My Top UK Escape Rooms #Review

My Top UK Escape Rooms #Gifted

Escape Rooms have been trending now for some time and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.  In fact, Escape Rooms are becoming more technical, magical and super cool meaning for us lucky game players, we get to experience immersive game play at its very best.

From Manchester, Chester, Leeds, Harrogate Liverpool, Birmingham, Edinburgh to London, I have been up and down the country to find my best Escape Room brands.  In no order, here you have my Top UK Escape Rooms…

Chester

Breakout – Excalibur

Breakout Chester is an amazing city centre Escape games brand with rooms such as Dark Magic – I highly recommend, along with Exchalibur.

Brave warriors, prepare to fight the fight, as myself and my fellow knights had been kidnapped from Camelot.  Being held captive in a tower whilst the intruders are disguising themselves as us.

The challenge was to find our way out of the tower, back to the round  table and prove our worth by being the true king by removing the sword from the stone…

Manchester

Escape Reality – Bank Job

Escape Reality, located within the Printworks in Manchester city centre, has a whole range of games to play such as Alcatraz, Enigmista, Tortuga Pirates, The Asylum, Legend of the Mummy and Bank Job.

We grabbed our elite squad of highly skilled bank robbers, as we were amongst the chosen few who had been challenged to infiltrate the security systems at the world’s most protected bank vaults. 

Escape with the diamond within 60 minutes or face life in prison! An exhilarating, exciting and entertaining experience, will your team diamond bank balance go boom or bust!

Escape Hunt – Escape the Wild West

Exciting Escape Hunt Manchester, located in Manchester city centre, is where all the action takes place, as they have a whole range of game themes including Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, The Last Vikings, The Last Samurai, Blackbeard’s Treasure and Escape the Wild West.

Howdy partners, the wild west tiny frontier town of East Victoria, has struck gold, so celebrations throughout town are rife.  Not everything that glistens is gold though, as with this news, the bloodthirsty Bill French Gang are riding their way into town to claim the gold and kill everyone in East Victoria.  You best get the gold, before it’s too late or you’ll be shot at dawn.

Breakout – Forsaken

Manchester City centre is the exciting location of Breakout, a fun interactive Escape room experience brand that is a must do.

Wandering further and further into the woody forest, we finally found our distant relatives’ cabin. Nestled in behind the trees, the cabin looked idyllic and tranquil, but as the night skies turned darker, the cabin felt more eerie.

Wood chopping sounds, creaks in the floor, we soon realised that things aren’t what they first seemed.  It appears we have been invited to a ceremony, that we never wanted to be a part of, but they plan to use us as their sacrificial object.

Now, its time to get out of these wooden walls of hell before it’s too late.  We just escaped, but do you dare to go down to the woods today to see if you can escape this scare spooked 5-star game?

Lucardo – The Prison

Lucardo Manchester city centre have exciting escape games such as University of Magic, Gem Runner and NEW for 2019, The Prison, an exciting, interactive and immersive escape game experience.  Including not just a full background story, but a continuing story development throughout your game play.

My gang of dodgy and underhanded criminals are down for being banged up into a Category A prison facility in Manchester after allegedly committing a series of crimes…of course we are innocent haha.  After a little convo and persuasion our connections on the inside are going to stage a riot providing the ideal opportunity for use to escape and get back to what we do best – crime!

We need to get out fast don’t get caught, as you will be banged up for life, think like Michael Scofield and Co from Prison break, this enabled us to smash it, but the question is can you?

Liverpool

Breakout – Spellbound

Liverpool city centre, the location for some excellent escape game play including themes such as Shipwrecked, The Heist, Cursed Carnival, classified, Sabotage, the Facility, The Detective Office, Warped, Outbreak and Spellbound.

Swish your wand and prepare to be spellbound, as a dangerous magical artefact has gone missing.  Summon your team of Witches and warlocks to find the artefact, before it ends up in the wrong hands.

It’s the Old Magical Academy annual school reunion, the ideal time for you to sneak into the school, enter the abandoned classroom and escape with the artefact orb in hand, as this time a detention could be deadly!

Birmingham

Escape Reality – Iron Kingdom

Escape Reality Birmingham, located in Birmingham city centre offer escape games such as Alcatraz, Enigmista, Machina, The Asylum, Legend of the Mummy, Bank Job and Iron Kingdom.

Seven Kingdoms, the largest continent in the World, is home to seven Nobel families.  However, the Iron Throne in the heart of this Kingdom, has created conflict, war and bloodshed.

Now brave warriors, you must step forward into the fold and prepare to arm yourself and fight your way to victory.  Team Falcon fought through hard times and we rightfully become the heirs to the throne, but the question is are you going to contest this and bring your best game…you decide?

Escape Hunt – Our Finest Hour

Escape Hunt Birmingham city centre has games ranging from the Fourth Samurai to Our Finest Hour.  So, step back into 1942, a time the world is at war, intel has confirmed that the Nazi has developed superweapons that could literally wipe Britain off the map.

We were recruited as MI6 top agents to find and destroy this weaponry, within 60 minutes, reporting back to clue HQ with our successes. This is not the time to be distracted, focus and move onwards into victory.

Escape Live  – Time Machine

Escape Live Birmingham, under the arches, on Henrietta Street was the place where time didn’t stand still, as we prepared to time travel and be vortexed off into different dimensional parallel worlds.  Think cool retro quirky game play with various themes such as the 90s including Sega & Spice Girls.

You and your team must take Jamie’s prototype Time Machine, follow in his tracks and get him back, within 60 minutes, to present day before it’s too late, as he will be lost floating around different time zones for eternity.

Edinburgh

Escape Reality – Machina

Fountainbridge in Edinburgh city centre is the home to the excellent Escape Reality brand, offering games such as Jungala, Tortuga Pirates, Nosferatu, The Asylum, Alcatraz and Machina, you are spoilt for choice

Machina themed around science and the Machina experiment, ushered into a secret headquarters, we noticed something was odd, as scientists were disappearing and an increase in robots showing human traits.

On trying to leave, to report these strange happenings, the door is bolted tight, we are locked in with the rest of the team.  One question remains, will you leave victorious as a human or stay as a machine?

Escape Team Building – The Magical Emporium

Located on Morrison Street in Edinburgh city centre, Escape Team Building have The Magical Emporium escape game along with the detective style 221 Baker Street game a whole host of other exciting scape game experiences.

Marvellous, magical and mysterious, Wizards worldwide had been notified that, the dazzling and delightful renowned supplies shop, Garbo’s was suspiciously closed.  Suspecting Evil forces, it was up to us to use our magical mystical marvellous powers to investigate Ms Garbo’s disappearance and escape.  Question is can you?

Can You Escape – Operation Odyssey

Can you Escape Edinburgh city centre, has several escape games to play including an out of this world adventure with their space themed escape game mission: Operation Odyssey.

An out of this world, galactical space adventure for all you budding astronauts out there.  Lucky to become Space cadets, we embarked on our solar system star gazing mission on the International space station, but things soon took a drastic turn. “Houston, we have a problem, the escape pod needs to be fixed”.  Can you fix the pod and escape before time runs out.

York

Can You Escape – Operation Hero

An exciting, electric and engaging experience in the centre of York, escape room brand “Can You Escape?” provide you with the opportunity to play the Lone Eagle mission and also become a superhero legend in their new game Operation Hero.

Team name decided; Fire Foxes, and my personal superhero name chosen; Forkward Fire Flame, it was time to don the superhero cape and mask and prepare for a battle like no other.  Without giving too much away, this high tech filled room had gadgets and games galore to get your heart and mind pumping.

A truly unique, exhilarating and immersive “must do” experience right in the heart of York City. Are you a Superhero and Can You Escape?

Mind Lock – Valhalla

Located in the heart of York city centre, opposite Clifford’s Tower, MindLock Escape Rooms, offers a unique and immersive experience.  Games are designed for 2 – 6 players and offer a variety of fabulous fun themes such as Cluedo and Valhalla.

Feel and embrace your inner Viking as you take on the Viking Valhalla room.  Your strong army of Vikings have battled courageously to earn their right to be dining with the Gods in Valhalla, but upon awakening your hord are in limbo.  Please the gods, like we did, and crack the critical tasks to earn your place alongside them in Valhalla where Thor and Odin await your Viking army.

Harrogate

Clue HQ – The Betrayal of Cluetankhamun

An exciting, entreating and exhilarating escape game experience awaits in Harrogate centre.  Prepare to play The Betrayal of Cluetankhamun, as just over one month ago the long-lost tomb of Cluetankhamun was unearthed for the first time in over 3 millennia.

A team of explorers had the task of going into the tomb to find and recover the Cluetan Crystal which is said to have the powers of the river Nile.

However, the explorers are no where to be seen, so now it was our turn to take on the intrepid adventure, as the sands of time slipped away, we just managed to retrieve the crystal, but the question is can you?

Leeds

Tick Tock Unlock – Project Pandora

Location Leeds city centre, prepare yourself to take on the challenge of Tick Tock Unlock’s immersive and exciting Escape room experience.

We have since discovered a top-secret laboratory was running an experiment, to try and halt the ageing process making participants immortal, called Project Pandora.  For good reason the experiment failed all clinical trials. Now we found ourselves in danger, as locked in a cell within the laboratory, it was our turn to find the cure, within 60 minutes, before it was too late.

Previously, we have played Alice in Wonderland and Project Pandora which are sadly no longer available, but the good news is that they have have an amazing new games experience The Library of Broken Books which we can’t wait to try out.

London

Escape Rooms London Bridge  – Pharaoh’s Chamber A Cursed Tomb

Escape Rooms located right in the heart of London city at London Bridge has escape games ranging from Room 33 to Pharaoh’s Chamber A Cursed Tomb.

Think Egypt and do not get cursed, find the treasure and escape the game before you become mummified.

Exciting, excellent and immersive Escape Game brand, all worth a whirl for sure!

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx

Advertisement

A Fabulous Festive Christmas Stay at the Hotel Indigo York #Review

A Fabulous Festive Christmas Stay at the Hotel Indigo York #Gifted

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and no sooner than you know the Christmas season will be back in no time at all with all that festive tinsel, glitz, and sparkle.

York, is a pretty perfect destination to enjoy some seasonal cheer with plenty to do, the city has an amazing atmosphere and the Christmas markets are awesome!

The hotel Indigo York, located in the historical medieval neighbourhood of Walmgate Bar is an ideal location to soak up all that York has to offer.

Warmly welcomed by the team, this beautiful boutique hotel provides a snug and cosy home away from home whereby the end of your stay you do not want to check out!

The Christmas tree by reception cleverly had all the hotel staff photos attached, made you fee right at home, part of the family. The hotel felt festive, as they had hung out all the decks to make it feel super special for all their guests to enjoy.

Before checking in we explored the city including the Christmas markets, The cobbled shambles and had a few glasses of mulled wine along the way.

Then our afternoon got more fun, fabulous, and festive with an amazing Afternoon Tea with the hotel No 88 Walmgate restaurant.

A perfect way to escape the Christmas Craziness outside, sit back relax and sip a few glasses of prosecco while enjoying fantastic finger sandwiches, scrummy scones with jam and clotted cream along with some super sweet treats including this cute little gingerbread person.

Our stay started next level, as we had been allocated a luxurious Superior Premium room, that is fully air conditioned, a big cosy bed with fine 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen and a lovely personalised welcome message scribed onto the vanity area mirror – just such a lovely touch!

It’s all in the details and I love how Hotel Indigo York have incorporated York’s historical past by including an eclectic display of historic pictures showing how life used to be.

Our Superior Premium room came with a fully stocked tea tray with biscuits and coffee pods with a quirky themed Yorkshire message that made us giggle.  The lovely team has also put a few extra Yorkshire treats for our celebrations which we really appreciated.

Once you are all settled in, you can freshen up in the wonderful walk-in open plan spa inspired, bathroom with a deep sunken bath, a walk in double rainfall shower area along with complimentary toiletries – just divine.

Beautiful breakfast vibes are in plentiful supply year-round, as the Hotel Indigo’s impressive breakfast buffet offering has something for everyone.  Cold continental pastries, muffins, yoghurt, granola, cereals, fresh fruit, meats, cheese, and a range of juices.  Hot options included full English, vegetarian, pancakes, porridge and so much more.  

Looking for a much needed break to enjoy some rest, relaxation, fabulous food, drinks, well The Hotel Indigo York provides just that and being located in the heart of York city centre you are spoilt for choice , as there is so much to see and do.

Visit York and enjoy all that the York Indigo hotel has to offer starting with that wonderful warm Yorkshire welcome.

Thank you for reading 😊

Melanie xx

My Best York Hotels #Review

My Best York Hotels March 2020 #Gifted

It has been a challenging 12 months to say the least, so while restrictions are slowly being eased why not take some timeout to plan your exciting UK Staycation right in the heart of Yorkshire.

Founded at the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse, with an eclectic mix of Georgian, Medieval and Victorian characteristics, the wonderful walled city of York, with winding quaint, narrow streets and snickleways, has been perfectly preserved making it a picturesque location which combines historical heritage with sophisticated, contemporary amenities.

Known as Eoforwick to the Saxons, Eboracum to the Romans and then invaded by the Vikings who coined the name Jorvik, York is a city steeped in history and charm, an architectural Aladdin’s cave of all things historic, but is an ever-evolving city which offers a range of exciting events, activities, museums and restaurants.

Now all you need is a super fabulous hotel, for your staycation, so you can take advantage of all that York has to offer.  In no particular order here are all my marvellous recommendations…

The Principal York

The Principal Hotel, located in an enviable postcode in the heart of York, with views of the Minster, is only a few small steps away from York Train station, so this is the perfect place to stay, play and enjoy your stay the Yorkshire way.

Steeped in history, old school charm and character this place will not disappoint.  The breath-taking building with grandeur and grace stands dominant and proud.  The gorgeous and glowing golden building emits the feeling of warmth and an even warmer welcome awaits from the Principal York team who go the extra mile so you can enjoy a first-class experience.

The restorations and refurbishments, carried out by award-winning interior architects Goddard Littlefair, have remained sympathetic to the original period features retaining the buildings elegance and natural charm.

As you can see by the Christmas tree and stunning decorations, the Principal York really do pull out all the stops, bells and whistles and all.

Enjoy some food in the yummy onsite restaurant, go for a dip in the pool, enjoy some you time in the jacuzzi or take a stroll around the gorgeous grounds which have that secret garden feel.  These vast sprawling gardens are an ideal hub in which to escape the hustle and bustle of York and have some rest and relaxation time.

Guy Fawkes Inn

We all remember the 1605 attempt to blow up parliament and the ‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’.

Now it is your chance to relive history in the shoes of Guy Fawkes and enjoy a unique experience by staying in the alleged birthplace of the notorious Guido Fawkes conspiracy plotter aka Guy Fawkes.

Continue reading

City Cruises York Self Drive Boats, Lunch and Afternoon Tea #Review

City Cruises York Self Drive Boats, Lunch and Afternoon Tea Review: September 2020 #Gifted

City Cruises offer a whole range of exciting adventures aboard the river Ouse York, including Self Drive boats, Lunch and Afternoon Tea.

Self Drive Red Boats

Become captain of your very own vessel and cruise your way down the river Ouse York, in style.

Jack was an amazing chap, welcomed us warmly, provided instructions and our life jackets.

In your self drive motorboat, that can accommodate 8 people, explore York’s sights seamlessly, as the Vikings once did.

Hire is by the half hour or full hour and City Cruises York have fourteen Red Boats in total, their names are Josephine, Angie, Leonie, Sarah, Yvette, Kathryn, Alice-May, Lucy, Tina, Heather, Ellen, Rebecca, Emma and Penny!

Have fun and sail your boat all the way down the Ouse and you will even see the millennium bridge.

Continue reading

Chocolate Indulgence Package with Chocolate Hamper at York Cocoa Works #Review

Chocolate Indulgence Package with Chocolate Hamper at York Cocoa Works Review: September 2020 #Gifted

York Cocoa Works has always been a home away from home for us.  A lovely local independent chocolatier with high quality products where they literally go from bean to bite, as their yummy treats are produced on site at their chocolate manufactory.

Owner Sophie and her team have created a cosy and snug environment perfect for family, friends and couples to enjoy a chocolate indulgence making your day much sweeter.

As always, the whole team make you feel welcome and part of the Cocoa works family from the moment you step in the door which is a reason many York residents and visitors to York keep returning.

The York Cocoa Works Chocolate Indulgence package includes a platter of super scrummy chocolate truffles, cakes and a hand-crafted bar of chocolate.

You also receive a hot drink of choice and I would highly recommend having their signature hot chocolate.

Sophies beautifully bespoke handcrafted chocolate packages allow the team to adapt for allergies such as dairy free, wheat free, vegetarian and vegan, so perfect for everyone.

Continue reading

York Pedicab Tours: A Whistle Stop Tour of York #Review

York Pedicab Tours: A Whistle Stop Tour of York Review: September 2020 #Gifted

York’s only licensed pedicab City tours are the perfect way to enjoy the best of both worlds with transport and tour rolled into one!

The cabs are weather protected, fitted with seat belts, have cosy cushions and blankets for colder nights and have no environmental impact so are 100% free of carbon emissions, so that is a big thumbs up from me!

All round nice guy and cheeky chappy John provides safe sightseeing York tours with some historical info thrown in for good measure.

Hear about the Romans, Vikings and all things medieval, so board your chariot, hold onto your Viking armoury and prepare for a fun and historical encounter like no other.

Discover the exciting tales and tribulations of historical characters such as Guy Fawkes, Dick Turpin, Henry VIII, Richard III, Constantine the Great, William the Conqueror and Queen Victoria who all played their part in the exciting story of how York has become what we love and know today.

Throughout your tour, you will visit iconic sights such as the York Minster, The City Walls and Gateways, Clifford’s Tower, Treasurers House, the Shambles and Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate.

Photo opportunities are plentiful and I can tell you John is pretty handy with the camera, so yet another perk of this amazing service.

John was patient and took time to get the perfect photos and create much loved photographic memories.

Continue reading

Marmadukes Townhouse Hotel and The Park Restaurant York #Review

Marmadukes Townhouse Hotel and The Park Restaurant York – Review: February 2020 #Gifted

Looking for a chic, sophisticated and an elegant place to stay in York, the 4 start AA rated Marmadukes Townhouse Hotel is the perfect place to rest your head, enjoy a romantic break or time with family and friends

Situated within a central location minutes from York’s ancient Roman walls this Victorian hotel, that previously belonged to a Victorian gentleman, has all the charm and character one would expect.

The cosy countryside feel to the place provides a snug cosy hub and a hideaway to enjoy a peaceful and tranquil break away.

The breathtaking beautiful four poster room is rather regal, sophisticated and a perfect place to spend your time while in York.

The large room provides enough space to relax with writing/vanity desk and seating area with freestanding traditional full length mirror.

Continue reading

Guy Fawkes Inn York #Review

Guy Fawkes Inn York Review: January 2020

We all remember the 1605 attempt to blow up parliament and the ‘Remember, remember, the 5th of November, Gunpowder, Treason and Plot’.

Now it is your chance to relive history in the shoes of Guy Fawkes and enjoy a unique experience by staying in the alleged birthplace of the notorious Guido Fawkes conspiracy plotter aka Guy Fawkes.

Warmly welcomed and looked after throughout by the lovely team including Delightful Dan and super Stacey.

Our fabulous four poster room had bags of character including the most amazing four poster bed and 3 large windows with the most wonderful views of the majestic York Minster cathedral.

The Guy Fawkes medieval Inn is located within a prime spot adjacent to the York Mister Cathedral in York city centre and the views from our room – just breath-taking and the ideal photo opportunity.

Our room had all the modern conveniences including a flat screen television and tea tray with biscuits.

Continue reading

The Botanist York Fabulous Festive Foodie #Review

The Botanist York Fabulous Festive Foodie Review: January 2020

Quaint and cosy, located within Stonegate, the Botanist York is the perfect place for family and friends to meet.

Escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy some fabulous food and drinks, as you unwind.

The décor is rustic and relaxed creating a beautiful and gorgeous setting for lunch or dinner.

Christmas in full swing, we loved the festive vibes and the charming Christmas tree.

Even though the place was super busy the staff including Christian, Richard and our super server Kyley all remained as friendly and efficient as always, a true test of professionalism and skill especially during the crazy Christmas season.

Equally impressive was the staff knowledge of allergens, without faff or fuss, providing both useful advice and alternatives which made our visit super smooth.

Continue reading

The Hilt York Axe Throwing #Review

The Hilt York Axe Throwing – Review: January 2020

Prepare to unleash your inner Viking warrior, arm yourself with an Axe and chop down your competition a peg or two.

The Hilt York offer an immersive, exciting and entertaining experience right in the heart of York city centre.

Alex and Josh York residents and founders of the Hilt aim to captivate the crowds, push boundaries and enable people to seek out adventure.

Right from the offset, the welcome, quality set up and authentic interiors provide a relaxed and realistic setting to conquer the Axe throwing challenge.

Yes, there was a safety briefing, but delivered with flair and finesse, so to keep you alert and on focus.

Additionally, on a serious note, the whole set up including type of axes used, blue chipped flooring, upper board panels and caging have been built for your safety which makes this Axe throwing session, as safe as it can be, so you don’t need to worry and can get ready to sling them Axes.

We loved every minute of our session, fun, informative and what’s not to like about hurling an axe threw the air at a target right?! There are even trick shots to be learnt, my personal fav the Gun Slinger – Pow!

Continue reading