15 Top-Rated Arcade Venues in the UK

15 Top-Rated Arcade Venues in the UK

Head to any coastal town in the UK and you’re likely to come across large amusement centres offering classic arcade games and family-friendly entertainment. With the sound of coins clinking down slots, the whirring sound effects, and the hustle and bustle of customers moving around the space, these venues offer fun-filled activities (with a lot of nostalgia for those who grew up in the 80s and 90s).

As the UK's leading supplier of new, hand-built arcade games machines, we lovingly create arcade cabinets and table arcade machines inspired by the original retro arcade machines we all know and love!

However, we know that arcade gaming continues to evolve and adapt... As many of the gamers that once populated traditional arcades grow up, barcades (boozier, more-adult oriented venues) and VR-powered arcade-based gaming venues can be seen as an entirely natural evolution of the traditional arcade. Outside of the online environments of modern multiplayer console and PC gaming, there are very few places to mingle with fellow gamers, and these venues bank on offering a social experience on top of nostalgia for the good old days. 

With all this in mind, we decided to analyse TripAdvisor data to discover the top-rated arcade-based venues across the UK. We also took the time to analyse the search volume data to discover where in the UK there is high demand for such venues, based on Google searches. 

Read on to find out more…

Analysing TripAdvisor Data on UK Arcades

We focused on TripAdvisor’s top suggested attractions for arcade-related keywords – including ‘arcade’ and ‘arcade games’ – based on results from 'Things to Do' in the United Kingdom, correct as of 11/05/2022, before comparing them against each other to form an overall ranking order.

We filtered by average rating (to highlight establishments with between a 5* 'Excellent' and 4* 'Very Good' average rating only) until 50 were left, and then these 50 were first ranked based on actual number of 5* reviews received and then by percentage of 5* reviews to determine the venue’s overall index rank. 

Of the 50 venues analysed, 41 were in England, 5 were in Wales, 3 were in Scotland and 1 was in Northern Ireland. 

The findings revealed the following:

Rank

Venue

Location

Country

Average rating

Number of 5*

Number of reviews

% 5*

1

Electric Gamebox

London

England

5

681

738

92.28%

2

Arcade Club

Bury

England

5

338

392

86.22%

3

Hyper Reality

London

England

5

200

207

96.62%

4

PimpShuei

London

England

5

163

173

94.22%

5

DNA VR Battersea Power Station

London

England

5

94

96

97.92%

6

R-CADE

Glasgow

Scotland

5

55

56

98.21%

7

High Scores Arcades

Newbury

England

5

43

52

82.69%

8

DNA VR

London

England

5

36

37

97.30%

9

The Arcade Vaults

Cardiff

Wales

5

36

38

94.74%

10

High Scores Arcades

Southampton

England

5

27

33

81.82%

11

Timewarp Arcade

Bridgwater

England

5

24

29

82.76%

12

Retro Arcade Warrington

Warrington

England

5

23

29

79.31%

13

Insanity Gaming Arcade

Poole

England

5

14

14

100.00%

14

Retroids Arcade Bar

Worcester

England

5

13

13

100.00%

15

The Geek Guys Video Games & Arcade Collectors

Grangemouth

Scotland

5

10

10

100.00%

16

Southwold Pier

Southwold

England

4.5

1289

2540

50.75%

17

Xscape Yorkshire

Castleford

England

4.5

730

1199

60.88%

18

Saltburn Pier

Saltburn-by-the-Sea

England

4.5

491

835

58.80%

19

Penny Lane

Nottingham

England

4.5

299

414

72.22%

20

Novelty Automation

London

England

4.5

137

170

80.59%

21

Treasure Island Amusements

Bridlington

England

4.5

121

165

73.33%

22

Oasis Amusements

Hemsby

England

4.5

98

141

69.50%

23

Vortex Gaming

Birmingham

England

4.5

86

109

78.90%

24

Les Harkers Amusements & Bingo

Rhyl

Wales

4.5

42

59

71.19%

25

Arcade Club

Leeds

England

4.5

41

53

77.36%

26

Astro City

Southend-on-Sea

England

4.5

36

43

83.72%

26

Bubbles Amusements Hopton

Hopton-on-Sea

England

4.5

36

43

83.72%

28

iFun

Herne Bay

England

4.5

35

46

76.09%

29

Harbour Amusements

Torquay

England

4.5

34

46

73.91%

30

Las Vegas Arcade Soho

London

England

4.5

32

48

66.67%

31

Penrhyn Amusement Arcade

Fairbourne

Wales

4.5

26

37

70.27%

32

Sands Amusements

Hemsby

England

4.5

26

44

59.09%

33

Mr P's Classic Amusements

Bognor Regis

England

4.5

22

25

88.00%

34

Retro Play

Norwich

England

4.5

19

24

79.17%

35

Sailor Boy Amusements

Clacton-on-Sea

England

4.5

17

21

80.95%

36

Super Bario

Glasgow

Scotland

4.5

16

25

64.00%

37

The Mirage Arcade

Hemsby

England

4.5

10

15

66.67%

38

Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton

England

4

3297

8663

38.06%

39

Llandudno Pier

Llandudno

Wales

4

2183

4495

48.57%

40

Coral Island Blackpool

Blackpool

England

4

1165

2353

49.51%

41

Clacton Pier

Clacton-on-Sea

England

4

678

1818

37.29%

42

Wellington Pier

Great Yarmouth

England

4

68

193

35.23%

43

VR CityX - Virtual Reality Arcades

Belfast

Northern Ireland

4

42

44

95.45%

44

Cain's Amusements

Herne Bay

England

4

29

62

46.77%

45

Harbour Amusements

St Ives

England

4

23

80

28.75%

46

Loading Bar

London

England

4

15

30

50.00%

47

High Scores Arcades

Farnborough

England

4

6

12

50.00%

48

Happidrome Arcade

Southend-on-Sea

England

4

5

9

55.56%

49

Treasure Island Arcade

Morecambe

England

4

5

10

50.00%

50

Knightly's Arcade & Bingo

Towyn

Wales

4

4

8

50.00%

The findings highlighted that 15 venues were amongst the top-rated, with an average rating of 5 stars, and were made up of a mixture of classic arcades, amusements, ‘barcades’, and VR-powered arcade-based gaming venues.

These venues included Electric Gamebox (London), Arcade Club (Bury), Hyper Reality (London), PimpShuei (London), DNA VR Battersea Power Station (London), R-CADE (Glasgow), High Scores Arcades (Newbury), DNA VR (London), The Arcade Vaults (Cardiff), High Scores Arcades (Southampton), Timewarp Arcade (Bridgwater), Retro Arcade Warrington (Warrington), Insanity Gaming Arcade (Poole), Retroids Arcade Bar (Worcester), and The Geek Guys Video Games & Arcade Collectors (Grangemouth).

Demand Across the UK

As well as analysing TripAdvisor data, we also delved into search volume data to discover the demand hotspots for such venues. For this, we looked at 2021’s average monthly searches per capita (in this case, calculated per 100k population) across 20 of the UK’s major cities, looking at three search terms to gather insight – one search term was generic (‘arcade’), one was product-based (‘arcade machine’), and one was location-based (‘arcade near me’).

The findings revealed the following:

Rank

City

Estimated population

Average monthly searches for "arcade"

Average monthly searches for "arcade machine"

Average monthly searches for "arcade near me"

Total average monthly searches (across all 3 terms)

Average monthly searches per capita (per 100k)

1

London

9,304,016

9,900

1,000

5,400

16,300

175

2

Edinburgh

536,775

590

90

140

820

153

3

Reading

342,117

210

40

170

420

123

4

Bournemouth

505,687

390

40

170

600

119

=5

Coventry

425,566

260

70

140

470

110

=5

Liverpool

901,708

590

140

260

990

110

7

Leicester

552,178

320

70

140

530

96

8

Stoke-on-Trent

386,013

140

50

90

280

73

9

Sheffield

730,158

320

110

90

520

71

10

Birmingham

2,607,437

1,000

260

480

1,740

67

11

Sunderland

341,366

110

50

50

210

62

=12

Brighton

606,909

260

30

70

360

59

=12

Cardiff

477,627

210

20

50

280

59

14

Glasgow

1,673,332

480

170

210

860

51

=15

Newcastle upon Tyne

809,481

260

50

90

400

49

=15

Belfast

630,632

170

70

70

310

49

17

Leeds

1,889,095

590

110

210

910

48

18

Southampton

927,916

260

30

110

400

43

19

Manchester

2,730,076

720

110

320

1,150

42

20

Middlesbrough

387,392

90

30

40

160

41

Based on the per capita calculations, the findings revealed that residents in London, Edinburgh, and Reading were most likely to be searching for arcade-based terms, highlighting a particular demand for this type of venue in these cities.

In London, for every 100,000 people in its population, there were an average of 175 searches per month across these terms. In Edinburgh, this was calculated as 153 searches per month across these terms (per 100k), and in Reading there were 123 searches per month across these terms (per 100k).

Bournemouth, Coventry, Liverpool, Leicester, Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield, and Birmingham all made up the remainder of the top 10. Sitting at the bottom end of the list were Middlesbrough, Manchester, Southampton, Leeds, Belfast, and Newcastle upon Tyne, each with less than 50 searches per month across these terms (per 100k population).

Arcade Machines

Our range of top selling machines and accessories includes everything you could possibly need to enjoy or upgrade your machines performance – from USB controllers and cables to light guns and full-size Pacman machines.

Our retro-style, multi-game arcade machines are available to buy in either 2-player or 4-player configurations, pre-loaded with up to 9000 single and multiplayer games. All of our arcade machines are fully tested prior to shipping and always include one year's warranty.

If you have any special custom arcade machine requirements or questions, please get in touch with us by emailing sales@bitcade.co.uk

Back to blog