Well, if ever there was a time to escape this reality for a jazzier, more exciting one, 2022 is the year to do it. Happily, London has a wealth of immersive experiences for you to tackle, and whether you’re whether you’re stepping inside Van Gogh’s paintings, solving the city’s mysteries with Sherlock, or diving into the world of Stranger Things, there are plenty of different worlds to explore! Here are the immersive experiences in London we reckon you’ve just got to try in 2022.
First up on this roundup of immersive experiences is a real humdinger. Keep an eye out for flickering lights, distorted walls and strange creeping tendrils this summer. A portal into 1985 Hawkins will be opening at Troubadour Brent Cross Studios in London and you can now get tickets for the immersive adventure. ‘Stranger Things: The Experience’ invites fans of the show to pull up their retro sports socks, steel their nerves and step through the screen to become part of the supernatural story. You’ll encounter fan-favourite characters, explore iconic sets, uncover hidden secrets and even tuck into some totally tubular themed food and drink. You can grab your tickets here.
Step into the works of Vincent Van Gogh at this truly breathtaking art experience, which uses state-of-the-art 360-degree video projection to bring the famed artist’s works to life. Ever wondered what it’d be like to look up at a Starry Night, or see the birds fly through Wheatfield with Crows? Well, you’ll be able to do just that at this incredible exhibition, which literally brings every brush stroke to life. Don’t miss out on the VR experience, either, which invites you to wander through Arles and see the inspiration for Van Gogh’s paintings unfold before you. It’s an entirely new way to experience art, and one of London’s finest immersive experiences. You can pick up your tickets here.
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Facing a crime wave, London needs the help of a certain ‘high-functioning sociopath.’ The only problem is, he’s gone missing, and the task of finding him has fallen to the heroes no-one expected: you lot. Across the course of a 90-minute game that’s been brought to life by the creators of the hit BBC show, you’ll hunt high and low for clues, and get help from some useful video snippets featuring the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Andrew Scott. You’ll also probably end up shouting ‘Elementary!’ a lot… Find your tickets here.
A spellbinding world of light, colour, and beauty awaits you when enjoying the paintings of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the powerhouse duo who inspired one another to become the two of most influential figures in Mexican art. Though their works naturally dazzle when seen on canvas, there’s now a whole new way to experience them as ‘Mexican Geniuses: A Frida & Diego Immersive Experience’ has officially opened its doors in London. With 360-degree projection technology and state-of-the-art sound systems, this captivating art exhibition will be a truly unforgettable affair. You can pick up your tickets here.
Once you’ve tackled the Sherlock live game, pop your feet up for a drink at The Mind Palace! This Sherlock inspired speakeasy is the perfect place for all drinking detectives. In The Case of the Poisoned Chalice, Sebastian Moran (Moriarty’s right-hand man) has brought you to The Mind Palace to test you… Can you defeat this maniac’s mind and make the perfect cocktail, or will you submit to his wiles and make a deadly drink? From the makers of Sherlock: The Game Is Now comes a new immersive gaming experience for those who like tricks and tipples. Book tickets here.
The year is 1937, the height of the British Empire. Britain’s most famous archaeologist, Dr Errol Earhart, has unearthed the world’s most valuable diamond, the Jewel of the Empire, which is being transported to the Von Cleethorpes estate via Pedley Street station’s Murdér Express. It’s not long before the diamond is missing, bodies are beginning to pile up and the clock is ticking to catch a killer and recover the ‘Jewel of the Empire’. But remember, all is not as it seems and everybody’s a suspect – even you! Aside from solving a murder mystery, you’ll also wine and dine with a a delicious four-course meal cooked by a BBC Masterchef professional. Hop on board here.
London’s infamous prison-themed cocktail experience Alcotraz is the perfect day out for daredevils. Hidden behind unassuming doors on Brick Lane, you’ll find ‘Alcotraz Penitentiary: Cell Block Two One Two’, a secret speakeasy-prison cell hosting some of Alcotraz’s longest-serving inmates. You and your fellow criminals will need to smuggle in liquor past the warden, to be used to make bespoke cocktails in your cell. Sipping cocktails has never felt so forbidden! Find your tickets here!
Cowboys and cowgirls, ramblers and gamblers, and all kinds of shady characters fill the Moonshine Saloon. Leave your morals at the door, because you’ll be operating away from the prying eyes of the Sheriff. Once you step off the street, you’ll enter a scarily real-looking Wild Western street, where the Saloon’s friendly tailor will kit you out with a Stetson hat and the rest of your cowboy gear. You’ll also need to BYOB to get a misty taste of moonshine, which the barkeeps will transform your booze into personalised cocktails, evoking a true taste of the Old West. Tickets can be found here.
Another great addition to this roundup of immersive experiences here. Enjoy a delicious six-course tasting menu on an decommissioned Victoria line Tube train, making for an evening like no other. It’s consuming over commuting in this unique dining experience, which features dishes inspired by the food heritage of Latin America. And don’t worry, this time, you’re guaranteed a seat! Book your spot here.
Klimt: The Immersive Exhibition will take many of the symbolist artist’s works and digitally project them from floor to ceiling, combining them with other immersive elements to provide visitors with a 360-degree look at his masterpieces. Arriving in the capital in July, the multi-sensory experience will provide insights into more than just the Austrian artist’s work; it will also chronicle his life, techniques and influences. A 10-minute virtual reality experience will take you through a day in Klimt’s life, and striking sound effects will bring the exhibit to life further. Book your tickets here.
By order of the Peaky Blinders, we are obliged to inform you of the latest immersive experience to hit London. The event promises to whisk guests away with a 360-degree theatre show set in the world of the stars of the show. There will be drinks, there will be dancing, and there will be scheming with the Peaky Blinders. Live actors (including Tommy Shelby played by Craig Hamilton) will take you through the show’s iconic settings, such as the betting shop in Small Health. You’ll take part in an important meeting at the warehouse of the Shelbys in Camden and, as you’ll often see in Peaky Blinders, kick back with a drink in the pub. But don’t get too comfortable, as you know some kind of trouble can always be around the corner… Find out more here.
Picture it; you’re wandering through Surrey Quays on a warm summer’s day when the burbling rush of cascading water, excited chatter of crowds and clinking of glasses pierces the everyday hum of the city. You follow the sounds to find Phantom Peak, a fully-realised town that has laid its buzzing, steampunk roots down in South East London. Answer the call of your curiosity and enter the gates to fill your day with exploratory boat rides, strolls along the waterway, delicious drinks on Main Street and plenty of exciting adventures. There is more than meets the eye at Phantom Peak. Don’t miss the irresistible chance to channel your inner detective by delving into intriguing enigmas and unearthing the sensational secrets of this mysterious town. Get your tickets here.
Journey back in time to experience London as it was in 1605, where you won’t just witness history, but live it on this next addition to our immersive experiences roundup. Using a combination of live, immersive theatre and the latest digital technology, be transported into the heart of a story in which you are the protagonist. Thrown into the world the plotters inhabited, and immersed in an environment that will ignite all five senses, experience the deception of your trusted collaborators first hand – all in the Tower of London. When surrounded by traitors, who will you trust? Join the experience here.
London, known as the true ‘city of spies’ has over 10,000 agents working in the capital. Have you ever wondered how it all started? Come along to this secret immersive experience, where all your questions can be answered! Hear tales of Elizabethan intrigue, the Cold War and more! You’ll learn about all the different spies, not forgetting Britain’s favourite of all – James Bond! This is a spy journey you do not want to miss out on. Created by an expert from the world of espionage and the British secret service, you will discover new facts that you will never forget! Get a hold of your tickets here.
Are you a history buff? Love immersive theatre? Fancy yourself as a bit of a whizz when it comes to cracking codes? If the answer is yes, yes and yes again, then ‘Operation Black Door’ must be your next group outing. Located at the Imperial War Museum’s Churchill War Rooms in Westminster, the experience is part immersive theatre, part escape room, and totally thrilling. You’ll follow one of five themed storylines, each linked to a skill required during wartime. You’ll be encouraged to crack codes, solve mysteries and uncover the stories hidden amidst the war rooms. Join the experience here.
Rounding off this list of immersive experiences is one to really remember. Get ready to feel all senses fired as you are transported to another world … when Martians invaded London in 1898 and very nearly won. the ‘War of the Worlds: Immersive Experience’ is a new, completely unique event where live actors, virtual reality, and sensational 5D effects place you INSIDE the action. Your journey begins in The Spirit of Man, a steampunk bar and restaurant on London’s Leadenhall Street… With journalist George Herbert as your guide, you’ll crawl, slide and weave your way through 24 extraordinary scenes, experiencing first hand the fear and destruction of the Martian invasion. You’ll visit the Royal Observatory, sneak into a deserted house, escape London by boat and even fly to Mars. Get on board here.
All our events are recommended by editors. Tickets purchased through Fever may earn Secret London commission.
Also published on Medium.