Recently in Fictional Spook locations Category

Cambridge Circus - John le Carré's "the Circus"

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Cambridge Circus is the cross roads of the Charing Cross Road (north south) with Shaftesbury Avenue (east west). It is also the widely assumed fictional setting of "the Circus" - the headquarters buildings of "British Intelligence", as portrayed in the espionage thriller novels (and their resulting films and TV series) by John le Carré, e.g. Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley's People etc.


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:30:47 ( 51.513116 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:44 ( -0.128802 )

See also this semi-live BBC Jam cam traffic camera image (usually updated every few minutes, unless there is actually some interesting incident, when the feed is censored) from the Charing Cross Road / Cambridge Circus camera, which usually points west along Shaftesbury Avenue towards Chinatown on the left.

N.B. it does not appear that "British Intelligence", certainly not the Secret Intelligence Service MI6, was ever really based at Cambridge Circus.

However, passages from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, perhaps point to a more likely candidate building, just north of the actual Cambridge Circus cross roads itself:

Allowing for some artistic licence, and the author's natural caution and espionage tradecraft, there do not seem to be any buildings actually on the crossroads of Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road which fit the descriptions in the novel, which makes several references to the "fifth floor", where the senior members of the organisation had their offices.

[via Microsoft]

South Bank - Waterloo Station


Waterloo Station is the major Railway station in London, with Channel Tunnel trains and local busy commuter services.

William Gibson's novel Pattern Recognition (2003) has the heroine Cayce Pollard take a train to Poole in Dorset from here



GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:30:11 ( 51.502957 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:06:44 ( -0.112129 )

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) features the pedestrian bridge between Waterloo Station and the Shell Building, and the surrounding offices and a bus stop on York Road below, in the sequence where Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) slips a Guardian Journalist a pre-paid mobile phone and warns him of the CIA surveillance agents and assassins in the area.


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude:(WGS84) N51:30:13 ( 51.503475 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:06:53 ( -0.114702 )

Charing Cross Hotel - Sherlock Holmes




In the story of the The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington plans (published in The Strand magazine, December 1908)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional master detective and spy catcher Sherlock Holmes, uncovered a a traitor through the use of a fake message inserted into a compromised private communications channel (newspaper personal column advert). Sherlock Holmes and then forced the traitor to lure the foreign secret agent and murderer Hugo Oberstein into a trap at the Charing Cross Hotel, at Charing Cross mainline railway station, and recovered the missing secret naval submarine blueprints.

The original story gives little detail of this climax, but the many subsequent TV and film adaptations tend to depict a classic secret intelligence agent meeting and arrest.


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:30:30 ( 51.508334 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:30 ( -0.124934 )

Harry Palmer trilogy - Col. Ross's office overlooking Trafalgar Square


Colonel Ross (Guy Dolman)'s office at the north eastern corner Whitehall, overlooking Trafalgar Square - used in three Harry Palmer spy films, starring Michael Caine: The Ipcress File (1965), Funeral in Berlin (1966) and Billion Dollar Brain (1967).

See the Harry Palmer Moviesite and Ipcress file film locations for more details:



GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:30:25 ( 51.507063 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:37 ( -0.127033 )

Spooks - Freemasons' Hall - 60 Great Queen Street

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The BBC TV drama series Spooks shows fictional MI5 Security Service agents in action.

Instead of Thames House, the series uses Freemasons' Hall, used by the United Grand Lodge of England, in Great Queen Street in Covent Garden

Freemasons' Hall
60 Great Queen Street



GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:30:55 ( 51.515161 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:16 ( -0.121137 )

Ian Fleming - James Bond 007 - 16 Victoria Square


The author Ian Fleming wrote his first James Bond 007 novels, starting with Casino Royale whilst living at 16 Victoria Square in Belgravia, near to Buckingham Palace.


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:29:53 ( 51.497997 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:08:42 ( -0.145024 )

The Prisoner - Number Six's flat - 1 Buckingham Place

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Number Six's flat location at 1 Buckingham Place, is in the opening credits of Patrick McGoohan's cult classic spy sci-fi TV series The Prisoner


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:29:55 ( 51.498743 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:08:26 ( -0.140441 )





Catherine Place : The road junction on the left is the north end of Buckingham Place.


The building on the right with the security grille windows on the ground floor houses the offices of the "ethical" trade association for British Mercenary /Security / Private Military Contractor companies - the British Association of Private Security Companies at 57b Catherine Place.

The Prisoner - Abingdon Street Car Park Ramp


Abingdon Street Car Park Ramp is in the opening credits of Patrick McGoohan's cult classic spy sci-fi TV series The Prisoner


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:29:52 ( 51.497868 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:34 ( -0.126171 )

Secret Intelligence Service MI6 - Vauxhall Cross


The Secret Intelligence Service / MI6 headquarters building, at 85 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall Cross, SE1 7TP, right by Vauxhall Bridge and Vauxhall mainline railway and Tube stations. SIS / MI6 concentrates on foreign intelligence operations i.e. spying, but has had roles in Northern Ireland as well.


GPS grid coordinates:
Latitude: (WGS84) N51:29:16 ( 51.487799 )
Longitude: (WGS84) W0:07:29 ( -0.124639 )


See also the semi-live BBC Jam Cam image, (which are updated every few minutes, unless there is some interesting incident, when the feeds are censored), from the Vauxhall Cross / Albert Embankment camera.

The distinctive building was designed by architect Sir Terry Farrell.

Apart from the basic cost of the land and the fabric of the building, and the subsequent secret communications and security fit out, the Italian marble cladding cost an estimated £60 million circa 1988.

This real life Spook Country HQ has also been used as a backdrop and film location for several James Bond 007 films i.e. Golden Eye (1995), The World Is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002), and Casino Royale (2006).

On September 20, 2000, at around 10:15 pm the building was attacked by a Russian-built Mark 22 rocket propelled grenade (RPG), launched from Spring Gardens park, over the mainline railway station, through which a train which I was on, had just passed through a few minutes before.

This blew out a small window on the 8th floor, in the central lift shaft/ fire stairs core (left hand window), but luckily nobody was hurt. The Anti-Terrorist branch of the Metropolitan Police attributed responsibility to Irish Republicans, specifically the Real IRA terrorists.


This building has been recently Designated as a Protected Site under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 section 128, which makes it a criminal offence to cross the outer boundary without permission, technically the curtilage i.e.the outer gates and fences and walls.

There is a Public Right of Way which is part of the riverside wall footpath, so it is still perfectly legal to walk all the way around this building, even on to the river side, where there is a marble terrace. You do get a good photo view of the Houses of Parliament and the MI5 Thames House, Millbank Tower and the National Gallery on the other side of the river Thames from there.

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