Experiences London

Review: Phantom Peak, London

21/09/2022

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at experiencing the Wild West? Or uncovering mysteries in a steampunk universe? If so, you should visit Phantom Peak. Here’s my review of this immersive town.

By now, everyone has heard of the intriguing Wild West-themed town in Canada Water named Phantom Peak. Boasting a number of different mysteries to solve, a plethora of characters and shops you can visit – this immersive town has so much to offer.

Shaun and I recently headed down on a Sunday afternoon for a five-hour experience. We’d both seen a few photos and knew a little about the format of the attraction, but that’s it. I think this is the best way to experience immersive things. Although you can’t plan ahead to visit everything you want to, it forces you to live in the moment.

You can experience Phantom Peak however you like. Either try your hand at taking on fun tasks and solving mysteries or fully immerse yourself by dressing up and choosing a character. You can also just explore and enjoy the atmosphere, trying the few foodie places on offer or the bar.

A small lake surrounded by the set of mountains at Phantom Peak, with a small cascading waterfall in the centre
The pretty canal that runs through the centre of Phantom Peak, with bright blue fences either side.

As soon as we walked in, I was amazed at how much attention to detail had gone into this experience. Though you could still see the buildings of London in the background, once through the gate, a mini town had been laid out. With a canal running down the centre, there were shops and fairground games on either side, with an outdoor bar at the end. Following the walkway down further, we found a large pond and waterfall with seating areas, and a small walkway going into a darkened cave – aka the old town.

We wasted no time exploring and quickly picking up our first storyline. During our time there, we managed to complete three different ones, although apparently there are up to 16 to experience – which means I’m already tempted to go back!

Each experience sees you exploring the town, talking to different characters (often having to get into character yourself) and asking the right questions, as well as taking part in fun puzzles and tasks situated around the town. You also rely on your phone to pop in your answers and have prompts on where to go next.

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A recreated video machine/Jonagraph against the backdrop of blue patterned wallpaper at Phantom Peak
People walking around the pop up world of Phantom Peak

I thoroughly enjoyed partaking in these storylines. Each one was so different, and ensured we really got to know the town and the residents within it. There was a lot of walking around and running back and forth – but we had plenty of time to take breaks.

The only downside to our experience was that it was just so busy. At times, waiting in line to enter an area or pushing through crowds to move to a different place did sometimes feel like it was less immersive and more like a theme park. I also felt that this tarnished talking to some of the characters sometimes.

When we first arrived and it was quieter, we enjoyed a really fun conversation with the owner of a bar in the old town. We were able to get into character ourselves and learn a lot about the town. But as it got busy, we were only able to ask characters the few questions we needed before moving on.

It would be nicer if there were different time slots or smaller groups of guests – just to help achieve that feeling like you’re in another world.

That being said, the attention to detail is amazing – as is the set. Everyone we spoke to were fully in character at all times, wearing appropriate clothing for the theme. When things were a little quiet, it honestly did feel like we were in some sort of western town. It was totally open-world too – no area was off limits to the public and even the bathrooms were themed!

The boat ride was very fun and different too!

Tickets for Phantom Peak cost between £40-£50, which I think is just right for this type of experience. For a 5-hour experience that offers so much to see and do, I think it’s well worth the price.

That being said, the town has many things that include extra costs, like food, drink and carnival games. However, there are some free games too, such as a fun fishing game that everyone can join in.

We managed to complete three storylines within our five-hour time slot and had heaps of fun. But by the time our slot had finished, we were ready to leave – because we’d spent so much time running around!

Overall, I really loved Phantom Peak and I would happily go again to complete more storylines. I think it was well worth the price and a great alternative afternoon out in London.

I hope the experience becomes a permanent fixture in Canada Water. It would be great to see where it goes next. I’d love to see the town expanded or a more variety of games. I think introducing actual escape rooms or secret areas that can only be accessed by blagging your way in (like with Secret Cinema) would be a great addition.

The brains behind Phantom Peak have revealed that the first season ends on the 16th of October. This sounds like they’re planning to expand and stick around a while..!

Would you like to experience Phantom Peak? Let me know!

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