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Top 8 immersive attractions and days out in the UK

First off, we're all a bit confused about what constitutes as 'immersive' aren't we? But as far as I'm concerned, an immersive attraction or experience is simply something you can lose yourself in. Really, theatre and cinema are immersive. Anything that takes us away from the day to day is immersive. And the definition states that immersive is to be surrounded by, and be a part of a different environment.


Today in 2024, immersive is perceived as more than that. It's defined as something wildly beyond your imagination. Something that takes you as far as possible into an alternate reality. Whether that's by illusion or by way of augmented reality or virtual reality.


So let's have a look at who and what is really making us question what is real and what isn't in the world of immersive experiences in travel, tourism and leisure.


The best immersive attractions and experiences to visit in the UK




Wake the Tiger, Bristol - a story and art based interactive amazement park



1. Wake The Tiger, Bristol

"It's so weird, definitely go". That's what a friend said when I enquired as to whether it was worth taking the kids by train from Oxford. So we are all set to go to this 'amazement park' in a few weeks. For now, Wake The Tiger is described as a fully immersive experience that takes you into the dystopian, abstract world of Meridia. It sounds absolutely bonkers and I can't wait. It is brilliantly creative and absurdly strange all in one go by the looks of the Tripadvisor reviews - and I'll confess that it sounds like TikTok gold to me.

On a more serious note, the interactive walk-through art experience is designed to raise awareness of the impact on our world in relation to climate change and pollution.

As a parent of an autistic teen, the attention to detail, hidden messages and quirky story-telling sound like they will really engage him. It's family friendly and suitable for all ages. I shall report back.



2. Meetspace VR, various locations

I have literally not laughed this much in my life. This is an absolutely must for some quality family time, stepping off the hamster wheel and losing yourself in the moment. I came out hoarse from squealing and laughing, with bruises on my knees from crawling around the floor like a deranged person, and I am pretty sure a bit of wee came out too.

Cooked Up was by far our favourite of the experiences you can be transported in via a VR headset and a pair of handheld controls. The game sees you and your team running a fast food restaurant, trying to serve up burgers in buns based on the orders coming into the kitchen. And try is the operative word - I don't think we successfully served up one meal. Burgers were on the floor, plates being smashed, buns were flying through the air and my 11 year old was covered from head to toe in ketchup and mayonnaise.

I challenge anyone to not love this escapism as much as we did.



Meetspace VR virtual reality games at the Thatcham location in Reading.


Based at The Tower of London, this is a journey back in history to 1605 and the infamous attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up parliament and assassinate King James I. The experience features a mix of real actors and virtual reality to guide you through the story and see if you can stop the plot.


This is the slightly more grown up cousin of Eureka! Children's Museum in Halifax and it is absolutely bursting with interactive and immersive activities for all ages. My personal favourites include the fear door - open it if you dare to be confronted with your most terrifying fears, and soapy karaoke in the shower, singing your heart out to your favourite 80s hits. Eureka! is a firm favourite with families, childminders and school groups alike. Having seen massive success with Eureka! The National Children's Museum in Halifax, The Wirral site is the slightly cooler older sibling and designed to appeal to a broader age range. BTW, these guys also happen to be a client.



Eureka! Science+Discovery on The Wirral


5. Karen's Diner, various locations

I can't believe I still haven't been! And with 'fair and just' being my core values, I don't know if I could cope with being shouted at!!! I'm still going to go though, I need to know!

If you've not come across the premise of Karen's Diner, there are 7 in the UK including Birmingham, London and Manchester. This is an American style retro diner, with the menu of burgers and fries that you'd expect, but in this eatery, the staff are incredibly rude, and the customers even moreso. You'll be asked to join in silly and interactive games as part of your dining experience, and whatever happens, don't ask to speak to the manager.


Dubbed as 'the next level of theatre' and basking in all the five-star reviews, this is something you have to see if you're in London. According to the website, you can fly to Mars in a hot air balloon and slide down the claw of a martian handling machine. I' m not a big WOTW follower but as I understand it, if you know, you know. So if you want to step into a real life martian invasion, this is literally the place you want to go. So if you're ready to be whisked back to 1898 with this multi-sensory experience, then get booking.


7. Elvis Evolution - coming soon!

I literally cannot wait. The chance to be whipped up into the hysteria that people were feeling when Elvis first found fame and started shaking his hips like nobody ever knew could possibly send people crazy on the spot - I'm in!

Due to launch in November 2024 in London, from creators Layered Reality, I am on the wait list. You'll be let in on some of the most intimate moments from the life and times of Elvis, both on and off stage. I'm already on Amazon getting myself something sparkly to wear.


We've agreed that immersive means something that totally consumes you - you are in the moment, totally disconnected from daily life. So a walking tour with an Invisible Cities guide absolutely fits the bill. This is a social enterprise with a twist. All of the Invisible Cities tour guides have researched, designed and created their own tours. And they happen to have experienced homelessness too. Invisible Cities are a client, and having been on four of their tours I can say that they truly are incredible. Moving, thought provoking, insightful, refreshing and fun. If you want to see a city from a different angle, then this is for you.



Invisible Cities Manchester tour guides Andy and Nic





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