4 Jan 2013

On childhood terror and adult bravery.

There is a hidden island of paradise in my town, a strange and empty area forgotten by civilisation, where growing out of abandoned cans and microwaves the ferns and mosses have reclaimed what is rightfully theirs.  

My town used to be a bustling hub with markets, shops and a soul and we used to be connected to the rest of civilisation by a real life railway.  But then life dried-up; the markets stopped, the shops got boarded up and the people moved away.  Eventually the railway was also closed and the metal tracks were taken to the places that deserved them more than we did.  The station was abandoned and the tunnels fell into disrepair.

The plants reclaimed our damage but you have to earn the right to see their work.
As a child these tunnels terrified me.  They are dark and dank and no matter what the weather is like, a cold breeze always seeps out.  On either side of the tunnel there are strange gaps for the people of history to escape the path of the train if there was not enough time to leave the tunnel.  I used to believe I could hear them whispering from within the dark alcoves.


My mother would stride through, holding mine and my brother's damp paws as we pressed into her coat, the dogs following closely behind.  We knew that the forest on the other side was worth the fear of the eyes and ears trapped in the tunnels.

That was the tunnel on the left.  The tunnel on the right we never went in.  We weren't that stupid; twice the length of the left tunnel, it bends in the middle and you can see no light at the far end.  Without any light who could guess what manner of beings inhabit it or predict whether you might ever leave.


But this year we did it.  My mother, James and I (and two cowardly dogs) made it through alive...





...and it was beautiful.  Well done you plants.



  1. How beautiful! You captured the childlike fear and curiosity so well--I remember romping about the woods as a child and being scared of going too far into the farmers fields or of exploring a neighbor's abandoned house. Great pictures too.

    1. Thank you, it is a feeling you never seem to quite grow out of :)

  2. WOOOOOW! Can I ask where this is??

    1. Of course! It is hidden away in Somerset in England.

  3. wow that's a really cool story. i've always had a fear of long, dark tunnels. they're just so eerie. but these photos are amazing!


    1. Thank you so much! I know, I may have braved it this time but I am in no hurry to do it again!

  4. This place is beyond words!
    I absolutely love the detail of the shots (:

    x, Alyssa @ Afternoon Musings

  5. Happy New Year!
    I left a little gift for you on my blog today (◕‿◕✿)

  6. this is beautiful! so surreal that this is so hidden and taken over by nature. congrats on your bravery! worth the experience and these beautiful photos :)

    so glad I stumbled upon your blog! new follower :)