preparation and research

P r e p a r a t i o n   a n d

R e s e a r c h .

Before you undertake a trip to any of these places, there are certain things that you should bear in mind:

1. These buildings are abandoned for a good reason! They may be unsound structurally, they may just be surplus to the requirements of the owners or they may have lived out their useful life and be due for demolition or redevelopment.

2. Everything on this planet belongs to someone, somewhere. In the vast majority of cases, looking around the places we describe herein requires what is known is TRESPASS. Trespass is the act of entering property without the owners consent or permission and may have consequences if you are found somewhere you should not be.

In some of the places we have visited, they are quite accessible to the public, but at other times they are not. If a place is inaccessible then it will invariably be fun and a good challenge to get into, but the mark of a good 'Urbexer' is that they ARE NOT ever seen to force their way into places. This is extremely illegal and it is worth noting that IF you are found by Police or Security Guards with tools on your person, that it constitutes GOING EQUIPPED, which will usually result in having the book thrown at you!

The first thing to do if you are considering looking at an abandoned building is to look for it on the internet. There are a great many websites on the web dedicated to the exploration of old buildings and some of them contain excellent discussion forums about a great many places. One of the best out there is called

On most of these sites, you can find pictures of what is available to see and details of things that you will need to look out for, such as cameras, security issues and hazards.

I heartily recommend joining up to such a site as a member, because a lot of them have the facility to ask other members about these locations via personal messages. They may seem a bit clique-y to start with, but they always give good advice and another Urbexer is a good thing - one more of us, one less of them (so to speak).

It is also well worth finding the place you intend to visit on Google Maps. This is an indespensible tool, because not only can you obtain the location of one of these places and details of how to get to it, you can also zoom right into the site and look for paths, areas which are well covered by scrub (where you won't be seen so easily) and areas of a location which are still in use.

It is well worth printing out a page in which the key elements of your chosen location are clearly visible. Lunatic Asylums tend to be enormous, sprawling sites and it is imperative that you can find your way in and out, as well as around.

When you decide to visit one of these sites, ALWAYS make sure there are a small group of you - you'd be surprised how many of your mates will be up for looking around old spooky buildings! It's a ready made boys own adventure. NEVER EVER go into an abandoned building alone! No matter how accomplished you are or how well you think you know a place, things change. a timber section might shift, a floor might become unstable - you can never be too careful.

If you are travelling to the location by car, look carefully for somewhere to leave your vehicle which is close enough to the site to be convenient, but far enough away and in a location that means it will be unlikely to be seen as suspicious. There is nothing worse than returning to your vehicle to find a security guard leant against it!

Take the time to drive around the perimeter of a site (NOT into it though!) This is the best way to determine areas of the site that are still in use by small businesses or healthcare units. It is also very handy for establishing parts of the site that are overgrown and where there are not so many people watching you going over walls etc. Once you have found a good parking spot, take the time to look more closely at any areas which have fewer people around, as these are often where you will find reliable ways in.

Observation is everything!