I’m a real scaredy cat – the one who hid behind the sofa during Dr Who and still buries her head in a cushion when creepy music comes on TV. So, when my grandson Josh said he wanted to visit the London Bridge Experience for his 13th birthday, my heart sank.
The London Bridge Experience is a new attraction but I’d heard it involved a trip into medieval burial grounds and a fair dollop of horror. But a birthday promise is a promise and off we went. “Bet you scream,” said my husband, who still bears scars from the time I dug my fingers into his arm during ‘Jurassic Park’.
London Bridge Experience – History
I’m fascinated by London’s history, so it was fun to be met by a cast of historical characters including rip-roaring Vikings and bewhiskered Victorians. They take you through scenes telling the history of London Bridge over 2000 years. The actors who do this are fantastic and some are very funny. Josh liked the chap who looked after the severed heads after executions. Apparently there was a technique for pickling them. Gruesome – huh?
I couldn’t help feeling grateful for modern dentistry as lots of the characters we met had missing or blackened teeth.
The London Tombs
Directly under the London Bridge Experience are the London Tombs – the bit Josh most looked forward to and his grandmother dreaded. We were given lots of warnings about how scary it was. I was ready to cut and run but didn’t tell Josh.
We dressed up in hard hats and fluorescent jackets, like construction workers. Once inside you realize why you need them. It’s very dark and the atmosphere’s really creepy, especially when you remember that construction of the London Bridge Experience involved excavating 14th century plague pits and that these were what we were walking through.
Was I scared? You bet I was. Weird things and people keep jumping out at you. And even if you half expect it and tell yourself it’s only theatre, you are still terrified. I screamed myself hoarse. Last time I yelled that much was on the big rollercoaster ride at Blackpool. Josh was scared too and grabbed my hand. So much for his 13-year-old cool!
But it is a terrific adrenalin buzz and, like the rollercoaster at Blackpool, you feel great after you have done it. Would I recommend the London Bridge Experience and Tombs? Yes I certainly would, for kids 11 and over and even for nervous grandmothers. It’s a lot of fun.