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Take a true Whovian's tour through Cardiff

The Doctor Who Experience photo by Allison Stein on FlickrLast weekend saw the eagerly-anticipated return of Doctor Who to our television screens, and introduced us to the Twelfth Doctor as Peter Capaldi made his debut on the long-running show. The TV series has long-standing links with Wales, and Cardiff in particular; since the new series launched in 2005, Cardiff has been used on numerous occasions as a Doctor Who filming location, leading to the opening of the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay and the decision to hold the eighth season's world premiere at St David's Hall earlier this month.

At Capital Properties, we want to help you make the most of your time as a student in Cardiff, and when you move to our city to study, sometimes you just can’t help following in the Doctor's footsteps. This is why we've rounded up some of the parts of the city that have been featured in the series, to make it easier for you to explore.

National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

The National Museum of Wales has appeared on the show in a number of different guises over the years, the exhibition halls having been transformed into all sorts of displays ranging from a gallery of Vincent Van Gogh’s greatest works to a collection of alien artefacts, seen in episodes such as The Lazarus Experiment, Planet of the Dead and Vincent and the Doctor. It has also been featured in the Doctor Who spin-off series Torchwood, but when it’s not doubling up as a Doctor Who set, the Museum is home to art galleries and natural history exhibitions, offering its own journey through time and space in The Evolution of Wales.

Bute Park, Cardiff

Located in the very heart of the city centre and featuring over 130 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland that originally formed the grounds to Cardiff Castle, Bute Park was transformed by the series into ‘Hooverville’, a shanty town in 1930s New York, in the show’s third season (Daleks in Manhattan). In its everyday guise, the park is known as ‘the Green Heart of the City’ and boasts of stunning wildlife, award-winning horticulture and beautiful views along the River Taff.

Torchwood photo by A Marga on Flickr

Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay

Whilst the Wales Millennium Centre and the Bay itself were used more extensively in Torchwood, since the secret entrance of the Torchwood headquarters is on Roald Dahl Plass, it has also been used throughout Doctor Who in several episodes (New Earth, The Sound of Drums, etc.), featuring both interior and exterior shots of the impressive building. Throughout the year the Centre hosts a wealth of home and touring productions, and is considered a cultural hub for both Cardiff and the country as a whole, considering it is home to several Arts companies, including the Welsh National Opera.

Cardiff Castle, CardiffCastle View photo by Ben Salter on Flickr

If you’re looking for something to do this weekend (30th- 31st August), Cardiff Castle is offering an exclusive tour of the locations used in the production of Doctor Who and other hit TV shows such as Torchwood and Sherlock, providing a closer look at the areas of the Castle where sections of these series have been filmed. For just £4 a person (in addition to the price of entry to the castle, unless you have the Castle Key that gives Cardiff residents free entrance), you can spend 40 minutes being led by an expert guide through the familiar scenes seen on television as you explore The Black Tower, the Wartime Shelters and the Castle Keep. These tours are currently only running on selected weekends from now through until September, so make sure to take a look soon before you miss out!

When you choose to study in Cardiff, you’re not just choosing its three major universities, expert teaching and a variety of courses, you’re also choosing to live in an exciting, thriving city that has a rich and varied cultural history of its own – which Doctor Who is just a small part of! If you’re moving to Cardiff for university this September, don’t hesitate to share your experience of the city with us throughout the year on our Facebook, Twitter or Google + pages.

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