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Written by Luke Bull - 09 October 2023

London's 12 best bowling venues

Bowling is old, super old. In between consulting with outer-space construction firms, the Ancient Egyptians were known to lob stone balls at alabaster vases. The Romans killed time, outside of killing time, developing an outdoor bowling game, now known as the Italian pastime of Bocce. The oldest bowling green in England dates all the way back to 1299 (the same year York Minister was begun). Humans, it seems, were born to bowl.

What better way of paying homage to civilisation, then, than by rolling a ball down a highly lacquered floor? London's alleys have come a long way recently, with bowling nerds flocking to the city en masse.

Take a look at some of our favourite bowling venues in London below.

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1. Become a lean mean bowling machine: Bloomsbury lanes


Ten pins, one ball. You know the drill.

Located in Holborn, Bloomsbury Lanes is a sleek and friendly venue for a fun night out. With all 8 lanes available and 5 for private hire you can host any event big or small.

Rent out The Kingpin Suite for a more exclusive vibe and try your hand at pool, ping pong or karaoke. Enjoy the American diner menu full of classics and cocktails with famous Ray’s Pizzas on offer for those seeking a classic slice.

2. Bowl your friends away with this exclusive London venue: The Croc Soho


The Croc in Soho is a stylish bowling alley with a vintage charm. Hidden in the lower levels of the Ham Yard Hotel, you may feel like you've stepped into a time capsule.

With the original 1950s bowling alley imported all the way from Texas, this place has a retro ambience. Enjoy a classic cocktail at the bar or take a break from throwing strikes in the lounge to admire the vibrant Howard Hodgekin paintings on display.

Exclusive hire for up to 250 people so slip on your vintage bowling shoes and enquire now.

3. Eat, sleep, bowl, repeat: All Star Lanes Holborn

Located in Holborn, All Star Lanes has an energetic atmosphere. This retro bowling alley has a bar service alongside the lanes fueling you with Dutch courage to throw your best shots.

Available for private hire with up to 7 people per lane. Share American-style platters including wings, burgers and desserts alongside a range of cocktails.

4. Throw balls around in a London brewery: Strike Bowling

Wandsworth Town

This Wandsworth spot resides inside Britain's oldest brewery which has been converted into a boutique bowling alley.

It offers tank-fresh beer alongside a range of locally brewed ales. Private hire is available so challenge up to 220 guests. Try the limitless lunch with food and drink available for 2 hours. If you’re feeling competitive join their weekly bowling league.

If tenpin bowling is too mainstream for you, head to Strike and swap Tenpin for Duckpin.

Play with shorter, fatter pins and a ball with no finger holes to test your throws.

And if you find it isn't for you, there's always more beer.

5. A London bowling alley to let the good times roll: Brick Lane All Star Lanes

Brick Lane

Amongst the street art and vintage shops lies Brick Lane’s very own All Star Lanes. Open until 1 am this venue offers 6 lanes with a fully-stocked bar to improve your game.

7 players per lane, with the entire venue available for private hire. Enjoy tacos, salad, ribs or many other mains alongside sharing platters.

For an exclusive event, book the High Rollers private room. This speakeasy comes with 3 private lanes, a mixologist creating at the cocktail bar. You will also find a private karaoke machine so you can perform a celebratory anthem or wallow in the blues.

6. Queens one-stop bowling fun shop: QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl


Located in Queensway in the heart of London, QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl is both intimate and fluorescent in atmosphere.

This vibrant destination offers a bowling alley alongside an arcade zone, an ice rink and a slightly less common curling pitch all of which are open until late.

Book the main lanes or treat yourself to the liquor lanes. Super slick and bright red with your own bar. If you bowl up an appetite, QUEENS serve shakes, burgers and fries. Guests can share finger food or try a MEATliquor burger and relax in the whopping lounge bar.

Private hire is available so show off your strike skills and take home the coveted prize of bragging rights. And with multiple photobooths, you can cement this moment forever.

7. Bowling fun that's right up your alley: Rowans


Just a stone's throw from Finsbury Park lies Rowans Bowling Alley, a fun and friendly establishment for anyone who wants to enjoy a good game of bowling.

With a retro-American theme, this tenpin venue is flexible to all events. Rent up to 24 lanes for up to 200 people and enjoy the well-stocked bar to fuel your best throws.

Alleys are suitable for kids, with smaller lanes available for little ones to join in the fun. Come on Friday or Saturday to enjoy lane dancing and have a late-night boogie on the bowl.

8. Gold star for this retro bowling alley: All Star Stratford

Located in Westfield, Stratford, All Star Lanes offer a fun and friendly bowling experience for everyone.

All Star is decorated with memorabilia giving it a nostalgic feel that will appeal to bowling enthusiasts. Sporting 14 lanes and a well-stocked bar to help your aim, this venue is available for private hire.

Book the semi-exclusive area The Loft for a private event. Grab up to 50 people for a VIP experience and enjoy 3 private lanes and your own retro-american drinks fridge.

9. Pin it to win it at this London bowling alley: Tenpin Acton


Bursting with activities, Tenpin offers bowling as its primary game.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time thrower, Tenpin welcomes all to play on its massive 32 lanes. With a range of halal food pizza and drinks to accompany your experience, you can get your best throwing game on.

Want something more atmospheric?

Try bowling in the dark with state of the art led lighting to highlight your strike. And if you're a fan of hitting the edges of the lane, try HYPER bowling. The more you bounce off the LED sides, the more points you will receive. Enquire now and try a new take on a classic.

10. For bowling even Americans would feel at home at: Hollywood Bowl

If you're looking for a fun all-American experience head to Hollywood Bowl. Enjoy its impressive tinsel town-themed decor as you choose between 28 lanes.

With plenty of group packages available Hollywood Bowl cater to many occasions. Rent the VIP lanes and bowl alongside Marylin and other stars.

With diner food as American as its name, this venue offers cocktails and slushies to refresh the bowlers. Relax in the lounge or smash it in the lanes. Private hire is available.

11. Get the ball rolling at All Star Lanes Westfield

White City

Head to White City’s Westfield to find All Star Lanes for a night of bowling. This friendly venue has an art-deco theme that will transport you back in time.

With 8 available lanes for private hire, bring up to 7 people per lane and host an event, big or small. Enjoy a fully stocked bar and The Lanes Kitchen to make a meal out of it.

For a VIP experience book the Midnight Lounge, a private room with a capacity for 120. Try your hand in your own private lanes and cocktail bar.

And if bowling is not for you, there's karaoke, too.

12. If you've got time to spare, head to Lewisham Lanes


For a vibrant bowl, Lewisham Lanes is the place. This buzzing venue is host to a massive 22 lanes, accommodating groups of all sizes.

With multicoloured lane lighting, you can bowl until late. The energetic atmosphere doesn't stop there with DJs on Friday and Saturday nights providing the soundtrack to your evening.

Enjoy a pizza menu with a variety of sides all washed down with cocktails. Available for private hire so head to Lewisham for a night of splits and strikes.

Find the perfect bowling venue in London

What do you think of when you picture bowling? The local leisure centre complex? The acrid smell of shoe spray, the neon glow of arcade machines and the inevitable overpriced burger. Well, you're wrong. London is having a bowling renaissance, with a bewildering selection of bespoke alleys fine-tuned to throw a heavy ball in a straight line.

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How to book a bowling alley in London (and then bowl a strike)

Bowling is a fun and exciting activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you're looking to spend quality time with friends, family or colleagues, booking a bowling alley in London can be a fantastic idea. In this guide, we'll explore the steps you need to take to find and book the perfect bowling alley for your event.

Identify Your Needs and Preferences:

Before you begin searching for a bowling alley, consider the size of your group, the location you prefer, your budget, and any special features or amenities you desire. This will help you narrow down your options and make your search more efficient.

Conduct Online Research:

Start your search by browsing the internet for bowling alleys in London. HeadBox can help you out here. In fact this very page can help you out.

Submit a brief on HeadBox

Submit a brief for a bowling alley in London through HeadBox. We'll circulate your event brief with the best bowling alleys and then the avalible ones will get back to you. You can match with your favourite and complete the booking directly with them. It's like dating, but with....bowling.

Compare and Choose the Best Option:

After gathering all the necessary information, compare your options and select the best bowling alley for your event, through HeadBox. Consider factors such as location, price, facilities, and customer feedback when making your decision.

Book Your Bowling Alley:

Once you have chosen your preferred bowling alley, make a reservation by providing your contact information, the date and time of your event, and any special requests or accommodations. Be sure to ask about any booking policies, including deposit requirements and cancellation terms.

Confirm Your Reservation:

A few days before your event, contact the bowling alley to confirm your reservation and any special arrangements. This will help ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of your event.

Finding and booking a bowling alley in London can be a simple and enjoyable process when you follow the steps outlined in this guide. By conducting thorough research, comparing your options, and making a well-informed decision, you can secure the perfect venue for your event and create lasting memories with your friends, family, or colleagues. Happy bowling!


You have your venue booked, you've got you best bowling shirt hung and ironed ready to go, and you may even have a ball well-waxed and in one of those cloth-type things real bowling nerds use. But now the alley is staring you down, the pins glinting in the neon lighting as if mocking you, daring you to roll that heavy ball straight into the flanking gutter.

"Balls. You say to yourself. I have no idea how to bowl."

HeadBox's guide to actually bowling

So, you've decided to take up bowling, eh? Well, good for you! Bowling is the perfect sport for anyone who loves to roll heavy objects at defenseless pins while wearing questionable footwear. But if you want to go from gutter-ball goof to lane-dominating legend, you've come to the right place. Here's our guide to becoming a true bowling sensation.

Embrace the Shoes:

Yes, the shoes are funky, and you'll likely question their cleanliness. But just remember: the more absurd the shoes, the more powerful your bowling prowess. Embrace their questionable charm, lace 'em up, and get ready to strut your stuff down the lane.

Choose Your Weapon Wisely:

Picking the perfect bowling ball is like selecting a dance partner - it's all about the chemistry. Search for the one that whispers sweet nothings into your ear as it rests comfortably in your hand. Remember, size and weight matter. Too light, and you'll send it flying into the next lane; too heavy, and you might just follow it down the lane yourself.

Master the Art of Warming Up:

Before getting down to business, it's important to loosen up those limbs. But forget the standard stretches - this is bowling! We recommend a series of hilarious yet effective warm-up exercises: the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" wrist flick, the "Who's Your Daddy?" shoulder shimmy, and the classic "Elvis Has Left the Building" hip swivel.

Find Your Inner Zen:

Bowling is a mental game, so it's crucial to maintain your focus. Use whatever wacky meditation technique works for you. Picture yourself as a bowling ball soaring through the air, gracefully knocking down all ten pins with ease. Or, envision your boss's face on those pins (just don't mention that to them at the company outing).

Strut Your Stuff:

Approaching the lane is a time-honoured ritual. Walk up with confidence, head held high, and a swagger that says, "I'm here to knock some pins into oblivion." Channel your inner John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever and make that approach your personal disco.

Perfect the Chaotic Release:

Now that you're feeling the groove, it's time to release the ball. It's all in the wrist - give it a flick and send your ball spinning down the lane like a dizzy duck. Aim for that sweet spot between the headpin and the one just next to it, known as the "pocket." If you hit it right, you'll be dancing your way to a strike.

Celebrate Like a Champion:

You've done it! Those pins didn't stand a chance. Now it's time to celebrate with an equally extravagant victory dance. The Robot, the Moonwalk, the Sprinkler - anything goes! Just remember to graciously accept your adoring fans' applause and high-fives.

There you are, now you can book, bowl and boast like a true champ. Just please, please don't use the barriers. You're better than that.

Frequently asked questions

The cost of booking a bowling alley in London can vary depending on factors such as location, time, and day of the week. On average, you can expect to pay between £6-£12 per person, per game. However, many bowling alleys offer group discounts or special packages that may include food, drinks, and additional games.

It's a good idea to book a bowling alley at least two weeks in advance, especially if you're planning an event on a weekend or during peak hours. For larger groups or special occasions, it's recommended to book even earlier to ensure availability.

Yes, many bowling alleys in London offer private event options. You can book a specific number of lanes or even the entire venue for your event. Be sure to inquire about catering options, party packages, and any additional services that the bowling alley may offer for private event. You can use HeadBox to match with the best available bowling alleys in London, who will also do private hire.

Generally, there are no age restrictions for booking a bowling alley, as it is an activity suitable for all ages. However, some bowling alleys may have specific policies for younger children or may require adult supervision. Be sure to inquire about any age restrictions when booking a bowling alley for your event.

Most bowling alleys have strict policies prohibiting outside food and drinks, as they typically offer their own selection of food and beverages on-site. However, if you have special dietary requirements or would like to bring a cake for a celebration, it's best to contact the bowling alley and discuss your needs in advance.

Let's get you a strike.

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