Discovering Bristol’s Best Escape Room at Puzzlair

I love puzzles. I started solving 500-piece puzzles in an hour when I was 5. Then in 2015, I discovered escape rooms in Riga, Latvia with some friends. I’ve been in love with them ever since. When I found Puzzlair in Bristol, I knew I had to go.

What is an Escape Room?

If you’ve never been to an escape room before, I have to say you’re missing out on loads of fun. Escape rooms are basically a room or series of rooms in which you have to solve puzzles and clues in order to “escape.” Most rooms have time limits of an hour and allow teams of 2-5 people. The teams who design the escape rooms are free to use any tricks, traps or tools to create the game. I won’t give anything away, beyond saying things like magnets, clocks, water puzzles and some good circuitry are normally used.

Escape rooms first started in Japan a few years ago, and have since spread like a wildfire around the world. When I was in Riga, there were over 30 different locations to choose from! The rooms are great for something a bit more out-of-the-ordinary in cities you visit, or even in your home city. Another great time to visit them is when it’s raining out (like it often does in Edinburgh) or as a team-building activity for businesses.

I’ve become quite good at escape rooms since I beat the first one in Riga. I did fail to finish one in Bangkok, but unfortunately my team partner simply wasn’t interested in playing the game.

What Made Puzzlair the Best

Then there’s Puzzlair.

After a few minutes in the game, I had yet to solve my first puzzle. Next thing I knew, a clue appeared on the screen for me, allowing me to quickly figure out the riddle and continue through the game.

For the next hour, clue after clue showed up on the screen, helping my friend Corina and I to solve all the puzzles and make it out of the room with a minute and thirty-five seconds to spare. It was her first escape room, and I think it’s safe to say she’s now hooked.

At first I was a little disgruntled with getting the constant clues. This was quickly supplanted by two other points. First, Puzzlair was by far the most difficult escape room I had been to, and there is no way I would have finished the room without the clues. Second, it was actually a real joy to finish all the puzzles in the room, as some of them were really clever and I would have been bummed to have missed them, or not known about them.

Corina and I at Puzzlair Escape Room

About Puzzlair

Puzzlair has six rooms to choose from between two locations within a couple minutes of each other. They are also opening a new location in Yeovil near the legendary Glastonbury Abbey with an additional three rooms to escape from. I did their Lab of Dr. Lev Pasted, which I’m willing to guess is their most challenging room.

Prices start at £54 for two players and go up to £96 for 5 players, although there’s also an option for six players in the Secret Agent Room for £115. Visit their website for further information or to book your game.

Oh, and for the record, there was once a single team which escaped from the room without a single hint. Blew the staff away too. Will you be the second?

Planning to Visit England?

Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.

My deepest thanks to Puzzlair for inviting me to enjoy their game. As always, views are entirely my own.
I love puzzles. I started solving 500-piece puzzles in an hour when I was 5. Then in 2015, I discovered escape rooms in Riga, Latvia with some friends. I've been in love with them ever since. When I found Puzzlair in Bristol, I knew I had to go. What is an Escape Room? If you've never been to an escape room before, I have to say you're missing out on loads of fun. Escape rooms are basically a room or series of rooms in which you have to solve puzzles and clues in order to "escape." Most rooms have time…

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20 comments

  1. We just moved three miles off of International Drive in Orlando and it seems like you can’t throw a stick in this town without hitting an escape room. I always wondered what they would be like. I think I would really like the clues over time because, it would be a shame to not see all of the puzzles, even if you don’t solve them all by yourself. It also adds another dimension to the game where you not only solve the puzzles from the clues, but also from the profile you build of the puzzle creators from the clues they leave. After a while of doing crosswords, I start to figure out how they are constructed (and all of the common 3 letter words).

    • I certainly hope you get a chance to challenge one of the escape rooms around you there in Orlando, or even come to try one of the many ones in the UK and the rest of Europe. I even did some great ones in Bangkok a couple years ago. Some are definitely more challenging than others, but the best ones are where you have several rooms, and it’s exactly like that where you can kinda get used to the way a certain team of creators have set up their rooms.

  2. I’m yet to experience an escape room. Puzzlair sounds pretty cool, I do admit I like the idea of them offering so many clues. I think I would have been bummed too to have missed not completing all the puzzles in the room, so it’s nice to have that added aid.

    • A lot of escape rooms have rules like how they will only give you three clues, but this was also the most difficult escape room I’ve been to, so the clues did come in handy. And yeah, it was nice to go through every puzzle in the room, as there’s not much point in going through the same room twice.

  3. I wish I were better at puzzles. Escape rooms frustrate me but I may have had the wrong partners! Fun to hear about your enthusiasm.

  4. I had no idea this was how an escape room worked! I actually thought it was a place with a maze and you needed a group of friends to make it worthwhile. I like the idea much better now. I think it would be very embarrassing if I had to call them to let me out.. because I’m not too good with puzzles myself. But I’d be willing to try it at least once. 😀

  5. The escape room sounded so interesting to me, it seemed like a video game to me. You say it has spread like wildfire around the world but this is the first time I am getting to know about. Not seen in India yet. Puzzlair too seems interesting.

    • Hmm, I’m surprised it’s not in India yet, but I guess it’s not the whole world yet. I hope you get to try one sometime. Yes, it really is like a live-action video game.

  6. I think I may not be smart enough to solve this one if it’s the hardest one that you’ve ever done! I did one of my sister-in-laws bachelorette party and we barely made it. (It was the easy one too!) I hadn’t ever thought of doing these while traveling though. Would be fun to do with hostel mates!

    • Hey, I didn’t even think about doing it with fellow travelers or friends at the hostel. There could even be Couchsurfing groups or Meet Up parties. Some are certainly easier than others, but I personally like the challenge of the harder ones.

  7. I love escape rooms! Puzzlair sounds like a lot of fun – I enjoy difficult challenges, and sorting my way through them, so will be interested to see how I find this on my next trip. Maybe I’ll be the second team to escape without a single hint haha a girl can dream 😀

  8. I have read a lot about Escape rooms lately though have not been to one. In fact we were invited by one but could not go owing to other commitments. The concept sounds quite exciting. After reading your post I am thinking of heading out to one. The clues that Puzzlair gives makes it more exciting as probably people would get stuck without them and the excitement would evaporate.

    • Most escape rooms do provide clues, but usually just a limited number of them. Puzzlair was the first escape room that actually wanted every group to finish the room, which was really cool.

  9. I’ve never heard of escape rooms! This is fascinating! Love that it is such a unique experience. I am a bit claustophobic so I don’t know how I would hang with Puzzlair but it sounds like a great experience gift for me to give to someone.

    • You don’t have to worry about being claustrophobic in escape rooms. They’re usually quite big, and the one at Puzzlair was actually…well…don’t want to spoil that, but it’s big. The first one I did in Riga was a huge room.

  10. Awesome post!
    In December my colleagues and I did our team building in an Escape Room here in Toronto. What a blast it was. At first I was scared to be “stuck” in a room with my colleagues (which are all women, me being the only male) Funny thing is we all sorta did what we are all good at which got us so far but we ran out of time…lol It was so much fun.

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