Bourne Valley Culvert, Bournemouth, Dorset

It’s not often that a site pops up locally that I’m not already aware of so it was a nice surprise to see friend & fellow explorer, Chaos wrote a report on 28dayslater exploring the Bourne Valley Culvert.

The Bourne Stream runs through Poole to Bournemouth Coy Pond Gardens

I can’t say I’ve ever been interested in exploring storm drains or culverts and the idea of being underground in a confined space with rushing water all around me was something that I thought I would find difficult, but the locality of this one in particular meant it was an easy, mid-week explore and if I didn’t like it, at least I hadn’t traveled all day to see it!

We parked up on the North side of the railway line, East of Branksome and immediately found our entrance point. A concrete archway. Inside the water gently pushed against our boots and it was fairly slippery under-foot. Immediately the structure was impressive, thirty-forty feet high as we continued North under the road.

The ceiling quickly became lower, and the modern concrete turned in to a beautiful red brick passage. After a couple of turns, modern, cylindrical pipework replaced the brick and with the gradient turning slightly uphill the water was really pushing against us.

It felt like ages had passed when we had finally made our way through the pipe and once again emerged in to an impressive oval passage. Here, the noise from up ahead was loud, like a huge waterfall would appear in front of us at any moment. Alas, not as spectacular as a waterfall, but half a dozen pipes running in to the main stream.

It was here that our journey came to an end. The pipes became half the size of what we had previously navigated and no doubt only got smaller beyond, so we packed away our cameras and headed out. With the stream behind us, it took half the time to exit!

I can safely say I really enjoyed my first time down a drain! I expect it wont be the last time either! Big thanks to Mark for lending me his wide-angle lens, being my guide and my lighting bitch! Ha!

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