Abandoned Holiday Camp Harcourt Sands – Indoor Swimming Pool (Isle of Wight)


Harcourt Sands is a very well known
abandoned Holiday Park on the Isle of Wight that closed its doors back in 2006.
I’ve been frequently asked to make a video about the site and it’s somewhere
that I have visited many times throughout the years. I’ve never really
felt the need to upload footage as there are already so many videos out
there and I wouldn’t be adding anything new. One building that’s always intrigued
me is the indoor swimming pool, most of the site has been pretty trashed over
the last 12 years all except the pool building which has remained unscathed
and secure. Strangely the power has also been left on and it still has a
live security alarm, as we found out when we got inside. A couple of years back I
managed to stumble across an open entrance to the lower access tunnels of
the pool but, unfortunately these didn’t lead up into the main complex and were
quickly sealed. A couple of weeks back yet another video of Harcourt appeared
online, however, unlike the many videos of the site before it this one did have one extra interesting aspect… The group have found a way into
the swimming pool through a damaged vent, however, after baiting out the way in bizarrely the group chose not to enter, perhaps intimidated by the long drop.
Aware that they filmed this a month prior to upload when we arrived at
the site late one evening we didn’t expect the vent to still be accessible,
amazingly it was and so in we went. We’d gone in really late to avoid any
questions about why we were wandering through a holiday park with a load of
climbing gear. The plan was to tie rope to the outside, feed it through and then drop a rope ladder down to the inside. The access vent
didn’t feel particularly sturdy and as you crawled through it you could feel
the metal bowing and shifting beneath you and as soon as any weight was put on the ladder you could hear the whole thing creak. As I went to put my full weight on the
ladder the whole vent shifted resulting in the ladder slipping and I was really
lucky not to fall. I wouldn’t usually show access into a site, but as this
entrance has already been put out in the public by others I wanted to show that
even when taking precautions things can easily go wrong! It was amazing how
spotless the building was it certainly didn’t feel like somewhere that had been
shut up for the last 12 years and looked as though it could reopen tomorrow. We
noticed several PRI sensors dotted around the building and so carefully creeped
around trying not to set any off, but, inevitably we did. We could hear the
alarm ringing like crazy outside, which was probably being heard for miles
around, at this point we thought we may as well whack on all the lights and
spend the next 5 minutes running around to see as much as we could. In 2016 planning permission was granted
for a large residential development and a luxury hotel at the site, in May of
this year the owner scrapped these plans and a section of this site has been put
back on the market with planning permission for the guide price of
£350,000. Within the planning proposal it states all of the old Harcourt buildings are to be demolished as they are of the poor quality, which makes the
continued upkeep of this one building really odd. Since the redevelopment plans
were scrapped there have been multiple fires within Harcourt, perhaps as a result
of it no longer feeling as though there’s any sort of security or
caretaker presence at the site. 5 minutes was nowhere near enough time to properly explore the pool and we could have easily spent another half hour
exploring it if it wasn’t for the alarm. At this point we’d already spent about
15 minutes inside and didn’t want to push our luck so it was time to make a
hasty exit hoping that we’d not left it too long and there wasn’t going to be
someone waiting for us outside *Frantic scrambling* we bundled up all of the gear and quickly
disappeared off into the darkness with another successful explorer checked off. Music by Nick Stotesbury 2018

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