This Christmas Mary Poppins returned….finally! And what a treat it was (!) – just like the 1964 version was before it. Unlike the original, the film was actually shot in London (rather than in a film studio) so book yourself a Blue Badge guide to sing and dance in the footsteps of Mary Poppins, Jack and the Banks family on their quest to save 17 Cherry Tree Lane from the claws of the greedy bank.
1 St Paul’s Cathedral
This features less in the new film than in the 1964 original but you do get a glimpse of it when Jack is riding his bike as he makes his route to light the gas lamps.
2 The Two Chairmen Pub
Jack also cycles past this quintessential London pub. (You can also find out along the way, where this pub gets its unusual name.)
3 Tower Bridge
And he also cycles past this famous London bridge.
4 Goodwin Court
It is here in Goodwin Court that Mary Poppins leads Jack and the Banks children to the home of her cousin, Topsy Turvy so that she can fix their “priceless” Royal Doulton music bowl. However, it being the second Wednesday of the month, they find that her whole world has gone flippity-flop like a turtle on its back. (You may recognise this court if you’ve been on a Harry Potter tour with a Blue Badge guide.)
5 Cowley Street
Jane Banks has followed in her mother’s footsteps as an activist. We see her striding forth with her SPRUCE (Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Underpaid Citizens of England) placards flung over her shoulder before she gets picked up by Jack on his bike, prompting Mary Poppins and the Banks children to jump off and go the rest of the way to the bank on foot.
6 Bank of England
First things first, this building isn’t the real Bank of England. It’s actually the Royal Exchange – but the real Bank of England is conveniently just next door. This is where Michael Banks works (as he knows he can’t make enough money through painting) along with a new manager, Mr William “Weatherall” Wilkins, whose kind nature has a sniff of a wicked wolf.
7 Middle Temple Lane
After the upset at the bank with Michael Banks, the Banks children, with Mary in tow, get lost in the fog before bumping into Jack who with the help of the leeries leads them home, tripping a little light fantastic with them.
8 Buckingham Palace
And on their way home, they dance by one of the most famous residents in London….The Queen’s Palace!
9 Big Ben
If you ever need to know the time, just ask Big Ben because he’s never wrong. That is until Mary and Jack have to turn back time so that Michael and Jane can get to the bank before midnight.
So if you “pick the right string, then your heart will take wing and there’s nowhere to go but up!”
There aren’t just these nine sites to explore,
but statues of Kings, Suffragettes and more.
So take a Blue Badge guide to lead you on your flight,
to sing your way from site to site.
Catherine Raggett is a Blue Badge Guide working in London and the South East of England. She offers a range of tours including special film location tours. Come on a tour with her and see where Harry Potter, Mary Poppins, The Minions, James Bond and more were filmed.