Get outta here! Escape Rooms in Edinburgh

13 May 2021

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Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to travel.


We travel to get away from ho-hum and home. But to escape while on a holiday? You could do that quite literally!  Among the most local things you can do is to book yourself a mind-bending hour, locked up in Edinburgh’s Escape Rooms.


This ultimate form of escapism is an immersion in a live-action puzzle, where you get to play the lead character, solve time-sensitive challenges that bring on a thrilling adrenalin rush. If you’ve heard of escape rooms but never really tried them, we urge you to go play hero in stunningly created atmospheric rooms, as varied as graveyards to space stations, Harry Potter-like magic chambers to dissection rooms, Olympic events to distilleries…


Collect a couple of pals or family who love a challenge,  while you nervously giggle, leap into the action and live to tell. Forget lockdowns, it’s locked-ins you should be after!

Take your body to  The Anatomist

Transport yourself to 1829 Scotland. The Anatomist is appropriately set in Edinburgh’s old surgical district, when it was fast becoming the centre for medical experiments, learning and research – not to mention, mystery and malpractice!


The letter in your hands is from a Mr Patterson, assistant to the eminent anatomist Dr Malcolm who has fled in fear, having just witnessed an unspeakable crime involving cadavers, grave robberies, and maybe, even a murder!  He urges you to find the doctor’s journal in his study that reveals all his dirty secrets, but you must do that before the doctor returns from his lecture at the Surgeon’s Hall, within an hour.


Rich in historical details, authentic artefacts and custom-made props that hark back to Edinburgh’s past, get an absorbing hour in, marvelling at the sets, chasing clues, solving crimes – and do expect the odd, the mad, the unexpected surprise!

Address: Basement 1, 25 Nicolson Square Edinburgh, EH8 9BX – in the Church on the edge of Edinburgh’s old surgical district.


Let the Games begin in the  Padlox

It is the Olympics in 2028, Los Angeles.  In an unprecedented turn of events, a new nation called Nova Patria has shocked the world by topping the medal table, upsetting nations and breaking every known record.  And, the doping tests all return negative!


You are suddenly compelled to act, because you receive a message: “When the closing ceremony begins, meet me at the Anti-doping Agency lab…”.  In this unique, story-driven, brain-frying puzzle, you and your gang of crime busters better have what it takes to foil the doping fraudsters, and restore the Integrity and Spirit of The Games – all within an hour.  Don’t want to give too much away, except to say it is fun and fulfilling, and even if you make it late to the finishing line – it’s worth all the sweat.


Padlox is also preparing to launch a new street-level, family-friendly trail of puzzles and games around town called Search Party in August 2021.  Search Party is based on the popular Fringe festival, which is all set to make a comeback in August 2021, after being closed for the pandemic.  The game involves site-specific magical rooms, puzzles to solve, twists and turns, tips and tricks, and adds enough landmark-spotting too, to engage locals and tourists alike.  So look out for details coming soon on their website.


Address: 1 Carpet Lane, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6SS, UK


Can You Escape these rooms of doom?

Bring along your uncommon or common sense, teamwork and brain-juice to solve a series of riddles, puzzles and brainteasers played between a couple of rooms – Operation Odyssey and Operation Spellbound.  Your host at Can You Escape performs some great theatre, with passion, which adds to the immersion and atmosphere.


OPERATION SPELLBOUND is based on the legendary magicians Morgana and Merlin. They seem to be locked in eternal battle, in a cave beneath the Kingdom of Avalon. The object of the game is to locate a number of runes and place them at the base of an ancient tree in order to finally bring peace to King Arthur’s land and win in this long running magical battle between the two wizards. Failure means you will remain trapped in time for a century!  Just kidding.  But don’t worry, there’s some help along the way from a friendly dragon. Be entertained, perplexed and fascinated by the ingenious puzzles within your chosen room.


OPERATION ODYSSEY is where you can have a blast…off!  The International Space Station has been hit by a devastating meteor impact, knocking out many of the vital systems on board. Adrift in a meteor shower, you and your cadets aboard the stricken Space Station Odyssey must conduct emergency repairs, handle ludicrous quantities of plutonium and avert total disaster – as the countdown to destruction begins. Tech comes to your rescue though, with the station’s AI, that hints at ways to crack locks, decipher codes, crash a lunar rover and escape – just in time.



 Locked in Edinburgh – for real

For a change, play in real rooms and not purpose-built sets. Summerhall, Edinburgh’s old Vet School building is steeped in history and culture and full of secrets. You may find yourself in an anatomy theatre, animal hospital, an old laboratory or a dissection room. Where it is now playtime, folks!


The Distillery delves into the depths of this cultural center for arts and alcohol lovers.  Your mission here is to uncover the identity of the disgruntled employee plotting against Pickering’s Gin.  In this fast-paced action, you’ll encounter interesting and varied puzzles, which are non-linear to keep you busy all of the time. As a team of 2-5 of you, you’ll need to rush to save the distillery and yourselves!   


The Secret Lab is set in 1972 when Summerhall was home to The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. The storyline is curious – a secret lab using some very progressive and revolutionary animal organ transplants and technology was created with other scientists.  The genius in charge of the lab, Dr. Elsie Kensie, a brilliant bio-scientist, specialised in domestic animals. Her ideas were radical and experiments groundbreaking, but not everything played out how she hoped for. Today, animal lovers and vets need to discover her brilliant work – and they need you to uncover it all in the Secret Lab.  Bring 3- 8 members of your team to come sniff out those secrets and save the pets of the world.


The Cutting Room recreates 1987 when Edinburgh witnesses a series of swift and bizarre murders! Six victims in their twenties, male, and physically fit were all missing an organ and a primitive replacement was found in its place. The murders stopped, and the police never found out who was behind it all, and gave up the investigation after a few years. But in an overnight unexpected development, 5 new victims were found.  Where are the missing organs and who is behind these murders? In one hour, if the organs aren’t found, 5 men will lose their lives and organs. They are counting on three to eight of you to arrive at once, and solve these appalling, murderous attacks.


Locked in Edinburgh
Image sourced from official website :

Address: 1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL


Harry Potter and the Department of Magic

Edinburgh, the birthplace of Harry Potter, wouldn’t be complete without some wizardry and fun. Ready to explore 360 degrees of magic?


Prophecies Quest is about The Dark Lord who has hidden The Prophecies in The Department Of Mysteries.  It’s your quest to collect and use them to save the magical world. You and your wizard mates are magic’s only hope. Quick, use them to defeat The Dark Lord – and hurry, he is coming back. 


Welcome to the dark side as you play the bad guys in Dark Lord Resurrection. Enter the Mausoleum of The Dead with the right incantation, retrieve hidden artifacts, create a spell binding potion and use all of your dark magic to bring The Dark Lord back to life, for he shall rise again! 


When you are done, don your wizard robes, your magic wands, brew up a concoction and maybe make someone fall hopelessly in love with you at Magic Potions Tavern!  Be an alchemist, creating liquid gold, enjoying the bubbly pickled bones of your enemies. Let the magic begin for you and your wizard team mates, with your own potion cocktails and magical shooters. Pick your potion.



Address: 9 Blair Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR



It’s not over until it’s Game Over

Another Harry Potter favourite – The Philosopher’s Stone escape room, comes alive with hidden secrets in a chamber full of dangerous and perilous enchantments. Its power can put an end to the reign of terror, and your team of wizards and witches are summoned to save yourselves from The Dark One who has awoken. Retrieve the stone, defeat the darkness, you are running out of time.


It’s Top Secret and you know your mission at this escape room.  To steal the plans to the XJ7 missile. But you and your team have been arrested, and handcuffed! So first, you have to escape from your cell, solve some fiendishly difficult puzzles and head for the vault, where your enemies’ newest, deadliest weapons are stored. The guards return in one hour and it’s game over for you, if they find you all in the facility!


Address: 2 Huly Hill Rd, Newbridge, Edinburgh



Unravelled by: ShuPri

Writer-poet-explorer, lover of quirk, design, doodles, fonts, animation, jazz, travel, yoga. Her book ‘Whimsical Brew’ is a concoction of humorous, illustrated verses from a process involving quirks of design and serendipitous mistakes.

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