Friday, 7 December 2012

Farewell, Glorious Ponds

*Warning- Spoilers on the Pond’s departure*

My third and final post from my South Wales trip back in October contains probably one of my favourite locations, from the Series 7 Part 1 finale, ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’, where we say goodbye to Amy Pond and Rory Williams.
The Tardis was located to the left of me in the top photo, when filming The Angels Take Manhattan.
Courtesy: BBC

Amy sits on the grave located bottom right on the top pic. Courtesy: BBC
When checking out the Doctor Who Locations website for filming spots near where we were staying, I really wanted to visit a site which had something to do with the Ponds’ departure. They have been my favourite companions, who I have grown to love dearly and I have to admit, it was very upsetting to see them leave.

So when I found out that the graveyard used in the final scenes were filmed not in New York where the episode is set, but in Llanelli, 40mins down the road and near the Toby Carvery we were heading to for Sunday lunch, there was no excuse not to go.

Amy and Rory before their emotional farewell.
Courtesy: BBC

The journey down to Llanelli was pretty straight forward, and the weather was lovely! Searching for the graveyard once we popped the postcode into the sat-nav was simple to, although we did drive past it straight away as we didn’t expect the cemetery to be so easy to find.

We parked up on a housing estate and walked through the huge steel gates, where we found vehicle access and parking - for those who wish to visit. 
Out of respect, we kept our visit short and sweet, as I did feel a bit odd walking around a graveyard, but there were quite a few people cutting through on the public footpath that circled the cemetery and a number of locals walking dogs! I’ve always seen graveyards as spooky places, so I tend not to visit with family when they go to lay flowers, but this one was extremely gothic, I can see why it was chosen for such a powerful episode.
I wasn’t sure where the scene was filmed; I’d taken some screen shots with me for help but wasn’t having any luck. Whilst my partner went off for a walk around I sat on the bench for a few minutes and streamed the behind the scenes Youtube video for the episode on my phone. I glanced around but couldn’t recognise anywhere, but then as I turned and looked directly behind me everything matched up to what I could see on the screen perfectly. We took a few pictures on the grassy area near where the Tardis had stood and left.
After going home and watching the episode, low and behold the bench I had been sat on was included within the episode! How weird? It was an odd feeling to be there, where we see the demise of two much loved characters, but I’m sure they will go on to bigger things and become huge stars in their own right.
The Angels Take Manhattan Series 7 Part 1. Bench circled.
Sorry for how long this post has taken to go live, I'm once again up to my neck in uni work, but with deadlines next week I will soon be able to enjoy the Christmas period! Oooh, and I'm doing my dissertation on Doctor Who, how exciting!

Hope you enjoy the post:-) blog to you all soon!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Bad Wolf Bay (Revisited)

Hi Guys - First things first, I've recently added two tabs just above this page, so my blog now looks more like a blog and not a mass of information dotted all around the place randomly. It should make your navigation of this page a lot simpler. 

The first tab includes all of my contact information, so if you need to contact me for any reason do not hesitate to send me an email or tweet me on Twitter (@PluckyKelly). The second tab contains a list of 'New Who' episodes from 2005-2012, linking you to any of my blog posts which contain locations I have visited which are included in these episodes. I aim to visit as many as possible over the coming weeks... months... maybe even years so bear with me as the list of links will continue to grow.

After the excitement my South Wales Odyssey Part 1 caused and the brilliant feedback I received from the blog post, and my blog as a whole I just couldn't wait to post the rest of my trip. Unfortunately, I have little time on my hands of late. Being back at University and in my third and final years means dissertation GALORE... I've been trying to fit everything around it but it just seems to be taking over my life! But Thank You for the feedback its been great! I've also changed my Dissertation topic, I'm now writing it on Doctor Who, of course! Hooray!

Bad Wolf Bay

Anyway, Part 2 of my trip sees me and my brilliant chauffeuring partner head back to Dunraven Bay, also known as the infamous Bad Wolf Bay. You can read about my first trip to the beach HERE.

I desperately wanted to go back to the bay, not only because of its beauty, but because since we last visited the Doctor Who crew have been back to shoot for the Series 7 Part 1 episode 'Dinosaurs on a Spaceship'. 
It was a stunningly nice day mid-October that we chose to visit, and I planned the journey so that we arrived when the tide was out (around 3pm). We also parked down the bottom this time, right next to the beach so I did not have to endure the horrendous walk back up to the car like our last visit. Luckily for us, the beach carpark was overcrowded so we were able to park for free further up the road. 

I will warn you that dogs are allowed on this beach, and there were a fair few of them running around, so those with small children please be aware. I should also warn you that the beach is very hard to walk around. It is a pebble beach with huge rocks, stones and only a small allocated pathway down to the sea. I saw endless mums with prams that were finding it extremely difficult and virtually impossible to navigate around the beach. 

However, I found trying to make my way to the sea great fun, as I tried to navigate my way over rocks and stones for better views (I could tell I was probably getting tutted at by all the other holiday makers!) I finally found my way to the sand and stood still for a moment, reminiscing when Rose said goodbye to the Doctor...twice - both were two of my favourite Doctor Who moments. (Army of Ghosts/Doomsday/Journeys End)

My chauffeur *Ahem*... I mean Luke took a seat on one of the rocks for a bit so I decided to wonder off. I was heading for the cliff-face itself, where the iconic scenes from 'Dinosaurs on a Spaceship' and 'The Time of the Angels'/'Flesh and Stone' have been set. Once reaching the edge of the rocks I climbed up onto the platform-type level and sat for a while, pondering life and admiring the bays beauty. The sun was beaming in the sky and I took some stunning images from my spot. 

I honestly did not want to leave this spot, but after a while I saw Luke walking to usher me back to the car... and I suppose I was hungry, I hadn't eaten after all my adventuring during the day! I reluctantly headed back to the car, vowing that I would return to this beautiful location once again in the near future. 

 So that's it for Part 2 of my trip, sorry to tease you! Only one more post left and that's my South Wales break completed. Part 3 will contain the spot where we said our last farewell to the Pond's. *Warning* May be pretty devastating for criers. 

Enjoy, blog to you soon!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hungry Earth/Cold Blood Location and Sky One's Stella

So I've decided to split last weekends adventures in South Wales up a bit in terms of the blog, otherwise I will be  bombarding you poor people with too much information and pictures all at once. 

Before I start, I just want to say a BIG thank you to the Doctor Who Locations website and everyone that contributes to the site - I wouldn't find half of the places I travel to, or even know about them, if it wasn't for this site. So... THANK YOU

So here it goes - I woke up on my first day in South Wales to beautiful skies and a stunning view from the lodge, grabbed my list of location spots, switched on the Sat-Nav and headed off on the road. 

Doctor Who - The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood

We were heading to the Church used in the Eleventh Doctors Series 5 Silurian two-parter The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood. I have looked at the church in the past on Google Maps, and knew it was in the area we were heading to explore on our first day, so I thought it was a great idea to head up to the location. The two episodes are based in Wales during 2020 and follow the disruption a drill is causing to the civilisation of Silurian's living deep inside earth. Read a full write-up of the plot, here:-

When keying in the area code for St Gwynno's Church into the Sat Nav, we had a few problems, as it ended up sending us to a Golf Course, so I can confirm for future reference that the postcode that will take you to right outside the church door if you are interested in travelling here will be Brynffynon Hotel's postcode (which is just a few yards up the road) -  CF37 3PH . You can park outside the church on the gravel to the left or outside the hotel.

The church itself is very creepy and gothic looking on first glance. I mean, a church is not made to visually look inviting, but this one is pretty intimidating as it stands towering over you and is located in the middle of woodland and forest! The gates were open when we got there, but I have to admit it does look as if they are locked up -all you have to do it move the chain across and make sure you place it back when you exit (there are signs on the gate with instructions when entering). We walked around the church yard and I noticed a few spots used in the episodes straight away, namely the huge church doors and archway which are used in shot when The Doctor speaks to Ambrose at the end of Cold Blood. But also, the spot where the Tardis lands overlooking into the distance a large wooded area (where the drill was edited into shot for the programme).  

 However, my absolute favourite part of this location was looking ahead from where the Tardis was stood to the small raised hill in the distance. Here, during the storyline, Amy and Rory see what they believe to be their future selves waving back at them. And, of course, at the end of this two-parter, when Rory has been 'erased from time' Amy spots only her future self on the hill, still waving. 
All Images Courtesy of BBC
I really wanted to either head around to the hill myself, or get my partner to, just for the photo opportunity... but I was a scaredy cat and didn't want to be left alone! I have threatened to edit myself onto my photo of the hill.... I suppose there is still time...

Sky One's Stella:-
Heading off my normal subject slightly, I knew that the first Doctor Who location I wanted to visit was near where they shot one of my favourite television series of the moment- Sky Ones Stella, starring and written by Ruth Jones. So, I used this opportunity to see the sights and stop at some of the spots used. 

Looking online before heading off to the Valleys, I did notice how hard it was to locate some of the areas used in the series, so I thought I'd set the record straight for some of the sites. Stella's House is based in Ferndale in Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. More specifically 'Elm Street'- head right down the bottom and its the second to last house on the right, painted red. From here, there's a stunning view down into the Valleys. Please be warned though that you will need to turn your car around to get back out of the housing estate as all of the other streets along are dead ends. Me and my partner met another couple who had also made the journey from the West Midlands for the same reason whilst we were taking some photos, so they kindly offered to take one of us together. 
Heading south from here, along East Road and into Tylorstown, you will pass a Red brick building on your left called "Welfare House", this is where Emma and Sunil's engagement party was held and has been used for other occasions during the series. 

The third and final place I (tried) to visit for Stella was where the bench was located overlooking the Valleys. I had a postcode for this area CF43 3HA, but me and my partner parked at the bottom of the hill and tried to walk up, to no avail. I, being the unfit one, thought I was going to pass out at any given moment and we just couldn't see anything we recognised ahead. However, after coming home and watching the series all over again, I can see that we were closer than we realised. The area behind me was used in the shot from the bench... its all just a mystery to me...
As I stated at the beginning of this post, I have a few more blog entries lined up and which are currently being drafted. They are from the same weekend in South Wales and include my second visit to Dunraven Bay (which doubles up as the famous Bad Wolf Bay, and used in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship in the most recent Series 7), and I also intend to write up my visit to the location where we said our final farewell to the Pond's. 

Sorry I couldn't include everything in one big post but I am currently splitting my time between work, dissertation overload and my not-so-social calender! I upload the rest of my weekend as soon as I can!

I hope you all enjoy reading my posts as much as I love going out and finding these locations, its a real buzz and I intend to keep on exploring!

Have a lovely weekend everyone, take it easy, write to you soon! 

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Girl Who Waited… for Matt Smith

I have sat here for a while now trying to come up with a more imaginative title to this post than the one I have chosen but my heads still spinning from the last few days, not to mention the long day I’ve had trying to get my dissertation proposal completed! I’d like to apologize for my absence from blogger, and more importantly, from my blog - I’ve been super busy as I head into my final year of University, boo :-(

So yes, I’ve had a very exciting few days! I turn 22 years old (AAH!) on Wednesday, so me and mum decided to head to Cardiff Thursday and Friday for some shopping, sightseeing and in hope of seeing some Doctor Who filming.

Once I’d survived the drive in the most torrential rain I have ever driven through, I noticed sadly that it was pretty clear from online sources that there was going to be no filming happening that night… (Just my luck- the day I decide to drive down there was nothing going on:-( ). So me and mum decided to make a night of it anyway, I took her sightseeing around the Bay and we had a lovely meal and a few cocktails in Eddies Diner. But when I logged onto Twitter that night I started to see a few mysterious tweets from a few different sources about something Doctor Who related happening the next day…

Friday morning arrived and both me and mum woke up early, had a quick walk around the Bay in the sun and headed off into the city centre on the train to visit the castle (I’ve always wanted to go in there!)

Here, the long corridors surrounding the castle grounds were used as the location for scenes in Doctor Who Series 6 ‘The Almost People’ and ‘The Rebel Flesh’.

Apart from this, Cardiff Castle was also a great addition to our day out and the views were stunning. Me and mum both paid for an Essential Ticket which cost a student like myself £9.50 and for an adult like mum £11.00. Included in the price was a chance to watch a film about the history of the castle (which we never had the chance to view because of our own time restraints) and we also received an audio pack which explained various parts of the castle as you walked around. You can find out more about Cardiff Castle, here:

  Luckily, whilst I was at the castle, I happened to check Twitter and saw that Matt Smith was currently down at the Doctor Who Experience in the Bay, making an appearance to unveil some of the new exhibits from Series 7. From here, mum gave me an ultimatum – Stay in the city to shop for my birthday or risk it all by jumping in a taxi to see if there was a chance of meeting the main man himself…. inevitably I chose the latter.
 Within 10 minutes of waiting outside the Experience, my luck was in as out of the front main doors walked writer and producer Steven Moffat and Executive Producer Caroline Skinner. I asked for a picture and they both agreed straight away, even after my mum had a bit of trouble with the camera, telling Moffat that he had blinked! (Embarrassing – but very ironic!) They were both very lovely- a pleasure to meet! 
From here, the weather took a turn for the worst as me and mum battled to stay warm in the cold and windy conditions for the next half hour. Matt Smiths Chauffeur turned up at 2pm and headed around the side of the building, behind huge gates – I didn’t think I had a chance of seeing him let alone meeting him, but I kept hold of my picture and sharpie pen just in case. 

But then luck struck again as a security van pulled up, blocking the gates and all Matt’s chauffeur could do was whip his car around the front of the building, right next to me! A scuffle from a few security men later and mum whispered ‘I think I can see Matt through the glass’ - sure enough, there he was, heading straight for me out of the front doors

Seeing as I was the only one there, I shouted him a few times to get his attention as he headed for his car and he turned and walked straight over. All I could think at this point was that I had just demolished a egg and cress sandwich, both mine and Matt Smiths favourite... bad move Kelly, bad move. From here, I can’t really remember much else, it was a complete blur, but he signed my picture, apologized for covering my face with his signature and posed for a few photos – yes, mum had to take a few *again* exclaiming ‘I hope to god they turn out’ – how embarrassing! With that I thanked matt tremendously for stopping and I wondered off as he retrieved his Doctor Who script out of the boot of his car and was driven away. What a dream come true, I'm a very lucky lady!!

Mum rounded off our day with an evening meal at Eddies, and I treated myself to a 50’s style cola bottle! We sat in the booth used from Series 6 (which is now decorated with pictures from the episode on the wall).

What a fantastic two days! I never would have expected to bump into Matt Smith, but what an amazing treat for my upcoming birthday! I don’t think anything will ever be able to top that as a present :-) You can read my review of my Doctor Who Experience visit HERE and my first encounter with Matt smith HERE. To find out more on what Matt Smith was up to at the Experience, visit the BBC news page HERE

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Doctor Who Does Caerphilly Castle

 After me and my partner had arrived in Cardiff ahead of the Doctor Who Experience back in July, we headed to Caerphilly to have a wonder around the castle and to spot some DW locations. We took a train from Cardiff Central which only cost a couple of pounds for a return as we both have student railcards.

 Once arriving in Caerphilly, if you are interested in heading to the castle, you take a right turn out of the train station and head straight down the High Street. The road bears right slightly, and to your left you will have a great sight of the castle.

 As it is officially the second biggest castle in Britain (after Windsor) there is a lot to explore both in and around the site. The heritage centre on arrival charge just a small fee to enter. An adult can expect to pay £4.00, but as a Student and a holder of a NUS card I paid a slightly discounted price of £3.60, and this is the same for children. A family ticket is priced around £11.60 altogether. More details on ticket prices, opening times and facilities, here: the centre is also home to a small sovenior shop – so it’s worth having a nose!

We entered the site and had a look around. You can explore virtually everywhere, and there are information boards located within some of the rooms displaying a lot of the castles history. I will warn you that even at 21 years of age I did find it difficult to go up and down some of the tower stairs as they were very slippery and there is only a small rail to help you on your way, so those less-confident on their feet may need extra assistance.

IMAGE: Doctor Who Confidential, BBC Three
 One of my favourite rooms was the Great Hall. Decorated with a long table and chairs along with medieval shields, the room really does look spectacular. The stained glass windows allow light to seep in elegantly and allow for some great pictures. I recognised whilst in the room that this was shown in Doctor Who Confidential as the cast and crews base when filming at the site.

  Whilst steering ourselves round the castle we spotted both the place where the Tardis lands and spots from the opening scenes in ‘The Rebel Flesh’/’The Almost People’, the long corridor from ‘Vampires of Venice’ (which I coincidentally ran down myself and into a big puddle, splashing muddy water up myself) and more spots used in Confidential. I have included some of the pictures below.
IMAGE: BBC - 'Vampires in Venice' and 'The Almost People'
IMAGE: BBC - 'The Rebel Flesh'
IMAGE: BBC - 'The Rebel Flesh'
 Many Thanks to the former BBC Three programme Doctor Who Confidential and the Doctor Who Locations website ( for a lot of information on the site and for providing images/footage of the castle itself.

All in all it was a brilliant way to start our Doctor Who break, the castle and its surroundings are stunning and I’m so glad the area has been left untouched to preserve its beauty. If you have any queries/questions at all about anything in this post, drop me a comment or contact me via email –

I hope you’re enjoying Series 7 as much as I am – seriously can’t wait until Saturday for Episode 2! The crew were spotted filming at Caerphilly a few months ago so I'm sure we will see the castle interior or exterior popping up again sometime this series! *spoilers*

If you missed my posts on the Doctor Who Experience Opening Day or Leadworth Hospital from the Eleventh Hour find them here: and here: 

Thanks for Reading