Bingo halls started appearing around the UK during the 1960s, many decades before the Internet arrived to make the online version of this popular game even possible. Furthermore, online bingo has evolved to offer a playing experience that differs markedly from that of standard bingo.
The Best Bingo Halls
There’s no doubt about it – there’s something very special about a physical, land-based bingo hall. Brick-and-mortar bingo halls may not be quite as popular as they once were in the age of online bingo sites, but they still offer the enthralling atmosphere and chance to socialise face-to-face with others that even the best Internet bingo portals just can’t match.
Indeed, despite their dwindling numbers in recent years, the UK still has a lot of fine physical bingo halls from which enthusiasts of the game can choose – many of them tied to well-known chains. Here at Top 10 Best Bingo Sites, we therefore thought we’d pick out some of the ones we think you just have to visit.
Mecca Leeds Mayfair
Address: 50 New York Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7DY
Opening hours: From 10am Monday to Saturday; from 12pm Sunday
Phone number: 01132 341 773
Prices: From free to £10
This bingo club representing part of the ubiquitous Mecca bingo chain has frequently been cited as among the best in the UK, with online reviewers having described it as “loads of fun” and having a “great atmosphere”. It’s in an easy to reach location in Leeds city centre, close to the major bus routes, and while there is no on-site parking, there are two public car parks in close proximity.
The venue is a decent size, with enough seating for 800 people, and with various regular promotions and daily deals on offer, as well as the opportunity to play paper-based bingo (an increasing rarity in today’s land-based casinos), it’s a difficult place to beat.
Gala Bingo Surrey Quays, London
Address: 3 Teredo Street, London, SE16 7LW
Opening hours: 11am to 11pm Monday to Sunday
Phone number: 02072 313 199
Prices: From free to £5
The Surrey Quays area of London has seen substantial change down the years – for several centuries until 1969 it was, as its name suggests, a docking area for the Thames. Today, the docks themselves are largely filled in and the area is home to various glitzy modern amenities, including shops, restaurants and an Odeon cinema.
You’ll also find the unashamedly modern Surrey Quays Gala Bingo here, a purpos
e built bingo hall complete with its own bar and diner, disabled facilities and parking for 1,000 cars. There are even slots machines, should they take your fancy.
BJs Bingo Club, Birmingham
Address: 250 Mackadown Lane, Birmingham, B33 0LE
Opening hours: 10:30am to 12am Monday; 10:30am to 1am Tuesday; 10:30am to 12am Wednesday and Thursday; 10:30am to 2am Friday and Saturday; 11:30am to 2am Sunday
Phone number: 0121 783 3333
Prices: From £3
This swanky (and decidedly purple and pink) Kitts Green bingo hall hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in February 2015 when a masked raider burst into the foyer, brandishing a firearm and asking for money. There was also a story of a regular who was banned from the hall for responding to the traditional bingo halls with abusive language.
However, you shouldn’t let such unfortunate stories mislead you – this is a very pleasant place to play bingo, thanks to its enthralling mix of food, drink and entertainment. It’s also easy to get to, being located close to all of the major bus routes and Lea Hall train station, and if you arrive in your own vehicle, there’s ample free parking of which to take advantage.
Club 3000, Manchester
Address: 601 Chester Road, Manchester, M16 0QW
Opening hours: 11am to 11:30pm Monday to Saturday; 11:30am to 11:30pm
Phone number: 0161 877 0777
Prices: Not known
Club 3000 may not be the best-known of bingo chains, but it actually boasts no fewer than 13 venues in various parts of the UK, including the likes of Bristol, Cardiff, Peterlee, Preston and Stanley Park. This venue in Manchester is unquestionably one of the highlights of the chain’s halls – there’s parking available on Chester Road, and the area is well-served by buses.
There’s no doubt about the great atmosphere, either, with one online reviewer declaring that “the staff are lovely and don’t put on an act... the bingo reminds me of what bingo halls looked like when I was growing up in the ‘90s... I love every time I come to visit”.
Like any good bingo hall, Club 3000 continually advertises great promotions and special offers, including free gifts and discount vouchers. There are some exciting free games available here, too. Overall, it’s a pretty friendly brick-and-mortar bingo hall.
Shipleys Luxury Bingo Club, Redditch
Address: The Quadrant, Alcester Street, Redditch, B98 8AE
Opening hours: 11:30am to 11pm Monday, Wednesday, Friday; 11am to 11pm Tuesday, Thursday; 10:30am to 11pm Saturday; 5pm to 11pm Sunday
Phone number: 01527 585 857
Prices: From free to £10
Two clubs bear the name of the Shipleys brand (there’s no apostrophe in Shipleys, by the way) – one in Kidderminster and the other, the focus for this profile, in Redditch, a lovely town some 15 miles south of Birmingham.
It’s supposed to be a ‘luxury’ bingo club, and we can safely say that it lives up to that billing. Parking is free when you use a voucher from the reception, while the hall itself is pleasant and spacious, with some 1,000 seats and air conditioning.
Meals, snacks and hot and cold drinks are also provided, while various enticing promotions take place throughout the week – just visit the website to find out the latest ones.
Castle Bingo, Bootle, Liverpool
Address: 245 Stanley Road, Bootle, Liverpool, L20 3DY
Opening hours: 10:30am to 11pm Monday to Friday; 10am to 11:30pm Saturday; 11:30am to 11pm Sunday
Phone number: 01519 331 112
Prices: £3 to £10
The Castle chain is well worth paying attention to for bingo fans, thanks to its clubs in such locations as Birmingham, Cardiff and Swansea. But if you forced us to pick the best of the bunch, we’d go for the Bootle one in Merseyside, which is housed in a fabulous building offering seats on two levels.
You will certainly enjoy your bingo here, in small part due to the broad range of rewarding promotions throughout the week – each day offers something different, and new promotions are launched every month to help ensure you never get bored of coming here.
But the food and drinks menu is also a very worthy attraction, with prices starting at just £0.70 at the coffee bar and draughts costing you as little as £2.
The London Palace
Address: First Floor, Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, London, SE1 6TE
Opening hours: 10am to 11:45pm Monday; 10:30am to 11:45pm Tuesday to Saturday; 12pm to 11:45pm Sunday
Phone number: 020 7277 0001
Prices: £3 to £15
The initial signs for this bingo hall may not be the most favourable – the website looks, shall we say, antiquated, while the club itself is located on the first floor of the Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, which is hardly one of London’s more glamorous spots.
However, it’s well worth visiting the ‘Palace’ in person, and not just because it happens to be one of the UK’s biggest bingo clubs, with enough seating for 2,000 patrons. It’s well-served by the capital’s ever-strong nearby transport connections, the staff are helpful and there’s a friendly atmosphere all-round – what more could you want from a bingo hall?
Again, we have to leave the last word with an online reviewer, this time on TripAdvisor: “The callers are not boring, the books are not expensive and the prize money is very good. They have hot food and a bar, not to mention slot machines galore. It’s a great way to spend fun time with friends, play bingo, get a meal and a drink all in one location.”
Don’t Underestimate the Appeal of the Traditional Bingo Hall
Yes, we may live in a highly interconnected online world these days, with no shortage of great online bingo sites, as we are well-placed to give you the lowdown on here at Top 10 Best Bingo Sites. However, the traditional land-based bingo hall continues to have an appeal all of its own, so it’s worth appreciating the many that the UK still has.
Why not enjoy the best of both worlds? Visit some of the fantastic brick-and-mortar bingo halls above, but also compare the finest online bingo portals. You’ll be glad you did, as it’ll enable you to get the absolute most out of your bingo-playing experiences, both online and offline – so take a look at our latest reviews and ratings now.