Gutterball Royal Quays Review

Ad -  We were invited along to press night. Prices correct December 2019. 

As a former North Tyneside resident, Star Bowl at Royal Quays used to be a regular haunt of ours. We LOVED it when it first opened but have to say, it did go downhill over the years and right before it closed I am sure they never turned the heating on to save money as it was always freezing and put us off going!

We do have a local bowling alley in Cramlington which is fab for a quick game (especially during their £1 specials) and we are huge fans of Lane 7 in Newcastle but it is a bit of a trek for us and children aren't allowed on the premises after 7pm which as a parent of tweens and teens, isn't ideal for us if we fancy a Saturday night out.

I feel like there is a bit of a gap in the market when it comes to premium family bowling and arcades in the North East and it looks like Lane 7 have spotted this too - they have taken over the old Star Bowl site (it is located between Royal Quays and Wet n Wild in North Shields) and transformed it into Gutterball Alley - a destination for bowling and fun stuff.

Gutterball Royal Quays Opening Times 

Gutterball Royal Quays Opening Times

There are no restrictions on when children have to leave which makes Gutterball the perfect destination for a family-friendly Saturday night out.

Gutterball Pricing 

Gutterball Royal Quays Prices

Lane 7 regularly offers school holiday deals and I am sure Gutterball will follow suit - keep an eye on their Facebook page for offers. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Gift Vouchers 

Gutterball Royal Quays Gift Vouchers

Gutterball Royal Quays Gift Vouchers

You can buy gift vouchers for Gutterball - they will make a lovely Christmas gift for a family. Find out more and buy here. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Bowling

We really enjoyed our game of bowling at Gutterball. All of the bumpers in every lane were up on and there was no way to put them down - I wonder if this is their USP? If you are not a fan of bumpers, I would ask before you book to see if you can bowl without them.

There are a range of balls and a bowling aid on every aisle and your booking includes shoe hire - the shoes are a little on the big side so don't size up.

Two things I liked about bowling here was the soundtrack was spot on - perfect for older kids/ young adults and there is a service button you can press for staff to come and take food and drinks orders. Love that you don't need to leave the lane - I bet this is handy if you are bowling with a bunch of kids.  

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - bowling lane

Maybe we should have the bumpers up more often - Jack was on top form and came second (to yours truly). 

Most new bowling alleys tend to have little gimmicks like selfie cameras on the screens or little animations of your face - they don't have that here. It feels a little more sophisticated. They do have Sky Sports on the screens above your lane though which pleased Steve. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Review  - bowling alley

Gutterball Royal Quays Pool

You can pre-book a pool table for £7 an hour online or pay £8 at the desk. The pool tables look fab and are located in the arcade area. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Mini Golf

Opening soon......

Gutterball Royal Quays Curling

Opening soon.......

Gutterball Royal Quays Ping Pong

Ping pong is available from £4 for 30 minutes and there are bowl and ping pong packages available which would be brilliant for date night. The ping pong table is located in the arcade area. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Bull Pen

Coming soon......

Gutterball Royal Quays Arcades

I really feel like Newcastle and the surrounding areas are in great need of a proper arcade a little bit like Coral Island in Blackpool. Or even better, bring back Metroland!

As far as arcades go though, the one at Gutterball is pretty good. We visited on a Saturday night and there were groups of youths there but they weren't causing any trouble and there were two security guards there checking everything was ok.  

Most games are £1 including Luigi's Mansion which the boys played on for over half an hour and actually completed the whole thing! 

Heidi had brought her change from her piggy bank to spend on the arcades. She spotted one of those machines where you have to put a £1 coin in, twist it and you get a mystery toy in a ball. We didn't have a £1 coin on us and asked the staff if they could change her 20ps for a £1 coin. They refused and said it wasn't their policy to do this. This left Heidi pretty upset (you know what kids are like once they see something). 

I am a huge stickler for excellent customer service and really think businesses should always go the extra mile to make their customers happy and sadly that didn't happen here. Instead of Heidi leaving spending an extra £1 on-site and happy (with her plastic tat), she left feeling disappointed. Not great. If you visit the arcades, make sure you bring plenty of £1 coins. There are change machines but they don't turn 20ps into £1 coins.

Heidi spent her 5 x 20p pieces on skittles instead. 

The basketball game below is completely free to play on and fab for young and old - we all had a couple of games each. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - air hockey

You can collect tickets on some of the games and exchange for prizes. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Food & Drinks Prices

You can order food and drinks to enjoy at the bowling lanes or enjoy in the bar/restaurant area. There are a range of soft drinks, alcohol-free beers, cocktails, wines and beers. Oh and hot drinks too. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - drinks menu

The dining area/bar feels pretty retro with recycled tables and meals in baskets - I remember going bowling and having chicken in a basket about 30 years ago so it was a nice little nod to the past.

Food is very reasonable with kids meals available from £4 and a corn dog is just £1.75. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - food menu

Again, Sky Sports is on in the bar.  

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - milkshake

Another blast from the past, I could not resist ordering a hooch. It was my drink of choice on Friday nights in Morpeth back in the day. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - Hooch

The food wasn't anything to write home about and was pretty generic - mass-produced frozen fries and cheese sauce for example. The burger was the best of the bunch. I wouldn't avoid the food here - it was tasty enough but the food alone isn't any reason to travel here for. It's not outstanding. For us, it would be worth grabbing a bite after a game of bowling as the setting is cool, the food is cheap and the menu has something for everyone. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - burger meal

Gutterball Royal Quays Review   - kids meal

You help yourself to sauces from this sauce station which is a novel idea but also a bit annoying having your food brought to you and then having to leave the table to squirt some sauce in your basket. There is no salt (that we could see) and we weren't given any napkins or cutlery (I had fries covered with cheese sauce - don't worry, I am not one of these people who eat a burger with a knife and fork)  so I had to ask for some.

There was also no check back to see if everything was ok.  I will forgive them though as it was opening weekend on the day of our visit and they do need to settle in. 

Gutterball Royal Quays Location, Parking & Public Transport 

Gutterball Royal Quays Map

  • There is plentiful FREE parking at Gutterball Royal Quays. The address is Rotary Way, North Shields. NE29 6DA. 
  • Plenty of buses serve Royal Quays including Go North East services 11, 19, 327 and S660. The 319 passes by too. 

Gutterball Royal Quays - Nearby 

I think Gutterball is a fantastic destination for a family day/night out or birthday treat. There is lots to do in the area too including Wet n Wild Waterpark, shopping at Royal Quays, Inflatanation and the marina too.

It is also super close to North Shields Ferry Terminal - if you are catching a Ferry to Amsterdam, a game of bowling and a bite to eat here will start off your holiday in style.

Gutterball is more expensive than our local bowling alley and somewhere we will save for a family treat/birthday. The actual bowling alley didn't have enough of a USP for me to make a trip all the way there on a regular basis (plus it is more expensive than our local bowling alley). It is the only bowling alley locally who accept children after 7pm though so we would definitely book here if we fancied a night out with the kids.

We had a brilliant night out though and I think if you are looking for bowling and a little extra, Gutterball is perfect as there is loads going on and it is somewhere you could really make a night of it (although the cost would soon add up ). I really love that there is so much more to Gutterball than simply bowling. It is a brilliant destination for a night out with tweens and teens.

Ideas for Days Out with Tweens & Teens 

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Gutterball Royal Quays Review



  1. Been waiting for this to open so thanks for the review! Thinking of visiting over the Christmas hols with 6 year old twins or even trying to book for NYE

  2. Looks like a brilliant transformation! Looks really stylish & a great place for adults and tweens in particular! I really liked how you can chose to have the bumpers up or down in some alleys so would defo ask about that when we go along. I like the thrill of watching my ball go down the gutter ha ha


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