Locked In Edinburgh: Can You Escape From an Old Gin Distillery

Whether you’re a local or a tourist in Edinburgh, you’ll love Locked in Edinburgh. Escape Rooms are some of the most fun activities you can enjoy. In a rainy city like Edinburgh, sometimes you need a good indoor adventure to partake in.

Afraid that those small cages in the photo are a little small? Don’t be scared; that’s not how the rooms work. You’ll have a lot more space than that.

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, some good circuitry and a whole lot of locks 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.

What Makes Locked in Edinburgh Great?

Locked in Edinburgh is an Escape Room in Summerhall, the hip “mini-village” south of the University of Edinburgh. Aside from the escape room, Summerhall features nearly a dozen venues for events, meetings and shows, a cafe and shop, and even a lively pub with its own gin distillery.

Summerhall Signs

There are currently two rooms available to play at Locked in Edinburgh, with a third room opening soon. Our team chose the Old Gin Distillery, which is optimally suited for 3-5 players. As the name implies, the room is actually built into the old gin distillery of the Royal Dick pub downstairs.

Our game actually started out with a full introduction to the room and background story to the clues. This was the first escape room I’ve been to which built up the backstory to the game. Make sure you pay attention, as there might be a clue or two mentioned.

I was a little concerned that the room would be too easy when they mentioned the fastest team had finished in under half an hour. I needn’t have worried. Our time of 46:21 didn’t even make it on to the scoreboard. Just when I thought we would finish way early, another large batch of clues and puzzles became available.

No one in the team I brought with me to the Locked in Edinburgh escape room had been to one before. They didn’t even know what to expect, and one of them was a little worried at the idea of being locked in a room. By the end of the hour, not only had they not experienced any claustrophobia, they couldn’t wait for their next room. We worked really well together, and each member took part in solving clues. In the end, I had nothing to do with choosing the team name.

Locked in Edinburgh Team

 Booking at Locked in Edinburgh

All games at Locked in Edinburgh have 60-minute limits, although our game master mentioned that the room would be available longer if we weren’t finished yet (not sure if that’s a regular option). The Distillery is for 2-5 players and the Secret Lab is for 4-10 players. The Animal Hospital will be opening soon, and I hope to update this article with information on that room when it does.

  • Location: 1 Summerhall Pl, Edinburgh EH9 1PL
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Prices: 2 players – £45; 3 players – £55; 4 players – £60; 5 and up – £10 for each additional player.
  • Phone: (+44) 07 468 493 561
  • Email: hello@lockedinedinburgh.com
  • Website: Locked in Edinburgh
  • What to bring: Some friends and all your wits.
  • Best time of year to visit: Whenever there’s a chance of rain (all the time).

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22 comments

  1. Definitely sounds like a fun way to spend a rainy day! 46 minutes is pretty close to half an hour though even though you didn’t make the leader board – pretty good time I think! Thanks for the heads up on Locked in Edinburgh – you always find the coolest escape rooms!

    • Thanks. I would have said that they’re good in the snow too, but the place actually closed today due to the red snow warning. Otherwise, they are the perfect backup plan in any city that gets a lot of rain.

  2. This sounds like so much fun. I’ve always wanted to try going to an escape room, though I wondered feeling claustrophobic. Great to know that your apprehensive friends had loads of fun. That’s encouraging!! Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • I can’t stress enough that you wouldn’t feel claustrophobic in the escape room, any more than you would feel claustrophobic in the bathroom with the door locked, although that’s a really horrible comparison as escape rooms are way more fun!

    • I’m not afraid of being locked in, I’m afraid of being not smart enough to answer the questions LOL

      • Well, there is always the possibility of not finishing the game in an hour, but that’s where putting together a great team comes in. Usually each player contributes in their own way working on different puzzles and it goes fantastic.

  3. These scare me. I have this fear that I won’t be able to figure anything out. Sorta like how I would NEVER go on a show like ‘are you smarter than a kindergartner’ because what if I’m not… and likely I’m not! How hard was it Skye?

    • It actually wasn’t that hard. To be honest, you get so caught up with how fun they are, you completely forget you’re “locked” in a room. Technically the door is locked, but there’s a “panic” key you can use to get out, although I doubt it’s ever used. More just there as part of the game. You probably close the door to your room every night. The escape room is no different, except that you have more fun in there.

  4. We don’t have Escape rooms here as yet, but looks like a great new fun concept. Getting locked up to solve puzzles and riddles sounds like a fun activity especially with kids. It is just a matter of time I guess when the idea will spread. Hope to experience it some day.

    • I’m really surprised they haven’t arrive in India yet. But I guess they’re not far off there. They do tend to spring up more in university cities, I’ve noticed. Hope you get to enjoy one soon.

  5. Although I’ve always wanted to visit Edinburgh, I’m not sure if I’d want to get locked in a room there! There are lots of escape rooms in the States now but the whole idea kind of freaks me out. That said, it looks like everyone had a great time!

    • They really are a lot of fun, and a great way to fill in an otherwise idle hour of the day, or escaping from the rain, although right now there’s a snowstorm in Edinburgh. Getting locked in the room isn’t much different than closing the door to your room at night. It’s just the analogy of “escaping” as part of the game. I certainly hope you can make it to Edinburgh soon. My favorite city in the world.

  6. I have heard of Escape Rooms, it’s a concept that recently came to my city (Dubai) as well! Some of my friends even went for it and they speak so highly of it. It seems like a bizarre yet exciting concept to me! Need to give it a shot. Thanks for giving an in-depth insight into what Escape Rooms are really about!

  7. this sounds like a great team-building activity…although I’d be a little nervous about being locked in a room for an hour, to be honest. We have one of these in my hometown (washington DC) and I’ve heard very mixed things about it, so maybe this one in Edinburgh is just particularly well-done?

    • Hmm. Maybe the one in DC is just newer and not well thought out. The ones in Edinburgh have been here for a few years and are really well designed. But being “locked” in the room isn’t anything worse than having the door closed in any normal room, except you’re having so much fun you don’t even notice.

  8. We have never done an escape room but they have them all over now. This one though sounds very very unique since its in a distillery. Sounds like you guys really enjoyed it!

  9. We haven’t tried an escape room yet, but it’s definitely on the list. Is “Locked” a play on Scottish lakes? We have been to cat cafes and would go to the one in Edinburgh when we visit:)

    • Haha. I didn’t even think about that with “Locked.” I almost thought I might have misspelled it and written “Loched.” The cat cafe is great too, although personally I preferred the dog cafe.

  10. statebystateadventure

    I wonder if there are any great escape rooms in America yet? It seems like something that would be great for our family of five. It is such a cool idea and it would be great if I could visit Edinburgh to check it out, but I probably won’t for awhile anyways. Thanks for sharing though. You just inspired me to find a room to get locked into and bizarrely that is a good thing.

    • LOL! It’s certainly a funny concept to want to get locked in a room. I know there are many moving into the US, although I don’t know if they are as popular there yet as they are in Europe and Asia. Otherwise, there are seven to experience in Edinburgh. I went to another one last week, which I’ll write about soon. Such a wonderful alternative to TV and a night at the pub.

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