Of the city’s 20 or so subterranean rivers (some are disputed, more mythical than covered by concrete), this one is found right at its heart, under the financial district. “It’s one of the oldest of its kind in London,” says urban explorer Silent UK, who took this shot of his fellow explorer, BambooPanda, in 2009. All explorers use nicknames and aliases, to keep their methods secret and ensure that their exploration efforts can be recognised anonymously.
“At some point in 2006 it became clear to us that the major development sites in any big city could be easily accessed,” says Adventure Worldwide’s Snaps. “Typically, we’d climb such landmarks for the view and also for the sense of freedom and excitement.” The construction site for Liverpool’s West Tower, soon to be the city’s tallest building at 140m, proved too tempting back in 2006. Here, explorer Frank enjoys the panorama and serenity from the crane on top of the tower, two years before it was completed.
The third-tallest building in England’s capital, after The Shard and Canary Wharf’s One Canada Square. “When we visited, the city was covered in fog. Visibility was almost zero, but that added its own charm,” says Silent UK. The top of Heron Tower’s mast is 230m above ground; just visible in this shot is explorer Speed, during a 2008 place hack when the building was still under construction.
The power generation relics at Niagara Falls are particularly interesting to explorers as they chart the attempts to harness the raw power of the falls. This photo shows the ‘outfall’ of the William Rankine power station. This tunnel would once have returned water from the power station, which entered near the brink of the falls, back into the river at the bottom of the gorge. “The highlight of the exploration was managing to rig a rope up into the bowels of the power plant, eventually emerging on the mothballed turbine floor,” says Snaps.