Outdoor escape room offers a magical challenge for all ages

Dave and Sharon Southwell run an outdoor escape room (Rustic Riddles and Pans Problems)

Pictured: Dave Southwell with granddaughter Coco



PICTURE: Mecha Morton
Dave and Sharon Southwell run an outdoor escape room (Rustic Riddles and Pans Problems) Pictured: Dave Southwell with granddaughter Coco PICTURE: Mecha Morton
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A husband and wife team are bringing the outdoors to groups who want a sense of adventure and the challenge of puzzle solving.

Dave and Sharon Southwell began Pan’s Problems four weeks ago – people are invited to their Hockwold home to experience an escape room al fresco.

Teams have to solve puzzles to try to get Pan’s goats across the bridge guarded by trolls. Their mission is to find the five vials of mystical ingredients which will overcome the pesky trolls.

Dave and Sharon set up Rustic Riddles to deliver the fun sessions. Both work with youngsters who have been excluded from school using the animals on their smallholding at Hockwold Hollow as therapy, with ponies, guinea pigs, dogs, cats and tortoises.

The couple decided to branch out and create a new adventure experience for all ages.

Dave said: “Some people may feel being locked into a room quite claustrophobic but here we have the huge West Norfolk skies.

“People can be as competitive or not as they wish, some want to be top of the leaderboard while others just want to enjoy some outdoor fun.”

The hollow is a former gravel quarry and World War One rifle range which has reverted back to nature.

“Once you’re through the gate your puzzle could be anywhere in the world,” said Dave.

The couple have lived there for seven years and after visiting an escape room in Norwich decided they could translate the idea to the outdoors.

“We discussed the project for the last two years. This is a perfect venue,” he added.

They have bookings up until the end of October and are now looking to create an outdoor pizza-making area.

They do corporate bookings, birthday parties and school parties and Scout groups have enjoyed the adventure which offers a break away from the all pervading electronic screens of the modern day world.

Prices are £12.50 pp (teams between two and 10 people), under 10s £5, limited to three per team. There is free parking and picnic facilities.

For more go to www.rustic-riddles.co.uk