Monday, 30 July 2012

Just for Fun 4: Top Ten “Nerdy” things (I did) in the UK.

Again this is just based on the places I went and the things I did when I was there. Working out the order for this proved to be a bit problematic. Do I put things higher if I enjoyed them more or higher if they are nerdier? I decided to give the each item a nerd rank and an enjoyment rank and list them according to combined score.

1. Llandaff - Doctor Who Locations and Geocache. Nerd Rank 1, Enjoyment Rank 2. I made an effort to visit Llandaff Cathedral Green to have a look at filming locations for the Doctor Who Episode “The Eleventh Hour”. Due to road works and traffic I had to make two attempts to get there and while I was happy, the rest of the family was a bit ambivalent. Having gotten my photos I was ready to leave and was greeted with a response of “is that it?” Nearby I also logged a Geocahe. I don’t cache any more and this was the only one I did in the UK. I needed to find one as I was dropping off some Travel Bugs. The cache I dropped them in was in a nearby park where a bit of an earlier Doctor Who episode was filmed.

2. Cardiff Bay – Torchwood and Doctor Who Location. Nerd Rank 2, Enjoyment Rank 3. Not only is Cardiff Bay a great example of why Cardiff made the first list but also home to some great Doctor Who and Torchwood filming locations. Best of all was this “monument” (pictured below) to a torchwood martyr.

3. Harry Potter Studio Tour - Nerd Rank 6, Enjoyment Rank 1. This is a great spot not only for Harry Potter fans but film making fans in general. We got lucky, as I first found out about the studio tour opening after we had already planned most of our trip but it worked out we would be nearby in the first two weeks of the tour being operational. I then spent 3 hours online the day tickets went live and to make sure I got the day I wanted. That was about 6 months in advance. On the Day we visited we overhead that they were sold out for the next six months. The tour itself starts with video presentations, then a guided tour of the great hall. After that you are led into the main section where you can explore a lot of sets before moving onto the back lot with things like the Knight Bus, Privet Drive and Godric’s Hollow. The last section is dedicated to the Art Department, the giant Hogwarts Exterior model and Diagon Alley.

4. Caerphilly Castle - Doctor Who and Merlin Location. Nerd Rank 3, Enjoyment Rank 4. This site only makes the nerd list due to the Doctor Who connection, most notably the The Rebel Flesh. On the day we were there part of the Castle was set up for filming of Merlin.

5. Hay-on-Wye – Books. Nerd Rank 4, Enjoyment Rank 5. This is the third post to mention Hay-on-wye so no need to say more.

6. Alnwick Castle - Harry Potter Location. Nerd Rank 7, Enjoyment Rank 6. On a regular day this would be a nice castle to visit but it really comes into its own on Harry Potter days. The kids enjoyed broom stick training in the same spot Harry did in the first Harry Potter movie. There was also a fantastic talk presented by “Hagrid”.

7. Platform 9¾ - Nerd Rank 5, Enjoyment Rank 8. Not much more than a quick photo opportunity but fun for the kids.

8. March Museum – Family History (mine anyway). Nerd Rank 10, Enjoyment Rank 7. In just a bit over an hour I managed to add some names to the family tree as well as learn something about the area they came from.

9. Lego Land - Nerd Rank 8, Enjoyment Rank 9. The nerd factor here comes largely from the Star Wars displays. Lego Hoth, Lego Endor and Lego Tatooine being the highlights.
10. Hamleys Toys – Harry Potter and Doctor Who Merchandise, Lego, Toys. Nerd Rank 9, Enjoyment Rank 10. Lots of general toys but some special sections dedicated to all the Nerdy topics above from Potter to Doc Who to Star Wars.

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