‘If horse racing be the sport of kings, then surely bowling is… a very good sport as well.’ We couldn’t agree with Homer Simpson more – here are some super-cool ten-pin bowling alleys in London for you to enjoy that next group day out. Happy bowling!
1) The Croc, Soho
Deep beneath the streets of Soho, the luxurious Ham Yard Hotel has its own private, four-lane bowling alley, with some gorgeous retro design work. You can book in a lane or hire the whole thing, so you and your friends can play with your balls in perfect privacy.
By far the most expensive option amongst our bowling alleys at £25 per person, but likely one of the most stylish. More info here.
📍You’ll find The Croc at 1 Ham Yard, London, W1D 7HY.
🚇 Nearest station is Piccadilly Circus.
2) All Star Lanes, Holborn
The All Star Lanes group’s most centrally-located bowling alley, it’s home to a four-lane hall, plus a hireable private room (pictured) with two lanes of its own. The kitchen serves up classic American diner dishes – think mac’n’cheese, buttermilk fried chicken, and seriously substantial cheeseburgers – while the bar offers some mean G&Ts.
📍You’ll find All Star Lanes at Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, London, WC1B 4DA.
🚇 Nearest station is Holborn.
3. Strike, Wandsworth
Brewing and bowling have a lot of things in common: the need for precision, the perfect technique, and the ability for someone to end up in the gutter if things go wrong. So, it’s only natural that the two have formed a harmonious marriage down in Wandsworth, where the boutique bowling alley Strike is based.
One of London’s smartest bowling alleys, Strike sits inside a Grade II-listed building that forms part of the UK’s oldest brewery just off Wandsworth High Street. The site is home to London’s first ever duckpin bowling lanes, in which the pins and bowling ball are smaller, the lanes are shorter, and the action is even more intense. There’s also a series of smart dartboards that’ll test your aim here too. More info.
📍You’ll find Strike at 74 Wandsworth High Street, London, SW18 4LB.
🚇 Nearest station is Wandsworth Town.
4) Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, Holborn
This eight-lane bowling alley is a favourite with night-owls – pre-pandemic, it was open until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays (although these late night sessions appear to be on hold for now) – and also hosts retro-inflected club nights, like the Sixties soul-fest All Shook Up.
The diner provides massive sharing pizzas among other dishes; there’s also the private five-lane Kingpin Suite to hire, or five karaoke rooms you can book. £45 per lane per hour (for up to six players, which would be £7.50 each), advance booking is strongly recommended. More info here.
📍You’ll find Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes at the Tavistock Hotel, Bedford Way, London, WC1H 9EU.
🚇 Nearest station is Russell Square.
5) All Star Lanes, Brick Lane
Another All Star Lanes venue in the heart of East London, this one’s home to a six-lane main hall, a hireable Manhattan-inspired ‘Penthouse’ bowling alley with three private lanes, and ample drinking and dining space for some après-bowl. £10.95 peak times, but again, you’ll need to get a main course in their restaurant to secure a spot during peak hours. More info here.
📍You’ll find All Star Lanes at 95 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL.
🚇 Nearest station is Shoreditch High Street.
6) Queens, Queensway
Also home to an ice rink (which has been known to offers ice karting races) and a vintage arcade, this 12-lane titan offers ‘competition quality’ bowling in a handsome neon-lit space. The VIP ‘Liquor Lanes’ offers a sophisticated experience with bright red bowling lines, turquoise banquettes, and your own host.
Food and drink is provided by the much-loved burger scientists from MeatLiquor. £11.50 at peak times if you pre-book, £12.75 for walk-ins. More info here.
📍You’ll find Queens at 17 Queensway, London, W2 4QP.
🚇 Nearest stations are Queensway and Bayswater.
7) Rowans, Finsbury Park
A cult hero amongst London bowling alleys! This beloved old-school venue might not win quite so many style points, but with 24 lanes, late opening hours (until 2.30am Fridays and Saturdays), pool tables and karaoke, this turns into a bit of a party on a Friday night. £8 at peak times (£9 on Fri and Sat) means it’s one of London’s best cheap thrills. More info here.
📍You’ll find Rowans at 10 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DF.
🚇 Nearest station is Finsbury Park.
8) All Star Lanes, Westfield Stratford
ASL’s biggest bowling alley, this one sits in the enormous East London shopping mall and offers 12 lanes to choose from, and the usual menu. As with other All Star Lanes venues, £10.95 peak times, and again you’ll need to pair it with dinner to secure a lane. More info here.
📍You’ll find All Star Lanes at Montfichet Road, London, E20 1ET.
🚇 Nearest station is Stratford International.
9) Tenpin Acton, Acton
West Londoners can head to Tenpin Acton to scatter the pins across a frankly staggering twenty-eight lanes, and whilst the regular game is fun, the venue has also perfected a higher form of bowling known as HyperBowling. Essentially, you can increase your score by bouncing your balls off the coloured bumpers before you hit the pins, and is probably quite handy if your radar is wildly off at the best of times.
They’ve also got something called ‘Cosmic Bowling’, where both you and the pins will glow beneath ultraviolet light. £8.55 for one game. Add in VR, an escape room and Tuesday deals and you’ve got yourself a great time at this one. More info here.
📍You’ll find Tenpin Acton at Royale Leisure Park, Western Avenue, London, W3 0PA.
🚇 Nearest station is Park Royal.
10) All Star Lanes, Westfield White City
The next stop on our tour of luxury bowling London is this lovely set of ten-pin lanes. Another production from the All Star crew, this eight-lane alley is inspired by the art deco aesthetics of 1950’s Miami.
There really has been no expense… spared. £10.95 peak times, and again you’ll need to pair it with dinner to secure a lane. More info here.
📍You’ll find All Star Lanes at Ariel Way, London, W12 7FU.
🚇 Nearest station is Wood Lane.
11) Lewisham Lanes, Lewisham
It’s no-frills, high-stakes bowling at Lewisham Bowl – well, high-stakes in the sense that you probably really, really hate losing. It’s £8.50 per adult per game, but with a range of family and daily deals on offer, it’s an excellent bowling alley if you’re hoping to keep the cost down. More info here.
📍You’ll find Lewisham Lanes at 11-29 Belmont Hill, Blackheath, London, SE13 5AU.
🚇 Nearest station is Lewisham.
12-14) Hollywood Bowl, Surrey Quays, Finchley, and the O2 Arena
Old-fashioned pin-smashing – without the leather sofas and mixologists – at one of the UK’s biggest bowling alley franchises. The Surrey Quays site has 28 lanes(!), plus an American-style diner and amusements arcade, whilst the O2 Arena has a twelve-lane alley that’s best enjoyed before a massive gig. There’s also one in Finchley that closes at 1am at the weekends. More info on Surrey Quays here, Finchley here and on the O2 Arena here.
📍You’ll find the Hollywood Bowl at various different locations in London. You can find out more here.
So there you have it – a roundup of the best places to go bowling in London. So whether your looking to have a fun night out with mates or wanting to take a Hinge date out, then this roundup should have you covered!
Also published on Medium.