A leisurely walk through wealthy Mayfair in the style of James Bond.
Distance 2.7 miles (4.4km)
Minimum time 1hr 30
Level of difficulty Easy
Paths Paved streets
Landscape Shopping, residential and business district of West End
Suggested map AA Street by Street London
Start/finish Bond Street tube
Dog friendliness 007 would leave his at home
Public toilets None on route
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1 Turn left outside the tube station and sharp left 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.
2 Turn left here and cross the road to reach the store, Fenwick. Turn right 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.
3 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.
4 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 & Garrard into Grafton Street; which takes a 90-degree left bend, becoming Dover Street.
5 Turn right along Hay Hill and then right again towards Berkeley Square, crossing two zebra 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.
6 Turn right into South Audley Street and its Spy Shop, then, at Purdey's (gunmakers), turn left into Mount Street. At the end turn right along Park Lane, past the Grosvenor House Hotel.
7 Turn right into Upper Grosvenor Street, past the American Embassy on Grosvenor Square, then turn left into Davies Street. 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.
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. Fifty 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.
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. A few doors away, the Spy Shop is where Q might have spent many a fine hour. He may have recommended the recording briefcase with concealed microphones that optionally transmits conversation, or perhaps the body wires or transmitting pens and calculators from this shop that sells 'business tools built to military specification'.
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 stop off at the Kenneth Turner flower shop in Avery Row and treat the long-suffering Miss Moneypenny to an artistic bouquet. 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?
Decadence - while you might not see many Aston Martins there will be plenty of Mercedes, BMWs and Audis. Similarly, the shops in this area of London are some of the most exclusive in the city. Enter these and you'll have the door opened for you by a man in a dark suit.
The Elemis Day Spa is a little piece of heaven in Mayfair, and the perfect place to pass an hour or two before or after the walk. The Moorish Suite is so realistic that it could be straight out of a film set.
First stop for 007 might be Hush, a smart restaurant in Lancashire Court with outside seating, that is part-owned by Geoffrey Moore, son of 007 Roger. If time is short, or you just want a hot drink, try the minimalist, modern Carluccio's Café in the basement of Fenwick. It has good lasagne and a choice of set menus. But for the ultimate 007 experience, make sure you stop for a vodka martini at Claridge's Bar in Brook Street.