London is not just a great place to see old buildings and witness centuries-old traditions (although it’s great for that too) it’s also a fantastic city for trying out all number of weird and wacky activities. Ever wanted to have a drink in a prison bar or have a go at axe-throwing? Prepare to think outside-the-box with your afternoon and throw caution (or an axe) to your morning, here are our city cheats of London’s quirkiest past-times.
Handel Business Centre
Nearest tube: Vauxhall
Yes, this really is exactly what it sounds like. After a thorough safety briefing, instructors teach you how throw like a boss and then you are free to chuck axes at a target to heart’s content. Axe-throwing is a head-to-head game and so your booking includes as many as 4 lanes with a maximum of 3 people in each so you compete against your friends. The venue has non-alcoholic drinks and crisps available but there are plenty of places to have something to eat or an alcoholic drink after (definitely, after!). Embrace your inner lumberjack and try axe-throwing for an adrenaline-filled, unusual and exciting afternoon.
212 Brick Lane
Nearest tube: Bethnal Green
Welcome to the Shoreditch version of infamous island-prison, Alcatraz. Don’t expect a drinks menu, this is prison, where everything is DIY and nothing is beyond the watchful gaze of the prison warden. Prepare to play along with the prison guards (all actors) who pretend to look for your contraband booze when really, they’re the experts at keeping it safe. For the price of the evening, and if you manage to sneak your bottle in past the guards, you’ll don an orange onesie, enjoy delicious hand-crafted cocktails and be fully immersed in the prison experience. Expect to be quoted the bible at and told to hand over your illegal liquor (don’t worry you won’t really have to) while you sit in a cell with your other ‘inmates’. It might sound gimmicky but the expert cocktail-making skills of the barmen and the fun environment created by the actors make this an oddly enjoyable evening.
The London Shuffle Board Club
4 Ebor Street
Nearest tube: Liverpool Street
After a hugely successful series of pop-ups in the Truman Brewery the London Shuffle Board Club has found a permanent home in Shoreditch. Opening today (4th July) the shuffle board movement has been described as both ‘horribly addictive’ and ‘highly competitive’. A hybrid between curling and bowling, shuffle board is one of the oldest and most underrated nights out there is. At this trendy East London location you can enjoy street-food from pizza-joint Voodoo Rays, falafel from Falafelicious, retro cocktails, craft beers and a good-old game of shuffle. Book a board and you’ll be given the option of playing with a classic or a snap-back version. You can also book a floor, a new updated version of the traditional board game. And with an outdoor terrace it’s the perfect spot for a summer evening, with a difference.
Crystal Maze LIVE
10-14 White Lion Street
Nearest tube: Angel
Start the fans and engage your brain, this is Crystal Maze, live! With a team of friends, colleagues or complete strangers you can be part of that epic 90s cult TV show. All the hallmarks of the much-loved show are there to enjoy, (except unfortunately, the original host Richard O’Brien). The experience lasts just over an hour and includes four themed zones of mental and physical challenges, Industrial, Aztec, Medieval and Futuristic. If you succeed in these tasks you’ll be taken to, drumroll, the Crystal Dome, where you’ll be grabbing gold tokens (not money) in the final round. Booking is essential and can be done through their website, here.
Two ‘mysterious’ locations in Shadwell and Shepherd’s Bush
Escape London hosts escape events across two London locations with varying themes. Harry Potter fan? You’ll love immersing yourself in the school of witchcraft and wizardry. Try to escape the evil professor and graduate with distinction by completing challenges, performing spells and playing some tricks!
If you’re after something a little more ‘Taken’ and a little less ‘Harry Potter’ try out the Taken room, also in Shadwell. Imagine your friend has been kidnapped and has been missing for days. You attempt to find the missing CCTV, discover the secret lair of the captors and potentially, much worse. This one is not for the faint-hearted, or the Under 18s!
Planning another night in the beer garden now? Surely not! Let us know what you’ve tried out this month in the comments below!