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A prop at Escape Hunt escape game in Birmingham
Photograph: Ant Jones Photography, courtesy Escape Hunt

The 5 best escape rooms in Birmingham

Feeling brave? Get the ultimate adrenaline rush at one of the best escape rooms in Birmingham

Huw Oliver
Written by
Alex Plant
&
Huw Oliver
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Sixty minutes on the clock. One way out. Dozens of puzzles in the way. Like many of us, Birmingham has gone mad for escape games. So much so that it can be hard choosing which is most up your street – or most doable. To give you that helping hand, we’ve picked out five of the very best. Escape rooms in Birmingham are diverse to say the least, and so our favourites will take you everywhere from the WWII battlefields to 1930s Brum to a space station (thank you, VR). Got a little giddy? Once you’ve broken out, cool off with a drink at one of the best Birmingham bars or pig out on a hearty meal at one of the best restaurants in Birmingham.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Birmingham

Best escape rooms in Birmingham

The one for horror fans

One of my earliest childhood memories is getting trapped in a shop elevator because I wasn’t tall enough to reach the buttons. This trauma was lodged firmly in my mind as I was separated from my teammate upon boarding The Hellevator at Clue HQ and we became the stars of our own kitschy horror gameshow. Imagine ‘Saw’ meets ‘Fort Boyard’, but set in a lift. Each puzzle we cracked got us a little closer to our goal (the thirteenth floor) and thanks to nifty technology, the game was as thrilling as it was challenging.

Arches 20 and 21, Lionel St. St Chad’s. From £15 per player.

The one to win the war

International mega-franchise Escape Hunt certainly offers Birmingham’s slickest escape experience. Their gorgeous lobby and professional hosts put me at ease before we attempted Our Finest Hour – a nail-bitingly tense experience in a WWII bunker, where the aim is to foil a Nazi nuclear plot. The quality props (including an impressive replica of Alan Turing’s Bombe machine) and lack of a visible timer in the room heightened the atmosphere. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my finest hour: amid all the clever-clogs-codebreaking I seemingly lost the ability to notice an obvious keyhole in a door, much to my teammate’s chagrin.

120-122 Corporation St. Bull St. £25 per player.

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The one for aspiring detectives

Upon stepping into Dr Wilson’s Office at Escape Live we were immediately transported back to 1930s Birmingham. The absent Dr Wilson (think Brum’s answer to Sherlock Holmes) had left behind a breadcrumb trail of clues to help us identify a murderer. There were red herrings, hidden rooms and padlocks galore – but the highlight was getting to ask the good doctor for a hint via an old-timey phone mounted on the wall.

Arch 39, Henrietta St. St Paul’s. £22 per player.

The one for adventurers

Broad Street seems an unlikely location for a last crusade, yet up we strolled to try Birmingham’s newest escape room. Boasting minimal padlocks, a cunning variety of ‘Crystal Maze’-esque puzzles and some devilish surprises (beware the ‘dog’), Quest for the Grail at Grand Escape made me feel like a cross between Indiana Jones, Tom Hanks from ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and an idiot who doesn’t check open barrels thoroughly enough. I couldn’t resist putting on the ceremonial templar robes and knightly garb found in the room.

96 Broad St. Five Ways rail. £16 per player.

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The VR one

My days of virtual reality scepticism are over: Cosmos at Exciting Game is an absolute blast. Equipped with VR headsets, we became androids on a deserted space station, fixing a broken generator, shooting at naughty robots and navigating zero gravity. Whether you manage to escape the void of deep space or not, watching your teammates float by upside down as they try to figure out the flight controls is hilarious.

63 Great Hampton St. Jewellery Quarter. £25 per player.

Where better to be free as a bee?

The 20 best things to do in Birmingham right now
  • Things to do

To really learn about the city’s historic manufacturing neighbourhoods, inspired inventions and great sporting achievements, you’ll have to go exploring. Which is why we’ve put together this handy bucket-list guide.

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