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Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Wales 2013, Part 4 – Stone Angels and Good Wizards

So here we are on the final page of this particular Wales trip, as it was our last day the plan was to make it a busy one!

At 9am we arrive at Southerndown beach, it you watch Doctor Who you should know this place, it’s most well known for being Bad Wolf Bay, it’s also been a location in a number of other episodes, basically if the production team needs a beach they go here! 

When we arrived the tide was quite a way in, as a result the iconic sand beach was underwater, however the stone parts the ‘Time of Angles’ and ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ were still accessible so Amy and I had a wander over the rocks, I decided that I wanted to get as close to the water as possible, this almost resulted in me getting very wet and also an impromptu Capt. Jack Sparrow impression…

I confess I love visiting Southerndown, I need to do some proper pictures there when the tide is out, I think that’ll involve me going there quite early in the morning though…

If you do go, check the tide times! If the tide is in there really isn’t much beach left!

Moving on… the next location on our homebound tour was one I’d never been to before. Remember Blink? Well we were off to see the house!

Having arrived and surveyed both the front and rear gates we were slightly disappointed to see it was all locked up, the rear house (where Blink was filmed) is also now hidden under scaffolding and plastic sheeting to stop it being an ‘eyesore’ to the neighbours…

Having scouted the site for a few minutes we spotted a the builder who was working on the main house, going on the principle of ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ we asked if we could have a look round. With a smile the chap replied with ‘Are you Doctor Who fans…’ and with that we were in!

The ‘Wester Drumlins’ site is actually two houses; the front house is in the process of being renovated and is almost complete, the rear is derelict. If I remember correctly the front house is lived in by a member of the Welsh Assembly!

The front house has been used for a number of shows including Doctor Who and Sherlock! Remember Irene Adler aka The Woman? You do, well this is where the interior scenes for her house were filmed, one thing I did spot that had me in stitches – a copy of Sherlock Cluedo!

My main objective for the visit was to see where ‘Blink’ had been filmed, however in the end this proved not to be possible. The house was in a poor state when Blink was filmed in 2007, since then it has deteriorated further so is now classed as unsafe.

The doors and windows are heavily boarded up and covered in padlocks. The interior floors have also been taken up and there isn’t much left of the room where the Doctor leaves his message. The message has been painted over and the wallpaper has all been removed.

The exterior of ‘Wester Drumlins’ is also now in a very poor state, the owner has put up scaffolding to shield the building from being an eyesore to the neighbours, however no renovation work is taking place so the site will just continue to decay which is a real shame! If you have a spare £800K you could always buy the site and do it up (you wouldn’t have much change left once you’d finished though…)

So, with our exploration of ‘Blink House’ complete it was time to head to the final destination on our tour, we were off to find the Pandorica! Stonehenge here we come!

Before we get to Stonehenge thought there are some really quality road signs in the area, most of the fields are all military firing ranges which results in ‘Caution Tank Crossing’ signs! I found this hilarious!!

Most people reading this will already have a good idea of what Stonehenge looks like, if you don’t have a look at the pictures from the visit.

If you do get the chance to go make sure you pick up the audio tour, it explains a lot about the site and is an interesting listen. However my reason for recommending it isn’t for the history lesson, it’s for how it tells you where the last stop on the tour is…

“….last number on our tour, you’ll find marker 7 near the Tardis that looks like a sentry box, if you'd like to….”

Tardis!! What?!?! I had to stop the tor and re-listen to make sure I’d heard it correctly, I then looked at Amy who had the same surprised look as I did! When we spotted marker 7 there was no Tardis to be seen, had the Doctor been visiting while the tour was being recorded.

So with that all that was left was to drive the rest of the way home! What a great day it was!!

Back to part 3