Tales of the Urban Explorer: The Nag's Head

in Urban Exploration10 months ago (edited)

It was a hot, hot day when we visited The Nag’s Head in June 2020. Lockdown was starting to get relaxed and this month appeared to be ‘our summer’.


The Nag's Head closed in 2015 and for the next two years, the car park and grounds were occupied by gypsies with a large mass of caravans.


Who knows what they did to the poor pub during this time but they have finally vacated, probably forced to move on by the cops I imagine.

I can understand why The Nag’s Head was not a hit. It is next to a motorway but too confusing to find. One must drive down a long road that runs adjacent to the motorway, but getting off the damn thing is a different problem.


I could imagine many a motorist seeing it, and getting frustrated at not being able to get to it.


We also had to walk down this never-ending road in the blistering heat and wearing black too. Wearing bright colours makes it easy for people to see you, and a certain amount of subterfuge is necessary for Urbex.

It also makes you sweat your bollocks off when there’s an unyielding sun belting down on you.

We strolled past a security bloke for a housing company on the way who did not seem to give a shit. All the better I say. I guess they are building some new homes in close proximity to The Nag’s Head.

At the time I had no idea how long The Nag’s Head had been left empty. 5 years isn’t so bad and maybe there would be something other than a shell within.

The outside did not look in too bad a shape but looks can be deceiving.


It would have been nice to walk in the front door, but it was not going to happen. It did not look very welcoming at all.

A scout around yielded plenty of other access points; I would have needed 2 hands to count them all.


There was definite evidence this was a pub once with some fancy furniture. The sofa just needs to be straightened out before it can be sat on again.


I wonder if those gypsies had been swigging all the spirits that were left?




A nice selection of paperbacks, albeit a little on the damp moldy side.


It would have been nice before all the greenery started poking its way through the windows.


There’s no shortage of reading matter at The Nag’s Head.


Now why a boat is in the bar area is a real puzzler.



I didn’t check the vending machine as I don’t smoke.




You know, sections of it looked almost passable for a bad looking pub. Add a couple of flesh-eaten rotting zombies drinking pints and it will look perfectly passible.


...'Oh yes... very cozy.. just don't take any notice of the mold'...

If there was a window, it had to be smashed. There seemed to be non left intact.

The gypsies had been bedding down in here. Can you blame them? It would have been nice a few years ago. They always dump the beds.




The restaurant was down here once. It was flooded, and too deep to even have a look.


Upstairs was fun. Part of the stairway had collapsed but someone had left a handy ladder to use.





The living quarters had not fared too well with sections of the loft poking down.



When you can see the sunlight streaming through its always a bad sign.


I don’t remember reading this one as a kid, and I was a big Enid fan.


A tie, something nondescript, some porn, and a copy of The Godfather II didn't seem to fit. Am I missing something or is the nondescript thing some kind of pleasure tool?



Then we came to the room at the end; Posh comfy leather recliners? Now this is more like it, I was almost tempted to take a seat and have a nap.


The games were not really my style, and budget ones too, cheapskates!


Someone was racking up a little debt.



The back door opened (actually it was lying on the floor) to a marvellous beer garden and tent.


I could have used a pint, but sadly nobody was pulling the pumps.


There was plenty of wild foliage to be seen with lots of brambles and nettles.

Well, what a waste. I figure The Nag's Head would have been a lovely stopover once.


Nobody seems to care at its so far removed from anywhere, and nobody seems to want to even board the place up.


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The boat must have been there when the place was awash with drink :0D

It must have sailed in with a load of pirates aboard wanting som rum, and they left it there.

Bloody pirates, they are murder to get rid of

Seems like it was quite the place back in the day before the big motorway. How old do you reckon the pub building is? When I was a kid we'd go on holiday to Nags Head, North Carolina, USA. Now I know where the name came from ;) Watch out for the sun. I understand as I used to live in Seattle haha. Went to Cardiff once. Dumped rain nonstop for 2 weeks.

It doesn't look like a new building and has fallen prey to the motorways all around it. Once they would not have existed and there would have been regular roads and streets surrounding it.

Now there is nothing, except the new homes not yet built nearby. The UK is a funny place when it comes to weather, you never know what you're gonna get.

Yeah I just had visions of a Dickens era road house with horse and buggy outside. Maybe just a dream haha... Would you reckon the portrayal of the gypsies in "Two lock stock and smoking barrels" was fairly accurate?

Yeah, the horses and carts would have drawn up here once. It is older than the invention of the car I would say.

Haha yes I concur

There must be a few Nags Head pubs. Popular name as there’s one in Huddersfield if I recall, up in Ainley Top.

I thought it might have been the one I know for a second but this one looks far too remote

Nowhere near Huddersfield, this is in the South Manchester area. I have seen a few Nag's Heads in my time too.

These are the photos I want to paint. Incredible!

Looks like a big place. Being stuck out in the middle of nowhere can't make it easy to get trade. Not like people could just wander up. There's one near hear right on the A1, but no other houses nearby. The pub shut down and someone lives there now, but it must be noisy.

You could have used the boat to explore downstairs.

Do these places smell bad? I imagine mould plus possible other 'waste' could have a certain aroma.

You could have used the boat to explore downstairs.

Not a bad idea, but lack of oars would have impeded our progress.

Do these places smell bad? I imagine mould plus possible other 'waste' could have a certain aroma.

It is something you get used to, they all have a similar smell, some worse than others. We did one yesterday that stunk quite badly in one room. Like piss.

Probably was piss :)

Often pass this on the M56, but never bothered to stop, it’s one of those “on the list” places. Considering the pikeys have been there it’s not too bad

It's not a bad little mooch, only 5 years so not a shell yet. I saw some older pictures of the caravans. They were there for a long time. You can't drive down now as it's gated by the Bovis homes security lot. A long walk..

Ah, developers moved in!

Urban exploration looks fascinating, and so many great photo opportunities! How do you find these places? Do you just stumble across them or is there some sort of information hub with a list of abandoned buildings?

Had to laugh at the random porn discovery. The Enid Blyton book brings back fond memories though, I had a massive collection of those as a kid.

so many great photo opportunities!

One of the reasons I do it, I look for the good shots and occasionally get one!

there some sort of information hub with a list of abandoned buildings?

No, it's quite a secretive hobby with people reluctant to give away locations, due to the amount of wankers who like to burn places, spray them or vandalize them. It still happens frequently and is a great source of annoyance to the likes of me who go for the adventure and photography.

I had a massive collection of those as a kid.

Me too, all the Secret Seven and Famous Five and all the others bits and bobs she wrote.

Have a read of this.. will give you some ideas about how to find places.


No, it's quite a secretive hobby with people reluctant to give away locations, due to the amount of wankers who like to burn places, spray them or vandalize them.

Ah of course, I didn't think about that.

Just read your linked post, thanks. Definitely something to think about. I'm trying to get a bit fitter as I'm really horribly out of shape and overweight, maybe something like this will help. That or it'll finish me off, but at least I'd have fun on the way, lol. It's more motivating than a boring walk anyway!

It helps to be fit and skinny, though I am neither. There is some climbing involved if you are determined to get into places.

Last Sunday I was flat on my belly scrambling under a gate, delicately trying to maneuver in an old mansion with little floor left (a ten-foot drop awaited me if I slipped), and climbing through a stairwell as someone had barred the door leaving me little options.

Other places, you can walk right in unhindered. These are the ones you might want to look for initially.

I think every pub I ever went into that was called the Nags Head was a complete shithole. Maybe its a theme?

Could be, this was to be my virgin 'Nag's Head' and I reckon it was nice once.

Looked like it used to be a cracking little boozer back in the day. Maybe with the building of new housing near by there's a chance someone may bring it back from the brink

This looks like it could have been a pretty cool place at one point in time. Like you said though, if you could manage to find your way to it. I bet a lot of drunk people hit their heads on that beam. If there is a sign you know at least one person had to have done it.

I bet a lot of drunk people hit their heads on that beam. If there is a sign you know at least one person had to have done it.

It's a good point, these signs are not there for no reason. When this was built humans were generally shorter in height.

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