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Exploring Cardiff with Doctor Who

Cardiff has been the official home of Doctor Who since the series reboot back in 2005. 10 years on, and through Dalek invasions and spatial-temporal rifts, the Welsh capital has become one of the show’s main characters

You might think you’d need a TARDIS to follow in the footsteps of The Doctor, but actually you just need a trip to Cardiff. The popular TV series has featured multiple filming locations from around the city and not only that, it’s also home to a number of Doctor Who-related tours and exhibitions.

Be the star of your own episode

BP3 - CWLPD - Nelo Hotsuma - Be the star of your very own Doctor Who episode in Cardiff

© Nelo Hotsuma

The Doctor Who Experience is an interactive exhibition where you can star in your own Doctor Who episode. The exhibit makes you feel as though you’re journeying through Gallifrey, visiting the TARDIS and helping the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) to defeat a new monster. The experience is home to a massive collection of Doctor Who props, ranging from vintage pieces from the original 1960’s show to items from the latest episodes.

Take in the world of the Doctor

BP3 - CWLPD - Shutterstock - See the headquarters of Doctor Who for yourself when visiting Cardiff

Many of the most famous filming locations are obvious as soon as you see them, for example Roald Dahl Plass, the headquarters of Torchwood Three. You can find plenty of filming locations online, but leave it to the experts and join an unofficial walking tour. Brit Movie Tours offer an unofficial walking tour which takes in 30 scenes across 20 episodes. See Rose Tyler’s workplace, Donna Noble’s wedding venue, and the place where Danny Pink died. The walking tour also takes in Cardiff Castle and ends in the city centre.

Experience the sights with the experts

Brit Movie Tours also runs an unofficial bus tour of Doctor Who filming locations which covers a bit more ground. The bus gives you the opportunity to see key locations in the suburbs, such as Amy Pond’s village. There is still some walking involved, so fans can get up close to some of their favourite filming locations. This means you have the opportunity to wander up and down steps and along the eerie narrow corridors. The tour is run by Doctor Who experts, some of whom have appeared on the show as extras, so it’s a great opportunity to learn more about your favourite actors and hear some behind-the-scenes trivia.

Feast like a Timelord

During the filming of season eight last year, the cast and crew of the show were spotted at the Trade Street Café, located behind Cardiff Railway Station. The café was cordoned off for a day while the crew built the TARDIS, rehearsed lines, and probably enjoyed a snack or two. The menu offers a good selection of local and international classics. Which leads to our most important question: did The Doctor go for the grilled halloumi salad or the homemade beefburger?

Whatever your pick for your Timelord-feast it is sure to satisfy the appetite. Afterwards, head back to our Park Inn by Radisson Cardiff North Hotel which makes a great base for a cosmic weekend break.

Top image © Ints Vikmanis / shutterstock.com

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