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Looking for some seriously impressive escape rooms to crack?

Reckon you have what it takes to master the room? From family-friendly to the down-right scary, we've collated the very best escape rooms in London for you to try out. See how many you can tick off your hit list and escape from!

But first, what even are escape rooms? How do they work? Can I go it solo? Read on for the answers to these frequently asked questions and a list of the top London escape rooms for your immersive-seeking pleasure.

What are escape rooms?

How do escape rooms work?

For those of you who don't know what escape rooms are, an escape room in its simplest form is where you go into a room, the door is 'locked' behind you and you're faced with an array of puzzles to solve and complete within a given time frame before you can be let out. Simple, right? Except you never know what's behind each escape room door! Will you be faced with mind-bending logic puzzles, or code-cracking challenges to complete? This is what makes escape rooms so fun – you'll never be doing the same one twice! With fresh new challenges to face you'll always find something new and exciting to play with your group.

Where do escape rooms originate?

The concept comes from a video game called 'Escape the Game' which came out in 2004 and this has since been adapted to real-life settings in order for the player to feel fully immersed in the game. Escape rooms as they're known today swept across the globe and became hugely popular in the 2010s with permanent venues setting up shop for the masses. Since then, escape rooms come in many different forms whether you're trying to escape from pirates on an island, finding your way out of a prison cell, or saving the world in a science themed lab room. You don't even have to be confined to one room! Many venues are now offering longer experiences with more elaborate rooms to break out of. One very special mention (although debatable whether it comes under the 'escape room' genre) is The Crystal Maze in London where you have multiple rooms with various physical and mental challenges to complete.

How do you solve an escape room?

We've spoken to our very own escape room expert, Nikki, who's completed over 15 different escape rooms across the UK and Europe! With her expert help, you'll be flying through these rooms like a complete pro. All you need to do is 'make sure you think outside the box', says Nikki, 'pick things up, shake them, turn the room over to find how to solve the puzzles you're up against'. Of course, Nikki states the most important thing to remember is that 'you're a team first and foremost. Don't go in there thinking you can solve it all yourself. Use your team and communicate with them. Trust me! You'll be able to escape so much quicker if you're working as a team rather than individually'.

In a nutshell, here are her top tips for solving escape rooms:

  • Check around the room, move things, look on the walls and even the ceiling!
  • Don't be afraid to move things around, look under them or pull things out.
  • Work as a team! Teamwork is key to solving escape rooms.

See all London Escape Room Experiences »

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The best Escape Rooms in London

Best Quirky Escape Rooms in London

With only the very best quirky escape room picked out for you, whether that's escaping from a cat's kingdom or entering into a virtual reality world, you won't be disappointed with what we have in store for you...

Crystal Maze

22-32 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EU

Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus

Walking distance from tube: 2 minutes approx.

If you haven't seen this amazing game on TV, then where have you been? A recent revival after decades long hiatus on our TV screens has seen the popularity grow. You can now feel like you're jumping right through the tv and play the game yourself with your friends and family! Although The Crystal Maze might not technically be seen as an escape room, it still gets a very special mention as you still make your way around various 'rooms' with challenges to complete and puzzles to solve within a set time frame.

The Crystal Maze in London offers 32 fun and exciting games for you to participate in and complete just like in the tv show. There's even the Crystal Dome, the infamous bubble at the end where participants grab as many tokens as they can, all while fans are blowing them around and the clocks ticking down! This is one game that's perfect for friends, family, hen parties, stag do's, birthday celebrations or for any special occasion! To get a real feel for this just put on a re-run of The Crystal Maze TV show and watch in awe at what you're about to do!

Omescape (Aldgate)

75 Greenfield Road, London, E1 1EJ

Nearest tube station: Aldgate East

Walking distance from tube: 6 minutes approx.

This escape room has two great locations in London and forms part of a wider international company of escape games throughout the world. For the quirkiest escape room, you've got to head to the Aldgate location in London for the 'Cat's Kingdom' escape room. When you enter, you find yourself trapped in a mysterious cat's kingdom where big cats rule and you've been caught trespassing! You must work with the other animals in order to escape and come back to the human world. This quirky escape room is the perfect fun activity for your trip to London or just on a rainy afternoon!

Grab your friends and head to the Omescape Aldgate location. There's also other games called 'Huxley', 'Huxley 2' and 'Arizona Sunshine LB VR' – these are unique VR escape games where your escape room is completely virtual. This fully immersive experience will either have you battling through a zombie apocalypse or finding yourself as the last remaining humans on earth – either way these quirky escape games are ideal to try out something new and totally unique!

Best Scary Escape Rooms in London

If you're looking for some proper jump scares and spending 60-minutes feeling terrified as you frantically try to escape the room in time then you're in for a treat! Read on for the top London scary escape rooms and see if you have what it takes to not scream...

Archimedes Inspiration

Unit 002, Kala Studios, Tower Bridge Business Complex, 100 Drummond Rd, London, SE16 4DG

Nearest tube station: Bermondsey

Walking distance from tube: 7 minutes approx.

Archimedes Inspiration, a.k.a. A.I., has two unique rooms with different themes but both equally as psychological thrilling. This is what puts A.I. Escape on our best scary escape rooms in London. Try out the first escape room 'Mad' which is a psychological thriller. This 70-minute game and comes with a 16+ age restriction so you know this isn't going to be for the faint hearted! This room's theme is an old hospital that's been abandoned for years yet screams can still be heard inside. Enter at your own risk and see if you can figure out what's really going on behind these closed doors. This room comes with a medium difficulty level attached to it so it's great if you're with someone who's done an escape room before.

The second room titled 'Project Delta' is a sci-fi thriller. This 100-minute game also comes with an age restriction at 16+ so be warned! This room also comes with an advisory warning that this shouldn't be played if it's your first time in an escape room! The challenges and puzzles are rated extremely difficult and only the brave must continue on and attempt this room. It's the year 2052 and your mission is to fly onboard a spaceship to carry out biological experiments on other planets. However, there are some dark secrets lurking within this project – will you make it out without the secrets consuming you?

Omescape (Kings Cross)

Carnegie Street, London, N1 9QW

Nearest tube station: Kings Cross St. Pancras

Walking distance from tube: 11 minutes approx.

Omescape has two locations across London but the Kings Cross site has four of the scariest themed escape rooms in the capital. With the rooms titled as 'Joker's Asylum', 'Biohazard Laboratory', 'The Penitentiary' and 'Mind Horror' you're in for a scary treat! Three of these are escape rooms whereas 'Mind Horror' is a very special VR game. Why not head for the Penitentiary room set in a prison cell? An inmate who was reported dead last year left behind an unexplained machine in his cell and the prison inmate who found it is now missing… you must solve the puzzles before it's too late! This has a medium difficulty rating with a 50%-60% escape rate! Can you make it out in time?

If you're looking for a truly unique escape game experience, then you've got to try out 'Mind Horror'. This escape game is within a VR world as you don your headsets and step into another reality. Omescape uses only the best tech with HTC Vibe, the best virtual reality headset on the market, leap motion and Alienware PC. Fully immerse yourself within another world and try to escape with your teammates in this ultimate escape room at Omescape in London.

AIM Escape Rooms

Goodman`s Fields, 8 Canter Way, London, E1 8PS

Nearest tube station: Aldgate East

Walking distance from tube: 3 minutes approx.

Aim Escape wants to ensure their escape rooms are the best around with 'extreme challenges, complex narratives and hyper-realistic sets and props'. Their rooms all have 60-minutes on the clock which gives you just enough time to escape – can you make it?

Try out one of their scarier rooms with 'Patient Zero 2150'. This room takes you to an alternate reality where rogue scientists have created a deadly pathogen; this pathogen turns the living into the dead – zombies! In their lab, this pathogen has escaped into the atmosphere, you must find it and contain it before it's too late! With a rating 'difficulty', only bring your best problem-solving and logical friends to this one – you're going to need all the help you can get. With an age restriction of 12+ this isn't the scariest room Aim Escape has to offer.

If you're really looking for something scary, book into the 'Psychopath's Den' escape room. With a difficult rating and a 16+ age restriction you know this one isn't for the faint hearted. Your mission is to solve the puzzles and escape the room before whoever is lurking in the shadows gets you. There's blood splatters on the walls, a real crematorium and instruments of torture throughout the room to add to the nightmare you're now living. This is perfect for those horror-loving fans wanting some gore and that ultimate scare factor. Do you think you have what it takes? 60-minutes are on the clock, you best escape in time before you're locked in there forever.

Best Family Escape Room London

Looking for some family fun in London? Look no further! These top family escape rooms in London are perfect for the entire family. Choose whether you want to become a detective for the day, or become an astronaut as you fly to the moon on a special mission...

HintHunt London

72-76 Eversholt Street, London, NW1 1BY

Nearest tube station: Euston

Walking distance from tube: 4 minutes approx.

Six themed escape rooms at their central location near Euston makes this the perfect family fun day out. Each escape room ranges from 3 – 5 players, with some up to six, so you can bring your whole family along and tackle this challenge head on. A minimum age limit is 9 years of age for it to be fully enjoyable by all. There will be no scary stuff or physical challenges which is what puts this escape room on the list of our best family friendly ones in London.

You're really spoilt for choice here as there are six different games to choose from. If you choose 'The Safe' game, you'll be thrown into a world of detectives and bankruptcy. James Murdock, a detective has come across a scheme that will leave you bankrupt! He has a key witness, potential suspect and a key to a safe. You must unlock the safe within the time and expose its secrets! There's only one thing for it and that's to work together in a team to break open the safe and escape the room. HintHunt is perfect for some family-friendly fun in London. So, what are you waiting for?

ClueQuest

169-171 Caledonian Road, London, N1 0SL

Nearest tube station: Kings Cross St. Pancras

Walking distance from tube: 12 minutes approx.

This escape room hits our family-friendly list in London as ClueQuest states they're 'a family-friendly venue and our escape rooms do not include any jumpscares, or otherwise frightening elements. Unless you are afraid of yellow mice or super-villain sheep.' As well as this, any ages are allowed however those who are aged under nine might find the challenges a little difficult and confusing – this is at the discretion of the parent or guardian.

ClueQuest also offer school trips so you know these escape games are ideal for kids eager to try something new and who are up for a challenge. With good teamwork required in order to escape these rooms offer those participating a chance to hone their communication skills and work within a team if they want to beat the clock!

With various cartoon characters and villains throughout each game this engages children in a fun and safe environment. Try out Plan 52 or Operation BlackSheep as these are perfect for beginners or veterans alike. In Plan 52 you're tasked with finding out what's happened to four operatives who've gone missing at a top secret location – there's proof that Professor BlackSheep is the culprit, however, he didn't do it alone and you've got to find who the insider is! With 60-minutes on the clock you don't have long to solve who the insider is before the top secret facility detonates!

Escape Rooms (Angel)

Unit 2, 3 Lever Street, London, EC1V 3QU

Nearest tube station: Barbican Station

Walking distance from tube: 9 minutes approx.

Escape Rooms state they're family-friendly with fun and interactive games. At their Angel site there are two escape rooms both focused on outer space. If your kids love all things spaceships, then these Escape Rooms in Angel are for you! The rooms have a linear storyline with physical challenges and test a variety of your skills. The first room, Project D.I.V.A, is set in the year 2038 where humans are exploring more into the solar system with artificial intelligence at the forefront. However, the A.I. on one of the research stations, D.I.V.A (Defence Interactive Virtual Assistant), orbiting mars sends out a cryptic message and soon after starts falling into lower orbit. Your mission is to destroy D.I.V.A and regain control of the research station before it completely falls into mars and destroys all the research! Bring your best teamwork skills for this one!

The second room, The Dark Side of the Moon, is set in present day. In the 1960s, men landed on the moon, but they kept a very dark secret all these years – the wreckage of a Nazi base. There's been no detection of lifeform, until now. A message was intercepted from Berlin that read 'Bereit' meaning 'Ready'. Your mission is to head to the moon and destroy the Nazi base once and for all. This room is the perfect afternoon out for any aspiring astronauts out there as they get to imagine themselves flying to the moon for a day.

Escape Rooms (London Bridge)

Rear of 134 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU

Nearest tube station: London Bridge

Walking distance from tube: 7 minutes approx.

The London Bridge branch of Escape Rooms is perfectly situated for those coming for a day trip to London. Situated just a short walk from London Bridge station, you can head in for the day and either start your day off with an escape room or leave it as the last thing you do before you catch a train home. These two escape rooms at London Bridge are focussed around historical artefacts – perfect to get kids involved and piquing their interest in history – albeit slightly dramatised.

The London Bridge branch offers the more traditional style of games with a lock, key and code style rather than a linear storyline such as in their Angel branch. The first room, Pharaoh's Chamber – A Cursed Tomb, has you inside Pharaoh Khufu's Chamber. You only have 60 minutes before your soul is removed from your body and you guard the tomb forever! You have one hour to locate the treasure before you take on the fate of so many before you and wander the tomb as its protector for all eternity.

The second escape room here is Room 33. In this game you're in China and it's the year 1675. You're a guard for the emperor but his most prized possession, a vase, has been stolen on your watch and the emperor blames you! A stranger comes to you with a time machine and stares if you go forward in time to the present day, you'll find the vase sitting in the British Museum. Your mission is to use this time machine, take back the base and get to the portal in time before it's too late! With only 60-minutes to locate the vase and escape, the pressure's on!

Best Alternative Escape Rooms in London

Are you really really looking for something different from the norm? Why not head to an escape room that can't even be classed as an escape room! Now THAT'S different. The list below are escape room-esque experiences that'll totally immerse you in a new world as you take on challenges...

Crystal Maze

22-32 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7EU

Nearest tube station: Piccadilly Circus

Walking distance from tube: 2 minutes approx.

The Crystal Maze has got to hit our list for best alternative escape rooms, as technically, we're not sure if this can be classified as an escape room at all! But, this very special and unique game has you completing challenges and tasks as you make your way around the 'maze' – so we're going to include it for now!

Gather your friends and head to The Crystal Maze located in London's West End. You'll remember watching this on TV in the 90s and with its now revised comeback to tv makes this game one of the most popular experiences in London. Gather your friends and make your way to the venue where you'll be met by your Maze Master. They'll guide you through the four different game zones as you take on challenges along the way. Of course, as you win challenges you gain those crystals like in the tv show! With every crystal you win you gain more time in the dome at the end to catch those tokens. Whether you're looking at this for a hen, stag, birthday, team building fun day out or just wanting to experience something new – The Crystal Maze will certainly keep you entertained in this capital city.

The Bletchley

459 King's Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0LJ

Nearest tube station: Fulham Broadway

Walking distance from tube: 15 minutes approx.

Although The Bletchley isn't an escape room, the premise is cracking codes and taking on challenges in order to receive your cocktails. This immersive experience is perfect for all groups whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just wanting a fun and unique night out with friends. As you enter all the staff are in character as you're shown to your table. You get the choice of varying levels of difficulty so make sure you choose wisely and are up for the challenge! You pick drinks based on what ingredients you like, and the bar tender makes them up for you totally unique to your pallet! Remember clues can be found anywhere around the venue so make sure you search high and low so as you're not caught out and stuck on one aspect of the code breaking.

Best Escape Rooms near Angel in London

These escape rooms in Islington are the best around. Whether you live in Angel, staying nearby or just fancy sticking around the area for the day you won't be disappointed with what we've got in store. From the Jumanji inspired to saving New York from a deadly virus, we've curated this top list for escape games near Angel...

City Mazes

10 Hornsey Street, London, N7 8EL

Nearest tube station: Holloway Road
Walking distance from tube: 4 minutes approx.

City Mazes is just a short walk from Holloway Road tube station in Islington. There are two escape rooms at this site, each with their own unique set of clues and stories. The first room titled 'Bamboozled' sees you play a mysterious board game found in your attic. As you start to play, you're transported into the game and to a jungle world! Your only way out is to complete the board game within 60 minutes, or you'll be stuck in this world forever.

In the second game, 'The Runner', you wake up not knowing where you are or who you are, but your name will come back to you soon. The area you've awoken in is safe for now, but it won't be for long! Make sure you escape in 60 minutes as something terrible is coming and the area will be crawling with them!

Breakin' Escape Rooms

89 Holloway Rd, London, N7 8LT

Nearest tube station: Highbury & Islington
Walking distance from tube: 3 minutes approx.

Breakin' Escape Rooms has a whopping seven different rooms for you to play and get stuck in to! These include Wizarding School: Fang of the Serpent, Blackwing's Cave, Sherlock's Despair, The Flying Dutchman, War on Horizon Alpha, Butcher's Lair, and Heist Plan. To write about all of them could be a blog post on its own! We've selected two rooms we think are extraordinary and like nothing we've seen before.

Step into the 'Butcher's Lair' game with only your bravest team members as this game has a horror twist. You're in school and you've always liked your teacher's human anatomy lessons so when they invite you over for dinner you gladly accept. However, when you get there and find the door open you head inside. Hearing noises coming from the basement you head down only to find the door slam behind you with the only way forward. You enter into their secret laboratory and find that it looks like you might be on the menu for dinner! This room is rated four out of five for difficulty so bring your thinking caps and get stuck into this game in order to escape within the given time!

The next game, Heist Plan, sees you in a gang of street racers ready to hit the five major banks in Manhattan, New York. The plan is to cover up the heist with a street race. However, a rival gang comes into your garage in the night, wrecks one of your cars and steals the other! Now you have only one hour to fix your broken car and find the location of the other before the heist tonight. This game comes with a difficulty rating of five out of five! It's probably best if you don't pick this room if it's your first time in an escape room. This one's for the seasoned escape roomers who think they've got what it takes.

Omescape (Kings Cross)

Carnegie Street, London, N1 9QW

Nearest tube station: Kings Cross St. Pancras
Walking distance from tube: 11 minutes approx.

With your team assembled it's time to take on this escape game. There are four different rooms to choose from, all with different difficulty ratings, so you can pick which room depending on how much of a challenge you're up for! Will you take on the most difficult rating with the Joker's Asylum escape room, or will you go for the lowest and choose the Kingdom of Cats. Or, go down the middle and choose the Penitentiary or Biohazard Laboratory.

In Biohazard Laboratory escape room, you and your friends become a special forces team and save New York from whatever's lurking in the secret lab! With the lab located down in New York's sewage system it's your job to work together and find out what's going on down there. With the research of a new neurotoxin you must find the cure before it becomes a serious threat to the city! Even though this escape room is in the middle of the other rooms regarding difficulty there's still only a 40-50% escape rate! Do you have what it takes? The only way is to find out for yourself.

ClueQuest

169-171 Caledonian Road, London, N1 0SL

Nearest tube station: Kings Cross St. Pancras
Walking distance from tube: 12 minutes approx.

ClueQuest near Angel has four traditional style escape rooms and two unique VR escape games to try something that little bit different. With animated characters throughout each storyline of the traditional style escape rooms this venue is particularly family-friendly so whether you're bringing children along or are just looking for a great escape room, ClueQuest is for you.

The two VR games are from Ubisoft games, one centred in Assassin's Creed Origins with Escape the Lost Pyramid, and the other in Assassin's Creed Odyssey with Beyond Medusa's Gate. The duration for the VR games usually runs around 50 minutes, however if you're super speedy you could do it in as little as 30 minutes, although if you need to take a little longer you have up to 60 minutes. If you want to enter into another world and try something new then head to ClueQuest in Islington and see for yourself if you can make it out in time!

Best Escape Rooms in Central London (Zone 1)

Can't be bothered to move out of central? We got you. These escape rooms are all within zone 1 so if you've got that central zone travel card, or don't want to waste time hopping tubes, you've got an array of top escape rooms right on your doorstep...

No Escape

3rd Floor, 51 Oxford Street (entrance through Londis shop), London, W1D 2EF

Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road
Walking distance from tube: 1 minute approx.

You wouldn't think twice as you walk along this road, yet a mysterious venue waits for your discovery inside a shop. Tucked away on the third floor of this building, you actually have to enter through the Londis shop in order to reach your destination! There is just one escape room here but with its close proximity to Oxford Street situated in zone one, it's a no brainer if you want to stay central and do a spot of shopping or sightseeing. With Carnaby Street close by and Selfridges just a few stops along the tube you can participate in your escape room and still have plenty of time to explore.

The escape game is called The Dentist, read on for what No Escape has to say about this room… 'This Dentist hides a terrible secret. You arrive for you only to find yourself trapped! Quickly you notice the clock ticking down with an hour to escape before he "finishes" your appointment... and you.' If you think you've got what it takes and are looking for a central escape room this one's for you! Grab your friends and get yourselves booked in asap!

Komnata

181 Drury Lane, Holborn, London, WC2B 5QF

Nearest tube station: Covent Garden
Walking distance from tube: 5 minutes approx.

Komnata has escape rooms all over Europe and the United States, and one very special venue in London. There are a whopping six different escape rooms at this site in London! Choose from Hakaina is Coming, Saints Angelo's Castle, Doctor Frankenstein, The Impossible Murder Mystery, Sherlocked and 7 Sinful Pleasures.

Hakaina is Coming is a 15-minute escape game designed to be the prequel to a new escape room coming to Komnata this year! You'll receive this short game for free when you book either Doctor Frankenstein or Saint Angelo's Castle. The other three rooms, The Impossible Murder Mystery, Sherlocked and 7 Sinful Pleasures are also new games coming to Komnata this year – watch this space!

Komnata is located right in central London, just a short walk from Covent Garden. You can browse the shops, grab a bite to eat and take in all this area of London has to offer before or after your escape game. It's in the perfect location for those wanting to stay in central London and not have to venture too far out.

The Grid

2 Robinson Road, London, SE1 8BU

Nearest tube station: Southwark
Walking distance from tube: 5 minutes approx.

The grid is a unique experience where you'll not only be tasked with challenges, but you'll also get two cocktails each in this one hour and 30-minute experience. Bear in mind, there will be some physical activity which might not be suitable for everyone but just double check with them beforehand.

For this experience, you're operatives. You enter into the offices of an evil startup, Neosight, to defeat their AI technology. This fun experience has you go through multiple rooms posing as 'volunteers' to help them in their evil mission. You must stay undercover at all times as there may be people there who are not members of The Grid!

Written by
Ellie Jones


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