The London Dungeon – a great attraction for everyone
They say that in London you’re never further than 20 yards from a rat so why would you pay to actively seek some out? Well, a Rat Walk around the capital with a medieval rat catcher is just one of the many disgusting but entertaining family experiences at the London Dungeon.
This place can be an expensive day out if you just turn up on the day with the kids in tow but offers are often available online, for example you can get London Dungeons tickets which offer good savings on groups of up to six people.
Situated next to London Bridge underground station, the Dungeon has been scaring visitors since the 1970s and has evolved from a macabre museum into far more of an interactive experience, with increasingly elaborate rides, and actors in period costume now on hand to terrify both young and old. Indeed, it is worth nothing that the Dungeon is not suitable for all children – the attraction requires that all under-16s are accompanied by an adult – and particularly care should be taken if going with very young children. You’ll probably have a good idea of your own offspring’s gore threshold! For certain rides, such as the Vengeance 5D Laser Ride and Extremis, there is a minimum height requirement of 1.2m.
The Dungeon is designed to be toured in around 90 minutes and they do offer guided tours every seven minutes, which take in the 14 distinct sections of the attraction. From the crypt, you enter the Labyrinth of Lost Souls, a recreation of medieval maze-like streets where you’re never sure just what’s round the next corner.
The tour then takes in some of London’s darkest times and seediest characters. The terrors of the Great Plague and the Great Fire of London are followed by encounters with the likes of Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street whose victims ended up in pies, and Jack the Ripper, London’s most famous and mysterious serial killer.
The rides are probably the highlight of the tour and these include Traitor: Boat Ride to Hell, a kind of ghost train on water; Vengeance 5D, an assault on all your senses; and Extremis, where you are sentenced to death before being plunged 20ft down into darkness. These are definitely not for the faint-hearted or the very young but do lend a bit of excitement to a tour that is otherwise mainly aimed at children.
Mention must be made of the great actors that really do lift the experience. Despite having to perform their piece hour after hour, day after day, they really do it with enthusiasm and are great at getting everyone, including the children, involved. Just don’t be offended if they call you a witch or suggest that it looks like the rats have been at you.