‘The Puzzling Place’ an attraction designed purely for an unforgettable experience.
It is free to enter ‘The Puzzling Place’, as at the top of the stairs is our shop which is stuffed with puzzles, gadgets and curiosities and is guaranteed to have something to amuse, entertain or puzzle you. At the far end of the shop is our ‘Puzzle Area’ which again, is free to enter. Here you can give your brain a work out trying to solve the puzzles and brain teasers which are set out for your entertainment and frustration!
Although the shop and ‘Puzzle Area’ are definitely worth a trip on their own, it’s the main attraction where the boundary between illusion and reality starts to blur.
The Puzzling Place’s ‘World of Illusion’ takes the theme of Illusion and runs with it. It is home to our ‘Anti-gravity Room’, ‘Ames Room’, ‘Hologram Gallery’ and ‘Eyelusions Exhibition’. It’s a fascinating, fun and social excursion into the wonderful world of optical illusion, which will leave you quite literally, not believing your eyes!
As the appeal of optical illusions crosses all age ranges the ‘World of Illusions’ is an ideal place to be enjoyed and experienced with friends or family however young and old. It’s generally the older generation of the family who are left surprised by how much they’ve enjoyed their visit!
Being the only room of its kind in the country, the ‘Anti-Gravity Room’ is a fun and social excursion into the wonderful world of sensory illusions.
Balls roll uphill, water flows at an unnatural angle. In the room, every one appears to stand at an impossible slant and lean effortlessly into space without falling.
Even when you know the secret, the effects are no less amazing. There is no smoke and mirrors here, the illusions are all in your mind but happening to everyone present.
The room is completely static but when you enter the room you will feel strange as your brain and eyes come into conflict and make sense of it all. It’s an experience which needs to be seen to be believed.
Prepare to be amazed!
Ames Forced Perspective Room
See and experience how your brain can be tricked into believing that people are growing and shrinking as they walk across a room!
Watch yourself visibly grow and shrink or make a friend look tiny alongside you.
The only one in the country, the Ames Room is a deformed room that creates an astonishing illusion. When you look inside, although the room is heavily distorted it appears completely normal with parallel walls and horizontal floor and ceiling.
This is because the brain has been conditioned to assume that walls of rooms are parallel. The assumption is so strong it completely overrides the fact that people are changing size, even though in the real world this obviously doesn’t happen. Here your brain is willing to accept it as the assumption of parallel walls is much stronger!
Holding over 60 holograms, our gallery is probably one of the largest in Europe.
Simple holograms are seen almost every day on bank notes and credit cards but holography is also an art form, producing fascinating, large scale three dimensional images of light.
In our gallery you’ll find hologram portraits, horror-grams, and images that change, appear and disappear before your eyes. You’ll see 3D puzzles build themselves, relics being stolen and Esher’s tessellating Reptiles come to life as you change your viewing angle.
Our captivating array of holograms or 3D pictures project into space, leading to the irresistible urge to reach out and touch – only to find that your hand passes straight through!
The Eyelusions exhibition makes up the remainder of our ‘Puzzling World of Illusion’. Many of the best optical illusions around can be explored through interactive exhibits, artwork and sculptures. In it you’ll find the ‘Anti-gravity Drip’ and our 'Chair of Illusion', as well as our ‘Interactive Pond’. You can walk through a giant impossible triangle, shake your own hand, rub out your friend and watch your skin crawl. You’ll come across impossible objects that defy common sense, static images that move and straight lines that bend. You can see yourself as others do, look down the bottomless chest and be tracked by our following faces!
With over 50 exhibits and ‘pieces of strange’ to unleash a moment of astonishment for you, you’ll be left rubbing your eyes in disbelief!
Family (2+2) £11.75
Under 5’s Free
We are committed to keeping our price as low as possible, therefore we would prefer to increase visitor numbers rather than increase our price. Word of mouth is the best way so please help by leaving your comments here.
All School Holidays:
Open 7 days a week, 10am to 5.30pm
Winter Hours 1st Nov to 20th March:
Open 11am to 5pm but closed Mondays
Open weekends only in January
Summer Hours 21st March to 31st Oct:
Open 7 days a week 11am to 5.30pm
How to Find Us.Google Map
Is there an admittance fee?
It’s free to enter ‘The Puzzling Place’ to visit our shop and Puzzle Area; however there is a charge for the ‘World of Illusions’. Prices can be found above.
Is it for me?
Yes! For some reason, and we don’t know why, many people assume ‘The Puzzling Place’ to be a children’s attraction. Although children love their visit, so do parents, couples and grandparents. It is unique not only in content but also in that it captures that moment of astonishment in everyone. It was our aim to create an attraction which bridges generations and has a universal appeal and we believe we have done that.
Is it worth it?
We think so, but we’re slightly biased. You can see what others think here.
How long will it take?
This is a tough one to answer. In the ‘World of Illusion’ exhibition the average time is probably about 45 minutes although some people spend over an hour and others less than this. Add onto that your time in the shop and a struggle with a puzzle or two in the puzzle area and you have your answer!
Will I be able to fly/float in the ‘Antigravity Room’?
Come expecting to fly and you will be disappointed, come expecting fantastic optical illusions and you won’t!
Have you got a café?
Our would-be café space is taken up with loads of fantastic exhibits and illusions. Sorry. However, we are in the town centre which has a fantastic choice of cafes and eateries so you don’t have to put up with the overpriced and limited choice you’d get at other attractions!
Have you any parking?
Unfortunately due to our location in the town centre we have no parking. There are several car parks just two minutes walk from our door however.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. We let them in Free!
Do you have any toilets?
Sorry, we have no public toilets. There are some just a two minute walk away however.
Is there disabled access?
Unfortunately we are situated on the first floor so there is a flight of stairs that needs to be negotiated. We apologise and hope to find a viable solution to this in the future.
Is there a best time to visit?
As we are an indoor attraction, if you come during the school holidays when it's raining you will find us busy! Our quietest time is out of school holiday periods however, if you can't avoid these times then try and avoid coming on rainy days. If you must come when it's raining, then it's probably best to arrive on our opening time.