The Top Arcades and Seaside Resorts in the UK

  • VSO compared a range of factors to find the best arcades and seaside resorts
  • Arcade Club venues in Leeds and Manchester are the two top arcades in the UK
  • Brighton takes the crown of the best seaside resort, followed by Swansea
Brighton Pier
If you want to know the best seaside resorts and arcades in the UK, look no further than our list. [Image:]

We have carried out research across the UK to reveal the very best arcades in the UK, along with the best seaside resorts in the country for a coastal escape.

Arcades are a staple in the UK’s seaside towns – and now they’re becoming a hit across the rest of the country, too. Whether you’re looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane or a taste of the latest releases, arcades are popping up in cities and towns everywhere. 

But from the seaside classics to trendy urban gaming bars, which are the very best arcades in the country?

We’ve done the research to find out, analysing things like Google reviews, search volumes and the average time spent in popular arcades around the UK to reveal the best of them all for some pixelated fun. On top of that, we’ve also researched some of the best seaside resorts to pair your arcade adventures with, based on things like average temperatures, reviews and the number of activities to do.

The top arcades in the UK


Google review score

Average time spent in the arcade (hours)

Walking distance from the train station (miles)

Average monthly search volume
Arcade Enjoyment Score
Arcade NameCity
1Arcade Club LeedsLeeds4.83.500.59,9008.36
2Arcade Club BuryManchester4.83.250.812,1008.32
3Brighton PierBrighton4.41.500.927,1007.69
4QUEENS Skate Dine BowlLondon4.22.000.0322,2007.50
5Arcade Club BlackpoolBlackpool4.73.000.54,4007.40
6F1® ArcadeBirmingham4.71.750.314,8007.36
7Level XMiddlesborough4.1n/a0.514,8007.05
9Grand PierWeston-super-Mare4.1n/a0.812,1006.69
10Merrivale Old Penny ArcadeGreat Yarmouth4.7n/a1.406.36
11Four Quarters PeckhamLondon4.4n/a0.22,9006.35
12Platform ShoreditchLondon4.52.250.31,3006.33
13Astro CitySouthend-on-Sea4.5n/a0.28806.31
14Penny LaneNottingham4.2n/a0.025,4006.29
15Four Quarters Elephant ParkLondon4.52.000.31,9006.20
16Four Quarters HackneyLondon4.5n/a0.41106.19
17Four Quarters NewcastleNewcastle4.61.750.31,6006.13
19Four Quarters BristolBristol4.51.630.91,6005.81
20Skegness PierSkegness4.21.500.64,4005.57

1. Arcade Club Leeds

Arcade Club describes itself as “Europe’s Largest Free Play Video & Pinball Arcade,” with hundreds of modern and classic arcade games to play. Its Leeds location is one of three (the other two being in Bury and Blackpool), and has won the crown as the best arcade in the UK thanks to its popularity and rave reviews. 

really awesome and amazing how quick the time flies by”

Spread over three floors, visitors can have a go at everything from classic arcade games to “brand new imports.” The versatile selection clearly goes down well, as Arcade Club in Leeds has one of the best Google ratings in the country at 4.8 out of 5. Reviews include that it’s “worth every penny,” “it completely blew us away,” and “really awesome and amazing how quick the time flies by” – so it’s definitely not one to miss. 

Speaking of time flying by, people spend an average of 3.5 hours here, which is longer than at any other arcade in the country. Given how many games there are to check out (over 300 to be exact), we’re not surprised.

The icing on the gaming cake? Arcade Club Leeds is located just 0.5 miles from the nearest train station, so it’s just a hop and a skip away for those taking public transport. 

2. Arcade Club Bury, Manchester

If you weren’t already convinced by Arcade Club’s brilliance, its second location in Bury ranks as the second-best arcade in the UK. Just like the Leeds location, it also holds an impressive Google review score of 4.8 out of 5, with reviewers praising its “huge selection of games,” “remarkably low prices” and “chilled atmosphere.” 

People spend an average of 3.25 hours here, which is only slightly less time than at the branch in Leeds, and it’s just a brief 0.8 miles walk from the nearest train station. 

One thing Arcade Club in Bury does hold over the Leeds location is search volume: there are an average of 12,100 searches per month for “Arcade Club Bury,” versus a slightly lower 9,900 for “Arcade Club Leeds.” 

3. Brighton Pier, Brighton

The iconic Brighton Pier boasts the UK’s third-best arcade. With a stellar Google review score of 4.4 out of 5, visitors praise the great location and selection of games – perfect for a fun-filled afternoon by the beach.

averaging a whopping 27,100 Google searches per month

While you might not lose yourself for quite as long as at Arcade Club (the average Brighton Pier visit clocks in at a still-respectable 1.5 hours), you are sure to have a good time with the variety of classic and cutting-edge games on offer. Plus, with the Brighton Pier arcade being the most searched-for in the country (averaging a whopping 27,100 Google searches per month), you know it’s a must-visit for any arcade enthusiast.

Whether you’re arriving by train or bus, Brighton Pier is an easy walk (just 0.9 miles) from the station – so you can be beating your friends at air hockey or grabbing plushie prizes in no time.

4. QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl, London

With a Google review score of 4.2 out of 5, QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl in London snags fourth place on the list. 

While it might not be the ultimate time warp like other top contenders, clocking in at an average visit of two hours, there’s enough entertainment under one roof to keep you busy. Along with its retro gaming arcade, QUEENS boasts 12 bowling lanes and an indoor ice rink, so there’s definitely no shortage of things to do. 

With the second-highest search volume in the country at 22,200 searches per month, it’s clear this London gem is a crowd-pleaser. On top of that, it boasts the most convenient location in the top five at just 0.03 miles from the nearest station, so it’s only a matter of minutes from platform to playtime.

5. Arcade Club Blackpool

Arcade Club continues to prove itself a powerhouse in the UK’s arcade scene, with its Blackpool location taking fifth place in the ranking. 

It’s a similar story to the other Arcade Club branches, with a slightly lower – but still very impressive – Google review score of 4.7 out of 5, and visitors spending an average of three hours getting lost in the wide variety of games on offer here. 

the chance to play hundreds of classic and modern games under one roof

It’s once again just a short half-mile walk from the nearest station, and the chance to play hundreds of classic and modern games under one roof seems well worth the stroll.

The 10 best seaside resorts in the UK

As well as looking at the UK’s best arcades, we also examined the best seaside resorts in the UK. Our analysis considered various factors like the number of restaurants, the number of things to do, Airbnb pricing per week, beach review scores, and average summer temperatures.

RankSeaside ResortAvg. temp in summer °CBeach review score(out of 5)No. of restaurantsNo. of cafesNo. of barsAvg. cost of an Airbnb per weekNumber of things to doSeaside Resort Score
6Southend on Sea16.583.05093214£697.752195.00

1. Brighton

Taking the crown for the best seaside town in the UK is Brighton. This quaint seaside town nestled on the southern coast of the UK is a hotspot for tourists — and it’s not just for the arcades!  

Foodies will feel right at home here, as Brighton has the most restaurants out of all the locations we analysed. Visitors have a whopping 814 restaurants to choose from, many of which are independent businesses serving a variety of global cuisine. Not only this, but there are 104 cafes on offer – and, for those who love nightlife, there are also 47 bars to check out. 

try your luck on the 2p machines at Brighton Pier

Brighton also has the most things to do for both tourists and locals alike, with 593 activities in total. There’s something for everyone here, whether you amble around the quaint streets of Brighton’s Lanes, try your luck on the 2p machines at Brighton Pier, or visit the Royal Pavilion — perhaps Brighton’s most famous landmark. 

2. Swansea

Next up is Swansea, the second-largest city in Wales, nestled on the country’s southwestern coastline. The main beach here is County Hall Beach, also known as Swansea Bay, which achieves the highest average review score out of all locations in our study: an impressive five out of five. 

Swansea has the third-highest number of cafes, with 53 scattered around the city. When it comes to activities, the city offers an abundance of options, securing the third spot with a total of 298 things to do. 

History-lovers shouldn’t miss the opportunity to explore Swansea Museum, the oldest of its kind in Wales. Meanwhile, Swansea market is a great option for foodies. And speaking of foodies, Swansea has 477 restaurants, the fifth-highest out of all locations studied.

3. Blackpool

In third place is Blackpool, the renowned seaside resort town in Lancashire. We found that Blackpool Beach has an impressive average beach review score of four out of five, so it’s a real hit with visitors and locals. 

the second most affordable location in our study

Blackpool is also the second most affordable location in our study, with an Airbnb costing only £584.32 for one week. For context, that’s over half the price of the most expensive town on our list! 

Blackpool also has the second-highest number of things to do, with 362 activities on offer in total, including the Grand Theatre, Blackpool Zoo, and the Blackpool Tower experience. 

The cheapest and warmest seaside towns

For those on a tighter budget, Skegness on the UK’s east coast has the most affordable accommodation of all the cities we analysed — with an Airbnb costing just £486 for one week.

And for all you sunseekers out there, Hastings on the southeast coast ranks as the warmest town in the summer months, where you’ll experience an average of 16.68°C.


We created a list of the most popular arcades and the best UK seaside resorts based on those frequently cited in articles and booking sites online. We then created two indexes ranking each location on a range of relevant metrics.

For the best UK arcades, each location was given an “Arcade Enjoyment Score” based on the following metrics:

To reveal the best UK seaside resorts, a separate index was created by analysing and scoring the following metrics for each destination:

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