What is Urbex

What is Urbex / Urban Exploration 

Urbex comes from the term Urban Exploring, sometimes shortened to just "UE". Urbex is a broad term used to describe the exploring of abandoned man-made structures. Sometimes other hobbies get included within "Urbex", these hobbies include. 

  • Draining - exploring storm drains

  • Urban Caving

  • Rooftopping - accessing roof tops, skyscrapers, cranes and other towers for the adrenaline rush

  • Active Buildings "Trojan Horse" - exploring active buildings either blending in or through sneaking

Urban Exploring is a fast-growing hobby with social media and the internet making it much easier to find and share information and pictures. Although Urban Exploring is driven predominantly through our innate curiosities, to step into the unknown, some people do credit the hobbies origin to a singular group or organisation. 

Urban Sunset

One of the most popular origin stories relates to the "Suicide Club" which was formed in San Francisco in the late 70's. The "Suicide Club" was devoted to exploring abandoned and unknown locations, often organising tours and even dinner parties. The club outlined the vast amount of forgotten location and also helped highlight some benefits to infiltrating these locations. 

Another popular origin story is that Urban Exploring came from the FBI and their hackers. Back when hacking included physically accessing data and electronics within a foreign location, hackers had to gain access to a building and "explore" to locate and access confidential data. 

Why People Love Urbex


Urban exploring lets you step into an unknown world, untouched and frozen in time. People are drawn to Urbex for many reasons, here are a few of those reasons. 


The majority of people who do urban exploring do it because they love exploring! you never know what you are going to stumble upon. Whether it's the hidden world of a dilapidated industrial factory filled with strange machines scattered amongst an awe-inspiring lofty void or a snapshot of domestic life nestled in a forgotten quite country home, filled with artifacts of everyday life.


The unknown is filled with mystery and excitement. Opening the doors to a new location feels similar to being a child unwrapping presents, eagerly waiting to peer upon what is inside. 


Who wants to read a book about what used to happen in our world when you can step back in time and experience the locations and items left behind? No matter where I explore, I always enjoy imaging the everyday life that used to occupy the now quiet and empty spaces. 

You can't stand inside an old factory without imagining the workers clocking in day in and day out, trying to understand the processes behind their crafts and busines. You can't stand inside an abandoned home without trying to picture who lived there, what were they like, what did they do and where have they gone. 

Nocton 1.jpg


Nowadays everything has a camera on, from your phone to your doorbell. We live in world saturated with images of everything and anything. Don't get me wrong pictures of flowers and sunsets look pretty but are getting a bit stale. Urban exploring doesn’t just let me see a world which most never will it also lets me capture it!

Something special happens when inorganic structures and objects are left for long periods to battle the elements and to yield to the nature that takes over. The delicacy of flaky paint cracking on a wall, the vibrant colours of nature pushing through the drab grey concrete, the years of built up grime just does something to me. So maybe they aren’t the pictures you have on your wall they are defiantly the images that people want to flick through.