If there are two things that I love, it’s abandoned buildings, and sticking my middle finger up to the ridiculousness of modern-day, politically-correct, suffocatingly-protective society.
These days it seems you can’t traverse ten yards without being hassled by an over-zealous, in-your-face warning sign demanding you to have to use a mere modicum of common sense so as not to fall onto the train tracks, or drive into a cow, or staple your tongue to the floor with a croquet hoop. It’s an unnecessary by-product of people trying to make a quick buck out of their own stupidity, and judges ruling that stupid behaviour should be compensated for.
However, there is a place, just outside of the village of Upwood, near Huntingdon, that doesn’t bother warning you of potential death by moronic behaviour. Fortunately, it also happens to be full of old, abandoned, run-down buildings, which is just my cup of tea.
I don’t even like tea.
Used as a training facility during the World Wars and then by the United States Air Force in the Cold War, RAF Upwood’s existence became increasingly redundant once the Cold War had concluded in 1991. It was officially closed in 2012, but the buildings are still (sort of) in tact, and you don’t need to break in to explore it – a fact that becomes clear once you start bumping into dog walkers and stepping on pellets left by people shooting BB guns, paintballs, and various other fun-based projectiles at each other whilst taking advantage of the numerous cover spots and eerie, militaristic atmosphere.
I even came across similarly-minded photographers milling around the dozens of dilapidated buildings, proof that this is a popular spot for the urban explorer.
I’m sure that my travels will see me visit all kinds of glamorous and exotic locations, but sometimes it’s the complete opposite that appeals, and in the middle of piles of rubble and shards of glass, with a refreshingly noticeable lack of interfering warning signs, there is a lot of appeal, of almost mysterious charm about being somewhere it feels like you shouldn’t be, that society would try to steer you away from.
These are my favourite kind of places.