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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 UK’s fascinating and creepy abandoned buildings.

If you’re feeling brave and looking for a day out with a difference, head to one of the UK’s creepiest abandoned sites; from deserted villages to derelict hospitals and empty churches, we have a range of fascinating and chilling abandoned places in the UK to choose from.

Discover 13 of the best abandoned places in the UK to add to your travel plans ASAP…


Abandoned UK Castles

1. Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis

dolbadarn castle

The Medieval ruins of this Welsh castle stand proudly on the fringes of the magnificent Snowdonia National Park, overlooking the countryside and glistening waters of Llyn Peris.

Built during the 13th century by the Welsh prince Llywelyn the Great to enable control of the Llanberis Pass, Dolbadarn Castle has since been used as a home for government, and a manor house, before falling into ruin and being abandoned by inhabitants around the 18th century.

The castle was handed over 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 its round tower free of charge, admiring the incredible views along the challenging uphill walk.

2. Berry Pomeroy Castle, Totnes

Berry Pomeroy Castle

One of the UK’s spookiest locations, this abandoned UK castle is hidden away in the Devonshire woodland.

Comprising 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, during the mid-16th century, and was 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 thought to be haunted by the White Lady, alleged to be the ghost of Lady Margaret Pomeroy, who haunts 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.


Abandoned Buildings UK

3. Newsham Park Hospital, Liverpool

Newsham Park Hospital

Thought to be one of the UK’s most haunted hospitals, this derelict building was formerly an institution for the orphans of British seamen, housing more than 1000 children at its peak during the First World War.

It was then transformed into a hospital during the 1950s, specialising in psychiatry, and took in many patients suffering from severe mental health issues, including patients from a nearby asylum when it closed in the 1990s.

Newsham Park has been abandoned since the mid-1990s and is frequented by ghost hunters, who explore the spooky rooms and long corridors interspersed with abandoned wheelchairs, looking for signs of paranormal activity. There have been several reports of ghost sightings, eerie shadows and haunting voices, leaving many who visit 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!

4. British Museum Tube Station, London

 

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This abandoned tube station was part of the London Underground’s Central Line, and operated between 1900 and 1933, until the expansion of nearby Holborn Station.

The station was then used as a military office, but since 1989, has served as a storage site for materials required for track maintenance.

It has been mentioned in novels and films over the years and is said to be haunted by the spirit of an Egyptian Princess, with many tube travellers reporting seeing a ghost dressed in a headpiece and loincloth.

5. Berkyn Bull Manor, Berkshire

 

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Berkyn Bull Manor is the only abandoned UK mansion to feature on our list. Empty since the 1987 death of its final resident, this derelict building has a history that can be traced back to the 15th century.

Once visited by Paradise Lost poet John Milton, it has been empty for more than 30 years and has fallen into disrepair, with certain areas of the house dangerous to access.

The property appears frozen in time; filled with abandoned furniture, an extensive library of dusty books, a crumbling interior and thick dust and cobwebs. It’s no wonder this abandoned building is thought to be haunted!


Abandoned UK Villages

6. Tyneham, Dorset

Tyneham, Dorset

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 that were originally constructed during the late 19th century and boasted classic thatched roofs; Tyneham School, which has been refurbished with an interior that replicates a 1920s classroom; Tyneham Farm; and Tyneham Church.

You’re sure to get that eerie feeling strolling around this beautiful but empty ghost-like village. Open to visitors most weekends, you can find more information about opening dates and the best times to visit Tyneham here.

7. Derwent, Derbyshire

Derwent village, Derbyshire

This UK village was abandoned in the 1940s, ahead of the construction of the nearby Ladybower Reservoir.

Derwent is a Derbyshire village that was effectively drowned when the reservoir was constructed, with many of its buildings demolished in anticipation of the rising water levels. Notably, its packhorse bridge was carefully removed and rebuilt elsewhere, due to it being a designated a monument of national importance.

Completely engulfed by water, the village has re-emerged a few times over the years, when water levels in the reservoir have dipped particularly low, most recently in 2018. On these rare occasions, glimpses of remaining architecture and its church have been seen.

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.

8. St Athan Boys’ Village, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales

St Athan Boys' Village

Not technically a village, but still worth a mention on our abandoned UK places to visit list, is St Athan Boys’ Village.

Established in the 1920s to offer a free holiday to the children of local coal miners, it went on to be used by the military and then as a youth hostel, and was even visited by the Duke of Edinburgh in the late 1960s.

As the coal mining industry declined, so did the popularity of the holiday village, and the site closed completely in 1991. It has since been subject to theft, vandalism and trespassing, while part of the site has been demolished due to safety concerns. An empty swimming pool and several dormitories are some of the architecture that remains.

In recent years, there have been many creepy and unexplained sightings at this derelict village, with rumours ever-circulating that the village is haunted.


Abandoned UK Churches

9. Furness Abbey, Barrow in Furness

Furness Abbey

The fascinating remains of this 12th-century Catholic monastery can be found in the Cumbrian town of Barrow-in-Furness.

The abbey was the home of worshipping monks for four centuries, and boasts an extensive and fascinating history as one of the most powerful and wealthy abbeys of its time, before its demise 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!

10. Whitby Abbey, Whitby

Whitby Abbey

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 is one of the most popular attractions in North Yorkshire.

Whitby Abbey carries a spooky history; known to be haunted by numerous ghosts, including the ghost of St Hilda, who founded the abbey during the 7th century, and Constance de Beverley, who is believed to have been buried alive within the brick walls, it’s a touring hotspot 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.


Abandoned Prisons UK

11. Gloucester Prison, Gloucester

 

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Gloucester Prison was built on the site of Gloucester Castle and has a history that dates back to Norman times. Serving as a men’s prison for more than a century, Gloucester 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!


Abandoned Theme Parks UK

12. Camelot, Lancashire

Camelot theme park

Camelot theme park in Lancashire was based on the medieval tale of Camelot, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. Opened in 1983, the park welcomed the public for almost 30 years, before closing its doors in 2012.

The park hit the headlines twice in the years leading up to its closure, with the tragic death of an employee who was killed whilst making repairs to the track, and the severe injury of a young boy, who fell 30ft 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 a plethora of creepy mannequins that once made up part of the décor of the attraction.

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.

13. Pleasure Island, Cleethorpes

Pendulus ride at Pleasure Island, Cleethorpes

Our second abandoned theme park is Pleasure Island in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire. Pleasure Island was built on the site of the former marineland and zoo, opening its doors in 1993.

The park was in operation for nearly 25 years, closing its doors in 2016, and has remained derelict since then. Many of its rides were sold to other parks, but some remain, spread around the vast acres of land the site encompasses.

The site is popular with Urban Explorers, who flock to explore what remains of this much-loved attraction, although time may be running out to visit this abandoned theme park, with plans in place to build holiday homes in its place instead.


Will you be visiting any of these deserted destinations? Share your spooky pictures with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!


Image credits: Tyneham village – Robert.PittmanCC BY-ND 2.0; Derwent Village UncoveredTim HallamCC BY-SA 2.0; Camelot – Raymond Knapman – CC BY-SA 2.0; St Athan Boys’ Village – Gareth James – CC BY-SA 2.0; Furness Abbey – Francis BijlCC BY 2.0; Newsham Park Hospital – Stephen McKay – CC BY-SA 2.0; Pleasure Island – Crazy-dancing – CC BY 3.0s

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