The Panic Room escape rooms in Gravesend ranked third best in UK from Tripadvisor reviews

A Kent tourist attraction has been ranked one of the best in the country.

The Panic Room, in Gravesend, is the third top escape room in the UK according to the number of five-star Tripadvisor reviews.

Monique and Alex Souter started the firm in 2016
Monique and Alex Souter started the firm in 2016

The firm, created by husband and wife Alex and Monique Souter, has amassed more than 3,900 five-star ratings, according to independent research from summer camp Wild Packs.

One by Rob Winter said: “We have been many times and always have a great laugh at the Panic Rooms.”

Another by Louise read: “Great experience as always. We have done a few escape rooms with Panic Rooms and they are always really well thought out and have great theming.

“Rhys our puzzle master was great, in fact, all the staff really seemed to enjoy their jobs. We will definitely be doing another one.”

It was only beaten by ClueQuest – The Live Escape Room Game in London (4,127) and Escape Live in Birmingham (5,662).

The study sorted Tripadvisor’s list of escape rooms into three categories – travellers’ favourites, budget-friendly and good for adrenaline seekers – and ranked the top 20 by the number of five-star reviews received.

The Panic Room Entertainment Centre in St George's Shopping Centre opened last year
The Panic Room Entertainment Centre in St George's Shopping Centre opened last year

It comes as searches for this type of experience increased by 5,000% across the country in the past few weeks.

Alex said: “The fact we were ranked third is awesome to hear. The goal for us at the moment, not just with our panic rooms, is to be the biggest and best in Kent and to be a destination to visit.

“We are really determined and are always looking towards the next thing.”

Since opening seven years ago, the entrepreneurs have expanded their escape experiences to online games, axe throwing, a gift store and a board game cafe at multiple locations across Gravesend plus two more branches, in Essex and Niagara Falls in America.

At the end of last year, the pair broadened their horizons even more and opened a family fun entertainment centre in the former BHS store in Gravesend town centre.

The 13,000 sq ft unit is home to a laser tag arena, mini golf, virtual reality arcades and two more escape rooms. Private karaoke rooms are set to open at the end of the year.

Their escape rooms have been ranked the third best in the UK. Picture: The Panic Room
Their escape rooms have been ranked the third best in the UK. Picture: The Panic Room

Alex explained the two sing-along rooms will host up to 10 people each and bring something a bit different to the town, that is not your classic karaoke night in a pub or bar.

He added: “We have been gradually building bit by bit as we get ready for the next wave of development and we still have room for even more.

“We were looking at different things that a lot of people think they need to go to London to do. We are trying to wrestle people away from that idea.

“You can pay half the price, it is on your own doorstep and you are supporting local businesses.”

The augmented reality air hockey in action
The augmented reality air hockey in action

They also have plans to introduce a licenced bar with more competitive games such as shuffleboard, argument darts and ping pong, to create an area more targeted at adults.

“We will keep bringing more and more to make it a place for anyone from Gravesend or outside of the town who wants to come,” Alex added.

The Panic Room has 16 escape room experiences with five horror-themed rooms ready for Halloween.

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