To live like a womble, that’s the dream

A while ago, Mr C compiled a list of things you cannot podcast near to, and they are (including but not limited to):

  • near train stations
  • in windy locations
  • anywhere close to police or fire stations
  • next door to noisy neighbours
  • in an owl sanctuary

Owls are a surprisingly common problem.

A week or so ago, I offered a throwaway comment on Sidepodcast, suggesting if we had the funding, we would build a bunker and never come out. I think that was actually a reaction to some traffic based issues, but the more I think about it, the more this seems like a good idea for noise issues as well.

This weekend, we were lucky enough to go and visit the Renault F1 factory, and they have a bunker. We took two steps inside before realising it was perfect. We were home!

I wish I’d stopped to take a picture of the “hallway” section because there was something so comforting about it, and I’d love to have a record of the way it was lit.

I suppose the word bunker is a bit misleading because the people I have mentioned it to have stared aghast at the thought of no windows.


With the correct planning, you wouldn’t even know you were underground. In the main atrium, they had skylights, and the view out of the big semi-circle window was incredible. It’s all about location, and a good architect. There are more fantastic photos of the Renault bunker available here.

So far, in just a week or so of obsessing about the bunker, I have looked at lots of pictures, started thinking about what lighting would work, dreamt of air filtration systems. I have also learned about The Underground House which was featured on an episode of Grand Designs. I’ll have to dig out that episode and make notes. I’ll report back!

15 thoughts on “To live like a womble, that’s the dream

  1. I was just about to say…….but then I read the last paragraph. The underground house was cool.

    Where I live right now there are no pets or kids. It’s nice and quiet

  2. This looks brilliant. I would love to have an underground base like that! And an epic title from yourself Christine I must say. Love the bay window photo too.

    However, the whole underground lair thing reminds me of a PC game I play quite a lot entitled Evil Genius ( where you build an underground spy lair for, you guessed it, an evil genius. Clearly Eric Boullier and co are up to spy shenanigans in their little underground haven. But they seem nice guys based on your fun times there so I think I’ll let them off this time 🙂

  3. There is a bunker in the Scottish highlands on the Market atm – price is OO £230k.

    It is a small 3 bed with 150000 sq ft of usuable space under, and up to a further million sq ft….

  4. I like the idea of having your garden on the top of your house. Very good insulation and camouflage. Have you looked on Wimbledon Common for your bunker?

  5. Thereust be loads of old nuclear bunkers around that you could get for very little. Another option you could consider is moving to Switzerland. All factories there by law must have a nuclear bunker. Most have bunkers that are basically a basement so is the same area as the ground floor. Most of them are empty or are home to the 15 year archive of every piece of paper ever used by the company that is also compulsory. You could probably rent one for peanuts. Although if there is a nuclear war it could get noisy as you would have to let the others in.

  6. What podcasts are you doing at the moment? Only the Aside with Joe’s and Red Bull pre-race track guides are coming through my feed these days are there other things I should be getting into?

    Living underground would be cool – and very environmental – as long as you could sort out natural light. I seem to remember the Grand Designs house was really dark at the back?

  7. I knew about the downshift, just checking I wasn’t missing anything. 😉

    I haven’t seen the episode in years, but have memories of rooms where you’d really want some natural light (e.g. the kitchen) being pretty dark. I heart Grand Designs and Kevin Mcloed, I have dreams of German flat pack homes….

  8. Not sure i could totally cope with living underground myself, but i do love the idea of a house hidden in the countryside 🙂 I can see the appeal for podcasting too, moles can’t be as loud as owls 🙂

  9. The Grand Designs way is the way to go if you want light obviously. However in the states they have been selling off Missile Bunkers and you can live in one like these people do:

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