From lockdown to locked-up.
After countless days staying indoors, we’re all in need of an escape away home. It might not be a holiday abroad but how about an escape from a prison cell instead? OK, so prison doesn’t necessarily sound like a place you particularly want to visit but hear us out. This prison south of Bristol is full of exciting history and hopefully from May 17 onwards it will be back open to the public to explore as part of an escape room experience.
What was once the County Gaol, Shepton Mallet Prison near Wells now offers a range of activities for you to get involved in- but they’re probably not for the faint-hearted. Here you can take part in an immersive escape room experience by donning an orange jumpsuit and being locked away in a cell by a prison officer. The Cell Escape Room experience involves doing the time without having committed the crime. You must try to escape your cell within an hour by solving fun-filled, puzzle-based game- talk about nail-biting stuff!
For an even darker experience, Shepton Mallet Prison also plays host to The Hole Escape Room. The Hole is a specially designed unit built to hold the dregs of society and is deemed inescapable. Once inside cuffs, chains and hoods await you; prepare yourself for darkness.
From lockdown to locked-up, you can also take part in a Prison Break experience. On the second and fourth Saturday of every month from the 10th July onwards, visitors become prisoners and participate in an adrenaline-filled, large scale, immersive event, which also happens to be the world’s largest escape game.
The Prison Break event takes place in the expansive grounds of Shepton Mallet Prison and is packed full of challenges, puzzles, hidden clues, helpful prisoners and hindering officers. Participants can work alone or collaborate with others in order to find a way to escape from the prison wing and earn your way to freedom. Sadly, Michael Schofield from the American TV drama won’t be there to help but fingers crossed you get out and don’t caught…
If being locked in a cell isn’t your bag, Shepton Mallet Prison also offer guided tours (including ones in the dark) for you to discover the history of this old prison. You’ll find out about crime and punishment as far back as 1625 when the prison had its first inmates to getting to know some of the criminals who did time here, including the infamous London Gangsters, Ronnie and Reggie Kray.
You can also do a self-guided tour and you needn’t worry about roaming the building with real prisoners as luckily the prison was decommissioned back in 2013. And if that’s enough, Shepton Mallet Prison also gives you the chance to stay overnight behind bars or take part in paranormal investigations. For more information and to book tickets head to their website here.
Shepton Mallet Prison, Frithfield Lane, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 5LU