UK Short Break – Cardiff – Doctor Who

Posted on September 1, 2013


We love Cardiff, it’s a wonderful city full of Castles, history and fabulous shopping. But this trip was all about one thing, and one thing only!! Get your sonic screwdrivers at the ready (!) we’re off on an adventure!

1. What we did!

Doctor Who has flown his Tardis down to a new exhibition centre in Cardiff called the ‘Doctor Who Experience’ and it was our six year old’s dream to see some of the monsters from the television show…for real!  We managed to buy tickets for the experience itself and for the very special trip to the set of the programme filmed just a few hundred yards away at BBC Wales.


The Doctor Who Experience centre is made up of two parts – an interactive adventure where you help the Doctor save the universe one last time, and a more traditional exhibition of Doctor Who monsters and gadgets.

The adventure part of the visit is lots of fun as you get the chance to fly the Tardis and confront Daleks (a bit scary for very little ones) and watch a 3D film. We loved this bit, really exciting and you really felt you were part of an adventure.



Then in the exhibition there are lots of props and costumes from the programme, which are fun for current watchers of the show and for parents, or grand-parents who may have hidden behind the sofa themselves many years ago. It takes around an hour and a half to get around the exhibition.



The visit to the current set of the Tardis was a very special treat for us all. These tickets were released as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the show and it added a really exciting element to the day. We were escorted by BBC staff from the Experience centre to the BBC studios based a short five minute walk away. As part of a small group of eight, we were able to walk into the studios and up onto the set of the current Tardis. It was a thrilling experience for our six year old, and despite being a TV set, it is actually built as it looks, so it felt like we were walking into the Doctor’s time machine.


Overall we really loved the interactive experiences, and seeing all the props. There is also a section dedicated to the production teams, showing set models, make up and wigs. It’s a really fun great trip for any Doctor Who fans, but also gives a good insight into what goes into making the programme.


This is a fantastic day out for all Doctor Who fans – our six year old still can’t believe he actually saw the real tardis and it’s certainly something he, and we, will remember for a long time. A great day out.

2. Accommodation

We stayed the night in Cardiff at the wonderful Cardiff Central Plaza (you can read our review here). They also offer their own Doctor Who package which is a great way to combine a stay and a trip to the exhibition –

3. Where to eat

The Doctor Who exhibition centre is a short walk from the Roald Dahl Plaza, Wales Millennium Centre and Mermaid’s Quay, which is great for a wander before or after a visit to the exhibition.

We had a fantastic family meal at Las Iguanas with its Latin American food a short stroll away.


It is so family friendly with brilliant drawing and little fact sheets for the children – which kept them entertained for ages – and some great meals for them too from adventurous tortillas to cheese filled quesadillas.


The food for all of us was delicious we had some really interesting tortillas and tacos, fresh and delicious ingredients and raspberry and elderflower drinks we couldn’t get enough of!

We also love the fact that they include free refillable drinks for children which really helps to keep the bill down.

We’ve all been craving a return visit!! –

Posted in: UK Day trips