Double Oh Heaven: Seven Destinations for James Bond Fans

Seven Destinations for James Bond Fans thailand

By Richard Jones

It is exactly 70 years since Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, was published, with the opening feature film in the franchise, Dr No, following nine years later.

To celebrate the super spy’s special birthday, we look at seven places that 007 fans should visit.

Seven Destinations for James Bond Fans scotland

[image: visit Scotland]

1. Glen Coe, Scotland – Skyfall (2012)

Starring Daniel Craig as 007, Sam Mendes’ Skyfall sees Bond returning to his Scottish roots, and much of the action in the final act takes place at Bond’s family home, Skyfall Lodge, located within the awe-inspiring Lochaber Geopark in the Scottish Highlands. Glencoe village lies between the banks of Loch Leven and the mouth of the famous glen, making it the perfect base for exploring the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. Fleming’s family also owned a lodge in Glen Etive, next to Glen Coe, and in his 1964 novel You Only Live Twice, the author also revealed that, as a boy, James attended Fettes College – a private school in Edinburgh.

2. London, England – The World is Not Enough (1999), Spectre (2015) & No Time To Die (2021)

There are many London tours that will take you on a journey to uncover some of the locations from the Bond films, including the most recent adventure No Time to Die. You get to learn about aspects of the British Secret Service and Fleming’s life, with sites including London’s oldest restaurant, the National Gallery, Whitehall, MI5 and the MI6 Building at Vauxhall Cross, which is home to the real British Intelligence Service and was blown up in Spectre. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could climb up onto the roof of The O2, following the footsteps of Pierce Bronson in The World is Not Enough.

Seven Destinations for James Bond Fans jamaica

3. Jamaica – Dr No (1962) & Live and Let Die (1973)

Jamaica is the birthplace of Bond – Fleming visited the island in 1942 while serving as a naval officer and fell in love with its stunning natural beauty. He moved there after the war and wrote many novels in his purpose-built home, GoldenEye, which is now a boutique resort. Jamaica was also a filming location for Dr No – it was on Ocho Rios beach where Ursula Andress appeared from the ocean as Honey Ryder. Plus, a great deal of Roger Moore’s Live and Let Die was shot on the Caribbean island, and you can book a stay at the chic Half Moon in one of the cottages that appeared as Bond’s hotel room.

4. Bahamas – Thunderball (1965), Never Say Never Again (1983) & Casino Royale (2006)

Who could forget that beach scene where Daniel Craig emerges from the ocean in his swimming trunks? The stunning stretch of coastline is Cove Beach on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. At Ocean Club, you can recreate 007’s arrival in Casino Royale, while the suite where Bond and Solange hide away is part of the hotel. Craig wasn’t the first Bond to arrive in the Bahamas though, with Sean Connery heading to the island in Thunderball and in its unofficial remake, Never Say Never Again, in which the disused, star-shaped 16th-century Fort Carré d’Antibes houses Largo’s Palmyra fortress.

Seven Destinations for James Bond Fans venice

5. Venice – From Russia with Love (1963), Moonraker (1978) & Casino Royale (2006)

For most people, Venice conjures up romantic images of canals and gondolas, but Bond fans will recall the city’s starring role in From Russia with Love. When Sean Connery boards the Orient Express in Venice, the fight scene that ensues aboard the iconic train is legendary. Guests travelling on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will find it a much more relaxing experience these days, but with a Champagne bar and chic art deco design, you’ll still feel just as glamorous as the super-spy. Bond returned to Venice in Moonraker and in Casino Royale, when the palazzo spectacularly sank into the lagoon.

6. Thailand – The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) & Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Roger Moore’s second outing as Bond in The Man with the Golden Gun sees him chasing professional assassin Francisco Scaramanga from Macau to Hong Kong, then on through Thai capital Bangkok and all the way to the Phuket. Dubbed by many 007 location-hunters as the holy grail, Khao Phing Kan (top image) is often referred to as Scaramanga’s Island or James Bond Island. The Ko Ta Pu limestone rock was also featured in Tomorrow Never Dies but was identified as Vietnam.

Seven Destinations for James Bond Fans switzerland

7. Switzerland, Goldfinger (1964) & On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

The Aston Martin DB5 is the iconic Bond car. And in Goldfinger it is presented in the most beautiful way – with the pursuit through the winding roads on Furka Pass in the Swiss Alps. For George Lazenby’s only 007 outing, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, many scenes were filmed at Piz Gloria, a 2,970m high summit in the Bernese Oberland. The longest aerial cableway in the Alps, the Schilthorn/Piz Gloria provides stunning views over Switzerland. At its revolving restaurant, you can taste a legendary Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred, at its James Bond Bar.


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