Drakes Island, Plymouth, June 2016 | Other Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Drakes Island, Plymouth, June 2016


28DL Member
28DL Member
We last came here in 2012 (see previous report). This visit was again with my brother and a couple of new urban explorers. Drakes Island with all its underground tunnels, gun emplacements and abandoned buildings really is the business. We had fantastic sunny weather for this trip which made it all the more fun.

This island has been a fortress since about 1500, defending the harbour and naval base at Plymouth. It was also used a prison for a time. The military use ceased in about 1956 and from the early 1960's to 1980's it was the home of an Adventure Holiday centre for kids with sailing boats, canoes and the like. This closed in the late 80's and in the 1990's the island was bought by a private buyer. An application for a hotel was submitted which was unsuccessful and the place has been left abandoned ever since.

Access is by boat only. We motored down from Torpoint this time in my inflatable dinghy. Safest landing spot is on the right hand side of the jetty on the small beach on the landward side of the island. The jetty is in poor condition so not recommended.

As for our last visit, there was no security and all the buildings had previously been broken open so we basically had the run of the place. Didn't see anyone else at all. Due to the time of year there were lots of nesting seagulls but we didn't disturb them.

What's changed since last time? The site is now much more overgrown so it's harder to gain access to some of the buildings and generally get around. The shed down near the jetty has partially collapsed. Last time we went upstairs but the bottom half of the stairs has now been swept away in the storms. This shed is structurally pretty unsafe and there has also been a small cliff fall behind it. In the main building nearest the sea, a number of Acrow props have been installed suggesting this is also structurally unsound.

The underground tunnels which were used for storing ammunition are extensive with remains of WW2 stretchers and also interesting lifts to send the shells up to the guns above. They didn't disappoint despite this being a second visit. The 1800's gun batteries have some superb Victorian workmanship with spiral granite staircases and archways. The gun battery facing the sea houses an old disco and there's the remains of a workshop in one of the other rooms.

The more you look at this site the more you find. We spotted a very overgrown WW2 concrete pillbox/bunker which we didn't access so maybe a good reason to go back.












28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Hey! Awesome pictures and great report! I'm down near torpoint until Wednesday and have always wanted to check this place out! Sadly no boats.. anyone fancy taking aboard two keen explorers to join them? :-)

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