The Walbrook

Access All Areas

Photo: Silent UK

Photo above:


London, UK

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.

Sistema de metrô

Metro System

Antwerp, BelgiumAustralian urban explorer Dsankt ascends from an unfinished section of the Antwerp metro system. “We had found the huge shaft leading down to the unfinished metro tunnels below, and so had spent a day buying the necessary rope kit to get down into it,” says photographer Snaps. “In the end it became a long night, and we climbed out just before dawn.”

© Photo:

West Tower

© Photo:


Liverpool, UK

“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. 


Heron Tower

© Photo: Silent UK


London, UK

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.

Underground river

Underground River

Moscow, RussiaAfter exploring the underground Neglinnaya River, Steve Duncan and his crew exited through a sewer manhole at the edge of Red Square. The river was originally a key waterway in the Russian capital, until the early 19th century when it was put underground. Shortly after surfacing, the US explorers were caught by Russian military police. “Even though the Cold War is over,” says Duncan, “they still aren’t happy about Americans running around under the Kremlin.” The police deemed the explorers mad, not malicious, and let them go. 

© Photo: Steve Duncan

Niagara Falls

© Photo:

Niagara Falls

Niagara, Canada

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


Read more

Next story