We traveled across England from Whittingham to Sunderland in good time, and thought about our accommodations for the night. The trip was getting quite expensive, and four people sleeping in the small rental car wasn't working out very well. Flattening a spot in field of yellow wildflowers with the car sounded interesting, as we would've had a nice view of the North Sea to the east. Unfortunately the weeds were higher than we thought, and they reached well over the roof... when we pulled back out on the road the car looked like a damned parade float, so we decided to sleep in the asylum.
Since the surrounding campus was an active mental health facility with security, we waited until the cover of night to make our way to the abandoned hospital. Of course this took forever due to our latitude, so we hung out with the locals for a bit, which was amusing to say the least. Darkness fell, and we decided to traverse across some large fields to avoid the active campus... little did we know they were full of stinging nettles! My thin summer cargo pants were no barrier, I might as well had worn shorts. After a good 15 minutes of painful walking, we had to duck by some active buildings... of course right then a very loud alarm screamed into the night. It wasn't a fire alarm, it seemed more like someone escaped; four figures running across a field in the moonlight away from the alarmed building didn't look like a good situation. Security and the police flew down the road and we got away without being detected, but now we had to take the long way.
After the one of the most crappiest walks ever, our red, raw legs brought us to the grassy field beside the old asylum. The mountainous peak of the chapel loomed before me, lit by the bluish tint of the full moon... I yearned to take some night shots but every minute we were outside was a risk. A narrow footpath was well worn around the building; not a good sign. We ran along the facade until finding an unboarded window (I appreciated the asylums not having bars over the windows then), and made our way to the top corner of the complex with the best view of the campus. Sure enough a police car was just outside the gate, and they were doing a foot patrol around the asylum with flashlights. We avoided the beam being shined in the windows, and when they disappeared out of the line of sight, we barricaded ourselves inside the dayroom enough to feel comfortable no one would be getting in. Luckily there was a thin carpet and space to stretch our legs. We unrolled our sleeping bags, drank a bottle of wine, and after talking and joking quietly for a bit we fell asleep for a couple of hours.
Once the sun rose, we meandered though the complex all morning, making sure we weren't missing any wings. I listened for security patrols but it was very quiet the whole day. Once we made it outside we shot some exteriors, and the blue skies were a nice change from the stormy weather we were getting all week!