The National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire, has unveiled a pair of outdoor escape challenges, transporting visitors back to the final days of the Second World War, daring them to solve a series of cryptic puzzles to avoid the clutches of the fearsome Japanese Imperial Army. Pre-booked visitors to the 150-acre woodland and garden site can collect a mission pack from the welcome desk and undertake the challenge across the arboretum until 1 November 2020.

OPERATION LOCATE (£12 per team) has been designed to test the skills of even the most ardent escape room enthusiast. This two to three hour puzzle adventure despatches teams to locate a missing British Army Unit to help them escape pursuing forces. Meanwhile, OPERATION UNCOVER (£10 per team) is a two hour family-friendly (recommended age 8+) mission to help a Special Operations Executive agent uncover the identity of a spy.

Both experiences have been designed to allow social distancing at all times, and visitors do not need to physically interact with props or memorials to solve the puzzles.The National Memorial Arboretum is open to only pre-booked visitors for the foreseeable future; tickets can be booked on the Arboretum’s website, where slots are released two weeks in advance.

Chris Ansell, Head of Participation and Learning at the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “This exciting activity challenges participants to solve an intricate series of mind-bending puzzles while learning about the incredible stories of the people who fought for freedom in the Far East. Our outdoor escape challenges complement other elements of our programme to commemorate VJ Day and the end of the Second World War, providing a new route for people to engage with fascinating period of modern history.”