To finish my run down of February 2013, I present to you: My Guide to Visiting Cardiff because of Doctor Who
- Walk (preferably to the Doctor Who Experience): you get to see a bit more of the city, and chances are you’ll walk past somewhere that was featured in the show, even if it was only houses passed while characters were driving around
- Go to the Doctor Who Experience: they’ve put a lot of work into it, including putting the time vortex on the doors, a TARDIS outside, lots of blue everywhere, Dalek models, props – and that’s just before you go in. Once inside, prepare for a magical journey and standing on the old TARDIS floor (I cannot guarantee that the props inside are the same as those I saw). My mum, who doesn’t like Doctor Who, even enjoyed it!
- Shop at the Doctor Who Experience (even if you’re not going to the actual exhibition): shopping there is free! Most people could buy the whole shop, but maybe settle for just a t-shirt and a guide book (unless you have LOADS of money)
- Go to the Bay, where Torchwood ‘is’: if you’re a fan of Torchwood, you can visit the ‘hub’ entrance turned Ianto Jones memorial; if you’re not there’s still the Millenium Centre, the water tower seen in Doctor Who and loads of places to eat and drink
- Location spot: there’s a great website (http://www.doctorwholocations.net/) which basically lists every location in Doctor Who ever. You can put in a postcode and you will be given a list of places that are nearby – you can even click on a place and see photos of the place versus photos from the screen, and see where else is nearby as the crow flies. You can also look in the back flap of the guide book from the Doctor Who Experience, which will give you a list of places near there (I didn’t realise this! Also check for Walking Tours, which weren’t an option when I visited)
- Go shopping: there are lots of great shops in the city, and various shopping centres have been used in the show, especially the now House of Fraser department store, used for the episodes Rose and Closing Time (from different angles). I also picked up a signed copy of Torchwood: Exodus Code from Waterstones, which I suppose was influenced by it being the Cardiff branch. I can say that by the time we arrived back at the hotel we were pretty tired.
- Go back again: there is now an opportunity to visit the TARDIS set, which would be amazing, so I really want to go back for that; walking tours sound good, and I also need to utilise that location guide in the back of the guide book! We missed out on visiting House of Fraser because we were too tired, so I want to go there too, especially as the interiors were used as well as the exteriors. Another place I want to go is the Castle, not only because it was in Torchwood but because it looks good.
Hope you’ve enjoyed my guide to visiting Cardiff.
To finish of my account of my visit to Cardiff, we went for dinner at Zizzi’s, where they do the nicest garlic pizza bread, and then watched the Brit Awards. We left the following morning, but not before seeing Aled Haydn Jones from Radio 1 having breakfast after DJing the previous night – part of me still wishes I’d gone over and got a photo or something, but I guess it will just have to stay in my memory!