Are you a self-confessed gamer? If you enjoy the thrill of playing video games, cards, or even old-school tabletop games, London must be one of the best places on Earth to feed your competitive streak.
The English capital is literally teeming with gaming venues, which you can share with family or friends and even enjoy on your own. Below, I’ve shone a spotlight on five of the ultimate venues in London to put on your bucket list as a gaming shark.
Red Bull Gaming Sphere
Competitive PC and console gamers should head straight to the Red Bull Gaming Sphere on Whitby Street (E1 6JT). The Red Bull-branded venue is a dedicated Esports content studio, as well as a gaming venue for those serious about playing and honing their competitive skills. The venue was refurbished in 2022, complete with premium gaming PCs, gaming consoles and monster display screens to keep tabs on any Esports events being broadcast in-house.
It’s just a really cool place to hang out with like-minded gamers. The venue has its own Discord channel where you can reach out to other gamers before your visit.
The Hippodrome Casino
If you enjoy live casino gaming, there’s no better location in London than The Hippodrome Casino. Situated in the heart of the West End, a stone’s throw from Leicester Square and Covent Garden, The Hippodrome offers five storeys of gaming options, including table games, slot machines and London’s biggest live poker room.
The PokerStars Live poker room is one of two live venues sponsored by the leading online poker site. It regularly plays host to poker tournaments, including events on the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) schedule. Every day, you’ll also find cash games to sit down and play, covering No Limit Texas Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha.
Shuffleboard is one of those classic tabletop games, and thanks to the guys at Electric Shuffle, it’s still a hugely popular social game in the capital. With venues in London Bridge and Canary Wharf, Electric Shuffle is growing all the time. It’s also compatible with larger groups of friends or family, with up to 16 players allocated per shuffleboard table.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of shuffleboard, it’s a team-based game. You’ll be split into two equal teams and battle it out in four game modes. Just slide your puck down the table as close to the necessary targets as possible to win points for your team. With seats all around the tables, you’re all guaranteed a great view of the action.
If you want a day of gaming and fun-filled competition with family or friends but can’t narrow down what you want to play, head over to Gravity Wandsworth for a bit of everything. This amusement centre is a jack-of-all-trades gaming venue with so much to offer, rivalling many other family-friendly attractions in London.
There’s urban street golf, which gives crazy golf a whole new meaning. Nostalgic gamers can head over to the FunBox Arcade for some old-fashioned fun. There’s even e-karting, with high-powered electric karts and neon lights providing a thrilling race experience. Augmented reality plays a big part here, too, with AR-inspired darts and bowling games and several other Esports titles to enjoy.
We can’t talk about gaming without recommending a virtual reality (VR) gaming venue. DNA VR is a highly rated VR-based gaming arcade offering VR titles for single-player and multiplayer experiences. DNA VR is growing at a rapid rate of knots, with no less than three venues in London to choose from – Battersea Power Station, Camden and Hammersmith.
You can book hourly slots to enter the VR Arcade zone, where you’ll get access to a host of VR titles like Elven Assassin and Skyfront VR. The latter is described as “laser tag on steroids”, and they’re not wrong. If you’re not afraid of being afraid, After the Fall is a four-player survival game set in a zombie apocalypse. The whole experience is a guaranteed adrenaline rush!
You’re quite literally spoilt for choice with this hit list of London’s hip and happening gaming venues, providing fun for all ages during your next weekend break to the capital.