Urban explorers. They give people a chance to glance at locations that were once bustling parts of life and are now abandoned.
All sorts of man-made places – hotels, theme parks, resorts, hospitals, schools, areas around Chernobyl and Fukushima, you name it – once abandoned and neglected for years on end, eventually are taken over by nature. Urban explorers, armed with a sense of adventure (and a decidedly solid disregard for rules and potential injury), trespass onto private property and videotape what places look like 5, 10, 50, 100 years after they’ve been closed down.
There are several urban explorers here in Central Florida who have made videos of some of the more local abandoned places (Orlando Hyatt House, anyone?) and, WAAAAAY back when, we even covered some abandoned areas of Walt Disney World, such as Discovery Island (1974-1999) and River Country (1976-2001) that urban explorers had documented.
Urban explorers can be found in virtually any country. Case in point, our visit to Japan’s Nara Dreamland theme park (1961-2006) happened just months before the park closed forever. The park then became a virtual wonderland to urban explorers (video at the bottom of the post) for a decade before the park was entirely razed.
A new urban explorer video recently became available – this one from’s England, not too far from Heathrow Airport.
The Cranebank British Airways Training Centre was THE PLACE for British Airways staff to receive training. Built in the 1960s, it had state-of-the-art simulators of various planes’ cockpits and cabins for years. However time marched on, and the building was eventually deemed to be both operationally and environmentally inefficient and dated. The asbestos-laden facility closed in 2015, but not before training some 17,000 cabin crew/flight attendants and 4,000 pilots. It was replaced with the British Airways Global Learning Academy, which was a much more modern facility to offer pilot, engineering and cabin training among other courses for BA employees (this PDF explains everything the new facility has to offer).
Meanwhile, the Cranebank training centre sat, languishing. That, of course, gave local urban explorers the opportunity to do their thing (hopefully with breathing apparatuses – asbestos, ew!).
A local TikToker known as @chloeurbex recent posted a short video of what the facility looks like nowadays (note: one brief moment of adult language on the audio):
Obviously, if one urban explorer got into the facility, so did others. So I started searching for more videos.
It wasn’t difficult to find.
First, here’s a video that shows what the facility looked like in better times:
Via Urbandoned (September, 2021) – Part 1:
We also found this post from Discover.re (apparently a site for European- and UK-based urban exploration), which is only a few weeks old, with tons of pictures of the facility.
Pretty sad, huh?
As always, we don’t condone urban exploration. Those who do it are risking their safety and possibly their lives, on top of whatever punishments that could incur from trespassing. But as someone who has been sucked into these rabbit holes of videos of abandoned places on more than occasion, I have to admit that watching the above videos was kind of cool, albeit in a horrific sort of way. 😉
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