6 December 2022
Gruesome, chilling, frightening, scary…and that’s just the waxworks, dungeons are a glimpse back into darker times when skeletons, rats, buckets of slop and torture were all the rage.
Many dungeon experiences cater for children, but each have their own age stipulations. If the experience gets a little much, then staff are usually on hand to whisk you through a nearby door.
So, let’s look at the top dungeons in England…
Warwick Castle is a good old-fashioned authentic dungeon, which is family friendly and quite the immersive experience.
Move through seven different rooms, all with a different theme, beginning with…The Plague Doctor! Witness the torture room, stand in the courthouse docks and witness an execution scene which is quite unique to Warwick.
Finish the experience with the ‘Witches of Warwick,’ transporting you back to the 1700s with a big budget re-enactment. Everything is in jest of course, and the actors give some winning performances all year round but be aware that the dungeon is aimed at children aged 10 and above.
Perfect for a half term day out, The London Dungeon is not as scary and graphic as you may think, but it is full of dark chilling winding corridors.
Learn about Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, The Great Fire of London, the Gunpowder plot, the Black Plague, questionable surgery practices, executions and torture. The actors put on a great show, so prep your cockney rhyming slang as you may be chosen to be part of the performance!
Hold on tight for the Drop Dead ride, a faster than gravity fall which delivers a ‘long drop’ gallows experience. Add in the sound of a cracking neck, and you’ll have the full gruesome picture!
If you want that real authentic dungeon experience, then skip on over to ‘Imprisonment at the Tower’ exhibition, located in the Beauchamp building. Visit the actual room where prisoners such as Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, and even the Krays were held.
Learn about life as a prisoner and the reasons behind imprisonment for some high profile ‘guests.’ Examine the graffiti, carved into the wall during long confinement periods, as inmates descended into depression or madness.
A year-round schedule of events includes Armoury in Action, The Gunpowder Plot and a Christmas festive experience.
Built in 1779, Bodmin jail certainly gives off those dungeon vibes. The £8.5 million visitor attraction entitled the ‘Dark Walk,’ uses state of the art hologram technology to take you back to Cornwall’s shadowy past.
Visit the original cells where the inmates were kept, often jailed for stealing or murder. Many executions took place at Bodmin, and were quite the event, so expect to hear a few macabre tales.
Make it a night to remember by sleeping here! No, not in the cold grimy cells, but in the 4-star luxury hotel, which thankfully retains many of its original features, whilst adding a few modern touches.
Explore the foundations of Nottingham Castle with a tour through the winding caves. Less gruesome than some of our other suggestions, be met by Marian or Robin and hear historic tales and adventures, more suited to younger audiences.
The tour is best booked as part of your full day visiting the castle where you can also partake in outdoor family trails or relive some of Robin Hood’s adventures.
From tower torture to cave adventures, there are numerous places to get your dungeon kicks, but wherever you decide to go, watch out for those slippery steps!