Ambitious plans for new escape rooms in Portsmouth

Gareth Beeston seen here in the company of Tommy Automaton. Picture:  Malcolm Wells (181121-7169)
Gareth Beeston seen here in the company of Tommy Automaton. Picture: Malcolm Wells (181121-7169)
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THE largest escape rooms on the south coast has thrown open its doors in Portsmouth.

The Real Escape on Commercial Road, where the former Apple windows unit used to be, opened last week to much excitement as people flocked to the new premises to test out their problem-solving skills.

Participants have been dazzled at the rooms, which includes a pub theme on the history of the city as well as an artificial ice cave where people use their wits to free themselves while racing against others.

Gareth Beeston, managing director, has ambitious plans for the centre which will overtake the company’s Southampton escape rooms as its pre-eminent venue.

‘We are pleased to have opened our Portsmouth escape rooms which is the biggest on the south coast,’ Gareth said.

‘It’s very esteemed and has a range of themed escapes. In 18 months we hope to have eight rooms and 30 employees.

‘It’s in a prime location which helps attract people and is in an area of the city where more entertainment is needed so we’ve filled a gap in the market.’

Gareth, who runs the business with his partner Nicole Thompson-Nicole, said getting the escape rooms open has involved a lot of hard work over the last three months but says he has been delighted by the turnout so far.

‘Custom has been very good so far. We had 50 bookings in the first week so things have been going rather well.

‘People love it. We are getting great feedback and look forward to putting in place our exciting plans to expand things and make it one of the biggest in the country.’

Tickets start from £21 per person for a group of three, down to £18 per person for a group of six.

It is open from  Monday to Sunday 12pm until 10pm, with staggered start times.

Players must book games at least 24 hours in advance of any start time.