Tag Archives: britain

Bricking it!

I don’t know what’s so fascinating about things that are old and abandoned but there certainly is something!

It’s a complete adrenaline rush and a wave of different emotions, from the planning all the way to the ride home in the car. Urban Exploring has definitely become one of my favourite things to do!

This amazing find is an old abandoned brickworks called Allen Brickworks in Hipperholme.

Google maps however turned this into a complete adventure! Basically it took us the wrong long way around down some epic dirt paths resulting in us having to make friends with a random stone yard owner to be able to abandon the adventure wagon and commence foot patrol to our destination!

As long as you don’t mind hills this is a beautiful walk down into the bottom of the valley. It is possible to drive down closer but I wouldn’t advise it in anything other than a purpose built monster truck or a vehicle of that description!

We didn’t really know what to expect to be honest, but we certainly didn’t account for what we found, the place is massive! We were there for a couple of hours at least. There’s so many out buildings and building blocks to go in.

If you like street art this is the place of all places to see it! It’s literally the paradise of street art and design, Nearly every wall every floor, roof and brick is covered. The contrast is amazing the old bricks and buildings with their run down appearance are given a vibrant new look. The floors are littered with empty spray cans of all ages.

It’s always quite nerve-wracking exploring around derelict sites you just don’t know what to expect or who! We bumped into “people” for the first time ever and believe you and me it’s a bit scary at first. You don’t know why their here you hope there equally as adventurous as you are but due to the nature of the places there’s a chance some of the people might be up to “no good” luckily everyone we met were cool! A group of street artists looked as frightened to see us as we did them at first. There was also a couple the same as us exploring around taking pictures and then finally a group of younger people out with their pet dog.

There was so much to see but some of the buildings are just empty rooms due to a lot of the fixtures and original fittings being destroyed over time.

This place was brilliant but due to the sheer size of it, it would be impossible to upload and share everything with you all at once so stay tuned for part too with loads more photos as we adventure around as well as the people we met and the history behind the place.

Well that’s enough jabbering now for this one the pictures say it all! This is literally an adult adventure playground!

Happy Reading! 

Don’t forget to head over to my Instagram page for all the photos @geojoukblog link on the homepage 🙂 




People watching at Salts Mill and not in a creepy way!

People are fascinating creatures. Each one completely different from another. There’s never a better opportunity to see going about their business than in a busy setting. So with that said and armed with the camera a trip to the beautiful and historic Salts Mill in Saltaire.

Salts mill used to be a textiles mill but is now used as an art gallery, with places to eat and shop. It was built way back in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt. (side note, if you have never heard of this guy look him up!) When the mill was built it was the largest industrial building in the world! This was calculated by the total floor area, and quite rightly because its massive. The mill its self is situated in the heart of Saltaire and closed its doors as a textile mill in 1986.

Saltaire is a world heritage site, its beautiful, walking around is picturesque and perfectly reserved in its Victorian glory. All the houses and buildings are bursting with character from the Victorian period, hence why the site is so heavily protected. All the houses were built by Sir Titus Salt for his mill workers and staff. The houses are still being lived in today.

The day we decided to adventure here was the weekend that Roberts Park were hosting the Dragon Boat Racing event, so it was heaving around the area, as well as the blistering sunshine that had spontaneously come out to play.

Salts Mills art gallery houses several large rooms to display the very talented Bradford born artist David Hockney.

On the ground floor is my personal favourite part of the mill, the art shop. A beautiful period room renovated beautifully displaying art work, statues and ornaments as well as art and craft supplies and books all devoted to creative minds. The atmosphere is so calm and quiet, and it smells beautiful, floral and fresh.

This lady trying to decide which craft book to buy.
Look at this lady, I wonder what masterpiece she’s off to create.
This women had me mesmerised, so classy.

Around the room colours are everywhere, they stand out beautifully against the dark surroundings. The solid table benches used to display all of the shops items dominate the room. This creates a very old meets modern contrast which works perfectly. I could stay in here for hours.

I love the reflection of the windows in the glass
Gorgeous Artwork Lines the stone walls
the tall window arches create amazing light patches around the room
so many colours and details compliment the artwork behind
Look at the detail and craftmanship in these!

Out of all the pieces around the room my favourite had to be this elderly lady her face really tells a picture, their life in her eyes, history in her face. The way the artist has captured how she olds the saucer reminds me of how my own Nan used to. The longer I looked at it I couldn’t help thinking that’s someone’s grandmas.

My Favourite Piece

Looking around the mill other parts of the structure and decor caught my eye.

Ceiling and Beam

Victorian school desk, I wonder how many children used this

After a look round at the separate parts of the mill it was time to leave but before I did I managed to get a cheeky snap of the Man Himself!

Sir Titus Salt

Sir Titus Salt

Happy reading!

Follow me on Instagram @geojoukblog Link on the Homepage! 

Urban Exploring – Not everyone who wanders is lost!

Ive always been intrigued when it comes to deserted places, abandoned buildings and derelict dwellings. So urban exploring is right up my alley! Armed with a new DSLR camera and an urge to get snapping it was time to find some locations, google is literally our best friend!

Destination Found – Old Lane Mill – Halifax (also known as Rawsons Mill)

Old Lane Mill

A little bit of history for you, this was the first mill in Britain to be steel framed. It was a steam powered mill built by a guy names James Ackroyd in 1825. I mean come on 1825 and its still stood here now in 2016, I can’t even get my apple charger to last more than 3 months! The floors of the mill were made from solid stone and the mill was documented as being “fire proof”. The first Jacquard Looms were also built and housed in the mill, and according to the history books every evening when the night watchman was starting his shift he would fire a blunderbuss to signal that he was on duty!

The mill its self is now a Grade 2 listed property, given its listing in 1994, this is due to the mill being the oldest and largest surviving example of a steam powered, iron framed, multi storey textile mill.

On approach to the mill the sheer size of the place is over whelming, the nerves begin to kick in a little bit at the thought of having to enter the ground floor. All of the ground floor windows have been bricked up except one. This makes its extremely dark with no visibility once inside other than the small cracks of light coming through from the holes in the ceiling above. Torches are a must!

Lit by flash light you couldnt see your hand in front of your face!

Once over the initial nerves and moving across the ground floor to the far back left a stair case is accessible to all floors of the mill. Luckily we were alone whilst exploring, but it became aparent that the mill is used by others, heavily tagged with graffitti and littered with drinks cans and bottles it defintly adds to the “get in and straight out feeling”

The atmosphere is slightly eerie, I suppose part of this comes with the territory of exploring anything old and abandoned, but walking around advancing up the floors you cant help but hear the silence, theres an air of uncertainty, as well as a sadening feeling that what once was a busy busseling building, housing hundreds of workers and so much life is now left empty and forgotten.

Hole from the second floor roof upwards !

Going up from the ground floor to the first via the staircase in the far left at the back of the mill opens up into a massive open light space a welcomed sight from the pitch black darkness downstairs.

The flooring is a little dicey on this level but seems safe enough to walk on and explore, looking around the heavily tagged walls give a great contrast against the green structural posts and the aged surroundings. The emptiness of the mill hits you as you arrive up here, it’s surreal and quite saddening to think of all the hustle and bustle that would have once been here, the hundreds of people, who have worked here, the noise and atmosphere which would have been here when the mill was alive.
From this walking across to the other side of the mill the main hall way is accessible half of the stair case has been destroyed so access from here is not possible but it does allow great views of what once was a beautifully decorated ceilings.

Theres some beautiful exposed examples of the steel and iron work, and the archetecture is amazing. On some of the levels 3 and 4 if i remember rightly the ground is worse than the others so extra care is needed when walking across, several holes and decaying brickwork means you have to be aware constantly of where your standing.

Climbing all the way to the top floor and looking out over the view was an awesome feeling of achievement, but also made you feel a little uneasy about how exposed you really are to passersby once your in the mill itself. With only one way in and out and a very dark ground floor to have to go through to exit, once your in there and climbing up the floors you really arent aware if anyone else has entered behind you. I certainly wouldnt recommend being there after dark!

Arriving up to the second floor the first thing that stands out is the red structural posts lined all the way down the floor. Following the line of sight to the far back of the room more graffiti tags take centre place. The flooring on this level is a little sketchy there are holes in the floor and loose gravel underfoot, extra care is needed.

There’s numerous side rooms, lift shafts and hallways to explore through which aren’t in the best conditions, but I couldn’t resist a little bit of a risk or a quick cheeky lean over the sides to take some photos.

After climbing and clambering through the floors making our way all the way to the top, was all worth it because the top floor, wow, brilliant what a sight!

A massive open space with giant framework all exposed, the colour is a gorgeous reddish orange colour, created from the years of weather and abandonment. Curved arches made from steel beams create a perfect shell which was once covered by the roof. The amount of grass growing on the top floor was an unexpected sight. There was also a surprise resident you will see him later on!

The entrance to the top floor off from the stair case for me was the space with the most character, a large open circle window looks out over the loop system and buildings of Halifax. The way the scene is framed through the circle perfectly captures some of the highest buildings, it’s almost like looking through a spyglass.

Around the entire building the walls are all heavily tagged with artwork sprayed by previous explorers marking their territory. It certainly gives the derelict site that “urban” look. Here’s some photos from around the site. Some of the artwork was displayed in rooms that are completely in the dark.

This was our first experience at urban exploring and I loved it! The adrenaline, the excitement as well as the unnerving feeling and eeriness all add to the excitement but the overall sense of achievement overcoming all of that defiantly makes it an unforgettable experience, even when the places themselves are sadly now forgotten, luckily for this building it isn’t completely abandoned there’s one resident still enjoying the building this little guy really wasn’t frightened he just sat unmoved by our appearance just still and staring!

View from the top !
View from the top!

Happy Reading! 

Don’t forget to head on over to Instagram @geojoukblog for more exploring pictures!


The “Top Secret” cache

During my short time geocaching, I’ve been extremely lucky to find quite a range of different caches, starting with the tiniest micro caches to large containers filled with trinkets to swap.

But it wasnt untill this recent little adventure to the stunning Burley in Wharfedale that the three musketeers discovered our first “secretive” cache!

Burley in Wharfedale is situated in the Wharfedale valley in Yorkshire, where the River Wharfe is located. The area is beautiful to walk around from the village centre displaying historic buildings with stunning architecture such as St Mary’s parish church. Other quaint little buildings such as The Round House add to the characters of the village. For all you Countdown viewers Burley Woodhead was home to the late Richard Whiteley.

For fellow geocachers and outdoor enthusiasts, Burley in Wharfedale boasts some beautiful walking routes as well as being a great start for exploring around the lower part of the Yorkshire Dales.

The biggest attraction for a day in the great outdoors is Burley Bridge or the “Stepping Stones” as its more commonly known. This is due to there being no bridge to cross over the river, instead giant stepping-stones make crossing a lot more fun!

Here’s a panoramic photo I took so you can see just how beautiful this place really is.


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River Wharfe – Burley Bridge – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

The day we went the River was really high as a result of the recent floods that have effected the area, so the “Stepping Stones” weren’t as visible as they usually are. This made crossing very tricky!

A few people were attempting to cross as but either got stuck halfway and ended up turning back or made a series of Elvis like dance moves as they slipped and slid their way across. My explorer friend GeoJames decided he too wished to audition for Strictly Come Dancing, and decided to attempt to make his way over the river as we the “sensible” ones watched, and believe me it’s quite the distance!

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“Stepping Stones” – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

Needless to say the comedy value of this was outstanding! He had reached the other side finally, with extremely wet feet and trousers and a couple of interesting dance moves along the way. The only problem being that he wasnt aware that the stepping-stones are the only way to get across, and the only way back! Priceless …

After skimming stones across the river and enjoying the gorgeous scenery and waterfalls it was time to begin geocaching!

There isn’t that many caches located directly near the river, but one in particular caught our eye whilst scanning through the app. “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” 

We made our way down the country path with open fields either side with animals grazing in the sunshine. It’s always a busy location for other walkers, dog walkers and families so being careful not to attract the attention of “muggles” is quite tricky!

We kept following the compass untill we reached the area where the cache was hidden,  we spent ages racking our brains, searching all around for the cache. Whilst at the same time trying not to attract the attention of passers-by looking like a set of three crazy people searching through bushes and brambles.

There were no hints available with the cache, but the comments from previous cacher’s helped! The hiding place for this cache was ingenious and so creative, after what seemed like an eternity of searching trying to think outside of the box we noticed a fence post with a large silver but slightly aged padlock attached.

The penny ladies and gentleman finally dropped! “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” … the clue was quite clearly in the name! PadLOCK!

What a hiding place, a hollowed out old padlock, walked past everyday by people constantly, only known to a small few what it actually is, brilliant!

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Top secret cache – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

Inside a perfectly folded log sheet complete with lots of other geocacher’s usernames.

A little weathered but still in tact log – Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

As you can see from the log sheet and what amazed us was three years this log has been going, stashed neatly away secretly in the padlock. All in all it was a successful and comical geocaching adventure from Geojames nearly drowning and been swept down the river to hunting for ingenious caches, and on that note I’ll leave you with this question …

Whats the most “secretive” cache you’ve found?

Leave a comment below, and for more pictures and to keep up to date with my geocaching adventures feel free to head on over to my Instagram or Facebook page! Links on the homepage.

Happy Reading

The Biggest Cache

So after getting distracted by Buckwood cottage it was time for the three musketeers to get back too it, after all there’s treasure caches to be found. Firing up the app we were pleased to see a sea of green dots surrounding us, time to take our pick.

We decided on a cache which was at the far end of Buck woods, why not! After all having two four legged companions in tow, the long walk was definitely appreciated by them.

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Screenshot of the Geo-caching app, and our chosen cache.

Continuing down the dirt path into the heart of the woodland we approached the swing bridge, its always fun walking across these types of bridges stood over looking down the Leeds and Liverpool canal watching the barges gently sail down, all the time imagining you are on a ‘Rosie and Jim’ adventure. We were met by other dog walkers and cyclists each enjoying the lovely spring sunny day and the beautiful natural surroundings.

As we cross the canal and head further into the woods we approach the stunning green iron bridge. The bridge allows access to cross over the River Aire The bridge stands solidly and takes precedence in the woods and quite rightly so its huge and beautiful to look at.

The area was recently hit badly by the floods and the aftermath was devastating to see. The water tore through and left some devastating effects, fields water logged, washed up rubbish caught in trees, damaged banks and snapped trees that have stood for decades destroyed in an instant. The view was overwhelming to see the contrast from what faces us now compared to the vivid greens that were there not long before.


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The devastating effects left behind by the floods – Photo taken by myself –                                                            Jo Webster
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Photo taken by myself – Jo Webster

Heading onwards from the river we approach the nature reserve. Walking past newly crafted bird boxes, freshly planted flowers and trees it was a welcomed sight from the one we saw at the river. The hard work and effort made by the Friends of Buck Wood group to begin to restore the woodland to what it once was is remarkable to say the least.

“You’re getting close” 

Pinged on our app, its at this point everyone of us started to have our eyes peeled, searching around the area for a while we still couldn’t find it, determined to not be beaten we addressed the clues left by previous geocachers.

“You are looking for a “Military” style cache”

It wasn’t wrong! Well hidden and wedged between a pile of unused logs a military style cache was located! It was huge! Still the biggest cache we have found to this day! It was certainly well worth the adventure to find it.

Opening the cache i think is always the most exciting part of geocaching, its the part where the inner adventurer inside me comes alive.

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“Military’ style cache – Photo by myself – Jo Webster
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Signing the Log, and trading swappable’s – Photo by myself – Jo Webster

Opening this cache was by far the most exciting out of the ones weve found.

Whats the most exciting cache youve found so far?? Leave me a comment I love reading about other fellow geo-cachers adventures there all so different and exciting.

Happy reading 

P.S If you fancy seeing some more images for this days adventure then head on over to my instagram! Link on the home page x