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The Best Outdoor TV Locations to Explore in Wales

Caerphilly Castle

Travel restrictions and current social distancing measures have made it much harder to find new and exciting places to visit. Large queues at studio tours and stuffy indoor attractions are not likely to be at the top of any of our to-do lists right now. But did you know that Wales is actually home to a large number of excellent British TV filming locations?

In this guide, we reveal Wales’ best outdoor TV spots so you can relive your favourite TV moments whilst social distancing and enjoying the beauty and diversity Wales has to offer.

Doctor Who  – South Wales

Having aired over 700 episodes over the years, the much-loved TV hit Doctor Who is the longest running sci-fi series to ever hit our screens. A number of key scenes throughout the series were shot in Wales. For instance, Caerphilly Castle in South Wales was the medieval set location in Series 8 Episode 3 ‘Robot of Sherwood’ when Robin Hood, The Doctor and the Sheriff take part in an archery contest. A visit to the castle is a great day out for the whole family, and as well as reminiscing about this famous Doctor Who episode, it’s also a brilliant opportunity to learn more about the history of the castle. Entry fees: Adult: £8, Child: £4.80

Once you’ve visited the castle, why not head up to Morlais Quarry in Merthyr Tydfil which is just half an hour away and featured in another famous episode ‘The Fires of Pompeii’. In this episode, the Morlais cliffs were used to recreate the base of Mount Vesuvius, setting a breathtaking backdrop for filming. The quarry is free to visit all year round and is a great spot for a peaceful walk and some fresh air.

Gavin and Stacey – Barry Island, Vale of Glamorgan

Barry Island

Another of Britain’s most adored TV shows is the warm, light-hearted comedy Gavin and Stacey. Many episodes in the show were filmed at the infamous Barry Island Promenade, including the Christmas Special when Stacey reminds Gavin about their romantic place. In fact, all of the beach scenes in Gavin and Stacey were filmed here!

Barry Island is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of the show, whether you fancy a cup of coffee in Marco’s Cafe (where Stacey works in series 3) or a go on the slot machines at Island Leisure Amusement Arcade, which has a board outside that reads ‘Nessa’s Slots – Come and see what’s occurrin’’.

Sex Education – Tintern, Wye Valley Area

Tintern, Wye Valley Area

Wales was also home to much of the filming of the hugely successful comedy drama Sex Education that premiered on Netflix in January 2019. The show is most well-known for its exploration of taboos around the topic of sex, including asexuality, sexual trauma and various conditions related to sexual health.

Many parts of the series were shot in South East Wales, such as the scene where Otis and Eric walk home after an all night party. The characters can be seen walking across the Wireworks Bridge in Tintern, which is open to the public and is free to visit for a nice socially distanced stroll.

Sherlock – Cardiff

Credit: Caving UK

The British crime series Sherlock has received critical acclaim since it was first introduced in 2010. Series 3, Episode 1 ‘The Empty Hearse’ was the highest rated drama episode shown in the UK in 2014, having had over 12.72 million viewers. The series follows the life of detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend John Watson as they work together to solve cases to assist the Metropolitan Police, the British government and members of the public.

The majority of the series was filmed in Cardiff, including the spooky Three Bears Cave in Tongwynlais, Cardiff which featured in the episode ‘The Hounds of Baskerville’. Interestingly, this cave was also featured in an episode of Doctor Who! The Three Bears Cave is free to enter and can be found in the village of Tongwynlais in the north of Cardiff.

The research was conducted by Last Minute Cottages.