It is hard to imagine a better setting for a spooky escape room than a medieval castle said to be haunted by the restless spirit of a murdered lady of the manor.

Set in the solid stone walls of Lumley Castle, the grisly tale of Lady Lily forms the basis of unique and enthralling challenge.

The story goes she was killed by catholic priests over 600 years ago while her husband, Sir Ralph Lumley, was away fighting wars with the Scottish.

The 19-year-old was thrown down a well for refusing to convert her faith and, on his return, he was told she had run away to become a nun.

Now, legend has it, an apparition - a white lady - can be seen floating in the historic halls of the luxury hotel.   

And this local lore forms the basis of an imaginative and immersive escape room experience like no other.

Even the journey to the room is an adventure as you make your way through the 14th century castle, stopping off to peer down the well where poor Lily met her end.

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The room itself is meticulously designed to immerse participants in its captivating narrative, with every detail crafted to enhance the overall experience.

The aim is simple enough: follow the clues to free the castle of the curse and allow Lily’s troubled soul to rest.

I was joined by my wife and our two children, aged 13 and 11, and our games master, Matt, did a terrific job of theatrically setting the scene.

It starts simply enough with a standard escape room challenges such as finding keys for locks and cracking codes but develops in the most creative ways to open up new rooms taking you deeper into the game.

Although the subject matter is spooky, it was not overly scary for our two.

Be warned though, kids under ten might struggle and there are times when the lights are right down and you are using lights to piece together the clues.  

No spoilers but there are musical puzzles to make you work together as a team as well as wonderful wordy riddles.

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Solving them is so satisfying and though we got stuck on several occasions, help is always at hand with clues appearing on the mirror when needed.

Everyone had their moments to shine where something just ‘clicked’ and we were able to move on to the next stage.

After a very busy hour we cracked it with just 48 seconds to spare, leaving us with a satisfied sense of triumph.

Family activities rarely have the same appeal for each member but this was one we all thoroughly enjoyed.

Escape rooms have become increasingly popular in recent years and it is easy to see why.

They are brilliant fun.

I have done others and though they are great in their own way, the unique setting and unrivalled story behind the Lumley Castle experience means this has been the best yet.