Only were shot in the Veneto, and The Spy Who Loved Me finishes action in Sardinia. The opening car chase of No Time to Die takes place in Matera, a town in the southern region of Basilicata, synonymous with its cave dwellings. These grottoes were inhabited by the town’s impoverished residents until 1952 and are now a tourist attraction. We’re given sweeping vistas of Matera from a hotel balcony, and Bond is brought into the action at the local cemetery, later making a perilous rope jump off a bridge, filmed nearby in Gravina, Puglia. The sweeping coastal car journeys, reusing Louis Armstrong’s music, were filmed near Sapri in Campania.
It was in Jamaica, at his Goldeneye estate, that Ian Fleming penned his first Bond novel. The Caribbean is no stranger to the books and films, given its sun and sand. It was here that Honey Ryder made her sumptuous arrival in Dr No, emerging from the sea in a white bikini, clasping two shells. The franchise returned to film Live and Let Die, and the Caribbean also features in Thunderball, Licence to Kill, GoldenEye, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. Bond’s retirement villa at Port Antonio is not unlike the location of his last retirement in Skyfall. He sails up to his jetty and takes a trip into town, to be met by Felix Leiter, his old CIA friend.
Scotland and the Faroe Islands
Bond is from Scotland, and it featured heavily in The World Is Not Enough and Skyfall(Bond’s fiftieth anniversary). In No Time to Die, it doubles for Norway during cross country car chases. Stunts were filmed in the forests of Cairngorms, and at the Ardverikie Estate on the shores of Loch Laggan. Bond 25 ends on a disputed island between Russia and Japan. But it’s in fact located just north of Scotland, in the Faroe Islands: a semi-autonomous territory of Denmark… which makes this North Atlantic archipelago the location of the biggest bombshell ending to any film in history. Crews spent three days on Kalsoy island, filming aerial shots at Trøllanes and the Kallur promontory.
Featured Image: Epigram