When the author Ian Fleming created the character James Bond he paved the way for a small minority of actors to participate in an adventure that would take them to some of the world's most exotic locations. Fleming's first novel, Casino Royale, published in 1953, introduced the tough, romantic, handsome hero who became affectionately known as 007. More than 50 years on, films that are based on his books are still being made. This walk captures some of the glamour of James Bond but you must go armed with a good imagination.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service
Mayfair was developed in the 18th century, predominantly by the wealthy Grosvenor family. It is one of the most elegant areas in London. Many of its exclusive shops bear coats of arms, denoting that they are official suppliers to the royal family, and the locality is peppered with superb hotels and restaurants – this is the type of place in which 007 would feel quite at home. In fact 'home' could be Albany, a covert block of bachelors' apartments. It was created from a townhouse owned by George III's son, who was popularised in the nursery rhyme 'the grand old Duke of York'. Byron was one of the first men to live at Albany, which has its own quiet courtyard just off Piccadilly. From here 007 would visit Old Bond Street and its cluster of exclusive shops selling jewellery (Tiffany and Cartier) and pens (Mont Blanc) and also South Audley Street, for this is where the royal gunmaker Purdey's is to be found. Also en route, on the corner of Davies Street and Brooks Mews, is Sunseeker International, suppliers of luxurious yachts and motorboats featured in Bond films: The World is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantam of Solace.
License to thrill
For relaxation, 007 could head for the Elemis Day Spa. There, for an hour or so, he would be transported to a world of sensory heaven in either the Thai, Moorish or Balinese suites, for some serious cleansing and massage in exotic surroundings. Feeling refreshed, he may then even decide to treat the long-suffering Miss Moneypenny to a pampering facial. Then, assuming he was not on a case, off he'd go to Claridge's hotel in search of his favourite tipple. Now, depending upon which Bond we're talking about, this can differ, so let's stick with my favourite, Roger Moore, who played Bond in seven films. Although we all know the line: 'medium-dry martini, shaken, not stirred' Moore as 007 was in fact a champagne and wine man, and drank only three vodka martinis compared with 22 glasses of champagne and wine in his films. But don't let that put you off, for if you're following in the footsteps of 007, apart from never saying never again, how can you go to Claridge's Bar and not order such a legendary cocktail?
From the main entrance to Bond Street tube turn right and right again into pedestrianised South Molton Street. At the end turn left into Brook Street. Cross the road and go along the cobbled right-hand alley, Lancashire Court, which opens into a courtyard. A few paces past Hush restaurant you'll find the Elemis Day Spa.
Turn left here and cross the road at the corner to reach the store, Fenwick. Keep ahead along Brook Street to reach Hanover Square. At the statue of the young William Pitt turn right into St George Street, past St George's Church and left at the end into Conduit Street.
Take the next right into the road of fine suits, Savile Row. At the end bear left and then right into Sackville Street. Turn right along Piccadilly and look out for the entrance to Albany's courtyard on your right.
Just past the auspicious looking Burlington Arcade turn right into Old Bond Street and past several exclusive shops including those of Cartier, Mont Blanc and Tiffany. Turn left after Asprey into Grafton Street; which takes a 90-degree left bend, later becoming Dover Street.
Turn right along Hay Hill and then right again towards Berkeley Square, bearing left at the next corner. Go over two crossings with the square on your right, to reach handsome Charles Street. Beyond the Chesterfield Hotel turn left along Queen Street and then right into Curzon Street.
Turn right into South Audley Street past the Grosvenor Chapel, then, at Purdey's (gunmakers), turn left into Mount Street. At the end turn right along Park Lane, past the Grosvenor House Hotel.
Turn right into Upper Grosvenor Street, past the American Embassy on Grosvenor Square, then turn left into Davies Street; on the corner at No. 36 is Sunseeker International. Next, take the first right into Brooks Mews and go left along the narrow Avery Row. This brings you on to Brook Street. From here you can retrace your steps along South Molton Street back to Bond Street tube from where the walk began.
Shopping, residential and business district of West End
Not suitable for dogs
AA Street by Street London
None on route
Walking in safety
Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.
Also in the area
About the area
Discover Greater London
Greater London is one of the world’s largest urban areas; 33 boroughs stretching north to Enfield, south to Croydon, east to Havering, west to Hillingdon and with central London at the heart of it all.
Greater London was officially created in 1965, but the boroughs themselves all have their own histories going back much further. Greenwich is home to the Prime Meridian, which all clocks on earth take their time from, while Hounslow contains Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. Greater London contains a multitude of parks and green spaces, from the six Royal Parks (including Richmond Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park) and other huge open spaces like Hampstead Heath and Clapham Common; to smaller community spaces like Clissold Park in Stoke Newington and Burgess Park in Southwark.
The centre of London has its quiet spaces too, like Coram’s Field by Great Ormond Street, and Camley Street Natural Park, a stone’s throw from King’s Cross and St Pancras. One of the city’s most impressive features is the London Underground. Beginning in 1863 as the Metropolitan Railway, it took commuters into The City from the suburbs of Middlesex. It was the first underground railway in the world, and now consists of 11 lines, 270 stations, and 250 miles (402km) of track. It’s estimated that nearly five million journeys are taken every day, and there are nearly one and a half billion riders each year. At peak times, there are more than 543 trains whizzing around the Capital.