The Best Seaside Arcades in the UK

speeding train

Written by our Web Team

8 min read | 27 May 2024

For many of us here in the UK, sandy beaches, rock pools, fresh seafood, and seaside arcades bring to mind feelings of nostalgia. 

From the train to the seaside, the journey itself can be just as exciting. Before you know it, you’re inhaling the crisp sea air, enjoying a bag of hot chips, and heading to one of the many arcades.

No matter how old we get, the nostalgia and childlike fun of visiting an arcade never truly goes away. From Blackpool to Southend, this article will explore some of the best seaside arcades from some of the UK’s most popular tourist locations.

Where are the best seaside arcades in the UK?

A hand puts a coin into an arcade machine slot.

When deciding on the best seaside arcades to visit in the UK, there are multiple factors to consider, such as whether they provide:

  • A sense of nostalgia

  • A place your whole family can feel included 

  • Somewhere close to other amenities

  • Opportunities to win prizes

  • Gaming sections for grown-ups

  • Easy travel from the nearest train station

To narrow down some of your options, we have put together a list of the best arcades in coastal towns across the UK that are fun for all ages.

1. The Deck Amusement Arcade, Llandudno

Located in North Wales in the picturesque town of Llandudno, you’ll find the Deck Amusement Arcade. First opened in the late 1870s, this arcade has seen many excited visitors enter through its gates and leave with smiles.

From the latest arcade games to classic penny pushers and claw machines, The Deck Amusement Arcade has something for everyone. There’s even a coconut shy for anyone who wants to show off their overarm throw.

Children and parents can enjoy a classic Punch and Judy show while enjoying their fish and chips. Alternatively, visitors can take a seat at the ocean bar where there is live entertainment during afternoons.

Built into the pier's old Victorian bandstand, the views as you step outside are the cherry on top. Visitors can take in the blue Irish Sea or, on a clear day, see the impressive Snowdon Mountain.

For those looking for a family-friendly holiday destination, Llandudno Pier ticks all of the boxes. It offers much to do and see, welcoming locals as well as tourists coming from afar.

About The Deck Amusement Arcade

Address: Llandudno Pier, N Parade, Llandudno, LL30 2LP

Nearest station: Llandudno

Opening Times: 10 am to 10 pm, Monday to Sunday

How to reach this station: Take one of our Super Voyager Trains on line C to reach Llandudno Junction. From there, a train to Llandudno, visitors can get to the pier via:

  • Walking: Approximately 11 minutes from Llandudno train station.

  • Taxi: Approximately 15 minutes From Llandudno Junction.

  • Bus: Take the number 5 bus from Victoria Crescent to Palladium stop Y, then take a short walk, around 10 minutes, to the Arcade. Approximately 30 minutes journey to your destination.

Nearby places to visit:

  • Johnny Throws (Axe throwing)

  • Llandudno Boat Trips

  • Home Front Museum

  • Happy Valley Gardens

  • Penderyn Llandudno Lloyd St Distillery

2. Coral Island, Blackpool

Blackpool tower in the background with the Coral Island logo and giant skull in the foreground, as grey clouds loom in the distance.

Blackpool is one of the most iconic seaside towns in the UK. The town grew in popularity during the 1840s when it first became connected to local industrial areas through railways.

While at the time, there was not much to see besides the beach, the town quickly developed to keep up with tourist demand. As a result, visitor numbers jumped from around three million to eight million in just 60 years.

In 2021 alone, nearly 19 million people travelled to Blackpool, making up 37% of visitors to the Lancashire area. With more tourists came the need for more entertainment, and this included amusement arcades.

Coral Island Arcades is located just north of the Central Pier, across the way from six miles of beach. 

Visitors can enjoy classic arcade games, such as 2p pushers and grabbers. However, there are also newer machines, including Fast and Furious, Supersized Hungry Hungry Hippos, and Sonic All Stars Basketball.

Coral Island also caters to families with rides, such as The Pirate Flyer, which is a monorail ride overlooking the arcade. Visitors can also search for rubies together on the Ghost Train.

Alternatively, adults who want some time to themselves can enjoy the over 18’s area, filled with a variety of fruit machines. Those feeling lucky can head to the Coral Island Casino and try to win big on the slots, or at the American Roulette and Blackjack tables.

About Coral Island

Address: Coral Island, Central Promenade, Blackpool, FY1 5DW

Nearest station: Blackpool North

Opening times: 10 am until late Monday to Friday, and 9:30 am until late on weekends

How to reach this station: Take one of our Super Voyager Trains on line A or F to reach Blackpool North. From here, visitors can get to the arcade via:

  • Walking: Approximately 15 minutes

  • Taxi: Approximately four minutes

  • Bus: The number 14 bus or the number 9 from Buchanan Street, then a short walk to the arcade, which should take approximately 15 minutes

  • Blackpool Tramway from North Pier to Tower, then a short walk, which should take approximately 15 minutes

Nearby places to visit:

  • The Blackpool Tower Dungeon

  • Sea Life Blackpool

  • Madame Tussauds Blackpool

  • The Grand Theatre

  • Winter Gardens

  • Blackpool Pleasure Beach

3. Merrivale Model Village, Williamson’s Old Penny Arcade, Great Yarmouth

An aerial photo of Great Yarmouth showing the beach to the right and buildings on the left, all bathed in warm sunlight.

If you’re looking to step back in time, Williamson’s Old Penny Arcade is the place to be for vintage gaming. With a variety of refurbished arcade machines, visitors can play such classics as:

  • The Strength Tester

  • Fortune tellers

  • One-armed bandits

A refreshing change from the bright lights and loud noises of a modern arcade, the Old Penny Arcade combines classic, simple machines with a sense of nostalgia.

As the name suggests, Merrivale Model Village is more than just a seaside arcade. Visitors can also explore the rest of what’s on offer, such as:

  • Feeding the Koi fish

  • Playing with the remote control cars 

  • Admiring the quaint model railway

  • Walking through the sensory garden

  • Crazy golf

This location offers a day of honest family fun for those who fancy a change from computer screens and the hustle and bustle of modern living.

Finish your day off by relaxing on Great Yarmouth's Central Beach, where you can  enjoy an ice cream and go shopping along the promenade.

About Williamson’s Old Penny Arcade

Address: Merrivale Old Penny Arcade, 56 S Beach Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3JP

Nearest station: Great Yarmouth

Opening times: 10 am to 5:15 pm, Monday to Sunday 

How to get there from the train station: From Great Yarmouth station, visitors can get to the arcade via:

  • Walking: Approximately 30 minutes

  • Taxi: Approximately five minutes

  • Bus: Buses X1 Coastlink and X11 Coast link, one Coastal Clipper and eight  Coastal reds, which takes approximately 30 minutes

Nearby places to visit:

  • Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life

  • Sea Life Great Yarmouth

  • Tollhouse Museums

  • National Trust Elizabethan House Museum

  • Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

4. Astro City, Southend

Aerial photo showing the Southend pier stretching out into the bluey-green waters as the sun shines down.

If you’re coming from London, Southend is a great option for seaside day trips by train. Here you’ll find Astro City, an arcade which has been referred to by many as the best seaside arcade in the UK.

With nearly 600 arcade machines, you could visit again and again and still find something new to play. You can easily go from pinball machines and classic arcade games to air hockey and pool tables in one day.

While the arcade isn’t open all of the time to the public, you can book group events for an exclusive experience. From all-night parties to stag nights, Astro City is the place where you feel like a child in one moment and enjoy more grown-up interests the next.

Astro City also holds free play sessions every Friday and Saturday. With 59 machines to choose from, visitors pay a £6 entry fee and have free reign for the rest of their visit.

Outside the arcade, visitors can enjoy time on the beautiful beaches. While some are covered in golden sands, you’ll also come across the occasional pebble beach. In any case, the views of the Thames Estuary and the North Sea are breathtaking.

Home to the world's longest pier at 1.33 miles, you can take in the fresh air or go fishing on the pier itself. Alternatively, hop on the world’s first pier railway or sail off on a boat trip.

About Astro City

Address: Astro City, 2c Southchurch Rd, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 2NE

Nearest station: Southend Central

Opening times: Selected School Holiday Wednesdays 1 pm to 3 pm. Every Saturday 1 pm to 3 pm, and Every Friday 7 pm to 9 pm.

How to get there from the train station: From Southend Central station, visitors can get to the arcade via:

  • Walking: Approximately seven minutes

  • Taxi: Approximately two minutes

Nearby places to visit:

  • Victoria Shopping Centre

  • Adventure Island

  • Sealife Adventure

  • Southchurch Hall Gardens

Visit seaside arcades by train with Avanti

Photo of some classic arcade machines, some of which show blurry people in the background playing on some of them.

Avanti West Coast trains are ready to take you on your next seaside break. Whether you’re looking for a family day out, an opportunity to relive your childhood or a night of gaming with friends, we can get you there.

There are hundreds of seaside arcades across the UK to discover. Wherever you decide to go, plan your journey in advance and keep track of your booking through our Avanti app.

If you’re travelling as a group for a fun weekend away, book your tickets together. This way, you’ll save money and have more to spend, giving you more chances to win big arcade prizes.

Buy train tickets for your next journey

Buying through our website or app saves you money because we never charge booking fees.

To take a look at more ways to save including using a Railcard, booking in advance, and booking as a group, visit our ways to save page.

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