Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bad Wolf Bay, Neath Abbey, Barry Island and More!

So after enjoying our first night in the lodge after spending much of the previous evening in the hot tub, we decided to venture out for our next few locations on a sunny Saturday morning.

About 10minutes away from where we were staying was Craig-y-nos Castle hotel, which was used in David Tennant’s episode Tooth and Claw. This was where Queen Victoria and the Royal Party arrived at Torchwood House, and the Queen later founded the Torchwood Institute. It is a beautiful building surrounded by exquisite views, altogether a lovely visit. Parking is found alongside the front of the building or in the car park, straight through the front gates. Any pictures I have used are courtesy of the BBC.
Next, we hopped back into the car and travelled down to Neath. We had trouble finding the location as we could not find a suitable postcode for the site, so relied on road signs to guide us the way. As it turned out, the site was parallel to the main dual carriageway, and if we had peeled our eyes a bit better we would have noticed it straight off. 
The site is free to enter, and another beautiful location. Parking can be found right outside the ruins. We were lucky the weather was lovely and I was able to take pictures which really emphasised the sites beauty. The exterior of this location was used for Series 6 – The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People.
We also found the wooden door to the inside of the one remaining room of the Abbey, but unfortunately for us, it was locked. This room had been used numerous times in Series 5 - The Beast Below as the ‘Tower of London’ and Vincent and the Doctor, when Vincent battles the monster in the crypt. It was also used in Series 6 The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People as the chapel, where the gangers were created.

We headed back to the lodge from here to get an early night, ready for our big drive the next day.

When we woke up on the Sunday, we hopped in the car early and headed to our first location, Dunraven Bay, also known as Bad Wolf Bay. I have to admit, I was so happy to be here, I had been looking forward to this location the most, however, the tide was in when we arrived so we were unable to climb onto the beach. I had worn wellies for this part of the trip, but I must warn you, I found myself slipping over on the uneven, wet rock surface as I ventured across for a better view. For all those of you who are looking to go here, I would stick to the allocated path; it could be rather dangerous otherwise.

We parked at the top of the hill, which is miles cheaper than the car park next to the beach, you just have to endure the steep walk back up to the car after (I struggled)! To get here, I recommend you follow the signs to Southerndown Beach, as the signs then switch to Dunraven Bay.

The episodes which have been filmed here, to my own knowledge are: Series 2 – Army of Ghosts and Doomsday, where Rose says goodbye to the Doctor. Series 4 – Journeys End, where Rose leaves the Doctor with her family once again. Series 5 – Time of the Angels, where the TARDIS lands at the crash site and Matt Smith’s Doctor meets River again, Series 6 – The Almost People, where the Doctor takes ganger Jimmy to meet his son on the beach, and the cast of Series 7 have been spotted filming here late February, early March this year.
You can find more information on this location, from the Doctor Who Locations website, HERE 

Next, we drove off to Dyffryn Gardens, just down the road from Barry. This was the hardest location to find, as we took an early turning and the Sat Nav could not locate itself back onto the correct road, but we got there eventually! The building was closed for construction work, so we were unable to go through the gate but took photos from afar. The episodes filmed here were: Series 2 – Girl in the Fireplace, a few Torchwood episodes and Series 4 Forest of the Dead, as the hospital Donna is transported to from the library, and where River is saved by the Doctor. This building also featured in one of my new favourite programmes, Stella, with Ruth Jones
We then drove on to Barry, and Barry Island. It was free parking in Barry Island on a Sunday at this time of the year which was lucky for us. We had a quick walk around, saw the sites from Gavin and Stacey; the beach and arcade where Nessa worked, and the train station used in Doctor Who Series 1, The Doctor Dances and The Empty Child, with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor and John Barrowman and Captain Jack.
 Then we went into Barry and found the houses used in Gavin and Stacey:
 So that was the end to our Doctor Who South Wales trip, we both had a lovely time and thought it was a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend together. I love going to look at locations like these; you get to learn a lot about the history of a lot of the sites, along with re-enacting shots from your favourite episodes. As well as this – there’s always some walking involved, so as a bonus, it keeps you fit and healthy!

I’d love to go back to these places, and if anyone has any recommendations of anywhere we missed, please let me know, I’d love to go back down there!

Oh, and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all those mothers out there, I personalised my mums card a bit, needless to say she loved it :)
I've got a busy week this week with assignments, university, work and then Cardiff on Friday for the Doctor Who Convention at the weekend... I can't wait, is anyone else going?
 Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend, blog to you all soon x