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Must-try immersive experiences in the City

It’s not enough to simply watch it – let’s be a part of the action! Immersive experiences are fast becoming the go-to activity of choice for birthdays and work dos, offering something more thrilling than straightforward ‘drinks in a bar’ – and the City has some unforgettable, must-try adventures.

If you want to lose yourself in another world or simply get one over on your mates, these unique immersive experiences will have you mingling with traitors, wizards and Martians.

Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience

The Martians are coming! Experience what it might be like when those little green men from Mars decide to takeover London in this combination of live action, multisensory effects and virtual reality. You will fly to Mars on a hot-air balloon and see 300ft Martians open fire on the Houses of Parliament (not literally, of course, but those impressive effects will be hard to argue with). The story is brought to life via a cast including real-life West End actors, VR effects and holograms, creating moments that some reviewers describe as “genuinely creepy”.

Musos will appreciate the soundtrack – not only will you hear nine tracks from the iconic 1978 album, but Jeff Wayne himself has been involved in the production as well as creating brand new sound design and music for this unique experience.

You can purchase between one and 12 tickets, with bookings available for groups over 12. It’s not recommended for children under 10, and 10 to 15-year olds must be accompanied by an adult.

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Must-try immersive experiences in London - Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds - The Immersive Experience - theatrical set with beam of light shining down on man holding up his hands

© Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience

Enigma Quests

One challenge. One hour. There’s nothing like a ticking clock to inspire some quick thinking. Grab the smartest people you know and solve a series of devious tasks and mind-twisting puzzles in one of three escape rooms at Enigma Quest.

Fancy busting open a bank and stealing as much money as you can (without actually going to jail)? Step this way for The Million Pound Heist. Wannabe wizards should sign-up to the Harry Potter-inspired School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, to solve supernatural puzzles. Or simply save the world from catastrophic destruction in the pulse-pounding Submarine: Mission Wavebreak – phew, who said escape rooms were just a bit of fun?

All challenges are recommended for friends, colleagues or families including children 8 years and over. Each escape room is for three to five players, but School of Witchcraft and Wizardry can be completed by two to five people.

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Must-try immersive experiences in London - Enigma Quests - theatrical set of a harry potter styled room, shelves with potions and a girl wearing robes holding an owl

© Enigma Quests

Moonshine Saloon

Howdy, outlaw. Wanna swing open the doors to the Moonshine Saloon and try your luck in the illicit liquor game? This is essentially a fun cocktail tasting session but set within a Wild West-themed immersive theatre experience, where you and your friends become bootleggers making your own moonshine in this undercover saloon. Challenge the locals to a card or dice game, and watch out for the Sheriff who’ll come sniffing around, as you grab your own piece of Clyde Cassidy’s moonshine empire.

As an extra add-on, individuals can be assigned a character - the deputy sheriff, mayor or brothel keeper - to really get into things. Throughout the experience, world-class bartenders will combine your “illicitly smuggled liquor” (your own-brought choice of spirit) with fancy ingredients to create four rounds of classic or contemporary cocktails. It’s a whole new take on ‘BYO’.

There is no minimum or maximum group size booking requirement, but (obviously) anyone joining this liquor racket must be 18 years or over.

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Must-try immersive experiences in London - Moonshine Saloon - group of friends wearing cowgirl outfits taking a Selfie

© Moonshine Saloon

The Gunpowder Plot

It’s 1605 and you’re on an undercover mission – liaise with spies, escape the Tower and uncover a secret safehouse, but can you stop the plot?

This multi-layered experience, in a purpose-built theatre space just over the City boundary at Tower Vaults, invites you to step inside history’s most daring conspiracy – and stop for an interval drink at the Drake & Duck (pretty sure Guy Fawkes didn’t do that).

Combining live theatre and digital technology, you and your co-conspirators will inhabit the world of Fawkes (played by Tom Fenton in the digital cast) and his fellow plotters. Special effects and motion simulators promise an all-encompassing sensory experience that may leave you needing another drink when you emerge blinking and confused into the daylight of current-day London.

You don’t have to rally your mates to join in – you can purchase from one to 16 tickets, or explore the corporate hire options. It's rated a 12A so not recommended for under 12s, and children aged 12-15 years will need to be accompanied by an adult.

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Must-try immersive experiences in London - thegunpowderplot - man with gunppowder on his face looking scared against a stone wall lit by a lantern