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 before, 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, or you’ve got the tricky job of planning a team building day with a difference, one of these London escape games 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. It’s hard to pick a favourite as they’re all so different.
Oh, and if you think you know a great game that I’ve missed, worthy of the title ‘the best escape room in London’, send me a message. I’d love to check it out and add it to the list!
The Best Escape Rooms In London
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.
Since playing Overthrone, we visited the Shadwell branch to play Witchcraft and Wizardry. This was SUCH a fun game, we absolutely loved it. The puzzles have a really good mix of practical and lateral thinking and each part of the game flowed well to the next. There were elements involving potions, spells and of course a magic wand to escape! It’s one of my favourite escape room experiences I’ve had in London.
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!
AIM Escape – Aldgate & City of London
I came across AIM Escape when I was searching for a fun activity to do while there were lockdown restrictions in London. It was one of a few companies that had diversified to offer live outdoor escape rooms in the city. I couldn’t wait to try one out!
We booked onto Operation Mindfall, an outdoor secret agent quest that starts at Monument and takes you around the City of London. Let me start by saying this – it’s the best outdoor escape room I’ve ever played! We met an agent who set us a mission and handed over everything we’d need. This consisted of an iPad and a backpack stuffed full of gadgets and coded notes.
The iPad has a sophistication game loaded onto it, which uses geolocation technology so you can see where you are on the map. When you walk near a special marker, your next challenge is unlocked. These challenges vary from finding information in the location, to cracking codes on the iPad or even mixing potions out on the street! I loved how varied the gameplay was. Plus, it wasn’t easy – some of the challenges were really tricky!
It took around 2.5 hours, which I thought made this experience really good value. I know that AIM Escape have standard in-room escape games too, so I’m looking forward to trying one of those soon too!
Fox in a Box – Dalston
I’d heard amazing things about Fox in a Box in Dalston. When I visited, it had only been open just over a year, but that was long enough for good reviews to fly around the internet. We visited to take on the Zodiac Killer escape room – a creepy room based around a serial killer.
As always, I don’t want to give away too many spoilers. All I will say is that this is one of the scariest and most immersive games I’ve played in London. Before you enter the room, one of the team is chosen to go on ahead. For our game, I was that willing volunteer. Cue me being tied up in the serial killer’s lair, as the 60 minute timer began!
This game involved classic code breaking, analytical behaviour as well as some really clever props. Oh, and I mentioned this was immersive – this was heightened by the soundtrack and personalised voiceovers. Some seriously chilling moments, but a lot of fun too! We escaped with 8 minutes to go, and I can confirm that the end is just as chilling as the start!
If you’re looking for the best escape rooms for large groups in London, check out the Prison Break game here, where you can pit two teams against each other at the same time.
Oh, and I’ve spoken to the guys over at Fox in a Box have and have arranged a 10% discount code for any of my readers wanting to play. You just need to use the code: Chloe10 when you book.
DNA VR – Hammersmith and Camden
How about this for an escape room with a difference? DNA VR offers several virtual reality escape games. Once I arrived I was taken to an empty room where I put on a virtual reality headset and was given two hand controllers. The second the headset was switched on I was transported to an incredible 3D virtual reality universe.
We played Dragon Tower, a fantasy themed game with several levels, where we had to crack codes, create potions and use some lateral thinking to reach the final stage. Then we had to work as a team to slay the flying dragon before our time ran out. Having played so many standard escape games, I thought the VR version was so incredibly clever.
The two hand controllers work as your hands in the game, so you can pick up items within the VR universe. You can also see the other players – they appear as avatars within the game. It was a free-roaming game so you can move around the entire room.
My favourite part of the game was creating magical potions in the apothecary scene. I found myself picking flowers from branches, gathering bowls of diamonds and even drinking some of the colourful virtual potions! At one point I drank a pink potion and the room flipped 180 and I found myself on the ceiling!
If you’ve already played a lot of standard escape rooms, I’d definitely recommend trying a virtual reality experience. It really does take things to the next level!
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
Handmade Mysteries – Clapham, Islington and Farringdon
I’d been desperate to try one of Handmade Mysteries’ immersive escape games in London. They have a few options, all located in rooms above pubs. I was reading one of the reviews, which described the game Lady Chastity’s Reserve ‘the Crystal Maze on crystal meth’!
When a few friends were visiting London, we decided to book in to play the game at The Hope in Farringdon. Wow, was this immersive from start to finish. It was bizarre venturing upstairs from a a standard London pub and finding ourselves in a seriously creepy scene.
Not only was the set design incredible, we had Gabriel – a live actor as our host, who heightened the experience even more.
In the game we had to unravel the story of Lady Chastity’s death, and try to uncover the final bottle of her famous aphrodisiac wine. The room was lit by candlelight and torches, had an eerie soundtrack, and was wonderfully spooky. We escaped with one minute to go, and with a cheeky bottle of red as a prize too!
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.
Komnata Quest – Various locations
It’s hard to miss the splash Komnata has made in London. One of the newest escape rooms to make it the city, it has rooms in Vauxhall, London Bridge and Covent Garden. I first discovered the brand via Facebook, where I saw claims they had the biggest, best and most expensive sets of all the games in the city. I couldn’t wait to check it out!
Komnata has several different games on offer including a Frankenstein-themed room, a murder mystery room, one set in a dungeon and the multi award-winning room Maze of Hakaina, which we decided to play.
Having experienced a wide variety of rooms in London, I was excited that this room had a concept that was new to me. Rather than one main room to escape, the Maze of Hakaina takes you through several self-contained rooms in the form of a maze, each with their own challenges and code-breaking puzzles.
Starting in the dark, inside a railway arch with the judder of tubes every few minutes created a seriously spooky setting for an escape game. Throughout, there was a bone-chillingly eerie soundtrack and good use of lighting, which created an immersive world of spirits and demons.
Did we escape? Yes, and with ten minutes to go! There were a few really challenging parts, but we made it out, and with a little friend for company too!
Interestingly, Komnata Quest also has a 2-player room called Sherlocked, which sounds absolutely terrifying, but unique too. It starts with both players being locked in a box, handcuffed, and without light! I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try that one just yet…
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.
London Escaped – Aldgate
I’m always happy to find escape rooms in London that aren’t horror themed. Yep, I’m a bit of a wimp so I’ll be a lot happier if I know I can concentrate on the puzzles rather than worrying about being scared! London Escaped have several escape rooms near Aldgate, and one of them has a Jurassic Park theme. I couldn’t wait to try it.
The aim of the game is to escape with one of the special dinosaur eggs. The room had posters of dinosaurs, models of the island, a giant dinosaur foot to build and even a magnet game. I liked the variety. However, I’ll admit that some of the fun was taken away when the gamesmaster gave so many hints. They were running a bit late when we arrived and it felt like they wanted to catch up time by us completing the game quickly.
We enjoyed a lot of the puzzles, but this game definitely wasn’t as satisfying to complete.
Modern Fables – Broadway Market
I’d 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.
We played Hypersomnia in a two, but I think this would be a much more enjoyable experience in a group. There are several parts which involve team play (plus there are some really fun costumes to wear!) The puzzles were quite challenging at times, especially the second room where you’ll find a monster!
Electric Gamebox – South Bank, Southwark
The newest addition to the London immersive entertainment scene, Electric Gamebox 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. I played this just after it opened and really enjoyed it. We played several games including a style of pong and another like Pacman. It takes a lot of co-ordination and believe me when I say it’s a lot harder than you think it’s going to be!
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!
READ MORE: 49+ Quirky And Unusual Things To Do In London
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!
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!
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.
The Crystal Maze
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.
Enjoyed this post? Pin it for later…