The London Dungeon

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The London Dungeon
Enter the Victorian railway arches of London Bridge for this jokey celebration of torture, death and disease. Visitors are led through a dry- ice fog past gravestones and hideously rotting corpses to experience nasty symptoms from the Great Plague exhibition: an actor-led medley of corpses, boils, projectile vomiting, worm-filled skulls and scuttling rats. The death-dealing exploits of Bloody Mary are explored alongside those of Sweeney Todd and the Ripper. 'Extremis: Drop Ride to Doom' re-enacts an execution – with you as victim. Note that the London Dungeon is unsuitable for young or easily scared children. The London Dungeoun will close in this location on January 31 2013 and reopen in Country Hall on the Southbank on March 1.


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2.5 / 5

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I went to LDs this weekend for the 1st time and was pretty disappointed. I’m sorry if that’s a slap in the face to anyone that worked on the refurb + move from London Bridge area to Southbank, but it was a bit of a let-down for something *so* relaunched. My girlfriend had told me that it used to be pretty scary so with the refurb it was destined to be good. We’re 30 and 32 and although we weren’t expecting to be Horror-Film-rated-18’d out of our wits, it’s pretty obvious they’ve watered it down depressingly to the tourists-with-2-kids-market… We paid the extra to get the pre-booked, no-queue tickets, but this just gets you in the front doors, skipping the externally visible queue. Once you’re inside, there’s still a whole other queue to get through = total con. Once we were through that, the first ride / boat-part broke down. Then I’d say one third of the rooms you go into are now voiced / manned by 3d-projector faces rather than actors or staff. So that’s a big interactive part gone. Whereas before you were apparently allowed to walk your own way round, now you are ushered from room to room, presumably so they can start the next group in, literally one room behind you. The actors they have there are all pretty good, there are some kinda freaky parts to it, and if you’re a Londoner, it’s quite interesting to recall that there is more to the city than bailed out banks ;) BUT… Not to get too ranty. If you’re charging £25 entry for something, billing it as a premium attraction, you need to make sure you’re creating an experience where people come out saying “Yes, it’s a lot of money, but WOW, it was so much fun!”. They could’ve had a thing where you stand in front of a camera and it projects your face onto a rotting-in-the-towers, 3d body/face thing – or where the GIF file of it can be sent to your iPhone, or something; Even some props you could mess around with and take snaps with? The two parts you COULD do that on were £10-each prints, all other photography was banned. They could’ve had one of their actor staff/people planted in the group and then be dragged off by Jack The Ripper. Simple ideas, but none of that was there. Instead what you get is the same idea as before, but waaaaay diluted so it doesnt scare the kids off. To me it smacks of venture capitalist involvement. Someone saw it in a bad state, invested in it, wanted a guaranteed return so they broadened it out to the family friendly concepts. And in doing that they’ve kinda ruined it? Verdict: If you’re looking for somewhere to take a couple of kids and you’re genuinely stuck for things to do, AND you can afford it, then maybe give it a shot. The kids in our group seemed to enjoy it. But if you’re about to book as a date / adults trying something a bit different, paying £25 each, hoping for an exhilerating, frightening, premium-attraction thrill-ride… give it a miss. The experience is worth about £12, I’d say. Even that’s generous.


I used to go here back in the early 1990s when it was an educational museum. When I took my teenage son here, a couple of years ago, I was utterly shocked at it's transformation! I didn't do anything through the whole tour, but apologizing to my son for having taken him to such a ghastly place. The entrance fee's shocking inflation should have been an indication that something had happened to the museum. As it was, the museum is a complete joke and an insult. You are forced to be photographed, being beheaded, which angered me since I had been queuing for a long time with a big pregnant belly and needed a loo desperately. You had to go to the photo studio first of all, in the dark, running in to chains which hurt my belly too, and they would not let me go to the loo, before the photo was taken. After an hour of the silliest displays and "acting", one ends up in the shop wondering what happened. There were some signs to read but a candle far away from the signs, were not sufficient lighting, besides, you are chased from room to room by screaming poor "actors" and then shoved on to a "train". This is as low as it can get. If I want this, I can go to the haunted house at Disneyland. They do it better!