Harrogate has an escape room, and it's launching new puzzles to meet demand
It's rated TripAdvisor's number one attraction in Harrogate under the 'fun and games' category, but less than a year since it opened, Clue HQ escape room is still in some ways a bit of a hidden gem.
But word is spreading fast in our town, and the steadily rising demand for the attraction means that the team behind it are looking to open a new room at their base on Prospect Crescent - which means new puzzles!
Clue HQ Harrogate has two rooms open at the moment - Cell Block C, which is a prison escape challenge, and 'The Betrayal of Cluetankhamun,' which is an Egyptian-themed escape room.
A third CSI-themed room called 'CSI: The Panic Room' is being built, and the director of the attraction, Steve West, said he hopes this will be open to visitors by the summer.
Speaking about the appeal of the escape rooms, Steve said: "It offers a really exciting and completely different experience to other tourist attractions. It's something that can be enjoyed in any weather, and at any time of day. It has really broad appeal, and is suitable for almost all ages, from 12 to 112.
"I think word is starting to get out there about us - most Saturdays get sold out, and Sundays are very busy, but when I have conversations with people, most people say, 'wow, I had no idea Harrogate even had an escape room.'
"Many people I speak to haven't even heard of escape rooms, but it is new to Harrogate so it is understandable. Clearly there are a great many people that don't know about us or how much fun you can have in escape rooms. That being said, we are regularly having to turn guests away on a weekend because we are so often sold out, so we are building the third escape room at the moment to help meet the demand."
Steve said Harrogate has a lot to offer as a visitor destination, and is excited about what Clue HQ can bring to the mix. He said: "We opened up in Harrogate because we wanted to increase the fun and games offer. Harrogate is such a beautiful town, and is becoming even more popular for days out, shopping, and enjoying the wide selection of cafes, bars and restaurants. So we are very excited and honoured to be able to offer such a different provision for the visitors to our town and for local residents alike.
"And to be rated number one on TripAdvisor for this category, makes us feel absolutely thrilled, proud, and humbled - so many emotions. We have worked really hard to get a really good standard of theming and high production value in the rooms, and this is something we are constantly praised on.
"We have an absolutely amazing team of games hosts, and seeing people make so many references to the team is also an awesome vindication of our commitment to providing a friendly and warm welcome, before an exciting, immersive and challenging experience when playing the games.
"I never dreamed we would be ranked the number one fun and games destination in Harrogate on Trip Advisor within eight months of opening. We are so, so grateful to our amazing guests, who have taken the time to leave a review and spread the word. The response has been overwhelming."
What is an escape room?
An escape room is a physical adventure game that involves players solving a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. Games are set in a variety of fictional locations, such as prison cells, dungeons, and space stations, and usually the various puzzles and riddles themselves follow the theme of the room. Sometimes, the backstory of the room is told by Game Hosts, or alternatively, a television.The objective is to 'escape.'