The Escape Key, Newcastle is a unique escape room which you have to try. Mixing history with puzzle solving it is great way to spend a night with friends.
Trying an escape room has been on my bucket list for a while. When I got an invitation to try out The Escape Key I quickly got some friends together to come along. Find out if we escaped and what we thought of the experience.
Escape rooms are the latest craze to hit the UK. You need to work with a crowd of friends to solve puzzles, find clues and escape from a locked room. We had visions of climbing walls and other strenuous activities so came appropriately dressed with trainers. Fortunately the puzzles are more of the mental kind.
The Escape Key is in the centre of Newcastle, near Gallowgate on St Andrew’s Street. It is directly opposite the Newcastle Arms. Climbing the stairs to the Escape Key, lyrics from songs sprang from the walls. “Please release me” had us wondering if we were going to escape or if we would meet a certain doom.
The Escape Key is on the second and third floor of the building. The escape theme continues in the reception area. A comfy sofa allows you to sit in comfort during the introduction to the game. There are plenty of fidget puzzles and riddles set up on the table so you have things to do while you wait. for the game to start. There were also some sweets which I am afraid did not last long.
Escape Key is unique as it is within the Gallowgate area of Newcastle. Now known for football, in the past the town gibbet stood here and many hangings took place. The windows of the Escape Key overlook St Andrew’s church, the oldest church in Newcastle. This has a unique history which provides inspiration for the escape rooms.
Escape Key offers three escape room experiences, Witch, Plague and Armageddon. We choose to try the Witch room. Martin, the owner sat us down and gave a quick introduction.
Going back in time to 1650’s Newcastle after the end of the English Civil War. A Puritan council stood in Newcastle and fear of witchcraft was rife. If something bad happened you would look for the witch to blame. Witch trials and witch hangings were rife. Watching a film we learn more about the fascinating history of the witch trials and hangings that occurred near this site.
Then it happened, the accusation of witchcraft. It turns out two of our party were witches! They were found guilty and sent to gaol. The rest of us got visiting rights and were locked next to them for an hour. Could we free them and ourselves before we were hung? The clock began to tick.
Inside the witch room it was really atmospheric. It was dark and we had torches to help us see. On one side we had the gaol cell and we could talk to our friends through the bars. On the walls were strange symbols and behind us we could see Gallowgate.
There is a good range of puzzles to solve, none of which were obvious.We really had to think and work together to get the answers. You need to be observant because anything could be a clue. If you need a hint you can shout out or ring a large bell and Martin will give you a clue.
There is a good mix of puzzles which need different skills, some are creative, some mathematical and all follow the witch theme. We found that all our team members had different strengths allowing us to work through the puzzles. Eventually we got our friends out of gaol and just when we thought we were nearly finished we found another room.
We did manage to escape with three minutes to spare! We didn’t make the leader board but we were happy to escape with our lives intact. The hour went really quickly and we were never short of things to do.
We had a great time at the Escape Key and can’t wait to go back and try another room. The way the concept of the room is merged with actual historic events that happened nearby is fascinating. It must have taken a lot of time to research the details.
Entering the room you get a real sense of being back in the past. The challenges have been well thought out to go along with the theme. Each task is different and once you complete one you don’t have time to stop and think before moving on to the next one.
An escape room is a fabulous way to spend an evening with friends and The Escape Key have manage to create something really special and unique.
Read more: A visit to Newcastle Castle
The Escape Key recommend that you have six people in your group for the best experience but smaller and larger groups can also take part. The price varies depending on the number of people in the group. It costs slightly more on a weekend. The maximum cost is £99 for six people at the weekend which at £16.50 per person makes a great value night out.
The Escape Key Ltd.
60-62 St. Andrew’s Street,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
Phone: 07837588661 / 0191 468 2068
Have you been to an Escape Room? What did you think? Let me know below.
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