CK Travels

24 London Activity Bars / Games Bars & Arcades (2023)

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Game on! Looking for London gaming bars with extra activities to enjoy with friends be they online gaming or actual board games? How about something a little more hands-on and competitive to combine with your craft beer?

Then our list of the top London games bars, activity bars and arcade bars in London in 2023 might be for you.

From retro gaming bars to classic console spaces, life-sized Monopoly to rooftop games bars, there is a long list of London games bars and arcades to suit all tastes (and budgets). You’ll even find interactive sports bars that have goal posts or cricket nets – score!

Whether you’re looking for the latest e-sports or something more traditional like table-tennis or beer-pong, here is our guide to the best London games bars, activity bars and sporting arcade bars for 2023:

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London Retro Games Bars

For a vintage night out, check out these classic console games bars in London:

1. Four Quarters Retro Games Bars

Ready for some retro, awesome arcade action?

With three London locations – one in Elephant and Castle, Peckham and Hackney Wick plus a Bristol off-shoot (or should that be off shoot-em-up?), this combination of cool craft beers and classic gaming machines is a fun night out.

Four Quarters Retro Games Bar London

Elephant and Castle Four Quarters is the largest of the Four Quarters London locations, with around 30 gaming machines dating from the 1970s to the early 2000s.

Enjoy a pale ale with Pac-Man or a draft beer with Donkey Kong – just don’t put your drink down or it might get ‘Tekken’ etc…

Also for riverside brews with views, the best London retro gaming bar is Four Quarters Hackney Wick at the HereEast park.

Four Quarters Retro Games Bar London
Four Quarters Retro Games Bar London

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2. NQ64

From Terminator 2 to Tetris, Space Invaders to Star Wars, NQ64 is one of the biggest chains of video game bars in London and the UK, with branches in Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow and more.

An awesome retro arcade experience based in Soho and Shoreditch, NQ64 is a neon nirvana of classic games consoles, arcade machines and general gaming goodness.

NQ64 Soho Game Bar

We visited NQ64 in Soho one weekday afternoon in August 2023 and the space in this London games bar works really well. Entering via Brewer Street, descend down luminous stairs (they must have spent a fortune on UV lights and paint!) into a well an underground bar is a labyrinth of retro games.

NQ64 Soho Game Bar

we spotted everything from Bubble Bobble to Point Blank and Big Buck Hunter – also keep an out eye for the Darth Vader mural and their own NQ64 beer; 4 bit Pilsner.

As well as a fun night of video games, NQ64 gaming bar offers themed cocktails like Kong Island Iced Tea (probably has a bit of a kick!), the Final Fantaria tequila drink and a Phone Home gin creation (plus craft beer from Tottenham based brewery Beavertown).

Please note that NQ64 in Soho is for over 18+ years only.

NQ64 Soho Game Bar

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London E-Games Activity Bars

The best modern London video games and e-sports bars include:

3. Platform Esports Bar

New for 2023 at Canary Wharf, Platform Esports bar is a two level bar with over 20 games booths and consoles that hosts esports tournaments and gaming parties!

Not to mention classic cocktails and drink specials inspired by retro arcade games (make ours a Pac-Manhattan!).

Platform Esports bar at Canary Wharf has a cinema like interior with gamers able to order drinks and snacks to their upmarket booths at the press of a button.

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4. SideQuest Gamers Hub (Elephant Park)

Part gaming bar, part Taiwan tea shop, SideQuest Gamers Hub is a new thing to do in Elephant and Castle, opening in late 2022.

SideQuest Elephant Park is a safe space for all to enjoy gaming and take part in e-tournaments both for fun and competitively – take part in weekly raid nights or Sidequest challenges to win prizes.

Afterwards, walk a couple of minutes down the road to Horangee Pocha, a Korean bar that is one of London’s first self-pour pint pubs (choose your craft beer of choice and tap your card to pour it yourself).

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Activity London Gaming Bars

If you prefer your gaming more hands-on, there are several activity games bars in London whereby you can compete against your friends on a number of challenges:

5. Fairgame Canary Wharf

A new London games bar and immersive experience to arrive at Canary Wharf (it opened in October 2022), Fairgame is all the fun of the fair without the rubbish circus acts. A carnival of fairground attraction style games with oodles of eating and drinking options.

There are various options / packages available at Fairgame Canary Wharf – we went for the £25pp package which included 70 minutes of gaming activities (you get to do each game twice) plus two drinks each (wine, pints of beer, prosecco etc).

All of your individual game scores are recorded by your electronic score-card so you can see where you rank against your mates or work colleagues. It is fair (game) to say we became quite competitive against each other.

The gaming activities are all a lot of fun, from water pistols filling up clown’s faces to horse-racing and a shooting alley. Fairgame Canary Wharf is one of the most fun games bars and activity centres in London; you will not be disappointed.

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6. Hijingo Bingo, Shoreditch

We’d rate Hijingo (bingo) as our favourite interactive games bar experience in London – it is totally unique and great for nights out with friends or co-workers (even better after a few of their tiki cocktails!)

If we had to summarise Hijingo, it would have to be ‘beautifully bonkers bingo’; a neon nirvana of bright lights and sheer unadulterated fun.

Each bingo session consists of three games and prizes up for grabs. On the night we visited Hijingo, this included a retro games console and chance to win £250 in cold hard cash!

With Hijingo prices starting at £16pp for two games, this is futuristic fun in the heart of central London (located near Shoreditch and Liverpool Street station). Popular with work crowds, you enter a modern bingo hall adorned with state-of-the-art video screens, neon lights and a huge stage.

New for Autumn 2023, Hinjingo Bingo are now also offering 80’s themed bingo nights, entitled The 80’s Power Trip – expect power ballads, big tunes and big perms (probably).

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7. Roof East Gaming Bar, Stratford

East London’s newest rooftop bar sitting atop Stratford Shopping Centre and multi-story carpark (not to be confused with Westfield Stratford City), this winning wining and dining experience is reminiscent of Franks Cafe, also atop a carpark in Peckham.

Unlike Franks Cafe though, this rooftop Stratford bar has loads of games to play at the top from archery and mini golf bowling to and board games (and yes they have Jenga!).

To top it all off, you can take part in Car Park Karaoke (don’t worry, this has nothing to do with James Cordern) or a rooftop cinema in the summer months.

With views of east London and the city, this is a sublime space to soak up the sunshine (and sauvignon blanc) and one of the summer things to do in Stratford, London.

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8. Monopoly Life-Sized, Tottenham Court Road

Massive Monopoly comes to London; one of the newest games bars and immersive experiences in London.

At Monopoly Life-sized, travel around a huge game board buying up properties (for us, the only way we can afford to buy in London!) with escape room challenges in an 80 minute immersive adventure.

Located on Tottenham Court Road, you can relax before or after the game in the Top Hat bar with themed Monopoly cocktails and desserts like Mr Millionaire’s Millionaire Cheesecake (and no, they don’t accept Monopoly money as payment…)

Monopoly Life-sized interactive game tickets start from £49 per player as of summer 2023. 

Advance bookings are required and you must be part of a group to play.

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9. TOCA Social

London has never been short of sports and gaming bars and one of the newest openings at the O2 is TOCA Social, the world’s first interactive football and dining experience, pairing immersive gaming and a gamut of food and drink.

TOCA Social O2

Where the beautiful game meets modern technology (that isn’t thankfully VAR), TOCA Social is perfect night out to challenge co-workers or chum to football related games, both virtually and physically.

From children’s birthday parties to work drinks, TOCA Social is a ‘kicking’ football and sports bar with games like Star Striker and Surviving the Apocalypse.

Score a trip to TOCA social – prices start from £25 per box as of summer 2023.

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E-Karting Gaming / Go Karting Activity Bars in London

Zoom along to this crafty e-karting and video game bar in south London:

10. E Karting at Gravity Wandsworth

Japanese go-karting comes to London in the form of electronic go karts at Gravity in Wandsworth.

Race the all-electric e-karts through themed Japanese streets and circuits to test your go karting driving acumen and ability.

With a daring driving course by day and neon lit night time circuits, this is a high octane opportunity to beat your friends or work colleagues at go-karting.

Pre or post go-karting, there is lots to enjoy at Gravity Wandsworth, an epic ‘immersive experience‘ entertainment centre with arcades, e-sports, digital darts, bowling, bars and themed restaurants all under one roof.

The bar and noodle kitchen next to the Japanese themed go karting centre at Gravity Wandsworth also has huge go-karts as the centre-piece.

Gravity Go Karting in London Wandsworth prices from £13.95 per adult (for a 8 minute open race session with other drivers). Prices correct as of summer 2023.

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London Darts Activity Bars

Bullseye! You can now play darts in several London gaming bars including:

11. Flight Club Victoria

Bullseye! Before you ‘dart’ to Victoria Station to catch the train home, why not have a flight of fancy and try to hit 180 in Flight Club, the home of social darts in the city of London?

Darts is a well loved sport here in the UK! If you haven’t heard of it before, think of it as throwing mini arrows at a circular board where you are trying to get the best score, the first to 301 or 501.

Flight club is a darts themed bar where you can step up the oche and throw a few flights.

Prices as at 2023 start from £10 per person for 60 minutes, or £13 per person for 90 minutes.

Other than Victoria Station, additional London Flight Club branches include Shoreditch, Islington and Bloomsbury.

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12. Oche The Strand

Stand up to the Oche – this darts games bar in London is superbly located along the Strand, close to Covent Garden and Soho.

With 15 darts booths plus a restaurant, bar and VIP area (probably stands for ‘Very Important Darts Player!), this is one sublime subterranean set-up.

The food menu at oche includes oysters, Korean pork plus a big choice of flat bread pizzas.

Oche often run special offers like Darts and Pizza for £22.95, plus Sunday specials where the dart action is cheaper than during the week.

London Shuffleboard Bars

Slide along to these London shuffleboard bars:

13. Electric Shuffle

When we first heard about Electric Shuffle gaming bars in London we thought it might be some form of retro discotheque but it is in fact related to the classic ‘shuffleboard’ game.

There are London Electric Shuffleboard locations in London Bridge and Canary Wharf.

Electric Shuffle Canary Wharf and London Bridge
Electric Shuffle Canary Wharf

We’ve visited the Canary Wharf Shuffleboard bar and as you’d expect from the team that also brought you dart-astic Flight Club, Electric Shuffle is all about having fun.

With ten shuffle-board playing areas, Shuffleboard is one of the most beautiful bar interiors you’ll find in Canary Wharf, if not East London.

Every Thursday to Sunday, Electric Shuffle also offers bottomless pizza and prosecco brunch sessions (definitely a surefire way to improve your shuffleboard skills).

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London Board Game Bars

14. Draughts Board Game Cafe @Leake Street

If you are ‘bored’ of hanging out in Waterloo Station, how about a board game at Draughts, located in the super street art and very Instagrammable tunnel Leake Street Arches?

Draughts Board Game Cafe @Leake Street London

Open daily until midnight (and 1am on Friday and Saturdays) for game enthusiasts and role play revellers, Draughts Leake Street location with its sweet-as street art is pretty unique.

As well as board games, Draughts Leake Street offers diner style food in the form of burgers, tacos and light bites along with the usual craft beer choice. Batt-aleships indeed!

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15. Rule Zero Hackney Wick

Bringing a mix of board games and beer, Rule Zero is a canalside bar and Hackney Wick hang-out where you can eat, drink and (role) play ‘til your heart’s content.

Rule Zero Hackney Wick Board game Bar London

The first rule of Rule Zero is to have fun and with a top floor dedicated to table gaming (from Scrabble to Snakes and Ladders), it isn’t hard to be ‘won’ over by this Hackney Wick puzzle pub.

Below is Sub Zero, a basement Hackney Wick bar and club which plays host to live events such as comedy nights, jazz and film screenings. The bars are fully stocked, from cocktails to craft beer and food is also available, including vegan options.

Best of all, Rule Zero has cityscape views of nearby Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so you’ll feel like a true contender no matter what game or drink you enjoy.

Rule Zero Hackney Wick Board game Bar London

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London Mini Golf Gaming Bars

‘Fore real’ – there are some fine London mini golf courses, with new crazy golf courses opening up all the time in the capital.

16. Plonk Borough Market Crazy Golf

For our money, this is perhaps the most colourful crazy golf course and golf gaming bar in London – Plonk Borough Market.

Better yet, Plonk Borough Market features some of London’s best loved landmarks in miniature form as holes and a fully loaded bar.

Plonk Borough Market Crazy Golf game Bar London

This superb subterranean 9-hole course is just a short walk (shot even) from Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral, making good use of the railway arches beneath London Bridge and Borough High Street.

The Plonk Golf peeps have really gone to (London) town with this course, a neon nirvana of some of the capital’s most famous spots like Thames Barrier, HMS Belfast (one of the trickiest holes) and the London Eye. We absolutely loved playing this crazy golf course.

Plonk Borough Market Crazy Golf game Bar London

Plonk Golf Borough Market is also open until 11pm every night meaning this is one of the few places where you can play crazy golf in central London until late at night. You could go for a beer beforehand in one of the Borough Market pubs.

As of summer 2023, Plonk Golf London Borough Market prices start from £12.50 per adult for off-peak slots (weekdays before 5pm) and from £16 per adult on weekdays after 5pm / all weekend. Under 18 prices at Plonk Golf Borough Market start from £10. The price includes all equipment.

Plonk also have branches in Shoreditch, Camden and Hackney.

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17. Birdies

A little ‘Birdie’ recently told us about this nice, new (ish) mini golf course, located in Angel and Battersea.

With bright lights and a neon backdrop as standard and a 9 hole course, this is a great way to combine a little sporting action with a cheeky craft beer or bite to eat – particularly with some of their midweek specials like a game of golf, burger and fries for £25.

Birdies Battersea

There are oodles of eating out and drinking options located next to both Birdies Battersea and Angel so you could easily make a day of it – very much our cup of ‘tee’.

A round of golf at Birdies starts from £12 per person (£6 for children) as of summer 2023.

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18. Puttshack

One of the most modern crazy golf courses in London, Puttshack feels like a mini golf mash-up where ‘God’s Own Junkyard’ meets Fair Game.

With cool crazy golf holes that give off pinball machine and retro arcade bar vibes, this is one good looking mini golf games bar in London with branches in Westfield White City, Bank and Watford.

As well as crazy golf, Puttshack also has an extensive food menu that includes diner style fare such as mac and cheese croquettes, burgers galore, sourdough pizzas and superfood salads.

Late night mini golf in London is also available courtesy of Puttshack White City as they stay open until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights, which means you can have a round of golf then dash off to catch the last Tube at nearby White City station – you’re welcome!

Mini golf prices start from £12.50 per adult and £9.50 per child as of Summer 2023.

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19. The Golf Groove, Wimbledon

Wimbledon is most often associated with tennis but now you can also get into the ‘Golf Groove’ with this new bar and terrace with indoor golfing bays at the Centre Court Shopping Centre in Wimbledon.

Opened in March 2023, The Golf Groove is the UK’s largest virtual golf experience with 12 indoor golf bays plus PGA professionals on hand to help you improve your technique.

‘Tea’ off with the Golf Groove bar, which is open all day for coffee and cake in the morning through to pints and more later in the day.

Various gaming / bar offers are available at Wimbledon’s Golf Groove including the Sunday Social (an hour of golf with food and drink) or the Major Social (enjoy one of the golf bays for up to 6 people with a bulging bucket of beers for £40).

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London Table Tennis Bars

Swing on by these table tennis / ping pong games bars in London:

20. Bounce

The newest table tennis and ping pong bar in London, Bounce is billed as “…London’s home of ping pong”.

Coming in swinging with a top table tennis set-up, a bounty of bottomless brunches, party packages and gaming galore, table tennis in this bouncy and beautiful bar starts from £6pp. 

Bounce Battersea

We recently tried the ‘Warm Up’ package at Battersea Bounce which included an hour of table tennis, two drinks each and a smorgasbord of snacks that included tacos, fries, vegetarian skewers and a pizza to share (Warm-Up packages start from £25pp).

As well as ping pong tables, Bounce have beer pong tables and shuffleboards.

Bounce Battersea

What we thought was really neat was that unlike conventional table tennis halls, you’re given a whole basket of table tennis balls at the start so you don’t need to worry about running after them to retrieve them.

Staff also have a clever ‘ball scooper net’ (not the technical term!) and replenish your supply often. Nice!

Bounce currently has three table tennis gaming bars in London – Farringdon, Old Street and Battersea.

Bounce Battersea

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21. Bat & Ball Stratford

If you fancy a gamut of gaming after exploring the shops of Westfield Stratford City (Europe’s largest shopping mall), check out Bat & Ball, East London’s temple of table tennis and excellent sports and gaming bar.

With 5 large ping pong tables and multiple screens for live sports and gaming action, Bat & Ball Stratford has got you covered.

Who needs Red Bull with such high energy activities on offer as beer pong, darts, pool and karaoke.

Plus if you are feeling a little upmarket, upgrade from beer pong to prosecco pong – cheers!

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Bowling Bars in London

22. All Star Lanes

Strike out in Shepherd’s Bush, Holborn, Brick Lane and Stratford – all home to All Star Lanes Bowling, an American style bowlerama and diner. And what is better than ten pin bowling? Bowling followed by karaoke!

Prices start from as little as £5 a bowling game (Sunday evening walk-ins) as of summer 2023.

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Cricket Games Bar in London

23. Sixes Cricket

Howzat? Sixes Cricket is the world’s first social entertainment cricket venue and cricket gaming bar with London locations in Fitzrovia, Westfield White City in Shepherd’s Bush and Fulham.

Combining food and drink with social cricket, each Sixes Cricket bar has a collection of cricket related games from cricket simulators to actual real wickets and nets.

Sixes Cricket Game Bar London

Best of all, Sixes Cricket has lots of offers such as bottomless brunch packages or cricket net hire from as low as £7 per person in off-peak periods.

All of the London Sixes Cricket gaming bars also offer happy hours in the week – make sure you arrive in time and don’t get ‘caught out’.

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Our final bar with gaming activities in London:

24. The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience, Piccadilly

The Crystal Maze comes to central London. Crystal Maze is based on an old UK quiz challenge show and is now one of the best games with a bar in Piccadilly Circus, London!

We’ve ‘dared’ play the Crystal Maze several times and it is one of the most fun team activities, with a bar to enjoy at the end.

A classic British entertainment show recreated in London, you and your teammates scamper around four themed zones completing challenges to win crystals which determine how much you have in the actual Crystal Maze at the end.

Chaos and cocktails will likely ensue in the bar afterwards.

The attention to detail and theming is superb – prices for the The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience in London start from £59 per person (playing in teams of 8) as of summer 2023.

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