The best escape rooms in London will have you cracking codes, solving puzzles, escaping from Mafia bosses, perfecting your wizarding spells and stealing millions of pounds.
I LOVE escape rooms so much. Ever since the craze began a few years ago I’ve been planning my free time around them! If I had a spare £30 to spend on a treat, it would go on an escape room or a bottomless brunch!
If you’ve never played an escape game, they usually involve a mix of puzzles, riddles, observation and lateral thinking. Some involve physical activities as well as mental games, and a storyline leading to a clever escape plan! Usually you have 60 minutes on the clock to escape in.
Whether you fancy a day out with your friends, are organising a hen do or stag do in London, or you’ve got the tricky job of planning a team building day with a difference, an escape room is a great option. Most games require a minimum of two or three players, and some accommodate as many as eight people.
Thankfully my fiancé Macca is also hooked. Escape games have become such a big part of our lives, that last year when we visited Montreal we played two in two days! The reason? We FAILED to escape on day one, and couldn’t live with the humiliation! We pitted ourselves against another challenging room the next day (a mafia themed restaurant!) and thankfully made it out with two minutes to spare. We weren’t sure we could sit on the flight home dealing with that level of shame.
From Malta to Montreal, we love to squeeze in a few on international soil, but some of our favourites are right here in our home city of London. There are games in every borough, so you won’t need to travel far to find one near you.
While I don’t want to reveal too much about the games featured on this list (for fear of spoiling the experience for you!) here’s a quick rundown of the best escape rooms in London, plus a few I’m looking forward to trying soon.
Escape London – Shepherd’s Bush and Shadwell
I loved my time at Escape London in Shepherd’s Bush, and would honestly say it’s one of the best escape games in London. As with many escape rooms it’s in a pretty unprepossessing basement location, and even once you’re inside, you might be thinking it looks a little shabbier than some. However, once our 60 minutes began none of that mattered. It was all about the puzzles and the story, which were really well designed.
We played Overthrone, which told the story of a king who had died leaving no successor. The next person to raise the sword would become king. We had one hour to solve all the puzzles and track down that sword. Did we escape and become king and queen? Yes, and we have some hilarious photos to show for it!
Escape London actually have two locations, one in Shepherd’s Bush and another in Shadwell, East London. Rooms include The Da Vinci Room, Area 51, Casino Heist and a Harry Potter escape room called Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Enigma Quests – Liverpool Street
Some friends of mine had visited Enigma Quests last year to play the Harry Potter escape game. The story was that in order to graduate from the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you need to prove you’re a true witch or wizard. That involves spells, potions and a little bit of magic. They absolutely loved it, so it was a no brainer to book another game at the same venue.
We made a booking to play The Million Pound Heist, an escape room absolutely packed full of puzzles and logical exercises. We thought it was brilliant. It was seriously challenging, and we only just completed the final stage in time – a proper mental workout!
The Million Pound Heist is a little different to some escape rooms in London as it isn’t about escaping in 60 minutes, it’s about carrying out the biggest heist in modern history! We had to exit the room with as much money stashed into our briefcase before our time was up. Then it was time to see how much money we’d actually escaped with – just over half a million pounds. Not bad for an hour’s work!
There’s a third escape game at this location called Submarine: Mission WaveBreak, which is all about diffusing an atomic bomb in the 60-minute period. No doubt we’ll be returning to try that one next!
Hint Hunt – Euston
This was my first live escape game experience in London. I visited Hint Hunt in Euston as part of a blogger team building day. I fell in love with the format, the games, the style of intrigue. It was so much fun, and a great way to bond with other people quickly!
We played the Zen Room, which involved uncovering some secrets in a Japanese family’s house in Tokyo. Spoiler alert – we didn’t feel very zen for long as we speedily flicked through books, discovered keys and even a corpse… well everyone has a few skeletons in their closets, right?!
In terms of style, it was high-end with great details and design. The puzzles were complex and challenging enough to keep us going for the full hour.
There are quite a few rooms to try out at this location near Euston Station, including two submarine games and a detective-themed room. Maybe I’ll be heading back for another soon!
READ MORE: Unique Restaurants In London
Sherlock The Game Is Now – Shepherd’s Bush
This is no ordinary escape game – this is the official Sherlock live experience! You don’t need to be a fan of Sherlock to enjoy it (I’d never seen it before) but no doubt you’ll find it even more engaging if you are. Along with seriously impressive sets, there are a few video cameos from the stars of the show.
The experience starts in an amusing way, at a fake opticians inside West 12 Shopping Centre. You’ll feel like you’ve arrived for an appointment, complete with glasses to try on, before heading through to the start of the game.
The game itself involves working through multiple rooms, which are really high-tech and full of lateral thinking exercises, as you play detective to an intriguing case.
We escaped in 55 minutes, and ended the night with a celebratory cocktail in the Mind Palace Bar. This is the most technologically advanced escape game I’ve played, and was challenging enough to make us feel seriously proud when we escaped in under 60 minutes.
Find out more and check prices and availability here.
The Grid – Southwark
Ready for an escape game with a twist? The Grid is a live and fully immersive escape room in London, which fuses all the fun and puzzles you’ve come to expect, with delicious cocktails!
Once you arrive at evil start-up Neosight’s HQ in Southwark you’ll be kitted out in silver jumpsuits. Then it’s time to play the part of an undercover volunteer to defeat the scary AI technology and save humanity from extinction.
The Grid involves multiple rooms, includes two cocktails and takes around one and a half hours to complete. It’s a lot of fun, especially for anyone who has completed a lot of standard escape games in the past. It’s a great option for a birthday party or hen do, as you can enjoy a few cocktails along the way.
More Top-Rated Escape Rooms In London
I’ve got quite a few on my list to try soon, and as I do, I’ll be sure to update this post. These all have amazing reviews and some have a few twists and quirky features too!
Handmade Mysteries – Clapham, Islington and Farringdon
I’m dying to try one of Handmade Mysteries’ immersive escape games in London. They have a few options, all located in rooms in pubs. I was reading one of the reviews, which described the game Lady Chastity’s Reserve (in The Four Thieves in Clapham) as ‘the Crystal Maze on crystal meth’!
Not only do they have an escape room format, they have extra immersive moments involving live actors. I can’t wait to try one soon! Oh and they also run a room in Brighton if you’re heading there any time soon.
Mission: Breakout – Kentish Town
There are two escape rooms at this unique location inside the ghost tube station of South Kentish Town… and they’re both based on true stories! WHOAAA!
Codebreakers is based on a puzzle solving pair from the past, while The Lost Passenger tells the story of a passenger who disappeared from the tube station in 1924. No doubt the experience is eerier as you’re trapped inside the former tube station!
Electronic Theatre – South Bank, Southwark
The newest addition to the London immersive entertainment scene, Electronic Theatre isn’t so much an escape room as a series of immersive group challenges. Oh, and they’re all set inside interactive digital rooms called LightBox pods.
Once you’re inside the LightBox the challenges begin, involving touch sensitive walls and motion tracking technology. Sounds unique and a lot of fun!
Modern Fables – Broadway Market
I’ve heard really good things about these escape rooms in East London, located moments from Broadway Market. There’s Hypersomnia, which has an 80s sci-fi theme, The Oracles, which is set in a museum archive, and The Escapist, a 1920s room which tells the story of a mysterious disappearance. Oooh now I’m seriously intrigued!
Flight 338 – North Greenwich
Did you know London now has an escape room on a plane? How cool is that! Flight 338 is an immersive escape game experience about conmen who are reunited as they board a prisoner shipping plane.
Yep, it takes place on an actual plane and still involves all the creative puzzles, clues and codebreaking activities you’d expect, just with a little aeronautical twist!
Omescape London – Caledonian Road
This is another live London escape game with a twist, as some of the rooms involve dividing up your teams. The brand made a name for itself with it’s prison-themed room, The Penitentiary, which involves being locked in different cells. Now I’ve tried quite a few standard escape rooms, I’d love to give one of these a try!
Do Stuff Escape Games – Battersea
There are two options of escape games at this location in Battersea. Evil Eatery is all about investigating the disappearance of a pie and mash shop owner, while Hostage Hideout is all about sorting out a hostage situation. These two escape rooms in London have some of the best reviews I’ve seen during my research!
Escape Land – Oxford Street
If you’re looking for an escape game near Oxford Street, then there are a few venues to choose from. Escape Land is moments from Tottenham Court Road tube station, and has two games to choose from. There’s a Da Vinci themed room and another based on restoring the rightful heir to the throne.
No Escape – Oxford Street
Another option if you’re looking for an escape room close to Oxford Circus is No Escape. In a great location right on Oxford Street. In fact, you enter via a Londis store to reach the escape games upstairs! There are two rooms to choose from: The Dentist and The Demon Barber. If you’ve seen Sweeney Todd, you get the gist of the story that room is telling.
Trapped Undercover – Stratford or wherever you want it to be!
Another novelty location for an escape game – this one takes place inside a van! It’s kitted out as an MI6 mobile surveillance van. Once you step on board you’ll be playing the role of a double agent fighting a race against time to save the nation.
This game isn’t just unique because it’s in a van, it’s actually mobile too! You can hire it to come to your party or house for a fun-filled day with your friends.
Finally, I know this is not an escape room, but it does involve puzzles, teamwork and a lot of fun with your friends. Located moments from Piccadilly Circus in central London, it’s been designed to look just like one of my favourite 90s TV shows!
Once you’re wearing your funky boiler suit, you and your team will play games that test your skill and agility, hopefully winning some all-important crystals, before heading to the crystal dome to collect money against the clock.
I hope this guide to the best escape rooms in London helps you decide where to go. I’ll be booking another one very soon too, and will keep this post updated with new venues, and reviews from my experiences too.
Looking for other great things to do in London? Don’t miss my guide to 48+ Quirky And Unusual Things To Do In London, find out my favourite Unique Restaurants In London and my guide to 11 Quirky Hotels In London.
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