Doctor Who is filmed in South Wales. The ninth and the tenth incarnation of the famed time traveller visited many far flung lands – but they were actually all in Wales. Tardis spotters can merrily spot the many film set locations dotted around South Wales, within easy reach of our holiday cottages in the Swansea Valley.
Cardiff is particularly well-Doctored, with scenes shot in the Millennium Stadium, the British Gas building and in the shopping precincts. Shop dummies came to life in the Queen’s Arcade and the Hayes. Rose Tyler worked in Henrik’s department store, in reality, Howells. The Elton’s old family home is Pentwyn Road in Whitchurch, and 18th Century France, in The Girl In The Fireplace, is in fact Dyffryn Gardens, an Edwardian style garden outside Cardiff. Rose’s parents were married in St Paul’s Church in Grangetown in Father’s Day and Daleks attack in the Millennium Stadium stairwells.
In Cardiff Bay Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, was used for its fire escapes, as was the British Gas building in town, for the Christmas Invasion episode. The Time Lord dined with an old enemy in Cardiff Bay’s Mermaid Quay. Roald Dahl Plass was used for one scene, as was Ba Orient, Terra Nova, Bistro 10 with the reception hall of the Wales Millennium Centre transformed into an Alien hospital.
In Newport, Tredegar House doubled as 10 Downing Street, in The Invasion of Earth, with Hensol Castle being used in the Aliens of London episode. The wings of Sycorax spaceship filmed in Barry Docks. Craig-y-Nos Castle was used for Sir Roberts’ house, as was Penllyn Castle in Cowbridge for the courtyard. Barry Island train station was featured in The Empty Child and Albion Hospital is the Cardiff Royal Infirmary.
The Tardis was spotted on Gelligaer common near Fochriiw, Merthyr and in Loudoun Square in Butetown became the Tyler’s estate in Army of Ghosts. The Tardis also appeared on Cargo Road in Cardiff Docks, in Roald Dahl Plass, and on the cliff at Worms Head overlooking the beach on the Gower Penisula and St David’s Market behind St David’s Hall.
In The Unquiet Dead, Swansea was transformed into 1869 Cardiff. Talesin Lodge, where Charles Dickens performed, is the Exchange building in Cambrian Place.
It seems that Wales as a film set was just what the Doctor ordered.
The Dr Who Experience is a Cardiff Bay tourist attraction that takes you on an adventure through space and time. You will even get to fly the TARDIS. See their website for further information.