These days, escape rooms are big business in London. They offer something different from the usual Londoner activities of drinking and brunching (although we’ll always love those) and are a great team activity.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy a day out with friends, celebrate a stag or hen do, or take your office for a team-building session with a difference, an escape room is a fun and unique way to spend an afternoon. We’ve rounded up some of the best in the capital to help whittle down your choices, ranging from family-friendly adventures to bone-tingling thrillers. As they say in The Hunger Games, may the odds be ever in your favour…
Beginner level escape rooms in London
If it’s your first time trying an escape room, you’re better off choosing one of these easier options. They’ll still stimulate your mind and senses, but won’t be so difficult that it takes all of the fun out of the experience.
What: Offering four different escape rooms to choose from, Lock’d has something for visitors of all abilities. If you’re a novice, opt for Grandpa’s Last Will, a game which sees a deceased wealthy millionaire having left their fortune to you (if only that was a relatable storyline, hey?). Suitable for all ages, it makes for a great family day out with a difference.
Where: 108 Drummond Road, SE16 4DG
What: Fun for all the family, ClueQuest’s zany storylines and cartoon-splashed walls are great for younger players. Here, visitors are invited to join Mr Q’s spy agency, where they’ll have to stop the evil efforts of Mr Q’s arch-nemesis Professor Blacksheep, using code-breaking and top observational skills – with four different ‘missions’ to choose from.
Where: 169-171 Caledonian Road, N1 0SL
Escape Entertainment, Bank
What: Welcoming corporate team building groups or gangs of friends looking to try something different, Escape Entertainment offers two separate scenarios to immerse yourself in, both of which fall on the wrong side of the law – either find yourself hiding from the police in a roaring twenties speakeasy, or carry out a major bank heist against the clock.
Where: George Yard, EC3V 9DH
Escape London, Shadwell and Shepherd’s Bush
What: With two sites in the capital, there are various rooms to choose from at Escape London. We’d recommend the Witchcraft and Wizardry and Area 51 games for younger players, while older (and possibly braver) guests can try to escape the clutches of a mysterious serial killer or deal with what’s inside a creepy abandoned cabin in the woods.
Where: 6 Devonport Street, E1 0DQ; 117 Uxbridge Road, W12 8NL
Secret Studio, City
What: The retro theme of this escape room will be a trip down memory lane for older players, and a question of “how on earth did they survive back then?” for the younger ones. The premise is that you’re locked inside a movie production office called ‘Secret Studio Films’ and need to find your way out. There areu a few jumpy bits, but it’s suitable for all the family.
Where: Wentworth Street, Spitalfields, E1 7EZ
Intermediate level escape rooms in London
If you’ve been to a few escape rooms in your time, you’re probably ready to take the next step up. These escape rooms may well leave you flummoxed, but you’ll be able to draw on your previous escaping knowledge to help you out.
Enigma Escape, Holloway
What: If you’re a fan of horror films, this eerie escape room adventure is the one for you. Christened ‘The Killer’, the storyline sees you invited to the premiere of a terrifying new film, and it’s no coincidence that you’re the only ones in the cinema. Of a nervous disposition? Try the breakout instead, which sees you help get your boss out of prison.
Where: Unit 38, 10 Hornsey Street, N7 8EL
Escape Land, Marylebone
What: Reliant on problem-solving and complex riddles, Escape Land offers stimulating escape rooms right below Oxford Street (a rather handy location if you’re looking to go for drinks or food afterwards). There are two journeys to choose from, including rescuing an abducted future monarch and cracking Da Vinci’s code to the secret of eternal life.
Where: 37-39 Oxford Street, W1D 2DU
Escape Rooms, Angel and London Bridge
What: This two-site group may not win any awards for creative brand names, but Escape Rooms does offer plenty of fun special effects that will keep you entertained during your session, including laser beams, alarms and secret compartments. Storylines range from outer space adventures to travelling back in time, so there’s a little something for everyone.
Where: Unit 2, 3 Lever Street, EC1V 3QU; 134 Tooley Street, SE1 2TU
Enigma Quests, City
What: Featuring lots of fun details and jazzy tech elements, visitors to Enigma Quests can choose between a wizards and witchcraft themed room which unofficially takes its inspiration from the Harry Potter series, or a million pound bank heist adventure which involves actual lasers, although thankfully not the kind that burn your limbs off.
Where: 2-12 Wilson Street, EC2M 7LS
Lady Chastity’s Reserve Clapham, Hackney and King’s Cross
What: Strictly for grown-ups, Lady Chastity’s Reserve finds its home at three London pubs – The Four Thieves, People’s Park Tavern and The Depot. You’re technically not trying to escape this one, but as an immersive experience, it’s still plenty of fun and often hilarious. The aim of the game? Getting your hands on Lady Chastity’s fabled aphrodisiac wine.
Where: 51 Lavender Gardens, SW11 1DJ; 360 Victoria Park Road, E9 7BT; 1 Carpenter’s Mews, North Road, N7 9EF
Escape Plan, Kennington and Shoreditch
What: Themed around World War 2, Escape Plan boasts two London locations. The Shoreditch site positions guests as prisoners of war who need to use their wits to escape a Nazi camp, while over in Kennington you’ll be an RAF officer who has survived a lethal attack on your air base.
Where: 13A Iliffe Yard, Walworth, SE17 3QA; 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA
Expert level escape rooms in London
Do you laugh in the face of the Rubik's Cube? Can you complete a 1,000 piece puzzle in under 30 minutes? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then these are the escape rooms for you. Baffling, fiercely complicated and truly thought-provoking, they’ll really put you to the test.
Archimedes Inspiration, Bermondsey
What: Setting itself apart from many other escape rooms in the capital, Archimedes Inspiration is full of math’s puzzles and logic-based problems, placing more emphasis on storyline than simply escaping. Paths to choose from include a visit to an abandoned psychiatric hospital and an experience as an astronaut in the year 2052.
Where: 100 Drummond Road, SE16 4DG
Hint Hunt, Euston
What: Claiming to be the first escape room in London, Hint Hunt unsurprisingly follows quite a simple set up (before escape rooms became big business). Participants can find themselves helping a 1940s detective solve a murder, or dive into the deep blue sea with an adventure aboard a submarine – clues can be tough, so this is best for escape room devotees.
Where: 72-76 Eversholt Street, NW1 1BY
What: Accommodating corporate types for teambuilding sessions and regular folk looking to have fun, Mission: Breakout finds its home in the ‘ghost’ train station of South Kentish Town. Choose between a mystery involving a lost train passenger or discover the story of the Nazi codebreakers, which is inspired by real-life events.
Where: 141-145 Kentish Town Road, NW1 8PB
Do Stuff Escape Games, Battersea
What: Equipped with a bar to help you celebrate your victory (or near-victory), we’re happy to report the games at Do Stuff Escape Games are a lot less clunky than its name. You can choose to help out in a hostage situation or solve the mystery of a missing Pie & Mash shop owner. Whichever path you take, you’re guaranteed a good time.
Where: 279 Battersea Park Road, SW11 4NE
Breakin’ Escape Rooms, Islington
What: This Islington-based escape room is big on its technical elements, which only serve to help with your immersion into the storylines. The games are all pretty difficult, but they’re also incredibly stimulating (and sometimes unsettling) – you might find yourself fleeing a raging maniac with a butcher’s knife, or you could be poised as a car racing gang member planning a bank heist.
Where: 89 Holloway Road, N7 8LT
Omescape London, Islington
What: Differing from other escape rooms out there, some of the scenarios at Omescape see your team divided from the outset, which means you have to rely on your own skills before coming together to work as a team. Just take The Penitentiary, which sees you locked into separate prison cells – this one is not for the faint of heart.
Where: All Saints Church, Carnegie Street, N1 9QW
No Escape, Soho
What: Definitely not the place to go if you’re of a nervous disposition, No Escape features three rather terrifying scenarios for guests to choose from. Arguably the scariest is The Butcher, which sets out from the start that it’s not suitable for under 18s. The story sees you attempt to solve the disappearance of the butcher’s daughter...before you become chopped meat.
Where: 51 Oxford Street, W1D 2EF
If you love activities that are a little out of the ordinary, check out 11 of the best crazy golf courses in London.