Group in an escape room
Whether it's for a second date, a group activity, a stag party, a hen-do, a birthday celebration, team building or just something to keep your mind occupied for an hour, escape rooms have got you covered! Escape Live

Looking for something fun and different to do in London? Of course, you are. The novelty of walking around the same museum or art gallery does tend to wear off eventually. Bars and clubs are fun, but depending on the time of day, they're usually crowded full of parched people that have just come straight from the office. Picnics in the park on a sunny day can be pleasant too – as long as the grey clouds don't literally rain on your parade!

How about an escape room?

The most common objective of escape rooms is usually to solve a series of puzzles and "escape" from the room within a limited period of time. However, some escape rooms focus more on completing quests and working towards a specific goal, like stealing as much money from a bank as possible for instance.

The beauty of escape rooms is that they are specifically designed to be fun and different from the average everyday activity – and to top it off – due to the increase in popularity, they are now all over the city! There are approximately 200 escape rooms in London, the majority of which can be found in the Central and East areas of the city. On a larger scale, there are over 3,000 escape rooms in the whole of Europe and over 14,000 worldwide, and the marketing is still growing every year!

I believe I can put the primary reason for this demand for escape rooms down to just one word: escapism. Think of it like this; why do we play games? Why do we watch movies? Why do we read books? It all comes down to escapism. Let's face it, modern life can get pretty hectic and stressful sometimes. Maybe your workload has been driving you crazy lately, or perhaps there's a university assignment that has knocked the wind out of you, or you could simply just be looking for a much-needed distraction to help you switch off from the outside world.

To completely immerse yourself in the palpable atmosphere of an escape room, all potential distractions should be left outside the room, and yes, that does include those infernal mobile phones, your hot new match on Hinge can wait. Jumping into a whole other world should be a rewarding and memorable experience, and escape rooms are no exception.

Watching an explosive, high-octane movie where the tough protagonist thwarts the evil antagonist is one thing, but what if you yourself become the protagonist? Or an action hero. A wizard. A detective. A criminal. A ragtag bunch of amateur masterminds. Or even characters of your own design.

Escape Room puzzle
Teamwork and communication are crucial in escape rooms as they can solely determine whether you win as a team, or lose as a team. Time Out

Trust me, I have first-hand experience. Only last year, I worked as the host of a game in a rather lively escape room based in Central London. I spent my days greeting hordes of wonderful guests, some of which were self-proclaimed veterans of their craft or complete rookies, and introducing them to the various rooms we had to offer. Suffice it to say that every group was different. It was like a social experiment reminiscent of Big Brother – seeing how effectively every team worked and communicated with each other was genuinely interesting.

Most escape rooms have a 50 per cent success rate, whereas others have higher or even lower, depending on the difficulty rating. But fear not – the true testament to a successful escape room experience is that there is lots of fun, camaraderie and humour involved throughout.

I have it on very good authority that an impressively substantial amount of work goes into creating these escape rooms, and their designers have only pure, adrenaline-fuelled entertainment in mind. Whether you're carefully navigating a myriad of lasers or solving a cryptic puzzle, your wits will be put to the ultimate test in a display of showmanship that you will never forget.

So what are you waiting for? Let the games begin.