My visit to Lancaster’s red light district.


Now that I have your attention:


This is actually a follow-up to last night’s B&W picture.


The alley depicted was notorious in medieval times as being the place sailors would walk to from the nearby quayside to meet with ladies of , ahem, negotiable affection.

For this reason, up until the 19th century, this alley was known as ‘Grope-c*nt’ or ‘Swap-c*nt’ alley. Sweeping gentrification in Victorian times saw it renamed ‘Bashful Alley’, which does at least show a sly sense of humour.

Lancaster itself (as far as I know) no longer has either sailors or a ‘Red Light District’. This is a bit boring in my opinion and the place could do with livening up a bit.



I do have some colour pictures to give a little more context:

Stepping back a little we can see that the alley now houses the Old Bell coffee shop and cafe. It has great cakes, which goes some way to compensating for the lack of other attractions in the alley nowadays.



Here is the colour version of the B&W pic.



A comment asked ‘where does it lead?’ The tunnel emerges onto the main A6 road through the city. You can see the front door of Crows Hotel across the road, and the tail end of a passing car. The other end of the alley emerges on to Lancaster’s Market Street.




Apologies if you were expecting pictures of scantily clad young ladies. For this you would have to look at my Instagram feed as I keep getting ‘followed’ by ladies whose life seems to consist of wearing very little in exotic locations. I am somewhat mystified as to why they would follow me but suspect it is some kind of ‘follow-unfollow’ technique to boost their own follower numbers. I might be wrong and possibly they are irresistibly drawn to middle-aged Englishmen with a weird sense of humour. I can dream can’t I?

Apologies also if you were expecting saucy stories of my night-time adventures. These are on my other, anonymous, blog.Β Β  In this case I definitely only get to dream.


  1. Beautiful photos. I’ve never been to Lancaster but my memories of the Lake District are rather tarnished from having a stone bounced off my head when I was 12 on a field trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and thank you for commenting πŸ™‚

      Oh dear. Sorry to hear about the stone. There are lots of those in the Lake District. And sheep. And rain. And sheep. And tourists. And sheep. And pubs. Oh, did I mention that there are a lot of sheep?

      I’m actually not at all a fan of the Lake District. It will be bedlam this holiday weekend and I will be keeping well out of the way!


  2. I was once legitimately offered a free peak at an exotic stage show in Amsterdam’s Red Light district in the oddest of ways. I had come from the van Gogh museum and had forgotten (of course – undiagnosed ADHD) my poster I bought somewhere in the area when I sat down. When I went back for it, a ticket both seller of the burlesque place had saved it from a brief rain shower. He told me he’d give the poster back either way – as he wasn’t a jerk – but since I’d come all the way he’d also offer another option if I wanted an excuse to be a true Red Light District tourist. If I went in and watched the first 15 minutes of the performance, he was confident I’d be entertained enough that I’d pay full price – and he’d even discount the cost by whatever the poster itself had cost. He said it in one of those stage whisper theatrical voices that suggested he was performing for tourist passersby to drum up business if I’d play along with the act. I played along. In hindsight, I will be the first to say that was still probably not smart. Looks and mannerisms can absolutely be deceiving, but it was a public theater and the guy didn’t follow me into the theater area. He stayed in his booth area ready to sell tickets. Nothing bad happened. I learned that burlesque dancers actually are surprisingly talented from my 15 minutes, but I did not elect to buy the full admission to see how far things progressed over a full hour. The ticket master gave me back my poster as promised. For as badly as that story feels like it *could* have gone given the way the world so often is, my freebie Red Light District “sneak peek” has ended up being my only story I have of walking on the “wild” side and still basically feels like I helped a guy out in a glorified equivalent of a sign-spinner capacity vs. anything actually wild.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Of course, the world being as it is, I feel I should follow up with something akin to a) I wouldn’t want my hypothetical child to do as I did and b) It seemed like just a generic burlesque show, but if it turns out that there was something like underpaying the employees or anything else, which happens too often in all forms of work but certainly an extra danger in show business of any type, burlesque or not, than, well, I’d immediately regret even tangentially having possibly helped convince a tourist or two to see a show. My understanding is that exactly *because* Amsterdam regulates and has labor standards there’s a reasonable chance a burlesque show is just a show like any other there, but the world is the world and apologies in advance if there is some other way it is horrible that I accidentally implied is okay.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. It looks quite a bit different in color. If those stones could talk the stories that they would tell. It seems IG can be a bit like the tunnel at times. You should take a picture of the tunnel in Montreal. Maybe even do a seven day challenge with pictures of your trip πŸ˜˜πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

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