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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Important, noteworthy & interesting comments are highlighted below

  1. Andy says:

    Now you found that culvert you should try looking at the tunnels under the Pavilion going to the bandstand.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Oh yeah? Worth looking at are they?

      1. John S says:

        Couldn’t quite find the entrance.. where is it please?

  2. James says:

    Have been looking at this for years and meaning to get down and see it but never got round to it. I have worked out where I need to go, does anybody know if the gas mask is needed as see someone had one in the picture?

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      As with any underground space there is the potential for nasty gasses, however this is a fresh water culvert. I suspect the photo you saw of someone wearing a gas mask was for effect only… for some reason people like to do that!

  3. Maisie says:

    For my university assignment I need to photograph the Bourne Valley culvet, I have no idea where it is and have been looking all day, would you be able to please give me some rough idea of where abouts it is? I have parked north of the railway line on the Bourne Valley Road but can’t find it anywhere!

    1. James says:

      Why would you choose a location for an assignment when you don’t know where it is? Anyway, look at a map. Study the river and where it runs and you’ll find it no problem.

  4. Will says:

    Could anyone send the details of how to gain entry?

  5. Vincent says:

    I can’t find it anywhere

  6. James says:

    Hey is it still accessible? And what gear do we need like just water proofs etc

  7. Shane says:

    Is this still accessible?

    1. Tom says:

      Have you found an entrance yet?

    2. Ben says:

      Yes it is. I went there yesterday

      1. Tom says:

        Do you have a pin point on a map where it exactly is, we cant find it, cheers

        1. Ben says:

          The entrance is down Bourne Valley Road near the train track edge it’s been caged by a metre high fence but easy to get in there.

        2. Vincent says:

          Do you have a pin point on a map where it exactly is, we cant find it, cheers

  8. brian alexander says:

    I am in a wheelchair now but years ago I was searching culverts and got a site I think was in Birmingham. They were tested with a 10 foot drop. Sorry I’m rambling on but I think what you have done is great.

  9. David says:

    You should start doing haunted places see what you find.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      I suspect I’d find nothing. I don’t believe in ghosts.

  10. Jon says:

    Just visited today, a lot easier to find than I expected, but made the newbie mistake of parking in front of security camera [dumbass]. Time will tell…

    I took some photos which I am happy with, but wondered how you keep your camera stable for the long shutter speeds – did you use a tripod in the water flow? Failing that stronger brighter torches for me!

    Was surprised at the noise from the outlets in the tunnel, almost disconcerting at first.

    1. Tom says:

      Hi, do you have a pin point location on a map you can send to me, as we cannot find it, thanks Tom.

  11. AWK says:

    Went there a few weeks back. It was going to be my first explore but had to wait while getting some gear. Anyway we went there and spent a few hours getting photos and such. It was smaller than I anticipated but still a great experience.

  12. sinti says:

    I have been looking for an abandoned building or anything that looks old and vintage for ages and have come across this page and I’m in love! Was wondering if you could direct me to any places in Bournemouth or around the area where I could find something abandoned… it’s for a photo shoot and would be great help…
    Thank you

    1. jeran davies says:

      There’s loads on Portland have a look on here you’ll see loads

  13. GARY WELLZ says:

    Very interesting site, great photos! Well done. I have recently moved here to Branksome in Gloucester Rd, I walk my dog in Branksome Rec & couldn’t understand why it is so soggy & boggy down there until another dog walker explained to me this morning, it all makes sense now.


    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Thanks Gary. Glad to provide some insight!

  14. Ian says:

    We explored these tunnels the other day and we noticed something amazing which may have not been noticed by anyone yet.
    Near the end of the tunnels you may notice imprinted all over the ceiling and walls are newspaper pages from September 13, 1933
    I am not sure how it was done by they are imprinted on there like paint or a tattoo quite neatly with very fine detail, you just have to read everything backwards.
    I have pictures to share.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      I can’t remember seeing that? Feel free to post the photos, the comment box accepts and/or tags.

    2. Richard kennedy says:

      Hi there very interested in doing some photography down there for my portfolio, I’m not much of an explorer I have looked but no luck, any information on location would be brilliant many thanks

  15. tommie says:

    I am on a quest to look into old bunkers and would love to do this one. Any details would be great.


  16. Doug says:

    Please mail me a.s.a.p, details on all sites in Dorset, access points & advisory notes. Especially in Bournemouth and Poole area, i.e. Holton Heath, Alexander Park, Best regards and thanks for all the great work.

    1. The Urban Explorer says:

      Hi Doug, sorry but it really doesn’t work like that! Good luck in your own research and investigation though.

  17. Monica says:

    Where exactly is this?? Looks great

  18. John Kelly says:

    Hi. Great article. This is just round the corner from me. I tried looking for it today, but with no luck. Is there any chance someone could email me the specific location of the entry archway? Thanks, John

    1. kenny says:

      Hi John,
      I also live round the corner. Can you please tell me the entrance location.

  19. Connor says:

    Really cool photos! Me and my friends just came back from having a look at this place after seeing your post on here. But as it had been raining (and only one of us had appropriate footwear) we decided to not venture too far into it, but shall return! Thanks for posting.

  20. andy says:

    Great pics mate. Been there myself a few years ago. Just up the road from me. Might have to pay it another visit.

    1. Jack innes says:

      Hi mate, I’m trying to find the Bourne valley. Any chance you could give us a road as a rough idea on how to get there


  21. Jules Riley says:

    I moved to Poole about seven years ago and find these photographs truly stunning. Thank you for all your hard work and effort that you have put into sharing such sites that the majority of us would never have seen.

    1. Thanks for your kind comments – it’s really my pleasure and I’m just happy people enjoy my photos

  22. Ash says:

    Hey guys, I’ve lived in bournemouth my whole life and I find this website very interesting! Can you give me some details to find this? Need to go exploring ASAP!

  23. niraj says:

    Hi mate this looks sooooo awesome, I want to take a girl here for a first date. How do I get there?

    1. Will says:

      Thats sounds dodgy as fuck mate. I’d expect your date to be terrified!

  24. Milo says:

    Hey there,

    I’ve been trying to find this location with a friend of mine, but have had some trouble. Do you have any more specifics on the exact location?


  25. Aaron Darkwood says:

    Hey there, I live local to here and have a huge interest in all things underground, could you email me exact location thanks.

  26. Daniel says:

    Hi Adam! This looks great, we’ve been to Holton Heath last week and we loved it. I live in Bournemouth and I heard some urban legends about this place but wasn’t sure if it was still possible to get in. Could you email me any details about this place? Thanks a lot in advance mate.

  27. Adam says:

    Hi I’ve lived in Bournemouth all my life and have never seen these before can you please give me a heads up on a location So I can explore myself many thanks

  28. Mark says:

    You’re very welcome

  29. mark says:

    lighting bitch lol they came out really well

    1. Yeh I was pretty happy with them. Needed a bit of exposure tweeking in places but generally alright! Thanks again dude

  30. matthew Legge says:


    Great photo’s… Can you give me a tour sometime?

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