‘I visited the London Gunpowder Plot experience and was transported back in time with sights and... smells'

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The experience takes you back to 17th century London and you can really smell it.

Based in the Tower Vaults at the Tower of London, The Gunpowder Plot gives visitors a chance to step into 1605 ahead of Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up parliament. 

While the event has become ingrained in British culture and is still celebrated annually, the Tower Vaults based experience offers visitors a chance to step into the narrative themselves.

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Involving all your senses, you will be able to see, smell, hear and touch 17th century London throughout with the attraction also home to a themed tavern to get a further taste of what it was like.

You make your way around the experience alongside a group of around 16 starting out locked up in the Tower Of London. Before long you learn of Guy Fawkes’ infamous Gunpowder plot and get enlisted to help stop it as spies of the crown.

Fleeing the confines of the dingy tower cell to track down the plotters, you and your group have to try and avoid being caught by tower guards as you pass through a series of winding corridors.

Amber Peake/ London World
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It was at this point where my mind began to play tricks as I kept imagining something was going to pop out and scare the group - thankfully nothing did.

The tower escape culminates in a dramatic zip wire exit where you get a glimpse of Stuart London thanks to a virtual reality headset - although I must admit I did feel a bit motion sick after the whole ordeal.

While free from the tower, the story is only just beginning as you aim to become an insider on the parliament plan and track down John Johnson the false identity Guy Fawkes also went by.

A stop at the Duck & Drake tavern acts as an interval to the experience. Although it took me a few seconds to clock on, it wasn't another scene as its themed interiors made it fit effortlessly into the show.

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Stepping back in you and your group end up meeting the Guy Fawkes on the bank of the Thames as you help him transport gunpowder to the houses of parliament by boat which is acted out by another VR scene.

Luckily I didn't feel sick the second time I donned the headset although I was slightly confused when the VR boat scene seemed to take off to the skies as Harry Potter star Tom Felton burst into a monologue about King James I. 

Amber Peake/ LondonWorld

The experience wraps up as you get to watch the gunpowder plot get rumbled before your eyes which results in Guy Fawkes being captured while the group manages to escape. 

In total it was around two hours including a 15 minute interval in the Duck & Drake pub and by the end of the experience it really did feel like I was in an early 17th century London. 

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While I initially had a few teething problems with the VR scenes and had to manoeuvre my headset in the right way so I could see a clear picture of what was happening, it was the immersive scenery that brought me right back to the time period.

The dimly lit interiors and somewhat repulsive odorous sets made you forget about where you were and allowed you to really tune into the storytelling.

Although upon leaving the attraction I was soon brought back to 2024 as I was greeted by the bright April sun and flocks of Tower Hill crowds.

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