With the old A levels and the fact you've been at uni and dropped out, you may encounter an issue with Oxbridge and maybe a couple of other top unis. They're pretty picky about their applicants obviously, so even the slightest thing going against you can be the deciding factor for them to say no.
You should be able to get into a decent uni though, despite the fact that you've got those Cs and dropped out of uni, there is a certain degree of good in it, showing that you're determined etc...You could also attempt to explain the situation in your personal statement, saying things like "I discovered my passion for science/physics while studying for A levels/at university and decided that it was worth taking a few steps back in education to reassess my course and follow my passion" or something .
While you might be turned down by the likes of Oxbridge/Imperial/Durham and a couple of the top dogs, you should still be able to get into a very decent uni. Physics at least isn't the most competitive course so you don't get quite so much of the turning applicants down because their previous life isn't perfect, even bad GCSEs are often ignored entirely. It's hard to say obviously, as I haven't asked them myself. It would be worth sending an email out to the unis you'd be interested in applying to and asking, although I'd be tempted to say that they'd just send typical "we consider each applicant on an individual basis etc...etc..." that doesn't really provide much help.
If you think you'd get the grades, I'd still consider applying to those top places if you wanted too, obviously just make sure you have the more safe options as well. Looking at the likes of York, Liverpool, Southampton maybe, Royal Holloway, and maybe even the likes of Lancaster and places like that; all decent unis and I'd say that you'd comfortably get offers from most of them. They were all in clearing when I applied a couple of years ago, and for example Warwick give out offers without even interviewing candidates, they may well give you an offer too.
EDIT: It would also be worth looking into foundation/access courses. They're aimed at students who have different A levels and a lot of unis offer them. You may run into issues with the 'decent' unis because they might be more keen on taking on people with strong A levels, just in the wrong subjects, and yours aren't necessarily the strongest, but I'd look into that before distance learning A levels. (Also check on funding, I don't know how that works for them)
Last edited by heyimbored; 14-04-2012 at 00:51.