Monday, 8 April 2019

Doctor Who in London! + other adventures..

For my boyfriend's (Aaron) 18th birthday, I took him to London for a surprise Doctor Who walking tour as he is a big fan of the series (basically his version of Harry Potter to me). We visited filming locations as well as sights of inspiration for the well-known series.
I had to overcome lots of hurdles along the way, but it was an overall success and a day we'll remember. We ended up visiting other places such as Harry Potter themed locations as well as huge bookshops, but more on that later...

By the way, I have written this post in which I hope to be an engaging short story style. Basically, it's long and I don't go directly to the point. I hope you enjoy it, but I understand if you just want to skim read the key parts, it should be clearly divided into events.

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Let's start from the very beginning.
It all started a few months ago, just after my birthday when I was discussing with my grandma ideas for Aaron's birthday. I knew I wanted to do something special and so I was trying to list his interests. (These turned out to be fairly limited or very hard to do anything with).
My initial themes to work with were Doctor Who (DW) and the superhero universe (Marvel or DC). So, being the unknowledgeable person I am, I asked people for help.. (annoyingly, I didn't take screenshots of these conversations as they would be interesting to look back on).

They were no help at all.

Having made no progress, I turned to my good friend.. Google.

Google would have helped... if I had a bigger budget...

I am a poor college student relying on a part-time job to fuel my car and anything to do with Doctor Who was in Cardiff! I do not live near Cardiff, it is about a 3 hour journey away which I cannot afford. Sooo... I was back to the very beginning once again.

Eventually, through the powers of the internet and social media, my mum came across a Doctor Who walking tour around London. It is run by Brit Movie Tours and you can find it HERE.

Great, I had a venue. Which was still quite a large distance away...

After much contemplation and reassurance from his mum that he'd enjoy it, (Aaron was slightly concerned when he saw I'd been messaging his mum on my phone) I booked train tickets and suddenly we were off to London in a couple of weeks time.

It was sooooo hard keeping it a secret. I had booked it way over a month in advance and when you see someone practically every day you really want to tell them your exciting (and scary.. I'll explain later) plans.


When Aaron's birthday FINALLY arrived, I still didn't tell him everything.....

The layers of Aaron's birthday present:

  • Peppa pig gift bag (Purely for my own amusement)
  • Wrapping paper around box
  • Cardboard box (As big as would fit in the bag)
  • A bag of heavy rocks inside the box (So it would feel really big and heavy. He couldn't keep the rocks as my brother wanted them back and the 3 year old can get very protective over his possessions)
  • Tissue paper underneath rocks
  • Train tickets to 'London Terminals' inside tissue paper (Nice and vague destination. Also one was a child ticket as they are cheaper and I can totally pull off a 15 year old)
And that's it. The following weekend we set off to London with Aaron having no clue where exactly we were going or what we were doing.

The Journey

I feel that now is a good time to mention that this was one of the biggest trips that we had ever been on. We are both now 18, so are technically classed as adults, and we have been many places together before, but navigating yourself roughly 2 hours from home to the capital city, a massive busy place while you have anxiety.... scary. So as well as being special and fun, this trip means a lot for both of our independence and facing our fears.
Anyways, on with the story..

Our train was scheduled for 8:05am meaning that I'd have to pick Aaron up at about 7:15am to get there in good time as we didn't travel from our local station. 

The clocks went forward that day.

So 7:15am now felt like 6:15am which means I have to wake up at what felt like 5:45am to get ready and get to Aaron's house. (I had also worked from 12 noon until 9pm the day before to be able to have the day off for the trip so I was already exhausted.)
But it was fine. Yes, we were sleep-deprived, but we both managed to drag ourselves out of bed. I then drove us to the train station. Although I have been driving for about half a year now, I am still not an amazingly confident driver and I believe this was one of the longest journeys I have ever driven and most of it was on fast roads which scare me. But I managed it and I actually didn't find it too bad. Yay, something went to plan!!
So we got to the train station in very good time and were all ready.

That's when we noticed the crowded platform full of football supporters.

I had found out a short while before the event that a local football team would be playing at the football stadium in London that day and that it was a pretty big deal, but in my head we would be early enough to avoid the crowded trains.
I was so very, very wrong. (Cue me bursting into tears on train platform).

The first train was full and went straight past. The second train we managed to get on.......

We were already running late as we'd had to wait half an hour for the second train and the next train was slower as it stopped at more places. Luckily, I am paranoid and always leave an excess of extra time when planning things, but even then I could tell we'd be cutting it close.

I have a question. If anyone can logically answer it I will give them some kind of reward.
How do hundreds of men go through at least 4 bottles of beer EACH at 8am while on the train???

It was actually ridiculous. We only got on the second train because I forced us on. 

It was the most crowded and disgusting journey ever.

We had to stand the whole hour and a half journey squashed between drunk football-fueled men. They were shouting and chanting and getting up every 2 minutes and trying to squeeze through all of the people to go to the toilet as they had been drinking too much beer. There was a woman further up the carriage on her way to work who they were mocking and making a big deal of and, as the only young girl in the carriage, I felt pretty vulnerable.... Nothing happened though so it's all good. (I did find it quite amusing to spot my old school year-leader as part of the drunk crowd though).

Once off the train (thank goodness), I was basically dragging Aaron through the station as we were running late. (Remember he still has no idea where we are going. All he knows is that I took him on a hell trip and we are now late. I had planned to reveal the trip on the train but that was NOT happening on that train!). I was also partly dragging him to escape the football fans who were being animals and just charging through the barriers without paying. Also the chanting.. it was just surreal. As soon as they got out to the station they all started their football chants and it echoed all around the train station. It was creepy but also oddly mesmerising.

Anyways, back to us. We have finally escaped the football crowd. My original plan had been to walk to the meeting place as it would allow us to see some of the sights (and save me money- eek!) but we were running late so Tube it was! (The underground transport system in London). Luckily, I can navigate the Tube system so that wasn't a problem. I found us the correct line and scanned my card to get through the barrier, turned around and..

Aaron's card wouldn't work and he couldn't get through the barrier..

I was completely convinced that the world was just trying to prove to me that I can not function as an independent adult at this stage (does not help low mental health and self esteem haha..). 
So I scan myself back through and we find someone who works at the station to help us out.

He was sooo painfully useless!

It really pained me how bad he was. Yes, I was stressed as everything was going sooo wrong, but seriously? Telling us just to call up our bank and ask them what the problem is does not help! Finally, after me directly asking 5 times what could be a possible cause did he then offer us a solution (which meant we had to go all the way back up to the main station and down again once it was sorted).

Then, alas, we got through the barriers; on the Tube and to our station! We were meant to get to the tour meeting spot 15 minutes before the start time, but we only had 5 minutes to get there before we missed it altogether. So, we once again ran through a train station and out the front of it where the meeting point was supposed to be.

We went out the wrong side of the train station.

I hadn't realised that there were two entrances to the train station! I didn't realise my mistake and thought I had missed the tour. (Cue me crying AGAIN).
Then suddenly I realised my mistake (neither of us are sure about how I figured this out, but I did) and we found the other exit and I spotted a crowd of people. Running up to them and asking a man what the group was for, (one of the biggest scenes I have ever made of myself) I found out it was the DW tour and they had literally just been about to leave and, although we were late, we had made it!!!!!!!!

Such an accurate representation
The Tour
(The bit everyone bothered to read this for haha)

So, we made it to the event that all this had been for!
Aaron finally found out why we had come all the way to London and it went fairly smoothly from here (except the camera not working, so we basically have no photos).
The tour was actually really good and our tour-guide (Fiona) was so friendly and enthusiastic. She loved all things DW, Harry Potter and Sherlock. We could have gotten on soooo well.
The locations we visited were cool to see and she explained the scenes they appear in so clearly that it was very easy to picture it even from the point of view of a person who has only seen each episode once.
We even ended up getting a free bus ride! Part of the tour needed us to get the bus to the next location and as we were lucky and an old fashioned bus came which didn't accept contactless, we got a free ride!! Also the old bus was really cool.
I would recommend the tour for any Doctor Who fans.

Waterstones Café

After the tour, which was really good, (although I was freezing cold and my legs were really aching from work the day before) we decided to get a well deserved hot chocolate. I navigated my way to the nearest Waterstones (I can always find Waterstones, even in an unfamiliar place) and we finally took a moment to relax.
While at Waterstones (and somehow looking around all the books), we planned out the places we wanted to go next. I had not planned anything after the tour as I had left it open to do whatever we felt like and if there was anything that Aaron wanted to do in London while we were there. With the help of Google, we made a plan of action and set off to our next destination. We wanted to go to the DW store in London but it was closed so we'll have to go there some other day.

Forbidden Planet

This was the first time we had been to a Forbidden Planet store and oh my goodness!!!! It was amazingggg! It has everything! All fandoms, a massive comic section, a massive book section, so many signed books!!!! In loveeeee. We spent a fair amount of time in there and it was so cool. I am so happy places like that exist! We also still cannot get over how massive London stores are! They have so many floors! Back at home, a shop with two floors is big.


As we were walking to our next planned destination, we passed a massive Foyles bookshop and somehow ended up in it.... 
And again, so many floors!!!!! Books and books and books and books!!! I ended up forcing Aaron to drag me out of the shop!


Next we went to MinaLima (is that even a surprise? I love this place so so much!).
I mentioned MinaLima in my March Wrap-up so I'll link it HERE if you want to find out what I got.


Being the kids we truly are, we ended up going to the biggest toy shop I could think off. Does anybody else feel like it's the shop from the film 'Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium'?
Out of all the places on this trip, the place we lost each other is in the toy shop.. Typical.
I noticed they had a new Harry Potter section which is amazing and soo many cool things! I picked up a bottle of Butter Beer each as it is so yummy.

Home Time

As the journey to London was so traumatic, I made sure that we got back to the station and on the train before we had to go through it all over again. We got back on the Tube; Aaron's card didn't work again so I just bought him a ticket with my card and then we got to the train station. We had a short while to wait for the train so I took the opportunity to get a well deserved tea. Then, we managed to get seats on the train in the quiet section and relaxxx.
As we were waiting for the train to leave, the first few football fans started getting on, returning from their match, and I was pleading the train to hurry up and leave. Eventually, after a few fans ran on, we left with a much, much quieter train.

We got back to our station with quite a relaxing journey, where we could finally talk about the day, and then walked to my car and collapsed. We had planned to get some food out, but we were so exhausted that we decided just to go back to my house and eat pizza which was a BRILLIANT idea. (Although the first shop we went to for pizza was closed).

After pizza and drinking the Butter Beer, I dropped Aaron off home and just disappeared into my bed (the next day at college people thought I was drunk with how sleep-deprived I was).

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That is the story of our trip to London. I can confirm that all events are true. Yes, it was such a crazy, crazy trip! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! It was so funny to remember how absolutely ridiculous the day was!

I hope you had a great day Aaron! x


P.S. I can not take any credit for top photo (Tardis by Thames)


  1. I had literally no clue what was going on :3 One moment you were texting my mum for reasons unknown to me; the next I had a box of rocks (I wasn't allowed to keep) and then we were in London! :P I loved it so so much! It's a memory and experience I will cherish and I am also proud (and a little amazed) at how much we emotionally/mentally accomplished that day! It makes me smile whenever I think about it. Thank youu x
    -Aaron (meow)

    1. You are with me too much, it was so hard keeping it a secret!!
      Aw I'm so pleased x

    2. Haha! Do you need a break from me?? :P

    3. Nuuu. There are more adventures to come!!!

    4. Yayy! I am glad about that! :D