So it’s early September 2011, and my parents decide to whisk the family and my partner off to Cornwall for a week in the caravan. It had been YEARS since I'd stayed in a caravan and years since I'd gone on holiday with the family, so we all agreed and what a fantastic week we ended up having!
The weather was stunning, we picked the best week of the year by far! But being the avid Doctor Who fan I am, my favourite part was finding out they shot the majority of the 2011 Series 6 episode ‘The Curse of the Black Spot’ 10 minutes down the road in Charlestown, near St Austell.
So the second day we headed to the shipyard. It was a big place, and there was only the one ship in the dock when we went, but they sail in and out on a weekly rota.
Unfortunately for us, the ship used in the episode was out of the dock for the week we were there, but we made do with the Kaskelot, one of the three fleet, and I have to admit it was rather exciting running above and below board.
Then mum called me below board, intrigued for me to look at all the photos and information on past and present film and tv that had been shot on board the fleet of ships. And there it was - a huge chunk of the wall, full of images and information on the night Doctor Who set up and filmed on board the Phoenix in Charlestown. How exciting!
Exploring the ships costs a couple of pounds each, or you can buy a cheaper family ticket (I think this was around £8.00 altogether) I definitely recommend it, Charlestown is beautiful with elegant restaurants and bars, and the scenery from the dock on looking the sea is breathtaking. I would love to go back again this year, it’s a shame it’s so far away! You can find information on the ships HERE
To be honest, the episode itself wasn't my favourite, as it came straight after the massive two-part opener to series 6. But looking back, after visiting the location, it has given me a new-found respect for the episode and the story-line.
Here’s the trailer from the episode to refresh your minds, courtesy of the BBC:
On the way back from Cornwall, we took what turned out to be a 3 hour (!!!) detour to Stonehenge. I had never been there before, and by coincidence Doctor Who filmed here in the series 5 two-parter ‘The Pandorica Opens/Big Bang’. We didn’t pay extra to go nearer to the stones themselves, but viewed them from afar for free in the sunshine.
My Tip: Take a packed lunch if you plan on spending the day here, the food and drink are sooo expensive to buy, and the location itself is not near any shops. Also, make sure you check out the prices before visiting, it may be worth buying a family ticket if it works out cheaper than paying individually. Also, watch out for the tanks if you venture through the Salisbury Plains!
I’m currently watching ‘Vincent and the Doctor’ episode from Series 5… I love it! And I love seeing the locations I’ve visited in episodes (sad I know!!) But yes, I love the concept of the episode… educational as well as entertaining :-)