The Valleys have had a starring role in Dr Who since 1973 when The Green Death was filmed at sites in Brynmawr and Deri. Since then castles and cinemas, country parks and manor houses as well as towns and countryside settings have provided the backdrop you for the world’s most popular sci-fi series.
Here are a few sites where The Doctor’s has recorded some of the finest battles with Daleks and Sontarans. For many more ideas take a look at the Dr Who locations site.
This has hosted two of the creepiest Doctor Who episodes in recent years; The Rebel Flesh and The Almost People. That hasn’t been it’s only starring role you will also have seen it in The End of Time, The Eternity Trap, The Vampires of Venice, Lost in Time and The Power of Three. Caerphilly Castle is one of the great medieval castles of western Europe. Built in the 13th century by one of Henry III’s most powerful barons, Gilbert de Clare, it isn’t just alien life the castle has defended the populace from; for centuries it has been lauded as a military base. Caerphily Castle website.
Cwm Ifor Farm, Morgan Jones Park, White Cross Inn
While in Caerphilly you might as well tick a few more location boxes. Cwm Ifor Farm is private land but a perfect example of gently rolling Valleys countryside. A couple of miles away are Morgan Jones Park and White Cross Inn, both used as locations for Journey’s End and Countryside respectively.
Rhondda Heritage Park
The Doctor’s Daughter told the story of a war torn dystopia and a race bred underground to fight. The episode was shot at Rhondda Heritage Park, a place to explore The Valleys rich cultural history, a living testament to the mining communities of Rhondda Valleys. Rhondda Heritage Park website.
Llantrisant and Bute Town (Rhymney)
These communities were the backdrop for Crimson Horror, one of the 2013 episodes. See if you can work out where the Dock Office was? Its amazing how film crews can change the whole look of an area with grass and a set of gates!! Llantrisant website. Bute Town website.
Phoenix Cinema. Pentre
It was a star-studded cast that filmed The Curse of the Black Spot, including Hugh Bonneville and Lily Cole. The Phoenix Cinema in Pentre started life as the Maindy and Eastern Workmen’s Institute before the turn of the century but under 100 years later it was losing popularity as mines began to close. It now has a renewed lease of life, much like its namesake, as a community cinema.
Park & Dare Theatre
This imposing theatre in Treorchy also has its roots in the cultural life of miners as it was built as a Working Man’s Institute in 1892. It expanded before WW1 to include a large cinema and theatre. It now hosts over 500 performances a year. Park & Dare has been invaded by the Daleks for Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks. It’s also one of the few places to have hosted a Dalek blowing up, as it did for its encore on stage. The theatre is celebrating it’s centenary this year. Parc & Dare Theatre website.
The Old Town Hall, Merthyr Tydfil (Redhouse Cymru)
Currently being renovated as an arts centre, this old building has been used for both Doctor Who and Torchwood - with Captain Jack being filmed here. Built over a century ago it has lain empty for over a decade. Centered at the heart of Merthyr Tydfil’s plans to revamp and revitalise the town it will be given a new lease of life with a new cafe, gallery, recording studio and workshops.
St Gwynno’s Church, Llanwonno
The episode Cold Blood was filmed at this seventh century church which is nestled in the hills of the Rhondda Valley, looking for all the world like the last outpost of a community. The parish house is long gone but the church remains on the corner of the small village. Expect dramatic Valleys landscapes as you finish your journey.