Abandoned Berkshire: Leisure Centre

This was one of the most fun explores we’ve ever done. At the time this abandoned Leisure Centre was top of the list for many Urban Explorers- it was in a central location, was easy to find and had easy access. This showed, there were multiple other groups in the location at the same time as us and the place had been well and truly trashed by those strange people who don’t seem to be content without smashing something.

We’ve never bumped into so many people in an abandoned building before. This gave it a different atmosphere from most explores, it was less quiet and eery. We were more relaxed and at times there was an almost-party atmosphere as people made the vast leisure centre their playground for the evening.

History

The leisure centre was open for around 45 years before its Covid-related closure in 2020. The complex featured a 150 station gym, an 8 lane pool with spectator stands, a 10 court sports hall, multiple smaller studios and a spa. Its large halls have played host to a number of events over the years, including election counts and antiques roadshow.

Urban Exploration

As mentioned above, access to this building was easy, a board had been removed from one of the windows allowing us to duck inside. We entered into the reception, poked our head in a few small rooms, and were promoted to quickly move on by the smell of rotting ice cream that had been left behind. We entered the first large sports hall which had trampolines left behind.

Next we headed through the changing rooms and into the pool area. This looked like it would have been good fun when it was filled with water- with slides and fountains in the pool surrounded by walkways and staggered seating. We made our way up, eventually coming to maintenance walkways that gave exceptional birds-eye views of the immense room.