Sometimes, the best and most exciting places are those which have been abandoned. This includes areas that are steeped in history, or ordinary places that have been left to rot and ruin over the years. It’s like stumbling upon a time capsule in building-form, and many urban explorers like to spend their days climbing over fences and discovering long-forgotten destinations. Here are some of the best and most beautiful abandoned places in Britain.
Hellingly Hospital, Sussex
This abandoned psychiatric hospital seems to have an incredible draw with urban explorers who have taken some incredible photographs of the inside of this old building. The hospital was closed in 1994 and was vandalized regularly, leaving it a real mess. In 2010, many of the buildings were cleared to make way for new houses, although there are still some of the original buildings on the site to be explored.
West Pier, Hove
Once a bustling, colorful pier featuring a full fairground and concert hall, the West Pier was damaged in 1987 by a devastating storm, and by 1991 access from the shore was removed entirely. For several years, restoration seemed as though it was within reach, but in 2002 another storm meant that the pier partially collapsed. Another month later saw the concert hall fall, and in 2003, a fierce fire ravaged what was left, leaving it beyond repair. Now there is little left of the structure, and yet it stands magnificent and haunting in the water.
Berkyn Bull Manor, Berkshire
There is a lot of history in this old, grand manor; far too much to mention here but undoubtedly worth a read, especially as there were a lot of deaths (including over 30 by the plague!) which perhaps explains the potential haunting that has been reported by many. This is a precarious building, with parts of the roof and floors having disintegrated, so it’s not a great idea to go exploring. However, some of the interior shots that have been captured are breathtaking. This is, or rather was, an incredibly grand house which was sadly left to ruin.
Camelot Theme Park, Lancashire
There is something super creepy about an abandoned theme park. Seeing rides that used to bring joy to hundreds of people a day gathering moss, and attractions covered in a thick layer of dust, you can almost hear the laughter and screams of joy. Camelot is a particularly interesting one, as there are reports of an employee being killed by a rollercoaster, a child being struck by a bus and dying in the parking lot, and another boy falling from a ride – although luckily he survived. So, if you’re looking for an abandoned place with a beautiful but creepy side, this is the one for you.
Barnes Hospital, Cheadle
This Grade II listed building is an example of stunning Victorian Gothic Revival design, and although it has been permanently closed since 1999, its protection means that it cannot be demolished. Although it was abandoned as a hospital, in recent years the building has been redeveloped into apartments – however, it should be noted to potential renters that it also featured on a 2005 episode of ‘Most Haunted Live’!
It’s clear that abandoned buildings really can be beautiful, and there is something special about discovering an empty place that was once thriving and now houses only ghosts.