A guide to Whovinan filming locations across quintessential London.
The City of London
Whovian's, our mission starts at Ten Trinity Square in Tower Ward on the north bank of the river. The elevated views of the Tower, The Shard and Trinity Square Gardens.
The Tower of London - Unit HQ
The Tower of London was built upon orders by William the Conqueror 12 years after he had done his conquering in 1066. As legend goes, Unit HQ has been based inside The Tower of London since 2005. I advise against entering via Traitors Gate along the river. The drawbridge by the Lion Tower will make for a more graceful start to your adventure.
The Black Archive was introduced in the 6th and final episode in the Sarah Jane Adventures. It is a secret vault maintained by UNIT (Unified Intelligence Taskforce) inside the fortress.
The equipment held here is so dangerous that even the Archive's own staff are forbidden to know what it holds. It functions as a depository of everything that shouldn't exist on Earth... but does anyway. Staff at the main Black Archive have their memories erased after every shift.
Langthorn Tower - The Christmas Invasion
The Christmas Invasion aired in 2015, starring David Tennant as the 10th Doctor. It was the first Christmas special since its modern day revival with Christopher Eccleston (the 9th Time Lord) helped reboot the TARDIS.
The filming angle faced the north east down to the south east towers from Brass Mount (30) to Salt Tower (22).
They'll be no need to line up to queue for tickets. Your tickets will have already been pre-paid on your behalf. We enter passing The Lions Tower (40), starting a Beefeater/Yeoman tour at The Middle Tower (39).
Langthorn Tower (23) is a much safer spot to re-create the tense rooftop scene. With views across the River Thames and Tower Bridge to the left.
Their hilarious walking tours run for 45 minutes and take enthralled tourists clockwise around the fortress. New tours start every 15 minutes. I highly recommend visiting Waterloo Barracks (3) where the Kingdoms' Crown Jewels are supposedly kept...
The White Tower (1) is the Tower of London.
The Ravens in Tower of London – The Day of the Doctor
In the 50th anniversary special – The Day of the Doctor, Kate Stewart, Head of Scientific Research sits on a bench, eating and observing the Ravens.
The Ravens roam freely around the grounds, but are clever (or lazy) enough to get fed in their enclosures, which is alongside The Wall of the Innermost Tower (9) at from the above map.
Traitor's Gate, Tower of London – The Magician's Apprentice
In The Magician's Apprentice, the first episode of series 9, Dr Who rides enter's Unit HQ in on his motorbike – through the exit. More on his bike later. Only a Time Lord... tut tut.
St Katherine's Dock & Marina – The Talons of Weng-Chiang
We head east, walking directly underneath Tower Bridge, Girl with a Dolphin Fountain and past the Timepiece Sundial, entering the idyllic surroundings of St Katherine's Dock which was opened to much fanfare in 1828.
It is here that many scenes from The Talons of Weng-Chiang, with fan's favourite Doctor, Tom Baker were filmed.
Filming took place in 1976 at several spots around the marina's basin and onshore by Ivory House.
Telford's Lock & Footbridge – The Talons of Weng-Chiang
The Doctor and Lightfoot are seen on a small boat making their way onto the river fleetthrough this precise location.
Telford's Lock and footbridge separates St Katherine's central and eastern basin's. The views are more picturesque looking back towards The Dicken's Inn gastropub, especially during summer evening's when with the street lamps and the
Ivory House - Talons of Weng-Chiang
In the Talons of Weng-Chiang, the Doctor would enter the underground sewer using an entrance by The Ivory House. The last of nine warehouses built by the St. Katherine's Dock Company in 1828. Today they are luxury penthouse apartments overlooking the marina.
The fire resistant construction has brick arches and wrought iron beams and brick outer walls. Inside, is a photograph dating from the 1890s with a caption that reads – to fill these rooms it would have required the slaughter of 30,000 elephants...
Tower Bridge - Aliens of London
In 2005, Dr Who was rebooted our screens after a hiatus. The Slitheen craft narrowly missed hitting Tower Bridge in Aliens of London.
Tower Bridge Tour
In 2014, Jack Odwards was swallowed by a Gomagog wormhole underneath Tower Bridge, while swimming the River Thames for charity. If the wormhole still exists. An option to visit the Victorian Engine Rooms (5) underneath the bridge on the south side, is available by booking on the Official Tower Bridge Website.
I advise an hour to be given to tour inside.
1. Tour begins by climbing the North Tower.
2. Head along West Walkway, crossing their iconic Glass Floor.
3. Descend down the South Tower to road level.
4. Then follow the blue line commemorating the workers of Tower Bridge.
5. Finally, enter the Victorian Engine Rooms and complete the visit through their gift shop.
The Borough of Southwark
After a stroll along Tower Bridge we head under the bridge... south-east along the River Thames now safely in the district of Southwark. Many famous Dr Who locations have been filmed over the last 40 years. We head on to the cobbled path, literally, to Shad Thames.
Shad Thames - Resurrection of the Daleks
The location is famous for Whovians, thanks to the 1984 episode The Resurrection of the Daleks. A group of futuristic humanoids run down, a distinctly un-cobbled, 1970's Shad Thames. They attempt to escape, but are gunned down by policemen led by Commander Lytton.
Two of the humanoids, Galloway and Quartermaster Sergeant Stien, escape into the adjacent wharf where a time corridor by Butler's Wharf is situated further on in the distance, by the 36 sign and iron gates to our left.
The now picturesque location is where the Peter Davison, 5th Time Lord would throw a Dalek from a 3rd storey window, which came smashing down and exploding.
Angela & Steve from Texas stood near the exact spot.
Porter's Lodge Arch - Resurrection of the Daleks
Today the Grade II listed area is now a high brow residential and commercial district set in stunning surroundings on the banks of the Thames. A small archway, in-between the small units leads to a quieter location away from tourists.
Butlers' Wharf Pier - Resurrection of the Daleks
The archway leads through to the spot where the TARDIS would land in Resurrection of the Daleks.
Records have Mr Butler, a Grain Trader rented warehouses here from 1794. Butler‟s Wharf specialised in tea, reputedly having the largest tea warehouse in the world. Towards the end of the 1970's there was increasing interest in regenerating the area.
Though it wasn't until the 1990's gentrification took place, now the apartments overlooking the river and Tower Bridge fetch up to £9 million.
The scenes with the actors were filmed on the 12th. During the day a photo call was setup along Butler's Wharf Pier with the Doctor, his assistant and two Daleks using the backdrop for promotional material for the 1984 season.
Then break for Lunch. the pier side restaurants serve great food along with their clear views of Tower Bridge and St Katherine's Marina opposite. The hanging flower baskets and decor outside The Anchor Tap Public House go down very well.
From here we loop back behind Butler's Wharf, Shad Thames taking in views of the skyline on our way to lunch reservations.
Lunch at The Ivy by Tower Bridge
A lunchtime stop at the lush Ivy with views of Tower Bridge is a great option before heading east to London Bridge for more afternoon adventures.
Potters Fields Park by City Hall
The Shard – The Bells of St John
We walk from The Ivy, City Hall and HMS Belfast, all the while taking in the view of The Shard skyscraper In the 2013 episode The Bells of St John, Matt Smith the 11th Doctor rode his anti-gravity motorbike – vertically up the building, to attend a meeting with Miss Kizlet.
We continue west along the river to visit the several filming locations for Dr Who episodes used in Shakespeare's Code and The Talons of Weng-Chiang. All within a short 6 minute walk from each other.
Stoney St Junction with Clink St - Talons of Weng Chiang
The blue house on the junction of Stoney and Clink Street is still, vividly, there from 1976. It was here the TARDIS materialised on a foggy night in the first episode of the Talons story series. The sign points to the direction of Shakespeare's Globe which will lead on to The Clink Prison and The Millenium Bridge.
However, to the right, just out of shot are mediavel ruins of Winchester Palace and Golden Hinde ship, which was captained by Sir Francis Drake who circumnavigated the world between 1577 and 1580.
The Clink Medieval Prison - Talons of Weng Chiang
The Clink was a prison in Southwark which operated from the 12th century until 1780. The prison's name is said to be derived from the sound of striking metal (clinking) as the prison doors bolted.
The alleyway next to the Clink is seen (as well as the "Clink Wharf" signage) the Doctor and Leela come into a spot of bother on the streets of London.
Today the alleyway appears much safer. As with most of Southwark along the riverbank. Property is now seen as highly desirable for international commercial and residential property investments.
Further along, towards Shakespeare's Globe is a small corner underneath the railway arch that was used to film Litefoot and Jago lurk as they kept an eye on Greel's headquarters.
Shakespeare Globe - The Shakespeare Code
Destroyed by a fire in 1613, then rebuilt in 1614, closed by Puritans in 1642 and torn down in 1644. It would be another 350 years until a new Shakespeare's Globe would be reconstructed (1997) along the banks of the Thames, remaining faithful to its original design and location.
In The Shakespeare's Code, which aired in 2007, Dr Who became the first television production to be granted permission to film at the new Globe. Though the original script had to be amended as filming was only allowed during the night.
The Tenth Doctor (Tennant) promises to take Martha on one trip, takes her to the the Globe for a performance of Love's Labour's Lost in 1599.
Cardinal Wharf - Talons of Weng-Chiang
Cardinal’s Wharf is named after Cardinal Wolsey (1473-1530), Bishop of Winchester, who would have stayed at nearby Winchester Palace in 1814. A plaster plaque adjacent to the red door reads:
"Here lived Sir Christopher Wren during the building of St. Pauls Cathedral."
This location was seen in Talons of Weng-Chiang when the Doctor was dropped off by Litefoot's cab, then heading off towards the Palace Theatre to continue his investigations.
Cardinal Cap Alley - Talons of Weng-Chiang
Tucked in between number 49 and 51 Cardinal Wharf is Cardinal Cap Alley.
Now gated, the original overhead street lamp that appeared behind Tom Baker is also there today.
Baynard's Castle Ward - City of London
St Paul's Cathedral
We then walk over Millennium Bridge where an iconic Dr Who film location was set against.
Much of the ward was burned to the ground by The Great Fire of London. The map depicts the Ward, one of 25 in the City of London, around St Paul's Cathedral in 1755. Both Blackfriars and Millennium Bridge were yet to be built.
There are several locations near St Paul's Cathedral that have featured in iconic episodes of Dr Who.
College of Arms – Invasion of the Cybermen
To the left of Peter's Hill, The College of Arms is the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth, responsible for the granting of new coats of arms.
It was within a few streets south of St Paul's that one of the most famous iconic scenes from 'The Invasion' of the Cybermen were filmed in 1969. A cleaner is seen vividly overcome by the Cybermen control signal as he cleans the gates of the College.
Peter's Hill - Invasion of the Cybermen
When the Cybermen invaded in 1968, they look to have (filmed) patrolled around Peter's Hill and the narrow streets nearby.
Large metal balls have not stopped skateboarders from using the new step layout as ramps. I recommend visiting early weekend mornings if you wish to recreate photographs from Peter's Hill towards St Paul's.
Knightrider Street - Invasion of the Cybermen
In Cliffhanger, Cybermen march down the street as they invaded London. The underpass leads to the eye along the yellow front facade of The Horn Tavern.
Originally the Horn Coffee House, mentioned in Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. It has changed names a few times; in 2003 it was known as Centre Page, but has since reverted back to the Horn Tavern. the name change may be a tenuous link to nearby Bracken House, the original home of the Financial Times Newspaper on Friday Street.
Dining at Lutyens Grill, The NED
Lutyens Grill is but a short walk away. The NED Hotel itself is yards away from The Lord Mayor of London's official residence and The Bank of England.
If you have visited each location and don't have plans to head back to your hotel, Lutyens Grill provides a great spot for evening dining.
The City of Westminster
Dr Who rebooted his TARDIS in 2005. Episode One – Rose, introduced Billie Piper, who'd become one of the most adored Time Lord's assistants. The opening sequences were filmed around Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square.
Trafalgar Square - Rose
This location has featured in no less than 7 episodes of Dr Who. In Rose (2005) a lunchtime clip on her lunchbreak with boyfriend Mickey Smith.
The Square is normally packed with visitors and given its large space, a hub for many demonstrations and gatherings. I recommend an early morning visit if you wish to recreate the image without vast numbers of marauding tourists near the fountain.
From Trafalgar Square roundabout, the spaceship in the Aliens of London episode is seen hurtles down towards Parliament Street and Whitehall.
Albert Embankment - The Rise of the Cybermen
Along the south of the river, in between side of Westminster Bridge and Lambeth Bridge is Lambeth Palace and Morton Tower. This spot was used in a scene from the Rise of the Cybermen. With the TARDIS placed on the raised green.
It is closer to Lambeth Bridge than Westminster and for couples who taking a taxi to Westminster, this is a much quieter spot to start... and for taxi's to stop.
With its close proximity to the House of Lords, you will normally see many Minister's either being interviewed or taking a lunchtime stroll.
Westminster Bridge - Rose
In Rose, both the Doctor and his new Assistant run across Westminster Bridge to the London Eye. The other sidewalk however is one of the most iconic in Dr Who. Promotional photos were taken here on the bridge with several Daleks across Westminster Bridge, with the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower in the backdrop.
The bridge and the Houses of Parliament buildings were used as backdrops to promote The Dalek Invasion of Earth in 1964. By all accounts, taken early morning to avoid commuters and tourists.
The London Eye - Rose
The location marks the spot where the Doctor, revived in 2005 and Rose stood by The Royal Air Force Memorial along Victoria Embankment, just yards away from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament looking for a Circular Transmitter...
After a full day's adventure, I recommend taking in the sunset by the river.
Queen's Walk – Rose
After the Doctor and Rose, had run across Westminster Bridge to the south side, would look for an entrance into the underground base at night. The Thames river is tidal, so the steps may be covered in water depending on the week you visit.
Lunch at Kerridges Bar & Grill
I recommend Kerridges Bar & Grill, at the Corinthia Hotel, just a short 2 minute walk north towards Embankment. Who (sorry) knows, you may bump into Tom Cruise. One of their private penthouse residents which overlook the river.
West of Buckingham Palace, in affluent Kensington.
With less walking between locations than the previous two boroughs and districts, you'll be able to enjoy a morning stroll through the Hyde Park, with the option of taking in Kensington Palace before heading onto more Dr Who locations.
Royal Albert Hall - The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Royal Albert Hall is south of the Albert Memorial, located within Hyde Park and a short walk away across Kensington Road. I recommend a visit to Kensington Palace which is nearby. It is the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children.
In 1964, the exterior of the building briefly in shot during filming of the Dalek Invasion of Earth. Barbara, Jenny and Dortmun are seen spotting Daleks patrolling nearby. Nearby being...
The Albert Memorial - The Dalek Invasion of Earth
In episode 3, Day of Reckoning, the Doctor played by William Hartnell battles the Daleks on Earth for the first time. The well-known phrase “Exterminate!” is introduced as Dalek rove around freely in a futuristic 2146 London.
The Daleks patrolling the Albert Memorial which overlooks Kensington Gardens, the Serpentine Lake and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.
Marylebone Train Station - The Silurians
The Silurian's episodes were broadcast in 1970 and still in black and white. It is the very train station, along with the nearby roads, used in the Beatles film A Hard Day's Night.
Lunch at Harry's
Its a great restaurant for late lunch and afternoon drinks. The location is also close by to a Dr Who interactive experience nearby.
Dr Who Theatrical Adventure
An evening's immersive experience. You'll be placed in the heart of the story set during the 1940s London Blitz raids. Thrusting you into a cosmic adventure across space and time split between two time periods.
Book directly through the official website. At the time of writing, tickets are available from May 2022. Prices start from £39.95 per person, apart from Friday's which are £59.95.
Evening Cocktails at The Fumior, Claridges
To end the evening, I recommend cocktails at one of London's finest - The Fumior. Located inside Claridges and easily missed thanks to its discreet door. The hotel is a minute walk away from the Time Fracture production on South Molton Street.
If you desire a private tour with an itinerary with lunch & dinner reservations, carriages the option of family vacation portraits, contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe here to receive the Journal Newsletter and join the Member Discussion below. Thank you, Rajesh.