Last week I visited Iceland, and apart from other things we went to see the crashed USN Douglas DC-3.
We had a wonderful time and I really enjoyed the place, a bit sorry that I didn't catch it in autumn or spring, when you can apparently get the Northern Lights above it, making it look surreal. It also reminded me of some scenes from Fallout.

Now I am wondering about other places such as this. I would like to start in my current country of residence: The UK, however, I'm OK with most Western or North Europe. I'd like to find such surreal places that give off a feeling of a post-apoc world, without a lot of visitors there. Crash sites, modern ruins or maybe desolate/abandoned industrial complexes? Obviously I'd like the ones that are not locked down or restricted.

Unfortunately, my Google-Fu has completely failed me. I've not been able to find one site that lists things like this. Most results are "artists renditions" of existing, normal landmarks, news stories about landmarks getting abandoned, and other stuff I do not need. When I asked my friend how she found it in the first place, it turned out it was listed among very usual site-seeing places such as geysers, waterfalls and the like - i.e. "mainstream" locations.

So that's the problem statement, however a problem is not a question, and I am at loss on how to ask. The topic seems to be in line with Travel.SE, but I can't figure out how to formulate it.

I currently have 3 ideas:

  • Just ask for a list
  • Ask for a website/some websites with lists
  • Ask how to find such places

Option 1
Frowned upon in the sites I frequent (Programmers.SE and SO). It has the obvious problems of:
- No complete answer.
- May change in time (Though I don't anticipate this to happen much), without anyone updating.
- Is subjective.

Option 2
Asking for an offsite resource, incentivizes link-only answers + possibly any or all of the problems from Option 1.

Option 3
Asking "How would you go about finding such places?" seems reasonable, except for 2 things:
- It's subjective and has no "correct" answer or "complete" answer.
- Seems more a question on how to use Google properly, rather than on Travel. (BTW: Do we have a SE site for "Professional and enthusiast Googlers"?)

So what do I do? Go with one of the above options? Go with something else? Is solving this problem not very probable under a Q&A format? Is there a better site for this? (I can only think of Outdoors.SE, but it's not quite that)

  • Note, I saw this question on Meta, but it doesn't seem to offer any advice apart from "Just ask and listen to comments" and "Don't use the word 'best'".
    – Ordous
    Jul 4, 2015 at 22:33
  • We have quite a few that have been asked, and the ones that 'survive' tend to be very specific - eg geek sites to visit in San Fran, or places with kids in Ireland, or dark sky sites in Alberta. The more specific your criteria, the more likely it won't be too broad/subjective.
    – Mark Mayo
    Jul 4, 2015 at 23:08
  • 3
    You can ask "Where can I see an old, abandoned, overgrown insane asylum in England?" I can answer. Even with images. Other stuff like that, including Martello Towers, etc.
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 5, 2015 at 1:09
  • So, the main advice is: Ask for a list, but try to narrow it down and make it precise/specific?
    – Ordous
    Jul 5, 2015 at 12:29
  • Narrow it down by country. Or ask something specific like where can I visit an abandoned mental asylum?
    – JoErNanO Mod
    Jul 5, 2015 at 15:43
  • atlasobscura.com ?
    – choster
    Jul 6, 2015 at 15:38
  • Which three European cities must I visit in order to see twelve different paintings of "Paolo and Francesca"?
    – Gayot Fow
    Jul 6, 2015 at 21:50

2 Answers 2


So the two rules you are looking to avoid falling foul of here are:Primarily Opinion Based and Too Broad

The first is fairly easy to avoid. Don't ask for "best" or recommendations, or ask "where should I visit". Simply "where can I experience/see X".

The latter is more problematic. First is peraps best to ask for something quite clear. "Post-apocalyptic" is quite a vauge starting point. You could try asking for plane wrecks (I can think of a few places for that). Or abandoned industrial locations. Or abandoned tourist sites. Modern, publically accessible ruins. Etc. Photos may help clarify what you mean. The other problem you can run into with the "too broad" question is when, even though the question is quite specific eg. "Where can I visit a stone castle built before 1750", the number of answers given is still huge". So try and restrict geographically, as well as to a particular type of site. And if you can't manage all of that, maybe it's not a good question for this kind of site. Somewhere for enthusiasts of that kind of thing (like http://secretleeds.com/ and I dare say some subreddits) may work best.


Options 1 and 3 are both subjective and don't have a definitive answer.

Option 2 is a form of the question style I've had moderate success with in the past (where success is "not closed" as opposed to "answered by someone other than myself" ;)) because it isn't opinion based and can have a relatively definitive answer. It won't generate 1,000 responses, each with a single location in it.

  • 1
    Atlas Obscura probably has the type of thing you want BTW, though I haven't checked it explicitly for that.
    – dlanod
    Jul 14, 2015 at 22:57

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