On 22-24 November 2019, the Pandorica convention returns to Future Inns Bristol, with a weekend of stage talks, commentaries, entertainment, autographs and more all revolving around the nation's favourite time travelling Doctor.  

But did you know, The Time Lord/Lady has a long-running connection with Bristol dating back to 1977, when Hengrove Imperial Park was featured? Here we take a look back at some of Doctor Who’s other encounters in Bristol…

Doctor Who filming locations Bristol

Image - Doctor Who series 10, credit BBC1

The Doctor and the Christmas Specials

In the 2012 Christmas special, the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) comes to Victorian London - or rather, the streets of Bristol doubling as London - to save the world from the icy clutches of The Snowmen.  Filming took place in a couple of snowy-looking Bristol locations including Portland Square, Corn Street and St Nicholas Market. Can you spot them?

In a later Christmas special, The Husbands of River Song, starring Peter Capaldi, Grade II* listed mansion house Leigh Court’s Great Hall was transformed into space hotel Harmony and Redemption, its Library (all decked out in floor-to-ceiling metallic shelving) became the star ship baggage hold, where The Doctor and River Song arrive in the TARDIS.

Doctor Who Filming locations in Bristol - The Snowmen

Image - Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Snowmen

The Doctor and the University

In series 10, The Doctor meets Bill Potts at the fictional St Luke’s University in Bristol. While the city does have two universities (the University of Bristol and University of the West of England), St Luke’s isn’t one of them and the episode is filmed at Cardiff University instead. During series 10, Doctor Who also filmed at Bristol locations Kings Weston House (designed by Sir John Vanbrugh – the architect for Blenheim Palace).

  • Nerdy fact: series 10 features Matt Lucas, who studied drama at the real University of Bristol (although he didn’t complete the course, he did receive an honorary degree from the University in 2017).

Doctor Who Filming locations in Bristol - Kings Weston House Bristol

Image - Kings Weston House Bristol

The Doctor and Bristol Street Art

In Flatline, the 12th Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara go to Bristol, where she befriends graffiti artist, Rigsy - a take on famous Bristol-born street artist Banksy, whose works can be found all over the city. In real life, the filming of the episode didn’t really take place in Bristol at all, but we still love the fact that even the Time Lord and his companion know that Bristol is the best place for street art.

Doctor Who filming locations in Bristol - Banksy

Image - Banksy's Mild Mild West, Stokes Croft

The Doctor and the Historic House

Pretty much the entire episode of Hide (series seven) takes place in the National Trust’s Tyntesfield House and Gardens, just a short distance from Bristol in Wraxall. In the episode, the 11th Doctor meets Alec Palmer and Emma Grayling, played by Dougray Scott and Jessica Raine, both of whom are no strangers to Bristol. Jessica not only studied drama at the University of the West of England, but in her spare time worked for the Visit Bristol team at the Bristol Tourist Information Centre!

Dougray Scott starred in the 2005 romcom, The Truth About Love featuring an array of locations across the city including Clifton Suspension BridgeSt Mary Redcliffe, The Grove, Park Place in Clifton, Merchants Quay and Redcliffe Wharf, Severnshed (where Jennifer Love Hewitt dines) and The Paragon in Clifton.

Series seven also used Tyndall Avenue and Royal Fort House in central Bristol as filming locations.

Doctor Who Filming locations in Bristol - Tyntesfield

Image - Tyntesfield, credit Andrew Butler

When The Doctor met Brunel

In the episode The Two Doctors, the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) finds Victorian Engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s business card in his address book of geniuses (which also includes Archimedes, Christopher Columbus, Dante and Da Vinci).

Bristol’s famous son, Brunel, designed iconic Bristol landmarks Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain as well as the Bristol Temple Meads Train Station. He’s also famous for making significant contributions to the Great Western Railway, designing the Thames Tunnel, Tamar Bridge and Paddington Station.

In the audio episode Iron Bright, The Doctor picks up Brunel’s business card when he encounters both Brunel, and his father Marc Brunel masterminding the digging of the ‘haunted’ Thames Tunnel. Listen to the episode here.

SS Great Britain - Doctor Who filming locations in Bristol

Image - Brunel's SS Great Britain, credit David Norton

The Doctor and the caves

The 12th Doctor shot spin-off drama Class featuring the Tardis in Bristol’s Redcliffe Caves with Matt Lucas starring alongside as Nardole. The Triassic red sandstone caves are a labyrinth of man-made tunnels that were dug into in the Middle Ages for glass and pottery production. Legend has it that the pirate Blackbeard (who was born in one of the houses above) stowed goods in the caverns. The eerie caves are often used by Bristol Film Festival for their spooky ‘Horror in the caves’ series.

Redcliffe Caves - Doctor Who filming locations in Bristol

Image - Redcliffe Caves, image courtesy of Bristol Film Office

The Doctor in South Bristol

Social housing zone, Waring House in Bedminster took centre stage in Night Terrors in series six of Doctor Who, which featured Karen Gillan and Matt Smith.

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Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus Hotel
Future Inns Bristol Cabot Circus Hotel

Contemporary hotel, with spacious rooms, located adjacent to the Cabot Circus shopping complex.

St Nicholas Market
St Nicholas Market

This vibrant and buzzing market place can be found in the heart of the old city, which is full of fantastic examples of Georgian Architecture and is only a short walk from all of the hotels in central Bristol.

Leigh Court
Historic Venues
Leigh Court Venue Exterior

For an event to remember, choose Leigh Court. The sophisticated style, breath-taking surroundings, romantic atmosphere and bespoke service combine to provide you and your guests with the perfect day.

University of Bristol
Outdoor Space
Great Hall Dinner

With its impressive property portfolio, the University offers a diverse array of excellent venues for conferences, meetings and social events.

University of the West of England
Conference Facility
University of the West of England lecture hall

Versatile and dynamic 4000 sq m space, providing you with the choice of utilising it as a single dramatic area, or dividing the space.

Banksy Walking Tour
Walking Tour
Bristol Banksy Walking Tour - Mild Mild West

Some of Banksy's most famous Bristol works combined to make for a great self-guided walking tour of the city.

Historic House/Palace

For the latest information about opening and available facilities, please visit Tyntesfield's website.

Bristol Tourist Information Centre
Bristol Tourist Information Centre Shop Front

Browse their range of gifts, souvenirs, books, locally-products products and maps at the Tourist Information Centre or visit their online gift shop.

Clifton Suspension Bridge
Historic Site
Clouds over Clifton Suspension Bridge Bristol - CREDIT GARY NEWMAN

The world famous bridge and the iconic symbol of Bristol, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1831 and completed in 1864 after his death

St Mary Redcliffe Church
St Mary Redcliffe Church CREDIT Emily Whitfield-Wicks

One of the most beautiful churches in all England and one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the country

Brunel's SS Great Britain
Historic Ship
Brunel's SS Great Britain Bristol

Step aboard the award-winning Brunel's SS Great Britain for a ship shape and Bristol fashion day out!

Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station
Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station

Temple Meads Railway Station is the main railway station for Bristol with connections all through the UK, south through Taunton and Exeter, west into Wales, east to Bath and London Paddington and north through Birmingham to Scotland.