‘Sherlock Holmes has gone missing! Can you follow the clues left in his office by his trusted friend Dr Watson to find him before the police turn up?’
Last week, I received an email inviting me to try out an escape room. I’d seen plenty of my friends post on social media about how fun they could be, but it just wasn’t an activity I’d ever thought about trying before. So, in the interest of trying out some new things, I replied that myself and a small group of friends would love to give it a go! On Sunday evening, we arrived at our 6pm time slot for their most popular room: Finding Sherlock.
I’m going to keep this post a little vague (so as not to give too much away or ruin the experience for anyone considering giving it a go), but the basic premise is to find Sherlock’s location using the clues left in his office by Dr Watson, and then the door will open for you to escape from the room.
For the most part, you’re on your own in making your way through the clues as best you can, however if you try this out then I really recommend taking the extra clues that are offered via the screen within the room – we lost a fair amount of time by ignoring the first time this was offered and it made the rest of the game a little more rushed as we started to run out of time. We eventually made it out in the nick of time – with just 19 seconds left on the clock! PHEW.
This is one of the most mentally stressful things I have ever done, but also one of the most enjoyable. From cracking codes to searching the room for clues, this game is great for testing your memory and teamwork skills – this would be perfect for a teambuilding exercise or for a small group of friends (like us), as it really does reveal who takes the lead and who is more likely to follow or go off on their own!
This room also really tested your ability to join the dots, as there were times our team started to link things that weren’t connected and that led us to a dead end. It also makes you realise just how unobservant you can be, as we missed some obvious clues by simply not spotting them the first time around.
If you’re a fan of Sherlock on any level, be it the Benedict Cumberbatch TV series or the original Arthur Conan Doyle novels, you have to try this room! You can even wear the hat and coat (I opted for just the hat, as you can see!) whilst you attempt your escape…
And if you’re not a fan of Sherlock? Well, whilst I’d still recommend this room even if you’ve never heard of a certain Mr Holmes, there are currently two more rooms to choose from: The Tomb, an Egyptian-themed room involving more physical challenges that is played in the dark with torches (!!) and The Heist, a bank robbery gone awry that involves lasers. And after every room, everyone gets to compete in a bonus round; lets just say, if you’ve ever seen the Crystal Maze, you’ll love this one.
If you want to try something a little bit different with some friends or just give your brain a good workout, I’d definitely recommend giving Escape Rooms Cardiff a go. And if you’re looking for something a bit scarier? Word has it that some new rooms are currently in the process of being constructed, with a darker theme… GULP.
Disclaimer: this post was written in collaboration with Escape Rooms Cardiff, in return for a free trip for myself and 4 friends. As no photography is allowed inside the rooms, ERC kindly allowed me to use some promotional photos for this post. All opinions (and the photos of me) are my own.