WIN: Take your friends to try out the new escape rooms in Cheddar Gorge – this is how the Mercury team got on
- Credit: Eleanor Young
Cheddar Gorge and Caves has launched two new attractions this week, and the Mercury has been given an exclusive first look.
In recent months, site owner Longleat and its gorge team have announced several new additions to the attraction’s offerings, including a free fall, climbing wall, two escape rooms and a cinematic experience.
The Mercury team went along to the gorge last week to act as guinea pigs in one of the new escape rooms.
An escape room is a physical adventure game where players solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and logic to complete the objectives, unveil the room’s secret and make it out of the room before time runs out.
Caved In and The Vault are the newest escape rooms to open in the area and are based on the gorge and caves’ history.
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Leon Troake, operations manager for the gorge, said: “We chose these attractions because escape games are a growing area of business and they seem to have established themselves across the UK and abroad.
“We have been working with our designer for a few month using the history of Cheddar to establish ourselves with some themed activities which are true to the area and help us bring to life some of the characters which used to live here.”
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Beyond The View
A new five-minute film will see guests travel through the gorge, and back in time.
Beyond The View has replaced the open-top bus service, which Mr Troake previously said was ‘not fit for purpose’ for modern day tourists.
The new attraction will allow people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to be taken to new heights, exploring the length and breadth of the gorge, including Jacob’s Ladder.
Much of the footage has been shot by drone, offering unique views of the Somerset landmark and beyond, and is set to an enchanting musical score and backed by insightful historical commentary.
The film not only takes people through the modern day gorge but also back in time using old photographs to help people understand what the area looked like up to a century earlier.
Mr Troake said: “We are able to show Cheddar back in Victorian time right through to modern day in an experience which is accessible to everyone.
“It explains why Cheddar and the area of specific scientific interest is so unique and what makes it the place it is.”
Mercury v Caved In
Escape rooms have become a popular attraction across the UK and now Cheddar has two of its own, The Vault and Caved In.
We at the Mercury were given the opportunity to test out the hour-long escape room, Caved In, just one day after it was completed.
We were kitted up in hard hats and jackets as we entered into Rowland Pavey’s lost cave in the hope of unravelling the mystery and locating his treasure chest.
We set the bar for future guests as we put our heads together and tried to work out a number of challenges, making out with Pavey’s chest and completing the room in a modest 47 minutes.
Mercury editor Simon Angear said: “I really enjoyed the cave setting, and the variety of challenges we needed to complete in order to escape.
“It was taxing, but not impossible – the perfect combination.”
Reporter Liam Jones said the escape room was a ‘real challenge’ but ‘a lot of fun’.
He added: “Some of the tasks we had to complete to discover Pavey’s treasure left us scratching our heads, but it was a great feeling when we finally achieved it.
“The Escape Rooms are also a great way to discover more about the history of Cheddar and combined with Beyond The View, I learned a lot.
“The film was a really interesting and visually stunning experience, cleverly mixing a tour through the gorge with old images of the village.”
Without giving too much away, guests will need to use teamwork and logic to make it out of the cave.
The second room, The Vault, invites visitors to try to uncover the secrets amid the dusty artefacts in Richard Gough’s vault before making their escape.
Mr Troake said: “The hopes for the escape rooms is that we will be able to offer our guests an experience which is unique to Cheddar and is something additional to the experience they get when they visit the caves.”
Now it is your turn. Can you beat the Mercury team’s time?
We have teamed up with Cheddar Gorge and Caves to offer one lucky reader the chance to take up to five friends to try out both escape rooms, a prize worth £209.70.
Two lucky readers will also be chosen as runners-up to receive a family Explorer Day Tickets for two adults and two children to visit the other attractions, worth £73.80 per family ticket.
The Explorer passes will entitle winners to enjoy an audio tour of Gough’s Cave, Dreamhunters at Cox’s Cave, the museum of pre-history, Jacob’s ladder and a clifftop walk.
This competition will close at 10am on September 4.
Usual Archant competition rules apply. By entering this competition you are agreeing to be contacted by Archant and Longleat.