[updated December 2021]
Looking for immersive experiences in London? Well, good, because I’m a London immersive experience expert. Whenever an immersive experience launches in London, I’m there no matter how weird it is.
Below London’s best immersive experiences that I have tried and tested, organised by type. This article gets updated regularly, check the last published date for the latest update time.
LONDON’S FESTIVE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
London’s immersive experiences that pop-up around the holiday season.
Lightopia is an award-winning and visually spectacular lantern and light festival. I visited when it was last on and loved it so I’m repeating this year. The trail is full of beautiful and colourful lanterns across a London park, this time it’s Crystal Palace Park’s turn and I’m so ready for it! For both kids and adults. Book it here.
The Great Feast
The Great Feast is a new food and music festival which features Michelin-starred plates, creative cocktails, decadent desserts, live music and a special immersive tasting experience. You can buy an entry ticket which includes a welcome cocktail, or go full on with a tasting experience, or simply focus on their immersive experience called Joyride. It depends how hungry a person you are! Book it here.
LONDON’S ALL-ENCOMPASSING IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
London’s immersive experiences where it’s about the experience itself rather than the drinks or food (even if they are available).
Army of The Dead – Viva Las Vengeance
Zombies in Westfield? The Westfield in Sheperds Bush has been invaded! Viva Las Vengeance is an immersive VR experience unlike others. After being checked-in you’ll join the Viva Las Vengeance crew to shoot the ‘shamblers’ (their name for zombies) from a truck. It’s a super realistic experience as the truck within the VR looks exactly the same as the truck you are in, the gun is heavy and you can see your hands as well as your team if you look around you. Plus, the entire venue is excelently decorated to get you in the a proper (zombie) mood. Book it here.
Concerts illuminated by candlelight? I’m definitely in! Fever has recently launched Candlelight, affordable and intimate concerts performed by live musicians in some of the most iconic venues in London that transport you to a fairytale. I had the chance to attend a concert in the beautiful conservatory in Syon Park to listen to City String Ensemble play Movie Soundtrack Disney classics, and I might have shed a tear or two. Book it here.
EULOGY by DARKFIELD
DARKFIELD create immersive experiences at the forefront of technology and theatre. As their name implies, most of their experiences involve being completely in the dark with binaural sound headphones, as well as movement to help ignite your other senses (touch, smell) and in turn your imagination. Their latest show is EULOGY which is available to book now across the UK. If you miss it, they have also create Darkfield Radio which allows you to enjoy their productions from home. Book it here.
Dr Who Time Fracture
Dr Who Time fracture is a ground breaking experience that transports you to the universe of Dr Who. You are commanded to fix a time fracture and save the world. During the experience you’ll be transported through multiple rooms with movie like production value and invited to solve different challenges by actors. It’s a bit of a chose-your-own-adventure setting as you decide who to engage with and when. No Dr Who experience required to have fun, and drinks available if you want to relax a bit from saving the world. It’s running until April 2022. Book it here.
Electric Gamebox is an immersive, digital adventure you can try with friends. The experience consists in stepping into the Gamebox: a fully-private, interactive digital room featuring projection mapping, touch screens, motion tracking and surround sound to enjoy a hyper-immersive 60 minute adventure. It is unlike any other immersive gaming experiences I’ve tried! The available change all the time, and new are launched pretty frequently which is great because you’ll want to come back for sure. Book it here.
Money Heist: The Experience is a first-person immersive heist on an international scale. In this new adventure, you will take part in a heist on one of the most emblematic locations in London. It all starts in an auction and gets, well, complicated. Let’s say you’ll end up in a red jumpsuit amongst criminals! Its lots of fun. Book it here.
Murder Mystery: Murder on the Undeground
Fancy a bit of detective work? Help Detective Rutherford find the murderer of London’s Postal Museum manager… in the actual Postal Museum! You’ll get to interview suspects and ride the postal train in the process. I say this immersive activity is the perfect mid week entertainment and a must for those who love to get involved. Book it here.
meetspaceVR is one of the world’s greatest VR experiences and much unlike any I’ve been before. It involves a free roam multi-player experience. You can bring up to 8 friends, put on your kits and kill Zombies or save a spaceship from enemies. Because the room where everything happens is huge you can roam and walk around which makes it even more immersive than other VR experiences available in London. All you need to worry about is having fun (and not bumping into the walls!). Book it here.
Otherworld is a virtual reality immersive experience where you step into a beautiful parallel world, an island. In this world you can choose any from sixteen very fun VR experiences. And it’s 4D which means you’ll be able to feel the heat from the sun was you emerge from a cave, or the wind as you gush down a tunnel. Once you are done adventuring, you can enjoy one of their exotic cocktails in a futuristic setting. Book it here.
The mother of immersive experiences in London, Secret Cinema was founded in 2007 and specialises in immersive theatrical experiences based on film and television, combining film screenings with interactive performances in purpose-built bespoke sets. In simpler terms, imagine being able to step into your favourite film, to interact with the characters, dressed as one of them and hence becoming part of the story yourself. That’s Secret Cinema! It has been held on movies like Back to the Future, Star Wars, Casino Royale and currently, on Stranger Things. Book it here.
The Drop by Swamp Motel
The Drop is an interactive, immersive escape experience from award-winning entertainment company Swamp Motel. Your experience starts as soon as you enter the reception of Hopkins Stearne offices and step into a lift, you and your private group become the main actors in an intriguing story of betrayal, solving puzzles to escape and retrieve a long lost book. What I loved about The Drop is that each experience is unique, and it takes place in multiple venues, making it truly immersive. Book it here.
The Great Gatsby
From Olivier Award winning producers, London’s longest running immersive theatre production The Great Gatsby is now playing in the West End. In this immersive play, Jay Gatsby invites you to one of his infamous parties. Learn more here.
LONDON’S COCKTAIL IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
London’s immersive experiences where you drink delicious cocktails while you have immersive fun!
ABQ is the immersive experience where you prepare and drink molecular cocktails from an RV dressed in a hazmat suit. Did it take you back to Breaking Bad? Well it’s on purpose. Learn more here.
This cocktail immersive experience has been around for a long while, and it’s now open in two London locations: Shoreditch & Covent Garden. Drink cocktails from a prison cell with your in-mates (pun intended). You need to sneak in your own booze thought, past the warden. Book Alcotraz here.
Cahoots it’s a 1946 tube-themed cocktail bar, so get ready for some underground fun! It’s also been around for a while but has only more recently expanded its usual venue to include a Tickets Hall & Control Room, for more fun. Learn more about Cahoots here.
To all the cowboys out there, Moonshine Saloon is where you get to drink delicious cocktails in a Wild West Saloon. You’ll have a cowboy hat and jacket, obvs, and you need to bring your own liquor. Just make sure the sheriff doesn’t find out. Learn more here.
Are you into solving cryptic missions? The Bletchley involves drinking cocktails while solving secret missions, and de-coding encrypted messages even using an enigma machine! Warning: you’ll need to defuse a bomb. Learn more here.
In The Cauldron you become a wizard in an immersive & interactive potions class where you make “magic” cocktails using a cauldron and a magic wand with special properties (and cough cough, science). Harry Potter fan or not, you’ll love it! Learn more here.
LONDON’S DINING IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
London’s immersive experiences where multi-course dining is part of the experience to spark all the senses!
Dans Le Noir
In Dans Le Noir you enjoy a multi-course dinner in the dark. Yes, pitch black, probably the darkest dark you have ever been in. It’s something I believe everyone should do at least once, it’s an unforgettable experience, which simply can’t be explained. You need to experience it yourself! There are various menu choices available, with or without wine pairing. Book it here.
Renowned immersive dining venue The Vaults is bringing us a new exciting show this autumn! Mulan Rouge sees Mulan and Moulin Rouge collide to create a drag-tastic parody performance, fuelled with comedy, burlesque and a four-course feast. You will see gender walls taken down, eat delicious food and have lots and lots of fun! Book it here.
The Murdér Express
Now reopened and Covid safe! Travel to Pedley Street Station and hop into The Murdér Express for a train journey and delicious 4-course meal while you also work on solving a murder that happens on board. This London immersive dining experience is funny, exquisite and loads of fun. Book it here.
PAST LONDON IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES
A section dedicated to London’s immersive experiences that no longer are. I love to keep a record for my own sake!
ECHOES by Colab Theatre
The renowned immersive experience company Colab Theatre is back this year with a new horror experience! If you love a horror production and a bit of a scare (a small scare, not a huge scare, don’t worry!) then you’ll love Echoes. You’ll have to do some detective work, and fetching of items in a dark basement though… steering clear from a ghost, that is. The acting is impeccable! Book it here.
Journey At Chelsea Funhouse
Journey at Chelsea Funhouse was an immersive restaurant set to take you on a taste and flavour voyage through different parts of the world. The concept was based around a 2hr food and drink tasting experience with flavours inspired by famous journeys and routes around the globe.
Journey to the Underworld
Similar to The Murdér Express, Journey to the Underworld was an immersive dining experience where you hopped into a train while enjoying delicious food. But the train went somewhere rather daunting: the Underworld. Learn more here.
Lightopia aimed to transport visitors into a different world of expression with an impressive collection of handmade Chinese lanterns, extraordinary projection mapping and interactive pieces. Learn more here.
Situated at Hoxton Docks, Lost Origin was a mixed-reality experience in which participants explored parallel worlds, uncovered vital evidence and discovered intriguing secrets. The experience was extremely fun and one-of-it’s-kind given how it integrated augmented reality. The production values were some of the best I have ever seen in the immersive industry for the short period of time it ran. Learn more here.
In this experience you could listen to Vincent Van Gogh speaking directly to you and learn about his hope, his despair, his inspiration and his friendships in a magical and emotional journey through his life. The experience spoke to all of your senses. Touching everything was not only allowed but encouraged.
Pirates of the Hidden Spirit
Drinking cocktails in a real boat docked somewhere in central London dressed as a pirate. Didn’t think that was possible? Well in London it was! Learn more here.
The Grand Expedition
Gingerline’s The Grand Expedition was an unmissable 5-course, culinary journey around the world. It’s a fusion of live animation, dance display, flavoursome delights and exquisite set design. Might be hard to believe, but this experience happened within one room, with performances, interactions and animations all around you. Learn more here.
Described as “an immersive Black Mirror/Dystopia inspired escape experience”, The Grid was an immersive cocktail experience combined with an escape room. Learn more here.
The Little Mermaid Cocktail Experience
The Little Mermaid was a production by Fever, where you got to relive the world known in a theatrical cocktail experience. Fever had a modern (and fun!) take on Hans Christian Andersen story as well as amazing actors, singing, delicious cocktails and an unforgettable wardrobe. Learn more here.
The Medieval Banquet Experience
One of the most fun immersive experiences I’ve been to, The Medieval Banquet Experience had you sitting in a long table in medieval attire while you ate, drank and acted as if you were in medieval times; cheering up the multiple performances occurring through the evening. On top of the drinking and eating, there was dancing and singing involved.
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