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:|
Westminster Bridge Rd
|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.|
|Price:||From £19.95, combined entry to other Merlin attractions from £39, VIP tickets from £65.|
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Average User Rating
3.1 / 5
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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.
Great fun! Booked online priority tickets cheaper and faster entry. Very mont pytrhon funny with some clever jumpy bits