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In the spirit of Halloween and all things spooky, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to explore some of the fascinating and creepy abandoned places in the UK.
If you’re feeling brave and looking for a day out with a difference, head to one of these abandoned places in the UK. From deserted villages to derelict hospitals and eerie, empty churches, you’ll find a variety of fascinating and chilling abandoned places to choose from.
Read on to discover the spookiest abandoned places in the UK…
Kicking off our guide to abandoned places in the UK is the medieval ruins of Dolbadarn Castle. Standing proudly on the fringes of the magnificent Snowdonia National Park, overlooking the countryside and glistening waters of Llyn Peris, it’s unsurprising that it is considered one of the best castles in Wales.
Built during the 13th century by the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great to control the Llanberis Pass, Dolbadarn Castle served as a government residence and a manor house before falling into disrepair and abandonment in the 18th century.
The castle was transferred to the state in the early 1940s and is now managed by Cadw as a protected Grade I-listed building. Today, you can visit the remains of this abandoned castle free of charge and enjoy the incredible views along the challenging uphill walk.
Berry Pomeroy Castles is one of the UK’s spookiest locations! This abandoned UK castle is hidden away in the Devonshire woodland.
Comprising both a Medieval fortress and an Elizabethan mansion, Berry Pomeroy Castle was originally built by the Pomeroy family during the 15th century and later sold to Edward Seymour, the Duke of Somerset, in the mid-16th century. It remained inhabited until the late 17th century.
The Grade I listed building is still owned by the Duke of Somerset but is managed by English Heritage. They offer audio tours of the abandoned castle, which is believed to be haunted by the White Lady. She is said to be the ghost of Lady Margaret Pomeroy, who is rumoured to haunt the dungeons she was placed in by her sister, Lady Eleanor.
A second ghost, known as the Blue Lady, is often seen wearing a long blue cape and is thought to lure men to their deaths by drawing them towards unsafe parts of the castle. Brave this abandoned place in the UK if you dare!
Next on our guide to abandoned places in the UK is Dunstanburgh Castle. These striking ruins overlook the rugged coastline in Dunstan and are often considered one of the best Northumberland castles!
Dating back to the 12th century, this castle is considered the largest in Northumberland and has witnessed many battles. It was fortified against the Scots and endured two sieges during the Wars of the Roses before falling into ruin.
You can book an English Heritage tour of Dunstanburgh to immerse yourself in the past; who knows what history lies within these walls? This abandoned castle in the UK lies on the Northumberland coast path, offering breath-taking views across the North Sea.
Next on our list of abandoned UK castles is Goodrich Castle, which overlooks the River Wye in Ross-on-Wye. This castle dates back to the 11th century and was besieged in 1646 during the Civil War. It has since become a popular tourist destination, with visitors flocking to explore the history of these ruins.
Explore Goodrich at any time or visit during Halloween to embark on a night of frightful fun. Tour the ruins as storytellers divulge spooky tales and the kids fill out the Halloween booklet filled with creepy, cryptic clues and things to collect. This abandoned place in the UK is perfect for the whole family!
Considered one of the UK’s most haunted hospitals, this derelict building was formerly an institution for the orphans of British seamen, housing over 1,000 children at its peak during the First World War.
Later, in the 1950s, it was transformed into a hospital specializing in psychiatry, caring for patients with severe mental health issues, including those transferred from a nearby asylum when it closed in the 1990s.
Newsham Park has been abandoned since the mid-1990s and is a popular spot for ghost hunters. They explore the spooky rooms and long corridors, which are scattered with abandoned wheelchairs, in search of signs of paranormal activity. Numerous reports of ghost sightings, eerie shadows, and haunting voices have left many visitors with an uneasy feeling.
Ghost hunts are available to book but be warned, this building is said to be highly active, so is probably not for the faint-hearted!
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Berkyn Bull Manor is the only abandoned UK mansion to feature on our list. It has remained empty since the death of its last resident in 1987, and its history can be traced back to the 15th century.
Once visited by the poet John Milton, author of ‘Paradise Lost,’ the manor has sat empty for over 30 years and has fallen into disrepair, with certain areas of the house now deemed unsafe for access.
The property seems frozen in time, with abandoned furniture, a vast library of dusty books, a crumbling interior, and layers of thick dust and cobwebs. It’s no wonder this abandoned building is believed to be haunted!
This abandoned Dorset village was evacuated during the Second World War and remains unchanged, offering a frozen-in-time glimpse into 1940s life. The village has since been used as a post-war training base for the military, but the residents never returned.
There are many original and restored buildings to admire, including The Row, a collection of terraced houses constructed in the late 19th century with classic thatched roofs; Tyneham School, which has been refurbished to replicate a 1920s classroom; Tyneham Farm; and Tyneham Church.
Strolling through this beautiful yet empty, ghost-like village is sure to evoke an eerie feeling. Open to visitors most weekends, you can find more information about opening dates and the best times to visit Tyneham here.
This UK village was abandoned in the 1940s, ahead of the construction of the nearby Ladybower Reservoir.
Derwent, a village in Derbyshire, was effectively submerged when the reservoir was built, leading to the demolition of many of its buildings in anticipation of rising water levels. Notably, the Packhorse Bridge was carefully removed and reconstructed elsewhere, as it was designated a national monument of importance.
Completely submerged by water, the village has resurfaced a few times over the years when water levels in the reservoir have dropped significantly, most recently in 2018. During these rare occasions, glimpses of remaining architecture and the church have been visible.
While direct access to the abandoned village is not available, you can incorporate the reservoir and surrounding area into your next walk in the Peak District.
The fascinating remains of this 12th-century Catholic monastery can be found in the Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness.
The abbey served as the home of worshipping monks for four centuries and boasts an extensive and captivating history as one of the most powerful and wealthy abbeys of its time. Its downfall came at the orders of King Henry VIII during the 16th century.
Many of the buildings that remain on-site are Grade I listed, while the site itself is a scheduled monument due to its historic importance, meaning it cannot be altered or changed in any way without authorisation.
It has also been the site of many fascinating discoveries over the past 100 years, with excavations uncovering buried treasure and human remains!
Thought to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula, it’s hard not to associate this abandoned abbey with all things spooky and creepy.
Perched on a cliff overlooking the North Sea, the ruins of this Grade I listed monastery are one of the most popular attractions in North Yorkshire.
Whitby Abbey carries a haunted history, known to be visited by numerous ghosts, including the apparition of St. Hilda, the abbey’s founder from the 7th century, and Constance de Beverley, who is believed to have been buried alive within the brick walls. It’s a must-visit for those interested in the supernatural.
There are several creepy spots to explore in Whitby, with ghost walks through the town giving you the opportunity to see eerie cobbled streets, castle ruins, and chilling graveyards.
Nestled in the rolling countryside of North Yorkshire is another of the best abandoned places in the UK, Rievaulx Abbey. Once the most powerful Cistercian monastery in England, Rievaulx was established in 1132 and was closed down in 1538 as part of the Suppression of the Monasteries.
Despite being inactive since the 16th century, these magnificent ruins played a significant role in the works of Romantic writers and poets. Today, you can step back in time by taking the audio tour, which details the vibrant, 900-year-old history of Rievaulx.
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Gloucester Prison was constructed on the site of Gloucester Castle and has a history dating back to Norman times. It served as a men’s prison for over a century and was even the site of executions during the mid-19th century.
Due to overcrowding, poor conditions and expensive upkeep, the prison was closed in early 2013. This abandoned prison has been open to the public for the last few years, offering guided tours encompassing the original 18th-century gatehouse, wings and cells, kitchens, gymnasium and more.
Gloucester Prison is one of many spooky UK sites you can hire out to embark upon a ghost tour; visit in the winter months for an extra eerie experience!
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Located in the heart of Northern Ireland‘s capital, Belfast, the next entry on our guide to abandoned places in the UK is Crumlin Road Gaol. This abandoned prison is now one of Belfast’s top attractions. You can immerse yourself in the prison’s 150 years of history through either a self-guided or guided tour.
If you’re interested in exploring the spooky side of the prison, Crumlin Road offers immersive events during Halloween, such as The Jail of Horror scare attraction, suitable for ages 12 and above, and the Paranormal Tour, which delves into unexplained sightings and noises throughout the jail. This tour is only suitable for visitors over 16 due to the harrowing stories told; it’s not for the faint-hearted!
For the ultimate scare factor, adults can join the 2-hour Paranormal Investigation, beginning at 8pm, which uncovers the most active areas of the Gaol on your very own ghost hunt!
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Dorchester Prison is another spooky abandoned place in the UK! This Victorian prison closed in 2013 but has recently appeared on our screens as the filming location of Luther: The Fallen Sun!
You can book tickets to join Eddie, one of Dorchester’s former prison officers, on a tour of this abandoned prison. You’ll get to see the tiny cells, kitchens, and chapel while Eddie describes prison life and shares harrowing facts about its history.
Dorchester Prison is also famous for being the site of the last hangings in Dorset. Elizabeth Martha Brown was hanged in 1856, while James Sele met the same fate in 1858. The hanging of Elizabeth ultimately inspired the famous writer Thomas Hardy, who was present at her execution and influenced his work ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
Camelot theme park in Lancashire was based on the medieval tale of Camelot, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. It opened its doors in 1983 and welcomed the public for nearly 30 years before closing in 2012.
The park made headlines twice in the years leading up to its closure due to the tragic death of an employee who was killed while making repairs to the track and a severe injury to a young boy who fell 30 feet from the Excalibur 2 ride.
Upon closure, many of the rides were sold to other parks across Europe, but much of the theme park was left abandoned, including numerous creepy mannequins that were once part of the attraction’s decor.
While the park is closed to the public, many people still visit the grounds, and the site has been subject to vandalism and arson in recent years.
Our second abandoned theme park is Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. It was built on the former site of Marineland and a zoo, opening its doors in 1993.
The park operated for nearly 25 years before closing in 2016 and has remained derelict since then. Many of its rides were sold to other parks, but some still remain, scattered across the vast acres of land that make up the site.
The site is popular with urban explorers who come to investigate what’s left of this beloved attraction. However, time may be running out to visit this abandoned theme park, as there are plans in place to build holiday homes in its place instead.
Will you be visiting any of these abandoned places in the UK? Share your spooky pictures with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter! You can also use our Travel Guide for more inspiration for your next getaway.
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