Maybe this is something only my family does, but we love to immerse ourselves in movies taking place in the city. With that thought in mind, I put together my favorite movie and TV Shows that will get you in the English and London spirit. They are based on my family's preferences; there are many of films set in London these are the mostly rom coms side.
Paddington- this might be my favorite London movie. Both the story and the inclusion of the city and culture in the story line. If you don't know Paddington is a favorite English Picture book about a bear from Peru who learns about London from an explorer and hides away in a ship to London and gets taken in by a British family and the books and movies follow his adventures through the city. Paddington is a British favorite so that you will see the books and stuffed animals in all the tourist shop.
Harry Potter- if you haven't seen or read harry potter yet I don't know if there's much for me to say to make you watch them. And if you have seen them it's probably the inspiration for your trip Here is my Harry Potter explorations in London. But one last appeal many of the sites in the book and movie before Hogwarts. And if you are popping up to Edinburgh there are plenty of sites to see that inspired the JK Rowling writing the books.
Notting HIll -this is one of our family classics a love story set in the hip trendy area of Notting Hill between one of the Britain's most beloved actors Hugh Grant and America's most loved actress Julia Roberts. If you love this movie make sure to check out Notting Hill and Portobello Road (a famous street fair that is featured in the film and only takes place on Saturdays, but you can visit a lot of the action any day of the week)
Love actually - if you are visiting at christmastime this is a must multiple love stories set in london. If your not visiting at christmas time I would still encourage the movie as a its a true british film.
the Holiday (sort of) Another Christmas Movie and though it doesn't take place in London rather the suburbs of Surrey and Los Angles. It is one of my favorite movies Christmas or not featuring Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz and Jack Black.
pride and prejudice (Authentic bbc) - this technically not a London movie at all (well Jane is in the city for a bit not pictured) but rather it's a British classic and so much in the culture is from Victorian ages and books like Jane Austen. This is just a favorite book, movie and Tv Series of mine.
Belle- another movie taking place outside of London in Victorian age but such a great movie about culture and racial divide in England during the Victorian times. It also a great understanding of the british law.
Wimbledon- if you can are here during Wimbledon you must see my adventures from last summer Here. The story takes place between a Brit and an American tennis player fall in love during the tournament.
Bridget Jones Diaries - the infamous Bridget Jones films/ books you either hate them or love them but they do take place in London, and I found the third movie adorable.
Mr. Selfridge- Selfridges is one of the largest department stores in London probably the equivalent of the British bloomingdales. The store is an iconic part of Oxford Street now. The TV show follows the creation of the store from Harry Selfridges womanizing to how recreated the retail world. if you have any interest in retail it's also a great understanding of the in and outs of retail and how modern retail came to be as Harry Selfridge invented much of it.
Salvage Hunters- Salvage hunters is actually a "reality" show as it follows an antique shop owner acquire stock. And though his shop is in Wales and he rarely comes to London but his knowledge of all history particular British history gives you a great understanding of British history. They also often end up at estate homes and castles which have fascinating histories themselves.
call the midwife- Call the Midwife is set in the East End (the dodge part) in the 1950's during the beginning of the NHS (National Health Services.) Now the Brits are very proud of the NHS so watching this show will explain much of the culture. the Show is incredibly fascinating look at post-WWII in a part of the country most affected and tells how the people were living.
friends - Ok this is an American show with all American actors but it's a cute two-part special taking place in London. And they stay at the hotel my family loves to stay at (though it's been redone since then). And there's an appearance of Fergie and Richard Branson in one of my favorite special appearance.
S4, Ep23 The One with Ross's Wedding: Part One
S4, Ep24 The One with Ross's Wedding: Part Two
If your going to Scotland, you have to watch/ read Outlander I'm obsessed with Outlander. I never thought I wanted to learn about Scottish history until I read this book and though it's a fictional book it takes place during crucial aspects of Scottish history.