The London Dungeon

Attractions South Bank
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(10 user reviews)
10 Love It
Save it
1/2
2/2

Tales of murder, torture and other foul deeds are brought to life on a tour of London’s horrible past in scary but seriously funny style

After 40 years located under the railway arches on Tooley Street, The London Dungeon moved to its new home on the South Bank in 2013, and yet, as you walk through the dark, dingy cobbled stone ‘alleyway’ entrance to the London Dungeon, with the smell of (real, caged) rats around you, it’s easy to imagine this stinking place really has been scaring the jeepers out of visitors for centuries.

The experience is designed as a 90-minute walk through a living museum telling stories based on London’s more horrible historic moments. So, while it’s a hugely popular place to visit with mates over Halloween, you won’t find a single ghost here. Instead, a cast of actors lead you through brilliantly created sets, engaging you in tales of nasty kings, plague-ridden homes, torture, murder and terror.

Take a boat ride to the Tower just as ‘traitors’ did during Henry VIII’s reign, hear the inside story on the Gunpowder Plot from Guy Fawkes himself, step into London during the plague and walk the streets stalked by Jack the Ripper. In all, the tour includes 18 different interactive shows, told at a pacey rate to keep your adrenalin pumping.

The costumes, sets and makeup are first class (those puss-filled spots on the peasants are particularly impressive), but it’s the tightly scripted, often funny performances of your hosts and the clever use of sounds, shadows and smells that fuel your fear at the London Dungeon. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one screaming when something leaps out of the corner.

There isn’t an age limit, but it’s recommended for ages 12-plus and younger children would find it hard going. But even if you’re an adult who doesn’t fancy the boat ride or the sudden drop at the hangman’s finale, you can duck out at key points in the tour and meet your mates on the other side, so to speak.

Venue name: The London Dungeon
Contact:
Address: County Hall
Westminster Bridge Rd
London
SE1 7PB
Opening hours: Mon–Wed, Fri 10am–5pm, Thu 11am–5pm, Sat and Sun 10am–6pm. Opening hours vary in school holidays, check website for updates.
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: From £19.95, combined entry to other Merlin attractions from £39, VIP tickets from £65.
Do you own this business?

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:2
LiveReviews|10
2 people listening
Kirsty E
Tastemaker

For years I walked past this attraction on my way home from work when it was housed in Tooley Street under London Bridge station. It had a sort of eerie lure about it and the location seemed fitting for an ancient dungeon.

Since moving to its new home I feel that it has lost a little of this atmosphere. It doesn't seem quite as spookily enticing in County Hall on the South Bank!

However, once inside, the attraction packs the same thrills as it previously did. It is part walk through, part ride, part live action and each individual aspect is done well. The actors are great, sometimes terrifying, sometimes humorous, and the costumes are very realistic. The drop ride is fun, as is the boat trip although not particularly scary. Worth a visit with pre-teen children. Any older may not be so impressed.

Ladyvp
Tastemaker

This is a good attraction for children but for adults I think it can be a bit juvenile. 

mcuttle
Tastemaker

This attraction is pretty much a remixed version of the one that was at Tooley Street London Bridge for so many years. Now it's on the Southbank in County Hall near Waterloo and it delivers a similar experience. Telling tales of Jack The Ripper, Sweeney Todd, The Plague, Torture and Guy Fawkes amongst others, you'll be led through a disorienting maze of corridors by actors who set the scene. A mix of jump scares, humour, special effects and a couple of rides await (a dark boat ride and a sudden drop in the 'hangman's noose'). You don't have to go on either of these rides if you're of a nervous disposition. It's fun, and this time you don't get spat out into the gift shop, but into the London Dungeon tavern where you can enjoy a soft or alcoholic drink in exchange for a token you are given which is a much better way to end the experience.

Ros A
Tastemaker

Mixed reviews on this but my goddaughter was desperate to go. First things first - it's not at London Bridge anymore! It's on the Southbank, next to the London Eye and the aquarium. You can book tickets online and skip the queues - well worth doing. It's predominantly a walking tour although there is a small amount on an underground boat and a section in a lift which drops you down a metre or two. My goddaughter (aged 13) found it pretty scary and actually so did I at times - lots of scary looking folk lurking around and plenty of being stranded in the absolute pitch black while you wait for something scary to happen. It takes around 1.5 to 2 hours but it's a great spot for a rainy day or with teenagers and it also tells you a bit of London history too. 

GeorgeX
Tastemaker

Please be aware - this is not for adults. I thought I would go to have some fun with friends but it was too childish. Not scary at all. Great for children up to 13years old to learn about London's history. Even the fast-falling-down ride at the end was too childish - expensive attraction for no reason...

Charly Lester
Staff Writer

Really good fun, for all ages.  I went on a first date, and it was a great ice-breaker.  Yes, it's touristy, but sometimes it's nice to be a tourist in your own city! A great day out for older children, and a fun escape from reality for adults.


Charly Lester - Time Out Head of Dating

Sam

I never bothered visiting the old Dungeons in the past after hearing some pretty rotten reviews about them, so imagine my surprise at thoroughly enjoying our visit to the new site yesterday (02/03/2014)! I went with a friend from out of town and we had a good laugh: the whole experience was much better than I was expecting. Of the characters, I was especially fond of the judge and his slightly unhinged clerk ("Coming, Duchess!), Mary Jane Kelly and Mrs Lovett/Sweeny Todd’s stammering and terrified assistant. The disappearing/reappearing landlady of the Ten Bells pub was cleverly done and of the projections, I enjoyed the two plague-ridden corpses bickering in their coffins the best. The interaction between the characters and the “prisoners” (namely us) was fun: cheesy in a darkly humorous way (if you subscribe to gallows humour, you’ll most likely enjoy this) and the costumes and make up were great. The majority of the actors exceeded my expectations (Mary Jane Kelly and the Judge and his nutty clerk were especially good). The executioner’s drop at the end had us shrieking with pleasure and terror. My only criticisms were that the demarcated queuing area (just as you come in, to the left) was in desperate need of better lighting - it was so dark, I had to use my iTorch to guide me through without walking into the chains. Also, the second half of the boat ride was underwhelming. However, despite that, everything ran smoothly and it was obvious that a lot of thought and planning had gone into designing and setting up the venue. All in all, it was a fun hour and a half (or thereabouts) being guided through the underbelly of London’s dark history. I’d recommend booking online in advance - we did and avoided the ever-growing queue waiting outside in the cold.

Pat Young

Way too expensive for a predictable, cheesy experience. Save your money for the Imax instead.

tom

Great fun! Booked online priority tickets cheaper and faster entry. Very mont pytrhon funny with some clever jumpy bits