What is it?
A 90-minute walkthrough experience designed to tell the story of London’s past, in a very scary way. Find it on the South Bank near the London Eye and Sea Life London Aquarium.
9 – 12 / 12 +. London Dungeon recommends no child younger than 8 visits this attraction, yet children under this age are permitted to visit.
5 – 8. It goes without saying that this is at your own discretion.
£££. It is expensive, however you can save up to 30% if you book online in advance, rather than on the day.
What’s on offer
18 interactive experiences featuring 360 degree sets with 20 trained performers getting into character as some of England’s most famous historical figureheads and villains. The Dungeons describe themselves as “the black comedy of attractions – dark, atmospheric and very funny”.
Dark and atmospheric are two good words to describe this attraction. You’ll see why as you and your family meander through 90 minutes of walking, exploring and no doubt, being terrified of, over a 1000 years of British history.
Some of the most popular areas of the tour include the Descent, which starts off the tour with a bang as you descend to the dungeon in a medieval lift. The Tyrant Boat Ride is Henry VIII’s dark and terrifying revenge on conspirators (the guests), with choppy waters being the least of your problems. (Fun fact: Brian Blessed appears virtually as Henry VIII’s 3D talking head). Guy Fawkes, Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and the Plague Doctor all make a dreaded appearance until your dropped vertically, free-fall style, from the Drop Dead Drop Ride to Doom.
In terms of facilities, London Dungeon is quite limited. There is nowhere to store your buggy inside as it’s small, with uneven passages and tight corners. They are recommended to be folded down completely and parents should be warned that they will have to carry their buggy up two flights of stairs at some stage, as there are no lifts available.
There’s only toilets at the entrance of the tour. Upon exiting, the nearest accessibly toilet is by the London Eye ticket office. Don’t expect a dungeon café, but there are plenty of places available on the South Bank, or try our list of kid-friendly eateries in Central London.
If you’re still wondering if this attraction is appropriate for you and your family, consult the official website, email the London Dungeons or read more on the TripAdvisor thread.
The attraction itself is organised, laid out in a fun and efficient way, educational and great for thrill-seeking children and history fans. Most visitors find the attraction scary, but also find there are some funnier, light-hearted moments throughout the tour. The Drop Dead Drop Ride is usually a huge hit and a big surprise, as is the beginning of the tour with the Descent. The Jack The Ripper show is well done, and quite scary!
Some parts of the experience are better than others, with a few being described as simply “okay” – but it’s important to remember that you get the full experience in your ticket price. The enthusiasm of your, your family and the other visitors you experience the tour with will go a long way in how much you enjoy the dungeon.
What to watch out for
– This attraction is comparable to the London Bridge Experience & London Tombs. Read our full guide to make sure you’ve picked the right attraction for you and your little ones.
– If your child is afraid of the dark, loud noises, has claustrophobia or suffers from anxiety or panic attacks – this attraction is not for them.
– If your child is easily frightened or has a particular fear, try calling the dungeon or speaking to staff about the full content of the experience before paying entry.
– There will be long queues and there is potential for these queues to be unorganised given how many people want to visit this popular attraction.
– It’s a walking tour, so wear appropriate shoes.
– Make sure your child visits the toilet before the 90-minute tour begins.
– You’re asked to switch your phone off, as darkness contributes to the experience.
– Expect to stand for many parts of the show, as there won’t always be enough seats for all guests.
– Expectant mums are welcome to enjoy sixteen of the Dungeon’s offerings, excluding the Drop Dead Drop ride or Tyrant Boat ride. This is a precautionary measure, as the rides are free-fall.
– It’s a bit smelly, grim and easy to trip over in the dungeons. The actors will be intrusive and jump out at you – and you will probably get wet on the boat ride. This attraction is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it a walk in the park.
– The more frightened you appear, the more likely it is that the actors will pick on you!
– The less stuff you have on you, the easier it will be to move around the dungeon.
– It’s probably most convenient not to bring a buggy into this attraction. There are left luggage storage spaces a few minutes away at Waterloo tube station.
– Some cereal boxes offer 2 for 1 vouchers. It’s also worth scouring the web and train station/hotel brochures for ‘buy one get one free’ offers, as it is very expensive.
– Combination tickets are good way to save money if you also plan on seeing the London Eye, Sea Life London Aquarium or Madame Tussauds. For full details, take a look here.
What the owners say
“The Dungeons brings together an amazing cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides in a truly unique and exciting walkthrough experience that you see, hear, touch, smell and feel. It’s hilarious fun and it’s sometimes a bit scary.”
Visit the official London Dungeon website