Review: RollerBowl Bowling, Dagenham, Romford


(Gifted Entry) I always struggle to think of activities to do on rainy days. Cinema and soft play quickly come to mind, but sitting still isn’t my children’s thing and crawling around a padded space isn’t mine. Bowling is a much better option and it will be going straight to the top of my ideas next time it’s wet. We actually headed to RollerBowl in City Pavillion, Collier Row, Romford on one of the hottest days of the year, but just like a rainy day the air conditioned space meant that the weather outside didn’t bother us as we spent a few hours bowling, eating and playing in the arcade.

2 girls posing in sunglasses in front of bowling alleys


About RollerBowl 


You could drive past RollerBowl and probably wouldn’t even think about going in. The signs on the entrance to the free car park are old and once you park outside the white building with “The City Pavillion” written on the front you might wonder if you are in the right place. Pass through the doors and straight ahead down the stairs though and you are met with a reassuring RollerBowl sign. Inside you will instantly be at home in the familiarity of a bowling alley.

To your left you can book your lane and exchange your shoes (smallest size is 1), to your right is the East Coast Diner and Lounge Bar and straight ahead are the lanes. There are 34 in total mostly in the main room, but some are in the Lounge Area where I saw a set up for a DJ. There is also a good size arcade at the opposite end of the bowling alley to the bar with a range of machines from 2p slots to a £3 Virtual reality machine.

Girl walking towards the entrance of the City Pavilion, Romford

Rollerbowl lit up sign

East Coast Diner at RollerBowl Lots of red, white and black

Lounge bar in RollerBowl

Our Experience At RollerBowl (review)


When we arrived at our lane it was really easy to get started. We entered everyone’s names and we could choose whether to have the bumpers up or down for each person. I’ve never seen that before, any other bowling place I have been to you have to choose to have them up or down for everyone. To make it easier for my daughters they also used the bowling ramp and they had some lighter balls.

My youngest daughter (age 3) had lots of fun and was happy to knock any pins down, although towards the end of the game she got a little bored. My eldest daughter got a little frustrated because she wasn’t winning (sorry I’m not the sort of parent that lets their children win), but she cheered up after getting a spare (knocking all the pins down with 2 balls) and a few other good balls. I however was loving it the whole way through. 

I’ve always been more focused on enjoying the game than winning, but the whole way through I was leading our game which was brilliant! I don’t know how, but some how most of my balls seem to go straight and I even got some strikes (all the pins down with one ball). I played so much better than in the past I was left wondering if it was possible for RollerBowl to rig the game so I would win and give them a good review, I’m not that easily swayed though.



3 year old girl pushing a bowling ball down a ramp

Ball rolling down towards pins

Excited 3 year old in a bowling alley

Individual statistics screen from bowling

More Than Just Bowling


After the game we ordered food and drinks in the East Coast Diner. My eldest was disappointed they didn’t sell beef burgers which is odd because she doesn’t often eat them. The choice of lamb & mint, southern fried chicken or spicy bean burgers didn’t appeal to her so she went for the Chicken Bites and chips. After a quick discussion with the cook and look at the allergen menu it confirmed my suspicion that there wasn’t much on the menu which didn’t contain dairy (the buns for instance are all brioche). The fish fingers and chicken bites from the kid's menu are both milk free so they made me a slightly larger portion of the chicken bites (although the children’s one were pretty big anyway). G went for one of the Chicago Town Pepperoni pizza. He was tempted by one of the thick milkshakes, but went for a coke with his meal. The rest of us were more adventurous with the girls going for Polar Krush Slushes and me a Pink Passion Fruit mocktail. The chicken was good because it was made with fillet rather than processed meat and everything else was fine. Everyone happily ate their food.

While waiting for the food to be ready and for a while afterwards we had fun on the arcade machines. The girls are a big fan of the 2p slot machines and M in particular gets disproportionately excited any time she wins tickets. We also played air hockey, the girls went on an arcade machine that has water guns and we played on a few other machines spending £12 in total. In exchange we had around an hours fun and won 175 tickets which was enough for a handful of sweets for the girls.

Lounge Bar Drinks Menu

Chicken bites and chips with ketchup being squirted on and a blue slush at RollerBowl

Having fun with the children while waiting for food in the East Coast Diner at RollerBowl

Winning tickets on a monopoly 2p machine at RollerBowl arcade

A water cannon arcade machine played by 2 children

Children showing off the sweets they have won in the arcade with 10p slots in the background

We were well looked after by most of the staff during our visit. The venue overall is shiny, bright and in good condition with just a few signs of damage as you might expect in a venue where people are partying at weekends. We went on a Saturday morning and it was lovely and quiet (it opens at 10am), but it got increasingly busy throughout our visit.

Find RollerBowl at Collier Row Road, Dagenham, Romford, RM5 2BH.

A standard game costs £7 for adults and £6 for under 16s, but there are lots of offers available. See the RollerBowl website for details.

***Disclosure: We were provided with a game of bowling and food in exchange for a review. All thoughts are my own***

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