Unofficial Britain

A new book by Gareth E. Rees, out on September 17th, 2020, published by Elliott & Thompson.


There is a Britain that exists outside of the official histories and guidebooks – places that lie on the margins, left behind. A Britain in the cracks of the urban façade where unexpected life can flourish. Welcome to UNOFFICIAL BRITAIN.

This is a land of industrial estates and electricity pylons, of motorway service stations and haunted council houses, of roundabouts and flyovers.

Places where modern life speeds past but where people and stories nevertheless collect. Places where human dramas play out: stories of love, violence, fear, boredom and artistic expression.

Places of ghost sightings, first kisses, experiments with drugs, refuges for the homeless, hangouts for the outcasts.

Struck by the power of these stories and experiences, Gareth E. Rees set out to explore these spaces and the essential part they have played in the history and geography of our isles.Though mundane and disregarded, they can be as powerfully influential in our lives, and imaginations, as any picture postcard tourist destination.

This is Unofficial Britain, a personal journey along the edges of a landscape brimming with mystery, tragedy and myth.

Pre-order Journeys Through Unexpected Places

Gareth E. Rees is the founder of the Unofficial Britain website and author of Car Park Life (Influx Press 2019), The Stone Tide (Influx Press, 2018) and Marshland (Influx Press, 2013).

His weird fiction and horror have been published in Best of British Fantasy 2019, An Invite to Eternity, This Dreaming Isle, The Shadow Booth: Vol. 2, Unthology 10 and The Lonely Crowd. His essays have appeared in Mount London, An Unreliable Guide to London and The Quietus.

More Articles for You

White Tents in the Car Park: A Covid 19 Despatch from Kent

Emilia Ong on the chilling vision of a Covid testing centre in a Margate car park

From Neolithic Roundabouts & Satanic Car Parks to Council Estate Poltergeists – The Weird Lore of Everyday Urban Places

In this video presentation, Gareth E. Rees takes you on a visual journey through the unexpected places he visits in his book, ‘Unofficial Britain’

The Eerie Tale of the Zombie Junction Behind Sainsbury’s Car Park

On an ill-fated supermarket car park walk during the pandemic, Gareth E. Rees ends up stalking the undead beside an abandoned roundabout

The Banshee and the Roundabout: Bizarre stories & folklore today

Irish storyteller Helena Byrne, place writer Marcel Krueger & Gareth E. Rees discuss the importance of folklore, bizarre stories and urban myths in the contemporary world

Nothing With Nothing: A Lonely Drift Down Marine Drive, Margate

Emilia Ong’s meditation on alienation and strangeness on a walk by the amusement arcades of a British seaside town

Ghostspaces Where the Bombs Once Fell

To celebrate Halloween, Deeana Violet tells the tale of the ghosts which filled the spaces created by Blitz devastation in Sheffield