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Thursday June 8th 2023

Mission: Impossible – Fallout | 2018

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Preikestolen, Forsand, Norway
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Hunt and 'John Lark' battle it out in 'Kashmir': Preikestolen, Forsand, Norway | Photograph: Shutterstock / Laura Pl

The hideout where the team meets up with Hunley (Alec Baldwin) is accessed by an unmarked door on Canon Alley, a narrow pedestrian thoroughfare running down to St Paul’s Cathedral. It's a great place for an unusual photo of the Cathedral.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Canon Alley, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Lane is held in the vault: Canon Alley, London EC4

That modern brick frontage, though, seems to hide a strangely extensive underground vault. This isn’t Bishopsgate again – this is the Pennington Street Warehouse vaults, also known as The Rum Warehouse, Pennington Street, London E1, at the northern margin of the old London Dock miles to the east.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Pennington Street Warehouse, Pennington Street, London E1
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: the London hideout near St Paul's : Pennington Street Warehouse, Pennington Street, London E1 | Photograph: Wikimedia / Paul the Archivist

The vaults, dating from 1806, were used to store newly-imported goods, including spirits, which gave the nickname. They’re Grade II-listed and after standing empty for years, they’ve been converted to art studio space and a filming location. Remember the arches as the underground garage / armoury beneath the pub in Hobbs & Shaw?

After a switchback of double crosses, Walker is revealed as ‘Lark’ and escapes, though not before killing Hunley.

The London geography is only slightly better than that of Paris.

Hunt runs down to St Paul’s Churchyard but finds himself entering the front of St Paul’s Cathedral from the opposite direction.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Addle Hill, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Walker heads away from the vault: Addle Hill, London EC4

Walker, meanwhile, is already a couple of blocks southwest, strutting along Addle Hill – seen, before it was modernised, in 1997 biopic Wilde, with Stephen Fry as the writer, who gets the first intimations of his sexuality here as he watches a bunch of working class youths (which includes Orlando Bloom in his first screen appearance).

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Hunt enters the Cathedral – from the wrong direction: St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4

Inside St Paul’s Cathedral, Hunt is obliged to crash a sombre military funeral, before racing up the magnificent spiral staircase, the Dean’s Stairs – also seen in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – and into the Whispering Gallery.

The gallery is a circular walkway running around the inner base of the dome, some 100 feet above the Cathedral's Nave.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Whispering Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Hunt finds himself high above the Cathedral Nave: Whispering Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4 | Photograph: Wikimedia / Femtoquake

The nickname comes from its strange acoustics. You can whisper along the wall and be clearly heard by someone way over on the other side. This wasn’t carefully planned by Sir Christopher Wren, it’s simply an unforeseen consequence of the way sound waves bounce around this particular curve.

Since someone fell to their death from the Gallery in 2019, it’s been closed to the public. It's worth checking to see if safety improvements have allowed it to open again.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Hunt climbs onto the roof: St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4

From here, Hunt climbs out onto the roof of St Paul’s, for real, of course. This is Tom Cruise – although the safety harness he wore was digitally removed.

Following Benji’s directions, Hunt leaps between rooftops. Of course, in real life there’s no building remotely close enough to St Paul’s to leap onto. London streets are not quite that narrow. The rooftop chase is simplified to keep the action flowing quickly.

Hunt runs across the glass roof of the Grange St Paul's Hotel before leaping onto the roof of Baynard House, somehow managing to have vaulted over busy Queen Victoria Street.

By the way, in the background, that’s the Faraday Building, alongside it and just out of shot is the Church of Scientology of London HQ. Just saying.

From here, it’s straightforward across the roof of the blocks on Queen Victoria Street until Hunt runs into an office facing the roof of Blackfriars Station.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Blackfriars Station, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Hunt runs across the station roof: Blackfriars Station, London EC4

The old Blackfriars railway bridge itself has been imaginatively converted into a glassed-in mainline railway station.

Ethan runs along the spine of the station’s roof while Walker calmly walks along the platform beneath.

Hunt manages to get down from the roof and sprints under the southern end of Blackfriars Bridge along the Thames riverfront walk leading to Tate Modern, the old art deco Bankside power station repurposed as a modern art gallery.

The gallery has an extensive screen history. Before its transformation, it became a massively intimidating Eastern European-style prison in the 1995 version of Richard III with Ian McKellen.

Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Whispering Gallery, St Paul's Cathedral, London EC4
Mission: Impossible – Fallout film location: Walker makes his escape by helicopter: Tate Gallery, Bankside, London | Photograph: Wikimedia / Graham Robson

Since renovation it’s been seen in Woody Allen’s Match Point, and in Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London. The vast Turbine Hall became the interior of the ‘Ark of the Arts’ for Alfonso Cuarón’s dystopian Children Of Men.

Walker is chased to the top of the old power station chimney, where a 'copter whisks him, and Lane away.

The Apostles now have two bombs, which need to be defused simultaneously.

A second tracker planted in Lane leads the team to ‘Kashmir’, and we're back to New Zealand.

The bombs are hidden somewhere in a medical relief camp, which turns out to be run by Julia, with her new husband Erik (Wes Bentley).

The camp was built at the descriptively-named Muddy Creek Field on Rees Valley Road, Mount Earnslaw in the Otago region north of Queenstown on the South Island.

As Walker attempts to escape by copter, followed of course by Hunt, the rugged mountain range over which they fly is Centaur Peaks, a few miles northeast of the ‘camp’.

When Hunt catches up with Walker’s helicopter, forcing him to make a crash-landing. The sheer cliff face with its flat top where the two fight to the death, is real – but it’s not in New Zealand.

It’s a rock formation called Preikestolen (Preacher's Pulpit) northeast of Forsand, east of Stavanger in southern Norway, and it’s one of the most visited natural tourist attractions in the country – popular with BASE jumpers. I think I’ll give that experience a miss.

The horizontal table is around 80 feet square and a dizzying 1,982 feet above the northern shore of Lysefjord. It was also seen in TV series Vikings.

Finally, back in London, Lane is handed back to MI6 on the Thames Embankment alongside Albert Bridge, Chelsea SW3.

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