Filming & Celebrities in Barry
Barry Filming Locations
As you’re walking around the streets of Barry, you might just get that eerie ‘I’ve been here before’ feeling. If you live in Barry, then of course you have, you will encounter the same scenes every day, there’s nothing eerie about that. But what if it’s your first ever trip to Barry? What could explain that unmistakeable familiarity?
Not to worry. The reason for the inexplicable déjà vu could well be the fact that Barry is one of the UK’s most popular TV filming destinations. Perhaps surprisingly, the relatively small coastal town of Barry in South Wales is the backdrop for many of the nation’s favourite television shows, from Gavin Stacey, which was filmed almost exclusively in Barry and on Barry Island, to Doctor Who, which has filmed all over South Wales. So, without further ado, allow Cash for Clothes in Barry to take you on a tour of some of Barry’s most well-known television hot spots.
Gavin and Stacey – Barry Island and across residential Barry
Gavin and Stacey developed a huge cult following, forging a special place in the hearts of dedicated fans across the UK. It also helped to launch the careers of some very familiar faces. Such is the popularity of Gavin and Stacey, there is even an official Barry Island Gavin and Stacey Tour, which takes fans to see some of the programmes most recognisable locations, including Nessa’s arcade and Stacey’s house.
There are of course a great many more Gavin and Stacey filming locations to take in on your travels. Some of the best include:
- The Glendale Hotel, Penarth – the venue of the dramatic meal when a pregnant Nessa reveals she is carrying Smithy’s Baby. Also a great place for some incredible Italian food if you are passing by.
- Whitmore Bay, Barry Island – this blue flag beach boasts one of the longest stretches of sand in South East Wales and is the location of many of Gavin and Stacey’s beach scenes.
- Trinity Street, Barry – the location for many of the street scenes and the road where Doris, Stacey and Uncle Bryn live.
- Marco’s Coffee & Ice Cream Bar, Barry Island – situated near the Western Shelter, Mario’s is Stacey’s place of work in series 3.
Five fascinating Gavin and Stacey facts
- Esteemed fans of the show include Tom Jones and David Cameron, who perhaps rather tragically has admitted to using some of the show’s well-known catchphrases. “What’s occurring Mr Cameron?”
- The writers of Gavin and Stacey were initially pitching the show as a one-off special; however, when the BBC received the script, they suggested there were no one-hour slots available, and Ruth Jones should rework the script as a series, culminating in the wedding. The commissioning editor enjoyed the reworked proposal so much she missed her stop on the train.
- In an intentional and macabre twist, the surnames of the lead characters are named after serial killers. Gavin Shipman, after Dr Harold Shipman, and Stacey West, after the infamous Fred and Rose.
- Nessa’s cult following is such that a Facebook fansite dedicated to Ruth Jones’ character has 30,000 members.
- Owners of the arcade where Nessa reputedly works have been so bombarded my fans they have put up a sign in the arcade window stating, “Nessa is not working today”, to deter hoards of visitors.
Doctor Who locations in Barry
The Doctor may travel back and forth through time, but it seems he also enjoys the occasional trip to Barry. This Facebook page is dedicated to the latest Doctor Who filming locations in and around the Cardiff and Barry area, so, if you want a sneak peek at Peter Capaldi, the latest incarnation of Dr Who, keep your eyes glued to this page.
Barry Island railway station is just one of the many local filming locations used in the past, while the last Doctor Who, Matt Smith, even used to rent a £8,000-a-month property in Barry which he shared with his girlfriend Daisy Lowe.
If you simply can’t get enough of the Doctor and his time travelling adventures, the Doctor Who Experience in nearby Cardiff Bay is the perfect way to wile away an afternoon. Step into the TARDIS and encounter some of Doctor Who’s most terrifying monsters.
Being Human, Barry
As any true Being Human fanatic will know, the first two series of the popular supernatural drama were filmed in Bristol, whilst from the third season onwards the production was relocated to Barry, where it continues to this day.
The Barry Grand is a massive part of the fifth series of Being Human, and whilst the wonders of television create the illusion that it is located on Barry Island, the filming actually takes place in Bridgend, so this could prove to be a little bit of a misnomer.
Two locations which are definitely based in Barry include Honolulu Heights, which has played an integral part in the filming since series three. This house is actually located on Canon Street, Barry, and looks very similar to the property you will see in the series.
The Castle Hotel and Bar is a new location which debuts in series five. This can be found on Lower Jewel Street in Barry, and is open to the public.
Torchwood Locations, Barry
Doctor Who spinoffs Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures have also been filmed in parts of Barry, and John Barrowman, who plays the lead role Captain Jack Harkness in Torchwood, actually has a home in Sully, a small village just a couple of miles along the coast from Barry. There is also a wall in Cardiff Bay dedicated to some of the most loved Torchwood characters, with messages from fans all over the world.