I’d been looking for something to do with kids in Cornwall this summer that wouldn’t require crazy queues and blue skies, and Cornwall’s Great Escape Rooms were just the ticket!
I’d never done an escape room before, but always wanted to give one a try, so when they got in touch about writing a review I was extremely excited for the challenge. It was also perfect timing because I planned to take my cousins (age 13 and 10) out that week and was on the hunt for something fun and different to do.
How do I get there?
Cornwall’s Great Escape Rooms are based down in Newlyn (a fishing harbour just next to Penzance). If you’re in Cornwall I’d definitely recommend making a day of it by visiting Penzance town or the beautiful St. Michael’s Mount and castle at Marazion, which are really close by.
The Rooms building itself is hidden away down a side street just off the main road in Newlyn, so I’d suggest having a good look at their directions page on their website to familiarise yourself with where it is, or just ask a friendly local in one of the fishmongers nearby!
You can park in the Duke Street council car park and it’s a short walk from there, but I’d recommend popping in to the public toilets on the harbour (opposite the car park) before heading in as they don’t have toilets on site.
How does it work?
I was completely new to escape rooms but our host, Michael, was super friendly and talked us through everything we needed to know!
Once you’ve booked a room on their website, you’ll need to arrive around 10-15 minutes early for your time slot so that you can be briefed on everything and ensure you start on time. You get 60 minutes to try and complete the room and get out, although if you arrive early they might let you have some extra time if you haven’t finished yet (they did this for us – which was perfect because we ended up completing it in 65 minutes!)
If you’re nervous about feeling ‘trapped’, don’t be! The room isn’t technically locked (you can get out at any point if you feel uncomfortable) and you have a walkie-talkie to keep in communication with your host if you need.
Once inside the room, there will be items in there with various locks and clues around you, so it takes a couple of minutes to get your bearings. Then, if you’re not sure where to start or what to do, you can contact your host via walkie-talkie and ask for a clue. A tube with your clue inside will then drop down from a chute and help you on your way.
What room options are there?
Cornwall’s Great Escape Rooms currently have 3 different options to try:
- The Secrets Aboard the Jolly Roger (this is the one we did!), which is suitable for ages 7+ and rated 4/5 for difficulty. You can make it easier by simply asking for more clues, so it’s great for any age, and obviously the pirate theme is very suitable for a harbour-side location. The aim is to find the scroll with a map to the lost city of Atlantis! Once you find the scroll, the game is complete.
- The Family Business (for age 12+). This is a room more suitable for adults and more experienced escape room-ers. It sounds great and I’m definitely keen to try this one soon too!
- The Quest for the Serpent Staff (for age 6+ and rated difficulty 3/5). This escape room is actually hosted at Heartlands in Pool (not the Newlyn location) and sounds perfect for a younger age group.
^ Us 3 after completing the room! My 10 year old cousin (pictured on the sofa) was mentally exhausted 😂
Who is it suitable for?
I definitely think the Jolly Roger room was a good level of difficulty, as I think my friends and I (mid-twenties) would struggle a fair bit even with some of the clues! There was a great mix of challenges once inside, for different abilities and skills. My 13 year old cousin was amazing when it came to some of the more maths / logic based hurdles (better than I was!), while the 10 year old had great fun pressing things and hunting around the room as well.
If you have younger kids with you, you will probably just need to ask for more clues than if you’re in an older group, and if you’re in a more experienced group, the fun is all about how quickly you can complete the room (rather than just whether you can complete it at all – which is what we were racing against time for!).
Overall we had an amazing time and I’d definitely recommend it as something to do on a rainy day in Cornwall, with kids, or as a group of friends.
To find out more about the Cornwall’s Great Escape Rooms, check out their website.
*We were invited along for a complimentary experience in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own and I wouldn’t promote an experience on here unless I thoroughly enjoyed it myself :)